Meatloaf is a classic American dish, though it has German origins. “Vitality Loaf” became popular during the 1940s as a product of wartime ingenuity. In this version, meatloaf was a mixture of beef, pork, and liver. The meat mixture could be stretched to feed a crowd thanks to breadcrumbs and other additives.
Today, of course, we typically make this dish with ground beef – no liver in sight. Some people have had great meatloaf experiences, while others… not so much. If you’ve ever had dried out meatloaf, you may be in the “no thanks” crowd when it comes to this dish. I’ve got a fun twist on the classic meatloaf, one that I think you and your family will love, despite any dicey experiences in the past!
These little treasures are Pizza Meatloaf Cups. I prefer them over regular meatloaf for a few reasons. First, these pizza cups are so much more flavorful than any other meatloaf I’ve had. Part of it is because the recipe calls for pizza sauce instead of the traditional ketchup. Pizza sauce has a complexity and depth that regular old ketchup just doesn’t!
Add it the two different kinds of cheeses, Italian breadcrumbs, and a few other spices, and you have yourself a delicious, pizza-inspired meal that everyone will devour.
Since this meal has both pizza and meatloaf roots, you can go either way with the side dishes you serve it up with. Green beans and mashed potatoes would pair well with the meatloaf side of things, but this dinner could also be complete with some garlic bread! See how easily these Pizza Meatloaf Cups come together in the recipe below.
Pizza Meatloaf Cups
Serves 12; 30 minutes
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup pizza sauce, more for serving
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
- 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
- 3/4 cup cheddar cheese
- Optional: red pepper flakes & dried basil
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- In a large bowl, combine egg, pizza sauce, bread crumbs, and Italian seasoning. Add beef and mix with your hands.
- Divide meat mixture into 12 portions and press each one into the bottom and sides of a greased muffin pan, making little cups.
- Add cheese to the centers and top with a pinch of red pepper and dried basil if you want.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until meat is cooked all the way through. Serve with additional pizza sauce.
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.