Tag Archives: ground beef

BBQ Cheddar Meatloaf with Caramelized Onions.

I love a good meatloaf.  In fact, this is the first of two very different meatloaves I’ll be sharing with you this week, both with not-so-great pictures that don’t do justice to the loaf itself.

During the cold winter months in Chicago, I crave-crave-crave comfort food, but I also long for the warm months ahead (they’re there, if you can see through the snowstorms!), and the ability to be able to grill out and eat lots of barbeque.  This meatloaf combines the best of both worlds.  It’s like a giant cheesy, BBQ sauce smothered burger without the bun.  The Husby claimed this as the best meatloaf I’ve ever made, and I think I might have to agree with him.  I’m already looking forward to putting this on the menu again soon!

BBQ Cheddar Meatloaf with Caramelized Onions – my own recipe

  • 1 1/2 Lbs. Ground Beef (I used 80/20 Ground Sirloin)
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese, divided
  • 3/4 Cup Uncooked Oatmeal
  • 1 Egg, Beaten
  • 1 Cup Barbeque Sauce, divided
  • 1/4 Cup French Fried Onions (from a can)

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat.  When hot, Add the onions and let cook until golden and soft, about 35 minutes, stirring just a few times.

Preheat oven to 375.

Meanwhile, add the ground beef, half of the cheddar cheese, oatmeal, egg and half of the BBQ sauce to a large bowl and, using your hands, mix until combined.  When onions are finished, add to the bowl and, with a wooden spoon, fold in until well mixed.

Add meat mixture into a loaf pan coated with cooking spray and form into a loaf shape.  Top with the remaining BBQ sauce and cheddar cheese and bake for 45 minutes.  Remove from oven, add french fried onions and return to oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Baked Rigatoni with Spinach and Meatballs.

Happy Friday, everyone!  This blog update is actually a two-fer.

A few weeks ago, we had some spaghetti and meatballs that a friend had made.  Turns out, the Fruitaholic really went crazy for the meatballs.  When I asked my friend for the recipe the other day, she kind of laughed and said that they were from Trader Joes!

So, I was all set to run over to TJ’s to stock my freezer when I came across a recipe for a pasta bake with mini meatballs.  BINGO.  I had found tonight’s dinner, and already had most of the ingredients at home.

I tweaked the recipe a bit for both the meatballs and the pasta bake and they came out great. I added an entire bag of baby spinach, which allowed me to “sneak” another vegetable into the Fruitaholic’s diet.  I’m really glad that we decided to split the dish into two small casserole dishes and freeze one so that we have another one waiting for a day when I’m too lazy to cook!  We used all of the meatballs in the pasta bake (except for the 6 or so that the Fruitaholic gobbled down) so I’m going to make another batch for the freezer this weekend.

This recipe can be made even healthier by using whole wheat pasta, adding additional vegetables, and subbing ground turkey or chicken for the ground beef.  It’s super adaptable, which I love!

Baked Meatballs – inspired by The Parsley Thief

  • – 1 Lb Ground Beef
    – 1/2 Cup Panko
    – 1/4 Cup Parmesan
    – 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, Chopped
    – 1 Egg, Lightly Beaten
    – Generous Splash of Milk
    – Generous Splash of Worchestershire
    – Salt and Pepper, To Taste

Preheat oven to 425.

Combine all ingredients and mix gently by hand.  Form into balls (size of your choice) and place on a lightly oiled, foil lined baking sheet.  Bake for 12-25 minutes, until browned and cooked through.

Baked Rigatoni with Spinach and Meatballs – inspired by and adapted from The Parsley Thief

  • – 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
    – 1 Onion, Chopped
    – 4 Cloves Garlic, Smashed and Sliced
    – 1 Can Diced Tomatoes, Drained
    – 1 Jar Pasta Sauce
    – 1 Box Rigatoni, Cooked Al Dente
    – 1 16 oz Bag Baby Spinach, Chopped
    – 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, Chopped
    – 1 Container Ricotta
    – 1/4 Cup Parmesan
    – 1 Container Baby Mozzarella Balls, Halved
    – Baked Meatballs (see above recipe)
    – 1 Pinch Nutmeg
    – Salt and Pepper, To Taste

Preheat oven to 350.

Warm olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes and cook 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to low, add sauce and cook an additional 10 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine spinach, parsley, ricotta, parmesan and nutmeg.  Add pasta, meatballs and sauce and mix to combine.  Reserve some sauce for serving.

Transfer to baking dish and top with mozzarella.  Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and bake until browned, about 5 minutes.