Mini Turkey-Lentil Meatloaves for Toddlers Recipe

Yields: 12-18 mini meatloaves
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup cooked lentils (brown or green work well)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped vegetables (carrot, zucchini, spinach, etc.)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs (Panko for extra crunch, or regular)
  • 1/4 cup milk (or unsweetened plant-based milk)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons ketchup (for a hint of sweetness and classic meatloaf taste)

Topping (Optional):

  • Ketchup
  • BBQ sauce (choose a mild version)

Instructions:

  • Prep: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease a mini muffin tin very well.
  • Cook the lentils: If not already cooked, rinse the lentils and add them to a pot with about 1.5 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until tender. Drain if needed.
  • Mix it up: In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, cooked lentils, chopped vegetables, egg, breadcrumbs, milk, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder. Add the optional ketchup if you’d like. Mix gently until just combined (overmixing leads to tough meatloaves).
  • Form the loaves: Divide the mixture evenly and fill each of the muffin cups to the top.
  • Bake: Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the meatloaves are cooked through (internal temperature should reach 165°F/74°C).
  • Optional Topping: If desired, during the last few minutes of cooking, gently brush a thin layer of ketchup or BBQ sauce over the meatloaves.
  • Cool and serve: Let the meatloaves cool slightly in the pan before serving.

Tips:

  • Mix-in fun: Finely grated cheese, mashed sweet potato, or a little applesauce can all add interesting flavors and extra nutrition.
  • Make it ahead: You can prepare the mixture a day in advance and bake right before serving.
  • Freezing: These freeze beautifully! Cool completely after baking, then freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Reheat gently in the oven or microwave.

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