The brave little toaster (oven)

This little appliance deserves a round of applause.


This pound of ground beef has done the freezer shuffle for months now; It skipped the dinner rotation time and time again. After moving it from the freezer to the fridge, I had committed to making something with it. Beef tacos, meat sauce, chili — I didn’t really know what. I spotted a meatloaf mix in the spice section at the grocery store, and I figured I’d take a stab at it. The thing was, I don’t have an oven. Traditionally, this dish is baked in the oven. I do have a toaster oven, which is usually reserved for English muffins, Eggos, and the occasional personal frozen pizza. I find the thought of actually baking dinner (or cookies) in it a bit risky and potentially dangerous. I took a chance on my little Black & Decker appliance. I mixed up the meat as directed on the spice mix package, along with my own addition of Bacon Bits. I put it into a small aluminum pan that I repurposed from a loaf of bread that I got from Reliable. The disposable pan was perfect, and I am glad I hung onto it. 

I put the meatloaf in at 350°, and let the timer click for what felt like eternity, but in actuality, it took the 45 minutes the directions said it would. 

The meatloaf was a solid dinner, dense, filling — I would make it again. After this successful toaster oven trial, my dinner options have expanded, and I hope yours do too. 


1 egg
⅓ cup water
1 packet Meatloaf Mix
1 to 1½ lb. ground beef
⅓ cup Bacon Bits
Ketchup or barbecue sauce — or both! 

In a mixing bowl, whisk together egg, water, and Meatloaf Mix. Add the ground beef and Bacon Bits. (Tip: I tried using a spoon for this step, but clean hands worked better to make sure the ingredients were mixed evenly throughout.) 

Spray a deep but small disposable aluminum pan with nonstick spray. Drop meat into the tin to form a loaf. Drizzle ketchup or barbecue sauce on top. Cook in the toaster oven (or oven) at 350° for 45 minutes. 

Slice and serve with your sides of choice. I picked a sweet potato and side salad, and extra ketchup, of course.