While it may seem surreal that school is back in full swing (seriously, where did summer go?!?), it’s here to stay and that means BUSY nights and even LESS time to cook. Anyone feel me? If so, these Grilled Mini Meat Loaves just might be the answer to your prayers for those nights when you need to get dinner to the table quickly!
In an effort to switch up my grilling game, I started making these grilled mini meat loaves this summer, and they have been a hit with my family.
Regular baked meat loaf is also a hit, but when the summer temps are soaring, I never feel like turning on the oven and heating up my kitchen. Grilling is where it’s at for summer cooking, and I try to use my grill as often as I can!
While I knew that grilling a regular size meat loaf would work, it made more sense to make mini meat loaves, in the shape of round patties, instead. They seem more fun and they cook pretty quickly since they are about the size of a hamburger patty.
I decided to change up the flavor from a traditional meat loaf when I came up with these mini meat loaves. I was craving Asian flavors, so that’s what I did, and I LOVE how they turned out! It’s not a “hit you in the face” Asian flavor, but more of a subtle slant of Asian flavor.
The other thing I wanted to change was the traditional meat loaf sauce. It seems we eat enough ketchup as it is in the summer, so I wanted to base the sauce on something other than ketchup. Don’t worry, though, it’s just as quick and easy to stir together as traditional meat loaf sauce!
How to Make Meat Loaf Gluten Free
Typically, bread crumbs are added to meat loaf, which means it’s not usually gluten free. There are several options of gluten free ingredients that can be used instead of bread crumbs. My favorite way to make meat loaf gluten free is to use gluten free quick cooking rolls oats instead of the bread crumbs.
You can usually substitute an equal amount of the quick oats for the bread crumbs in your favorite meat loaf recipe.
Then, you just have to make sure all of the other ingredients you’re adding to the meat loaf are gluten free.
How Do I Know When the Mini Meat Loaves Are Done?
Grilling these mini meat loaves is very similar to grilling hamburger patties.
To test the doneness, the most accurate way is to use an instant-read thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the side of a mini meat loaf and allow the temperature reading to settle on the final number.
Just like hamburger patties, these mini meat loaves need to reach an internal temperature of 160°F to be considered safe for eating.
Keep in mind the internal color of a hamburger patty or these mini meat loaves is not an indication of doneness.
Now I want to hear from you…what are your favorite recipes to cook on those busy school nights when you have less time than you’d like to make dinner? Leave a comment below to let me know!
Below are a few of my favorite recipes to make!
- Ginger-Orange Shrimp and Vegetables Sheet Pan Dinner
- Instant Pot Mexican Shredded Beef
- Mexican Dirty Cauliflower Rice
Grilled Mini Meat Loaves
- 1/3 cup gluten-free quick-cooking rolled oats
- 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
- ¼ cup coconut aminos
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon ground black pepper or crushed red pepper
- 2 pounds ground beef
- ¼ cup tomato paste*
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons water
- ½ teaspoon finely chopped ginger (optional)
- Chopped fresh chives (optional)
- For the meat loaves, in a large bowl combine oats, onion, coconut aminos, and pepper. Add beef; mix well. Shape meat mixture into 8 patties, each about ¾-inch-thick. For the sauce, stir together tomato paste, coconut aminos, honey, vinegar, water, and, if desired, ginger. If desired, transfer 1 to 2 tablespoons of the sauce to a separate bowl for brushing on the meat loaves after they are finished grilling.
- For a charcoal or gas grill, grill patties directly over medium coals or heat for 16 to 20 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into sides of patties registers 160°F, flipping** patties once halfway through grilling and brushing tops with sauce for the last 5 to 7 minutes of grilling.
- If desired, brush meat loaves with any sauce you had set aside before grilling. Garnish tops of meat loaves with chives if desired.