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Tomato-Basil Meatloaf Muffins (and ground beef recipe ideas)


There are only so many ways to eat ground beef before you get bored, right? There’s hamburgers, spaghetti, tacos, stir-fry, soup, and stew. And then I’m out of ideas. Most of our meat is ground beef, because that is the most economical way to buy grass-fed beef in these parts, so as you might imagine, this can be a problem. Throw in a dairy intolerance and a few other food no-nos and you get to my little corner of the ground beef world.

Needless to say, I’m always trying to come up with ways to stretch a pound of meat between five hungry eaters while keeping things interesting. Usually this is done simply with beans or extra garden veggies. When I’m on my game, though, I throw something like this in the mix.

It’s not exotic, it doesn’t take much more than pantry ingredients, and it’s packed with protein. But it’s the little meals like this, alongside a fresh salad and simple white rice, that bring me out of my ground beef funk. They don’t have to be expensive or exhausting, they just have to be different than the usual fare.

And bringing a muffin pan full of meat to the table is definitely different. And while there were a few skeptics at first when I said no to “Muffins for dinner!?”, they got over their disappointment quickly and moved right into “These things are good!”.

Rave reviews and me getting out of my ground beef funk? I think I’ll add these to our regular recipe lineup.

Do you have any fun ideas for ground beef recipes?

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Tomato-Basil Meatloaf Muffins

<strong>Note</strong>: These are dairy-free and can be made gluten-free through the use of gluten-free oats. Bob’s Red Mill thick cut rolled oats are certified gluten-free and the best we’ve found for the price.

Course: Allergen-Friendly Main (Beef)



  • 2 eggs
  • 14 cup tomato sauce
  • 13 cup rolled oats or barley
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh basil
  • 34 teaspoon salt
  • 14 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 small red onion diced
  • 1 pound grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 large tomato
  • 12 large fresh basil leaves or 24 small fresh basil leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Beat eggs in a medium-sized bowl. Stir in tomato sauce, rolled oats or barley, basil, salt, red pepper flakes, and minced onion. Once all other ingredients are well-mixed, add ground beef. Use clean hands to combine the meat with the egg-oat-seasoning mixture.
  3. Divide meatloaf mixture between the twelve cups of a muffin pan. Place in preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
  4. Remove from oven and let cool a few minutes while you prepare tomato and basil. Slice tomato into 1/4 inch slices and cut them down to fit the size of the meatloaf muffins. Remove basil leaves from stems. Place a thick slice of tomato atop each meatloaf muffin, sprinkle with sea salt, and them top with basil leaf. Serve with rice, potatoes, salad, or other veggies.

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