I spent some of these snowy weekends recently filling our freezer with portioned meals that would be easy to pull together on a week night after work, particularly since the drives home have been a little rough lately between the rough weather and the standard commuter traffic. While I've made Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf before, I like this version because it was portioned out (so I could freeze it in meal sized packages to defrost as needed) and that it was stuffed with cheese, which was just plain awesome. Cheese, a crispy topping and a nice saucy flavor make this a delicious dish and great for a crowd, or for freezer-packing like I did. Serve with pasta or potatoes and make dinner easy.
Searching for freezable recipes, I found this individual meatloaf option posted to Tablespoon by bevcooks. My alterations apparently included slightly larger cups since I only got 12 cups instead of 16. And I used dried basil rather than fresh, as well as shredded mozzarella since I had that on hand instead of a block to cube. The crusty topping is awesome and really brings a lot to this dish. I'll definitely make these again, but for now, I'm glad we have another batch in the freezer.
Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Cups
1 cup panko
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon olive oil (not pictured)
1 pound ground chicken
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups marinara sauce
In a small bowl, combine panko, Parmesan cheese and olive oil. Toss lightly with a fork or fingers to combine.
Whisk egg in a large bowl, then add chicken, diced pepper, diced onion, minced garlic, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Take about 1/3 of the panko mixture and add that to the chicken. Mix everything together gently with your hands, taking care not to overwork the mixture.
Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray. Divide half of the meat mixture among the muffin cups, pressing evenly to the bottom of each up. Note: I used a medium cookie scoop to portion the mixture.
Place a Tablespoon of shredded mozzarella in the center of each muffin cup. Top with remaining meat mixture, taking care of completely cover the cheese.
Top each muffin with panko mixture, pressing to adhere.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 25-30 minutes until cooked through and the tops are lightly golden. While meatloaf cups cook, warm marinara sauce either in microwave or in a pot over medium-low heat.
Remove from oven and let rest about 5 minutes. Run a knife along the edges of each muffin cup and carefully lift out with a spatula.
Spoon marinara sauce over meatloaf cups to serve.
Makes 12 meatloaf cups.
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