Healthy Mini Chicken Gouda Stuffed Meatloaf
Updated: Jun 24
These are little mini balls of goodness & I cannot get enough. So many things I adore about this recipe. So great ready for this lighter, healthier rendition of you "grandmas" meatloaf, that turns it into the hit of your kitchen!
I LOVE meatloaf & I feel like it gets an oh so bad rep. However, if you have this recipe I know you will change your mind. Also the fact that they are proportioned out already, which means it is that much easier to serve, as well as prep for easy lunches the next day!
This would be perfect to prepare for guests coming over or a quick dinner during the week.
Why Ground Chicken over Ground Beef?
Now, you sure could eat ground beef for every meal... however, for your health we may not recommend it! That is where ground chicken comes in to save the day, It is a lean protein packed alternative to ground beef! It is lighter in taste, fat & calories. I prefer to use ground chicken thigh, it does add a little more fat to it, however it adds a little more taste in my onion! However, when substituting ground chicken in a ground beef recipe isn't exactly one to one. Here are a few things you need to know :
Bread crumbs: A lot of times you will need a some breadcrumbs to bind some of the protein to create a tighter mixture. For example when making turkey burgers or these yummy meatloaves, we want them to hold together-- so we are in need of adding bread crumbs! Now if we were doing ground chicken for tacos & breaking up the meat... no need for breadcrumbs, see where I'm going with this? :) Now GF breadcrumbs work great as well. In this recipe I have used GF panko breadcrumbs & also 1 cup of butter garlic croutons crushed up! Choose what deliciousness works best for you.
Seasoning: Ground chicken can be pretty bland. So that is where you will see heavier amounts of salt in this recipe & other seasonings! Ground chicken tends to soak it up faster, so that is also why I sautés the veggies before adding to the meat as well!
Can this recipe by Gluten Free and/or Dairy Free?
Short Answer: YES!
Breadcrumbs: Use GF Panko Breadcrumbs instead
Sour Cream: Use 2 tbsp of dairy free cream cheese
Gouda Cheese: Use DF slices of cheese
See told you all this can be the best of both worlds for everyone :)
2 lbs ground chicken thigh
1 cup crushed breadcrumbs (I like the butter garlic kind for this recipe, but see above for GF option )
2 stalks celery chopped finely
2 carrots chopped finely
1/2 onion chopped finely
6 baby Bella mushrooms sliced (omit if mushrooms are not your thing)
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp Organic Valley Sour Cream (or DF cream cheese, see above for DF option)
2 cloves minced garlic
6 slices of Smoked Gouda cheese (or see above for DF option)
4-5 dashes of Worcester Sauce
2 cup ketchup (love the organic ketchup-- Whole Foods brand is our favorite)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tbsp olive oil
To season the veggies you will need:
1/2 tsp Onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
1. In a large bowl put the 2 lbs ground chicken thigh & set aside. Then heat up a medium frying pan with 1 tbsp olive oil. After it has heated about 2 minutes, add in onion & minced garlic. Let it sauce for about 3-4 minutes until it starts to get a little brown. Then add in the carrots, celery & mushrooms-- all chopped finely.
2. Cook down the veggies until all liquid is absorbed & cooked through about 5-8 minutes. While it is cooking, seasoning with onion powder, garlic powder, garlic salt, paprika, cayenne, salt & pepper. I do not have any measurements, because as they cooked I continue to season until it is to my liking. Once the veggies are soft, cooked & seasoned, even starting to brown, you will pour this mixture on top of the meat in the large bowl.
3. On top of the meat & veggie mixture now, add 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp Italian seasoning, Worcester sauce, sour cream, dijon mustard & crushed bread crumbs. With a spoon, mix all of this mixture until well combined.
4. Next take each slice of gouda & fold it in half. Each half will be in the center of your meatloaves. You will then keep folding up the half until you get a smaller square. Keep repeating until you have 12, set aside on a plate so they are ready when you are ready to stuff each one.
5. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin, then divide mixture into 12 (about 1/4 cup mixture) push down the middle to put the cheese then add more mixture to the top, then continue to shape into a ball, you want enough to be around it so the cheese does not leak out & is completely in the middle. Repeat for all 12 mini meat loaves.
6. Cook on 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then take out, top each meatloaf with ketchup & place back into oven for 3 minutes. Check to make sure cooked all the way through (usually just cut into one in the muffin tin a tad. If not put into oven for another 2 minutes. Then serve on top of crispy butternut squash straws, potatoes, zoodles, salad etc.
Thank you for looking at this scrumptious recipe!! Remember to follow me @honestfoodie_blog and #honestgrubhonestfoodie to let me know what you are making!