This BBQ Cheddar Turkey Meatloaf Muffin Cups Recipe is healthy, but also bursting with gooey cheese. At only 177 calories per muffin, this recipe is a complete meal packed with veggies and lean protein!
If you’re looking for quick, easy, nutritious, delicious, family-friendly dinner recipes, then look no further. These BBQ Cheddar Turkey Meatloaf Muffin cups are everything!
Now, I know you might be thinking…meatloaf? Really? Yes. Seriously, you guys. These are moist, tender, and packed with flavorful, good-for-you ingredients—and of course a little cheese for good measure. 😉
Oatmeal instead of breadcrumbs adds a burst of nutrients and bonus: keeps these gluten free!
- Buttermilk – adds just the right amount of moisture and slight tang to offset the sweetness of the BBQ sauce.
- Oatmeal – instead of using bread, we’re lightening this up and using oatmeal as a binder instead!
- Ground Turkey – use lean ground turkey so it’s not too greasy.
- Onion and Green Bell Pepper – the classic veggie duo for a nutrition boost.
- Garlic – adds a great nutty flavor.
- Egg – binds the meatloaf together and adds extra protein.
- Salt and Pepper – enhances other flavors and adds a touch of spice.
- Steak Sauce and BBQ Sauce – adds tangy, sweet, and savory flavors.
- Sharp Cheddar Cheese – melted to perfection because a little bit of cheese never hurt anyone. 😉 Feel free to omit if you prefer them without!
How to make
I absolutely LOVE that these are pre-portioned in the muffin tin, so they’re perfect for quick and easy lunches or dinners!
- Combine buttermilk and oatmeal in a small bowl. Set aside to allow the oats to soften.
- In a large bowl, combine turkey, onion, bell pepper, garlic, egg, salt, pepper, steak sauce, and BBQ sauce.
- Add in the oatmeal/buttermilk mixture and use your hands to combine everything.
- Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to divide the mixture out into a greased muffin tin. Press a cheese cube into each muffin cup, if desired.
- Top with more meatloaf and additional BBQ sauce then bake for 30 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!
Do you need to cook the oats first?
Nope! Before mixing the oats into the other ingredients, you let them soak in the buttermilk for 10 minutes which allows them to soften. Then they will cook as the muffins bake!
I love these meatloaf muffins as they are but they’re also delicious made so many different ways! Here are some of my favorite ways to switch things up:
- Spice it up. Mix in some sriracha for a spicy kick or use your favorite spicy bbq sauce and cheese.
- Add veggies. Try mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, celery, etc. You may want to sauté the veggies in a bit of olive oil first to ensure they cook all the way through. Then, be sure to drain any additional liquid, so they don’t make the meatloaf watery.
- Try a different meat. Try ground beef or chicken if turkey isn’t your thing.
- Use another cheese. Cheddar isn’t your favorite? Try pepper jack, mozzarella, or even goat cheese.
- Swap the size. Make them in a mini muffin tin or a jumbo muffin tin. Keep in mind this will affect the cook time.
What to serve with bbq cheddar turkey meatloaf muffin cups
With veggies, carbs, AND protein, these meatloaf muffins are a complete light meal packed in a muffin. However, I do like to serve them up with some other dishes for a larger meal.
- Baked Mac and Cheese
- Pear, Blue Cheese, and Candied Pecan Salad
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Roasted Vegetables
Can meatloaf muffins be made ahead of time?
Absolutely! These will last in the fridge OR freezer so they’re great to make ahead of time. Then you can just warm them up for a quick and easy lunch or dinner. You have a few options:
To make the uncooked meatloaf mixture ahead of time: make the meatloaf mixture as directed, then cover and store in the fridge for 2 days. When you’re ready to cook, proceed with the recipe as directed.
To make and cook the meatloaf muffins ahead of time: Make as directed, cool completely, then store in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months. (See reheating instructions below.)
How to store
Baked muffin cups can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months.
To reheat, simply bake or microwave until cooked through. If frozen, thaw in the fridge before reheating.
A healthier, more delicious twist on a classic, these BBQ cheddar turkey meatloaf muffin cups are sure to be a family favorite!
BBQ Cheddar Turkey Meatloaf Muffin Cups
Equipment for this recipe
- 1 cup 1% buttermilk I haven’t tried this with nonfat, which is much thinner
- 1 cup old fashioned oats use certified gluten free if necessary
- 1 (1.3 pound) package lean ground turkey
- 1/2 yellow onion diced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large egg slightly beaten
- 1 - 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon steak sauce I used A1
- 8 tablespoons BBQ sauce divided plus more for serving
- 1 (6-12 oz ) block sharp cheddar cheese cubed into 1/2 - 1 oz cubes
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and grease a standard 12-slot non stick muffin tin with cooking spray.
- Combine buttermilk and oatmeal in a small bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow oatmeal to soften.
- In a large bowl, add in turkey, onion, bell pepper, garlic, egg, salt, pepper, steak sauce, 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce, and oatmeal/buttermilk mixture.
- Use hands to combine.
- Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to place 1/4 cup of the meatloaf mixture into each of the greased muffin slots.
- Gently press in a 1/2 - 1 oz cube of cheddar cheese into each slot.
- Top each cheese cube with an additional (approximately) 1 tablespoon of the meatloaf mixture.
- Make sure the cheese is fully covered and the edges of the meatloaf mixture get sealed together or else the cheese will spurt out.
- Top each meatloaf cup with 1/2 tablespoon BBQ sauce.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the turkey has cooked through.
- Serve with BBQ sauce and enjoy!
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*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.
This post was originally published February 5, 2019 and has been updated to provide more detailed content.