Smokey, Sweet n Spicy BBQesque Meatloaf Muffins

If you love BBQ sauce on meatloaf and are trying to cut back on calories, sugars, or condiments in general this recipe is one you need to try. All the feel good flavors with out all the extra junk. Don’t get me wrong a good BBQ is delightful. On a hot summer day or if you haven’t made any recently this recipe again is one you need to try.

Do not let the greasy nature of these muffins turn you off. They may cook in their grease but once removed from the muffin well, rest assured the flavor and tenderness of these delectable muffins will not disappoint. Besides when you remove the muffins the grease does not come out with the muffin, it stays in the muffin well. So no worries.

These muffins came about when I had a mad craving for meatloaf and didn’t want the heavy density of a true meatloaf nor did I want something laden is thick heavy BBQ sauce. In the middle of summer- you make a compromise. The smoked paprika and diced tomatoes did the trick in keeping the BBQ flavor without overpowering the muffins. And the vegetables are always a winning component in any meatloaf.

I like to use apple cider vinegar in cooking meat. As it loosens and tenderizes the texture of the meat making it less dense.

I have paired these muffins with zoodles, stuffing of green peppers, and with a frozen bag of mixed vegetables.



Prep Time: 0:00 | Cook Time: 0:00 | Total Time: 1:00


  • 2 pounds ground meat
  • 3 whole tomatoes diced. Either 3 Roma's or 2 Beefsteak style
  • 2 whole Hungarian yellow peppers sliced width-wise
  • 3 whole green onions sliced
  • 1 whole onion any color
  • 2 tablespoons garlic crushed or minced
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1.5 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil if using leaner ground meats
  • 1 whole egg optional
  • 1 tablespoon honey optional
  • 1.5 tablespoon coconut aminos optional
  • salt and pepper as desired


  1. Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Using a large ice cream scoop, place each scoop into a muffin well. Expect about 40% meat shrinkage. You can roll the meatballs into a ball or just scoop into the muffin wells. I do not recommend putting these meatballs on a cookie sheet to cook. They are too loose for that and will possibly crumble.

  2. Pre heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook muffins for at least 30-35 minutes depending on temperature of oven. The internal temperature needs to hit at least 155 degrees Fahrenheit. If making larger, Texas size muffins cook for 40-50 minutes or until done.

  3. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes before taking out of tin. These can be really greasy depending on the type of meat being used. Do not use muffin/cupcake papers or pre-grease.

Recipe Notes

Makes 24-36 standard muffins- depending on how big you make you muffins.

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