Meatloaf Balls with Beef, Sausage, and Peppers
These individual-serving Meatloaf Balls with Beef, Sausage, and Peppers were a fun take on regular meatloaf! And if you switch out the breadcrumbs for Flaxseed Meal this can easily be a low-carb dish!
If anyone is scratching their head over a recipe named Meatloaf Balls with Beef, Sausage, and Peppers, let me start by telling you how I came up with Meatloaf Balls in the recipe title. A while ago, I happened to see a site where a famous food personality (who shall not be named!) was touting the idea of meatloaf cooked in muffin tins. I loved the idea, which sounded perfect for any house where some family members want different ingredients in their meatloaf than others.
I tried the meatloaf cooked in muffin tins, and (putting it as nicely as I can) it was horrible. All the fat from the meat collected in the bottom of the muffin tins, and the sides of the mini-meatloaves didn’t brown.
I still liked the idea of individual meatloaves though, so I tried again, making the meatloaf mixture into large balls that I flattened down slightly when I cooked them. Voila, meatloaf balls! And if you have kids in the family who won’t eat red or green pepper, this recipe is a perfect one to divide into two variations to please the whole family.
How to Make Meatloaf Balls with Beef, Sausage, and Peppers:
(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)
- Remove the ground beef and sweet Italian sausage from the fridge and break apart into a bowl, then let it come to room temperature while you chop and saute the vegetables. (If you’re adapting the recipe to please different members of the family, I’d put the meat into two bowls.)
- Since the meatloaf balls cook much more quickly than meatloaf, I sauteed the onion, red pepper, and green pepper before I added it to the meat.
- When the vegetables are starting to soften, add minced garlic, dried fennel, dried oregano, and dried basil and saute a few minutes more.
- While vegetables are cooling, I added breadcrumbs (or other option, see notes), salt and pepper, Spike seasoning, onion powder and garlic powder to the meat. (I’m a bit of a fanatic about sprinkling these dry ingredients over the surface of the meat so they’ll get evenly distributed in the mixture.)
- Wash hands, then begin to mix the seasonings into the meat with your hands.
- Then add cooled onion-pepper mixture and 2 eggs to the bowl with the meat mixture, and mix a bit more with your hands. (Only mix as much as you need to to get the ingredients well-combined, because over-mixing makes tough meatloaf.)
- For years I’ve used this kind of roasting tray to cook meatloaf, because the holes allow the fat to drain down into the lower tray, keeping the fat away from the meat. I buy these roasting pans at thrift shops, and I have a good collection of them!
- I used a 1 cup measuring cup to scoop out the meat and ended up with 9 large meatloaf balls.
- I made a mixture of sugar-free ketchup (affiliate link), Worcestershire sauce, and a touch of balsamic vinegar to brush on the meatloaf balls. I tried to brush it on so it completely covered the top and down the sides.
- I basted once more with the extra sauce while the meatloaf balls were cooking too.
- Here’s how the finished meatloaf balls looked when they came out of the oven. I cut them in half to serve, but if you’re serving kids it might be fun to leave them whole.
- I served these to my dad who said they were the best meatloaf I’ve ever made!
Make it a Meal:
Ground Beef, Italian Sausage, and Peppers Meatloaf Balls would be great with Roasted Broccoli with Garlic or Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic, Parmesan, and Pine nuts.
More Recipes for Meat Loaf:
Grain-Free Beef and Sausage Meatloaf from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Meatloaf with Herb Cream Sauce from Life’s Ambrosia
Horseradish Meatloaf with Sour Cream-Horseradish Sauce from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Weekend Food Prep:
This recipe has been added to a category called Weekend Food Prep to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!
- 24 oz. lean ground beef
- 12 oz. sweet Italian sausage (use turkey Sausage for South Beach diet, see notes)
- 1 T olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 large green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 large red bell pepper, finely chopped (see notes)
- 1 T minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp. ground fennel
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano (I used Greek oregano)
- 1/2 tsp. dried basil
- 1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs (see notes)
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tsp. Spike seasoning
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar-free ketchup
- 1 T Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 375F/190C.
- Remove the ground beef and sausage from refrigerator.
- Squeeze sausage out of casings and break apart ground beef into bowl so it can come to room temperature.
- Add olive oil to large non-stick frying pan, then add chopped onion, red pepper, and green pepper, and saute until vegetables are starting to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Then add the minced garlic, ground fennel, dried oregano, and dried basil and saute 1-2 minutes more.
- Turn off heat and let vegetables cool enough to handle.
- Sprinkle bread crumbs (or whatever binding ingredient you're using), salt and pepper, Spike Seasoning (affiliate link), onion powder, and garlic powder evenly over the surface of the meat.
- Wash your hands, then gently mix until seasonings are barely combined with the meat. (You’ll be mixing more when you add vegetables.)
- Add the cooled onion-pepper mixture and eggs, and mix again, until all ingredients are well distributed
- Don’t over mix because that will make the meatloaf tough.
- Spray a roasting pan with olive oil or non-stick spray (preferably with holes so fat can drain.)
- Use a 1 cup measure to scoop out meatloaf mixture and form into balls, then smash down slightly so they stay in place on the roasting pan.
- Whisk together sugar-free ketchup (affiliate link), Worcestershire sauce, and balsamic vinegar and use a pastry brush to spread evenly over all the surfaces of meatloaf balls. (You will probably have some of the sauce mixture left, which you can use to baste with.)
- Bake meatloaf balls 35-40 minutes, or until Instant Read Meat Thermometer (affiliate link) registers at least 165F/75C.
- I rotated the pan and basted with the remaining sauce after about 20 minutes.
- Serve hot, cutting in half if desired.
- The meatloaf balls freeze well and can be heated in the microwave, but don’t overcook or the meat will be tough.
If you have a 19.5 oz. package of turkey Italian sausage, you can certainly use the whole package if you'd like a few more servings. You could use one red pepper or one green pepper if you prefer. I make my own breadcrumbs by drying whole wheat bread in the oven, but you could also use ground oatmeal as a binder if you prefer. Or use Flaxseed Meal (affiliate link) if you don't want carbs.
This recipe created by Kalyn.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 327Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 697mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 32g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
There’s a lot of meat and peppers in these Ground Beef, Italian Sausage, and Peppers Meatloaf Balls compared to the small amount of breadcrumbs, so although this recipe isn’t strictly low-carb, I think it’s suitable for low-glycemic and carb-conscious eating plans, especially if you make sure to use low-sugar ketchup. Made with low-fat ground beef, turkey Italian sausage, and whole wheat bread crumbs, this would be suitable for phase 2 or 3 of the original South Beach Diet. You could definitely sub almond meal for the breadcrumbs or use Flaxseed Meal (affiliate link) if you want a version that’s low-carb and gluten-free.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Oven Dinners to find more recipes like this one. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.