Are you planning a game day or Super Bowl party with friends? This Barbecue Meatloaf Recipe makes four little loaves, each shaped like a mini football.
Is it just me or did fall seem to sneak up on you this year too? I feel like I blinked twice and summer was over. School started several weeks ago. Leaves are starting to change color and temperatures are getting cooler throughout most of our country. It also brings another new season of that all-American pastime, football!
My husband, Kent is a big fan of the Seattle Seahawks. If they’re playing on a Sunday or Monday night, it’s inevitably what’s playing on the big screen in our family room downstairs. I cannot personally claim to know much of anything about the game of football. I mostly watch for the commercials or enjoy it as an opportunity to catch up with friends. I am, however, a big fan of making delicious food for game day, especially fun food like Ashlyn from Belle of the Kitchen’s Game Day Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Ball shaped like a football.
To celebrate the beginning of football season, I thought it would be fun to share a football shaped idea with you. The Barbecue Meatloaf recipe I’m sharing today makes four mini football loaves. You could easily modify it though to make just one big football meatloaf. Or make the portions smaller for football shaped barbecue meatballs. Wouldn’t that be a cute appetizer?
This Barbecue Meatloaf recipe is really easy to make. You just combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Then divide the meat into four little loaves, using your hands to make them football shaped. After baking for a bit, you top each one with a little barbecue sauce and strings of mozzarella to make the laces.
Return the barbecue meatloaf pan to the oven for another 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted. Then you’re ready to serve these barbecue football mini meatloaves for dinner or as a game day snack.
This barbecue meatloaf recipe would be great to serve your junior high, high school or college players to fuel up before the big game, to celebrate a victory or to comfort them after a loss. They’d also be a big hit to bring for tailgating or to a potluck party to cheer on your favorite football team.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 eggs or ½ cup of egg substitute
- ½ cup Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Sauce
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 sleeve of saltine crackers, crushed (approx. 1 cup)
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- ½ cup Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Sauce (for topping)
- 1 individual package of string cheese or mozzarella slices
- In a large mixing bowl combine eggs, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic powder, brown sugar, salt, pepper and chili powder. Stir until well blended.
- Next, stir in the onion, saltine crackers and brown rice. Add ground beef and mix thoroughly.
- Divide the ground beef mixture into four equal parts. Mold each part into a football shape by hand and transfer it to an ungreased loaf pan.
- Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Top each football meatloaf with barbecue sauce and strips of mozzarella or string cheese to form laces. Bake 5-10 minutes longer until the cheese is melted. Serve and enjoy!
Suggestions for this Barbecue Meatloaf Recipe
This barbecue meatloaf recipe is really easy to make, but here are a few suggestions to help make it easier or to vary it for your family:
- If you’re trying to avoid red meat, you can also make this recipe with ground turkey. In fact, it was my Sweet Barbecue Turkey Meatloaf that inspired this Barbecue Meatloaf shaped like mini footballs.
- Prepare the football mini meatloaves ahead of time. Instead of baking them, put them on wax paper or parchment paper and freeze each football shaped meatloaf individually. Once they’re frozen solid, you can transfer all of the football meatloaves into a large resealable freezer bag. Then on game day, you just pop them out of the freezer bag to thaw early in the day. Then just before the game, bake a pan of football meatloaves and top with the barbecue sauce and mozzarella laces.
- If you have a family favorite meatloaf that you prefer over this barbecue meatloaf recipe, just use that instead! Make your recipe into football shapes and finish them off like we did. You could even skip the barbecue sauce topping and just put the mozzarella laces directly on each football meatloaf. We have a great Meatloaf Burger recipe that would be great to make into football shapes too.
- We like our barbecue meatloaf recipe to be on the sweet side, but you can easily omit the brown sugar if that makes it too sweet for you. Or if you prefer more of an Italian flavor, our Homemade Meatballs would also be awesome to make as footballs.
- If you make this barbecue meatloaf recipe into one large football shaped loaf like I suggested earlier, you will need to extend the cooking time to 60-80 minutes to make sure it cooks all the way through. Likewise, decrease the cook time if you divide the barbecue meatloaf recipe to make much smaller footballs as an appetizer.
- Feeding a crowd? Just double, triple or even quadruple the barbecue meatloaf recipe! In this case, I’d also highly recommend you prepare the football mini meatloaves in advance and freeze them like I suggested earlier. This will make much less work for you on game day.
What’s your favorite recipe to make for game day? Please comment below and share. We’re alway looking for new ideas.
While you’re here, be sure to check out appetizer ideas for game day on Kenarry: Ideas for the Home, like these 10 Game Day Appetizers or these 15 Easy and Fresh Salsa Recipes. If you enjoyed this barbecue meatloaf recipe shaped like a football, please share it with your friends or pin it for later:
Carrie is the chief writer, crafter and cook here at Kenarry: Ideas for the Home. She’s an optimist by nature and enjoys sharing recipes, trying new craft ideas, planning for parties and events as well as organizing and decorating. When she’s not blogging, preparing meals or picking up around the house, you’re bound to find her hidden away in a castle under the stairs reading to her two young boys. Whether you’re cooking, crafting or creating for your family, follow Carrie on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram to get inspiring ideas for your home.