Cheddar BBQ Mini Meatloaves

Comfort foods are an integral part of the Standard American Diet and often remind us of mom’s homecooked meals.  Your favorite comfort foods probably vary depending on where you grew up and your family’s nationality and traditions, but the constant is that everyone has one or two meals they find satisfying time and again.  One of my favorites is my mom’s slow cooker chili recipe (which I will be happily indulging in when I travel home for Christmas), for example; it is stick-to-your-ribs good in the winter and is the perfect pairing with Sunday Night Football.  Another favorite of mine has always been meatloaf.  This recipe is great as it pre-portions the meat into individual mini loaves and uses keto-friendly ingredients.  Pair this with a nice side salad or my roasted asparagus or Brussels sprouts and you have yourself a complete meal that is healthy and delicious.  If you’re not a fan of BBQ sauce, you could find reduced sugar ketchup and use that in its place, of course.  As always this recipe has minimal, easy-to-find ingredients while boasting a lot of flavor.

I began by pre-heating my oven to 425°F, lining a baking sheet with foil and lightly spraying it with non-stick spray.  I also gathered all the necessary ingredients as shown above.

I used my favorite food scale in order to slice 3 ounces of cheddar cheese for the loaves.  The scale is reasonably priced and allows you to measure in grams, kilograms, ounces and pounds by simply changing the unit of measurement using the button on the right.  I’ve been using mine for months and can’t imagine cooking without it now.  I also recommend buying a nice block of full fat cheddar cheese for this recipe; this Mammoth Cheddar is local to Wisconsin and was aged 60 days.

Next I finely diced the yellow onion – this does not have to be perfectly uniform, and you can even leave the pieces a little larger if you’d like.

I sauteed them over medium heat in butter until caramelized and translucent and set aside to cool.  Meanwhile, I used my food processor to turn the pork rinds into a bread crumbs texture.  Pork rinds  are a staple in my kitchen when needing a replacement for bread crumbs in a recipe.  They grind up into a fine texture and are great for holding together wet ingredients or as breading for baked foods or low carb fries.  You can read more about why I use them in this post.

I purchased 85/15 grassfed ground beef which I seasoned liberally with pepper and Italian herbs.  I then added 2 tablespoons of the Guy’s Sugar Free Smokey Garlic BBQ Sauce, the pork rinds, the egg and the caramelized onions.  I cannot recommend the Guy’s brand of BBQ sauce enough (and no, I’m not paid to say that).  I discovered the brand on Netrition and I don’t think I will ever buy another type of sugar free BBQ sauce.  I’ve tried all the available flavors and love all of them equally; the smokey garlic gives these meatloaves additional flavor without being over-powering.  All of their sauces taste just as good (if not better) than traditional sugar-loaded brands and are great in a variety of recipes.

Using my hands, I mashed the ingredients together until they were fully combined.  It’s important to not over-mix or the meat will be tough once it is cooked.

I formed six identical mini loaves and evenly spaced them on my baking sheet.

Next I pressed 1/2 ounce of cheese into the center of each loaf.

In order to prevent losing too much cheese in the baking process, I pulled the meat up and over the cheese to seal it inside.  Inevitably some cheese will bubble through while baking, but it’s important to try to close any gaps to minimize this.

Finally I took the remaining 2 tablespoons of BBQ sauce and lightly brushed it along each loaf to form a glaze and to keep the meat moist while it cooked.  Into the oven they went for 25 minutes until no longer pink in the middle.

Cutting into these meatloaves is like slicing into a gooey heaven.  The cheese is perfectly melted inside a tender and juicy meatloaf.  The BBQ flavor is subtle while adding just enough zing and the caramelized onions bring a buttery, sweet taste to each bite, too.  What are your favorite comfort foods?  Let me know in the comments below!

Cheddar BBQ Mini Meatloaves

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 6

Serving Size: 1

Ingredients

  • 1.5lbs (24oz) 85/15 grassfed ground beef
  • 3oz cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2oz pieces
  • 3/4c ground pork rinds (equals about 2 servings, or 18 pieces)
  • 1/2c yellow onion, diced
  • 1tblsp butter
  • 1 egg
  • 4tblsp Guy’s Sugar Free Smokey Garlic BBQ Sauce
  • Pepper
  • Italian herbs

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425°F, line a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with non-stick spray.
  2. Grind pork rinds into breadcrumb-like consistency.
  3. Dice onions; sauté in butter over medium heat until caramelized and translucent, set aside to cool.
  4. Season ground beef and add onions, egg and 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce; mix thoroughly with hands.
  5. Create 6 mini meatloaves and space evenly on baking sheet.
  6. Press each piece of cheddar cheese into the center of each meatloaf.
  7. Cover the cheese completely with meat and re-shape the loaves.
  8. Use the remaining 2 tablespoons of BBQ sauce to baste the meatloaves.
  9. Cook for 25 minutes or until center is no longer pink.

Nutrtional Information

Per serving: 356 calories, 2g total carbs, 2g net carbs, 26g fat, 32g protein (Note: Please remember these numbers are based on the brands I used and may vary slightly with other brands.)

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