These simple and tasty paleo meatloaf muffins are a family favorite! Pack these protein-packed Whole30 and keto-friendly meatloaf muffins in school lunches and there won’t be any leftovers!

A white plate with two paleo meatloaf muffins on top.

Although my dear hubby is off to New York on a business trip and I’m smack dab in the middle of another week of night shifts, there’s no excuse not to cook. I’m not saying it’s easy; as I’ve said before, I’m terrible at meal planning. But luckily, I’ve got a new weapon in my kitchen arsenal that helps procrastinators like me get nourishing, flavorful, real-food meals on the table with a minimum of fuss or muss: Julie and Charles Mayfield’s new cookbook, Quick & Easy Paleo Comfort Foods!

The book Quick & Easy Paleo Comfort Foods on a table.

After an early review copy of the Mayfields’ cookbook showed up in my mailbox, I immediately whipped out a bunch of sticky-notes and began bookmarking my favorite recipes. But can you blame me?

Since starting this blog, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some really wonderful people from the Interwebs, but Julie and Charles are two of my absolute favorites. Henry and I instantly bonded with this warm and gracious couple back at the inaugural Ancestral Health Symposium over our shared love of good food and belly laughs. Since then, every time we’ve seen Jules and Charles—whether it’s in L.A., Austin, Boston, or their home base in Atlanta—we’ve had more fun than a barrel of monkeys. And now, there’s a third Mayfield to enjoy!

Michelle Tam smiling while holding a baby.

It’s not just that the Mayfields are a lovely family—they’re also foodies of the first order. Longtime readers know that the kiddos and I had a great time cooking through their first cookbook, the wildly popular Paleo Comfort Foods, and their fried chicken remains one of our favorite recipes.

What I love about Jules’ and Charles’ follow-up is that its pages are crammed with similarly rib-sticking recipes—but all of ‘em can be prepared from start to finish in a flash.

In the past week alone, I’ve made multiple batches of the Mayfields’ easy and delicious Meatloaf Muffins (recipe below). This is hearty, portable fare at its simplest, and it’s fantastic for both dinner and as a packed lunch.

Two meatloaf muffins on a plate topped with marinara sauce.

In fact, every time we finished eating a batch of Meatloaf Muffins, Big-O demanded that I make more of ’em because he liked munching on ’em at school.

Two meatloaf muffins packed in a container.

Another of my favorites from the book? Roasted Butternut Squash Dip. The first time I tasted it was at Julie and Charles’s house in Atlanta last month. After polishing off a plate full of this wonderfully hummus-like dip, I demanded that Julie fork over the recipe…and she politely told me that I could find it in their new book.

Roasted butternut squash dip in a ramekin.

This dish isn’t just a breeze to make—its smoky finish will make you crave summer barbecues well into the winter. Just roast some butternut squash in the oven…

Cubed butternut squash on a sheet pan.

…’til it’s fork tender…

Baked and cubed butternut squash on a sheet pan.

…and blitz it in the food processor with tahini, extra virgin olive oil, spices, garlic, and lemon juice.

The ingredients for butternut squash dip in a food processor.

Butternut squash dip blended in a food processor.

With butternut squash finally back in season, I’ve already made two batches of this yummy dip this week. I’ve been packing it my lunchbox (along with raw veggies) to take to work…

Butternut squash dip in a ramekin.

…and the kiddos have been greedily scooping it up with grain-free pita bread.

Someone holding a piece of grain-free pita bread with butternut squash dip.

A young child biting into a grain-free pita bread.

Quick & Easy Paleo Comfort Foods doesn’t feature a ton of sweets in it—which meshes perfectly with the way we eat—but those that are in the book are all quick and satisfying. One treat I couldn’t resist making: Nutless Balls. (And not just because the name made my third-grader laugh so hard he had to go lie down.)

Nutless paleo balls in a bowl.

The boys have friends with nut allergies, and per school policy, they can’t sit together at lunchtime if their packed meals contain nuts. Thankfully, as their name suggests, Nutless Balls—a variation of the Mayfields’ Homemade “LARABAR” Balls—are nut-free. Plus, it took just 5 minutes and zero cooking to prepare them.

After pitting a few dates…

Pitted and sliced dates in a bowl.

…I pulverized them with sunflower seeds and coconut flakes in my handy-dandy food processor

Dates and sunflower seeds in a food processor.

…until a chunky “dough” was formed.

A paste formed from the dates and nuts in a food processor.

A few scoops later…

Someone scooping out the date paste onto a silicone sheet.

…I had 20 nutless balls…

Nut-less balls sitting in two rows on a silicone baking sheet.

…that I rolled up and tucked in the fridge.

Nut-less balls piled inside of a bowl.

There are still so many dishes I want to cook from this book. At the top of my list are Jalapeno Poppers (stuffed with bacon & shrimp!), Brunswick-ish Stew, Tortilla-Less Soup, Paella, and Creamy Shrimp Fra Diavolo. Every single recipe in the Mayfields’ cookbook is accompanied by tons of encouraging tips and tricks, so I know I’ll be in good hands when it’s time to cook.

My favorite quote from the book sounds like it came straight out of Charles’s mouth: “Remember: Perfect gets in the way of really good.” In other words, don’t stress about whether you have every single item chopped into a perfect uniform cubes or if you happen to be missing a single ingredient—it’ll still taste great if you take the time to cook your own meals. Don’t be stymied by a quest for perfection.

Meatloaf muffins on a plate, with one sliced open to reveal the inside texture.

Time to make some paleo meatloaf muffins!


Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2021).


PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD

Meatloaf Muffins

4.58 from 14 votes
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Servings 5 servings
These simple and tasty paleo meatloaf muffins are family favorite! Pack these protein-packed muffins in school lunches and there won't be any leftovers.

Ingredients  

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and extra for greasing the muffin tin if not using muffin liners
  • ¾ cup finely chopped onions
  • ½ cup finely diced button mushrooms
  • ½ cup finely diced green bell pepper
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon ground mustard
  • 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and minced
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • pounds ground beef
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ cup carrot juice
  • ¼ cup water

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the wells of a 12-cup muffin tin with olive oil or line with parchment muffin liners.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat and sauté the onions, mushrooms and peppers for about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the vegetables to cool.
  • In a small bowl, combine the tomato paste, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, garlic and pepper.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the beef, the reserved sautéed vegetables, eggs, thyme and garlic powder. Stir in half of the tomato mixture and combine well.
  • Spoon the meat mixture into the greased muffin tin and bake for 10 minutes.
  • While the muffins are baking, combine the remaining tomato mixture, carrot juice and warer in a small saucepan. Bring to a quick boil over medium-high heat, and then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the muffins are removed from the oven.
  • Remove the muffins from the oven and spoon or brush the sauce on each muffin. Place the muffins back in the oven and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 160°F. Allow the muffins to stand for about 5 minutes before eating.

Notes

Reprinted with permission from Quick and Easy Paleo Comfort Foods.

Nutrition

Calories: 426kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 32g | Fiber: 2g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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16 Comments

  1. Any suggestions for egg substitute? It doesn’t have to be Paleo, but must be gluten, dairy and egg free (family allergies)

    1. I added a flax egg and it worked.. when I tried adding oil as a substitute it was way too oily and dripped into the bottom of my oven.

  2. The meatloaf recipe calls for Worcestershire sauce. Do you know who makes one without sugar and where I can get it? Thanks!

  3. There are 12 muffins yet 5 servings. How do you divide up the 2 leftover muffins among 5? It would be easier to call this 6 servings. (If you click the “5” next to “servings,” a slider appears but it doesn’t change the nutritional info.

  4. I’m making these tonight, they look delish! I’m looking for a sub for Worcestershire sauce, as that’s not Whole30 compliant though (sugar, molasses) – any suggestions? Thanks!

  5. I can’t wait to try these and freeze some for a quick lunch! Thank you! Tell me about the grain free pita chips mentioned with the butternut squash dip. Thanks Tina

  6. 3 stars
    I made these last night, and they are REALLY dense and dry. The topping came out quite bitter as well. I didn’t have the carrot juice, and instead used bone broth, but other than that, did everything the same.

    I’ve noticed other meatloaf recipes add almond flour. The flour is supposed to keep the moisture in and help it not be so dense. I think I’ll try that next time.