Mozzarella-Stuffed Mini Meatloaf
-1 lb. ground turkey (thawed)
-1 lb. hot-and-spicy pork sausage (thawed)
-1 cup fine bread crumbs
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1 tsp oregano
-1 tsp onion powder
-about 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
-about 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
-1 to 2 eggs
-about 2/3 cup ketchup, divided
-1 to 1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and coat an 8-portion mini loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine 1 lb. thawed ground turkey with 1 lb. hot-and-spicy pork sausage (or mild if you like a more conservative meatloaf).
Dump 1 cup fine bread crumbs over the meat and sprinkle with one teaspoon each of: garlic powder, oregano and onion powder to taste. (But do not start mixing the ingredients together yet!)
Finely chop half of a yellow onion and half of a bell pepper (I used a red one) and add to the bowl. Crack an egg or two into the bowl and squirt approximately 1/3 cup ketchup into the mix as well.Now it’s time to start mixing it all together. Hands work better than a spoon here, and don’t over mix–just work it until the big chunks of individual ingredients are no longer discernable.
Once blended, divide the raw meat mixture into 8 lumps, placing a lump in each of the mini-loaf pan-forms. Flatten the mixture as best you can into all corners of the loaf shapes.
Take the back of a spoon and press down into the tops of the raw loaves, leaving an impression about 1/2″-3/4″ deep. Now sprinkle shredded mozzarella into each of the holes you just made, packing it as densely as possible. Mound the displaced meat mixture up over the top and press down to seal in the cheese. I used between 1 and 1-1/2 cups total shredded cheese for 8 loaves.
♥Chef’s Note: Be sure that if you’re using bagged shredded cheese, you either transfer an appropriate amount to a handy bowl first, or wash your hands at many intervals during the stuffing process to avoid contaminating leftover cheese shreds that are going back in the fridge for later meals!
Once all the loaves are stuffed, squirt a thin layer of additional ketchup over the top of each raw loaf. Bake uncovered approximately 30 minutes for 8 miniature loaves; be sure to adjust times appropriately for other sizes of loaf pans.
Remove from oven when meaty tops begin to brown or any mozzarella that escapes to the surface begins to turn a golden yellow.