Jenn started kindergarten. (Cue the emotions). However, instead of thinking “I am going to miss her so much,” I was thinking something more like “I sure am going to miss her, but I need to figure out a lunch plan for nutrient-packed, whole food meals that are still easy to make.”
And somewhere along the way, we decided my husband would be joining Jenn in having the exact same meal for lunch. (You can follow us on Instagram to see exactly what we’re packing each day!)
So… of course I whipped out my instant pot, put on my thinking cap, and started working on some really easy lunch ideas that would get a lot of bang for my effort.
So may I introduce you to these Bitty Baby Beef Bites?
Mini Meatloaf in the Instant Pot
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 egg
- oregano, parsley, salt
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 3/4 cup pureed sweet potato (cooked in IP for 20 while preparing and then blended, but could be done in advance and frozen)
- half cup tomato sauce (search my Instant Pot group for my recipe. Pulled it out of freezer)
School lunch ready meatloaf bites for kids – preservative free and freezer friendly
Mix well starting with the meat, egg, and oats and adding in the rest as you go. I personally turned on my KitchenAid and left it running on low as I added each ingredient and waited for my sweet potato to cook.
Add more tomato sauce as necessary if it seems too thick.
Scoop into silicone loaf cups and place on a trivet and add half a cup of water underneath.
Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. NPR or QR depending on how much of a hurry you’re in.
Drain off any excess grease.
Optional meatloaf variations
- Add BBQ, ketchup, or Dijon Mustard to the top for added flavor.
- Brown in the oven at 400 Fahrenheit to brown the edges since the IP is just going to cook and not brown. The ones in the picture that aren’t in a silicone cup have been browned.
Instant Pot cooking accessories pictured and mentioned
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Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living on a farm in New England. She believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience and has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development. She is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!