Ground Chicken Meatloaf Muffins Recipe

Meatloaf is the ideal comfort food when you're looking for the perfect balance of seasoned meat and tender texture. The delicious flavor and nutritious meal is packed into a compact dish that is easy to consume. All the same, a whole meatloaf often entails plenty of leftovers, which are harder to eat on the go or as a quick snack. That's why this ground chicken meatloaf muffin recipe by Erin Johnson, recipe developer at Probably in the Kitchen, is the best of both worlds. You'll still have an abundant supply of meatloaf, but in a small format that's easy to eat if you're in a rush and just have time to grab a bite and run. 

You won't be sacrificing on flavor or nutrition, either, as these ground chicken meatloaf muffins are well seasoned. Although a classic meatloaf is made with beef, this chicken version is a lighter variation. The muffins are also a great idea for a hearty appetizer, or can be served with a side dish for a filling meal. The versatility and fun size make these ground chicken meatloaf muffins a great option for any day of the week. You can even meal prep these in advance in order to reduce food waste and have a nourishing meal at any time.

Gather the ingredients for your chicken meatloaf muffins

To start, you'll need some Italian seasoned bread crumbs, which have tons of flavor already, thanks to the sweeteners, spices, preservatives, and often cheese that are added (though you can always make your own bread crumbs). Next, some shredded parmesan adds richness and umami that will taste heavenly once the muffins are cooked. Parsley adds an herbal component to the mixture, for a fresh note. Onions release plenty of flavor as they cook. Roasted red pepper adds a splash of color and sweetness. Finally, fresh garlic, salt, and pepper are used to season the dish subtly, while enhancing the natural flavors of the ingredients.

Ground chicken is a flavorful, high-protein option for meatloaf, but Johnson says, "You can use any ground meat you'd like! Beef, chicken, turkey — all are delicious." You might have to run several trials to find your favorite. 

Fresh eggs make the perfect binder for meatloaf while adding nutrients. The eggs are mixed with the ground chicken and the bread crumb mixture to form a smooth texture.

And the glaze ingredients are straightforward. You'll just need standard ketchup, balsamic vinegar, and brown sugar. 

Mix the bread crumbs with the parmesan, parsley, onion, peppers, and spices

First, start by preheating your oven to 350 F.

Shred the parmesan, chop the parsley, onion, and red pepper, and mince the garlic finely. In a large bowl, mix the Italian bread crumbs, parmesan, parsley, onion, roasted red pepper, garlic, salt, and pepper. Be sure to thoroughly combine the ingredients so that the vegetables are evenly distributed and coated with the bread crumbs and cheese. Having a properly combined mixture will make it easier to stir it into the ground chicken.

Beat the eggs and combine them with the ground chicken and bread crumb mixture

Stir the ground chicken into the bread crumb mixture. In a small bowl, beat the eggs until they are completely yellow. Then, pour the beaten eggs in with the ground chicken and bread crumb mixture. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir everything together, ensuring that the ingredients are blended uniformly. This is the meatloaf mixture you will bake, and you certainly don't want to bite into a chunk of bread crumbs!

Prepare the muffin pan and spoon the chicken mixture into each cup

Next, prepare your muffin pan by greasing each cup with a non-stick spray. Alternatively, line the muffin pan with paper or silicone liners. This will help keep the meatloaf from getting stuck in the tray when you try to pop them out. 

One by one, spoon the ground chicken mixture into each muffin cup. Be sure to divide the mixture evenly to ensure that the cooking time remains the same for all of the mini meatloafs.

Prepare the glaze

Before you can bake the meatloaf muffins, get the glaze ready to spread on top. In a small bowl, mix the ketchup, balsamic vinegar, and brown sugar. Whisk it thoroughly so that the brown sugar dissolves and the components are entirely combined. As the sugars in the sauces bake, they will caramelize into a sweet glaze for a heavenly result. You might not use this type of glaze with a larger meatloaf as the sugars could burn, but with these mini meatloafs, the bake time is perfect.

Spread the glaze over the meatloaf muffins and bake

Using a glazing brush or whatever utensil you have, carefully glaze all 12 muffins. Make sure to cover the tops but don't overload them with glaze. The meat needs to be able to cook through.

Pop the muffin pan into the preheated oven and bake the mini meatloafs. They'll need about 15 minutes. To be certain that the ground chicken is fully cooked, Johnson says, "I always use a meat thermometer to ensure the centers hit 165 F."

Let the ground chicken mini meatloafs cool, and then serve

Once the meatloaf muffins are cooked, remove the pan from the oven and set them to cool. While these are delicious popped directly into your mouth, if you want to serve them as a complete meal, Johnson says, "I'm a traditionalist and love these with mashed potatoes." Meat and potatoes of any kind are a perfect match, whether they're mashed, roasted, or fried. Other root vegetables can also be served if you're looking for a hearty side. For a lighter option, enjoy them with steamed green beans or a salad.

Since the recipe makes a dozen muffins, you might end up with leftovers. Johnson says you can store them in the fridge for up to three days. If you want to prep them in advance, Johnson says, "They can be frozen and then popped into the oven, microwave, or air fryer to reheat." Have you started your batch of ground chicken meatloaf muffins yet?

Ground Chicken Meatloaf Muffins Recipe
4.9 from 31 ratings
This beef-free, lightened up ground chicken meatloaf muffins recipe yields plenty of meatloaf, but in a small format that's healthier and easy to eat on the go.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
15
minutes
Servings
12
muffins
two chicken meatloaf muffins with glaze on plate
Total time: 25 minutes
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped, plus more to garnish if desired
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • ⅓ cup roasted red pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients together except the chicken and the eggs.
  3. Stir the ground chicken into the bread crumb mixture.
  4. In a small bowl, beat the eggs and add them to the chicken and bread crumb mixture.
  5. Stir well to incorporate all of the ingredients.
  6. Grease a muffin pan or use muffin liners. Spoon an equal amount of the mixture into each muffin cup.
  7. In a small bowl, stir together the ketchup, balsamic vinegar, and brown sugar.
  8. Spread the glaze over each meatloaf muffin.
  9. Bake the muffins for 15 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 121
Total Fat 4.9 g
Saturated Fat 1.7 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 61.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 9.5 g
Dietary Fiber 0.6 g
Total Sugars 3.6 g
Sodium 189.8 mg
Protein 9.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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