Recipe by Triad to Wellness Consulting – Photo Courtesy of Kristen Massad
Homemade, Healthy Comfort Food
Meatloaf, the ultimate comfort food that may have reached peak popularity in the 50’s, is making a healthy comeback. Classic meatloaf recipes often fall flat on nutrition, but our Butternut Squash Meatloaf Muffins recipe is a hearty exception. Our version replaces a portion of the meat with vegetables, making it a nutrient-dense, healthier twist on the outdated traditional loaf. Our meatloaf is packed with mushrooms for their meaty texture and earthy flavor profile, plus butternut squash and spinach, which add vitamins, minerals and the perfect amount of moisture to the ground beef. We love that these veggies are undetectable to even the most discriminating picky eaters too! We’ve made our meatloaf portion perfect by making them mini–perfectly-sized for little hands and easy to store and reheat or pack for lunch the next day. High in protein, portable, and fun-to-eat, everything tastes better when miniature. Mom’s Meatloaf may be a nostalgic, feel-good comfort food that we either love, or love to hate, but our Butternut Squash Meatloaf Muffins are a delicious, savory “cupcake” that redefines the traditional comforts of home.
Nutrient Booster: Mushrooms
Mushrooms are a powerhouse of nutrition! Mushrooms are rich in riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, potassium, copper, and especially selenium. Selenium, works as an antioxidant in the body helping to protect it from cell damage that can lead to certain cancers, heart disease and more. Consuming mushrooms also helps to lower blood pressure and decreases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Eaten on their own, stuffed, or used in your favorite recipes, meals are delicious when they are made with mushrooms.
Our Butternut Squash Meatloaf Muffins are so easy to prepare for a healthy and nutrient-dense meal anytime. When the meatloaf is made mini, the baking time is literally cut in half! This is the perfect make-ahead, freezer-friendly lunch, snack, or dinner option that pairs well with so many of our delicious sides. Serve these muffins with our Mashed Sweet Potatoes to warm up on a chilly winter day. Or try pairing these muffins with our Chard Salad for a light, easy meal that will help beat the warm-weather heat. Eat them in a bun, wrap them in a lettuce leaf, or top them over your favorite whole grain. There are so many possibilities for such a simple supper.
Butternut Squash Meatloaf Muffins
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, finely chopped
- 2 cups butternut squash, grated or finely chopped*
- 6 ounces baby spinach
- 1 pound lean ground beef, organic
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs, gluten-free if necessary
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 5 tablespoons ketchup
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- muffin tin + liners
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a medium saute pan over medium heat, add olive oil and onion. Saute for 3-4 minutes until soft, then add garlic, mushrooms and butternut squash. Stir occasionally until vegetables begin to brown, then add spinach,and stir until it wilts. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, eggs, apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of ketchup with a wooden spoon. Add vegetable mixture, salt, and pepper to the ground beef. Using very clean hands, mix until ingredients are combined.
- Line two muffin tins using paper muffin cup liners. Scoop the meat mixture with an ice cream scoop, and top with the remaining ketchup using a basting brush and bake for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the meatloaf muffins reaches 170° F. When done, remove from oven, and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.