L’il Cheddar Meat Loaves

I think the following recipe has made the rounds of many recipe exchange lists for the past several years. It was originally published in my favorite foodie magazine Taste of Home in 2000. The author of this recipe is Katy Bowron. The only thing I’ve changed from her origina recipe is to use bread crumbs instead of Katy’s suggestion of quick oats as a binder. My kids didn’t like to “see” the oats.  Teamed with my Parsley Potatoes and a green veggie, this is what I call a “comfort” meal.

Li’l Cheddar Meat Loaves
Serves: 8

1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound ground beef
2/3 cup ketchup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons prepared mustard

In  a bowl, beat the egg and milk. Stir in cheese, bread crumbs, onion and salt. Add beef and mix well. Shape into eight loaves; place in a greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Combine ketchup, brown sugar and mustard; spoon over loaves. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 45  minutes or until meat is no longer pink  and a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.

These can be made ahead of time and frozen. Prepare the meatloaves as directed, but don’t add the ketchup sauce. Place the formed meatloaves on a tray and place in the freezer for a few hours. When the loaves are frozen, place them into a freezer bag or container, label and date and return to the freezer. When you want to prepare them for dinner, take out as many as you want, place on a tray and bake as directed. You can bake from the frozen state, just add about 15-20 minutes to your cooking time and check the internal temperature often to make sure that you have cooked the meat completely. Add the ketchup sauce in the last 30 minutes so it doesn’t burn.

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