I am so excited about this recipe I can hardly contain myself. For one it is relatively healthy, and for another it just tastes so damn good. Listen, I know there are some meatloaf purist who want nothing more than good old-fashioned meatloaf the way Mom made it with ketchup and all. Me personally, if I am going to have meatloaf, I want over the top, full of pizzaz, and not your ordinary meatloaf, because in general, ground beef without all the bells and whistles is bland and boring. However, with the addition of spices, herbs, some salt, pepper, it becomes meal worthy, and truly enjoyable!
Why is this a Mediterranean Meatloaf?
This meatloaf has many Greek influences, with the spinach, the fresh oregano, the feta cheese, the richness from the cottage cheese, and when you bake this all together, it just feels uniquely Greek.
Can I use ground turkey?
Yes, you can certainly sub in ground turkey for the meatloaf mix, just be certain not to use a very lean mix. Ground lamb would also be wonderful in this, and certainly very Mediterranean! You definitely want some fat in this to help keep it moist. While I am thinking about it, you can certainly use part skim or whole milk ricotta cheese, but I am totally sold on the low-fat cottage cheese, as I think the texture of the large curds helps to keep this moist, and flavorful.
I don’t have a fancy mini-loaf pan
No worries, make this in a large loaf pan, or even a muffin tin sprayed with baking spray and bake away! Just be certain to adjust cooking times.
Through the years I have stuffed it, wrapped it in bacon, doused it with a spicy Siracha glaze, and those were some good times, but this dish is like a savory,meaty Spanakopita and it hits all the Greek flavor notes which I love. This is easy to put together with ingredients most of us have on hand. I serve this with an appetizer of humus with Greek accoutrements, black and kalamata olives, feta cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, warm pita bread, and my homemade spicy pepper hummus and it makes for a lovely al fresco dining experience. This is a meal you can feel good about eating. These Mediterranean Mini Meat loaves are super cute, super delicious, and just a fun way to change-up ho-hum meatloaf.
These Mediterranean Mini Meat loaves will shrink a bit, because of the fat content and ingredients in the meat, but it is negligible in the final outcome, and they are so yummy! xo
I hope you give these Mediterranean Mini Meat Loaves a try. I know they will soon become your go to weeknight meatloaf recipe.
Mediterranean Mini Meat Loaves
A flavorful, wonderfully moist, Greek style meatloaf that is healthy and delicious!
Credit: CrazySexySavor.com/Susan Mangieri-Maurath
- 1 lb. of meatloaf mix
- 1/4 cup of grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1/2 cup of low-fat cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup of feta cheese crumbled
- 1/2 cup of part skim mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups of baby spinach
- 2 cloves of minced garlic
- 1/2 onion finely diced
- 1 tbsp. of fresh dill
- 1 tbsp. fresh oregano
- 1 tsp. of Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp. of red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 egg white
- 1 tbsp. of EVOO
- 2 tbsp. of melted unsalted butter
- Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°. In a large skillet over medium high heat add EVOO and saute onions until translucent, about 3-4 min. Add in garlic and saute for another minute, then add in spinach. Saute just until spinach wilts and cooks down slightly. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly about 5 minutes, before chopping, (do so by hand, or you will have mush if you process this in a food processor after it has been cooked).
- In a large bowl combine cottage cheese and Pecorino Romano cheese, mix well, add in feta and mozzarella cheese. Add in spices, Kosher salt, red pepper flakes and cracked black pepper. Mix well. Add in meatloaf mix, and spinach mixture, and egg white. Mix with hands lightly to combine. Do not over mix.
- Spray a mini meatloaf pan or muffin tin with cooking spray, then evenly distribute meatloaf between the pan. I was able to get six somewhat even, decent sized mini meat loaves. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until cooked through and lightly browned.
- When meat loaves are done. Remove from oven and brush each of the mini meat loaves with butter. You might be tempted to skip the melted butter for caloric reasons but it really finishes the meatloaf and gives it a rich flavor. It is how I finish my steaks always, and if you want to know why steaks at restaurants always taste so good, it is because of this little secret! Allow to rest for at least 5 minutes. Remove from loaf pan and serve with a nice salad or vegetable of your choice. Devour!
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