Most of us have had either really great experiences with meatloaf or really bad ones. It’s true that when over-stuffed with fillers like saltines or oatmeal or bread crumbs and not enough moist veggies, meatloaf can be dry as dust. And when not properly seasoned, meatloaf can taste bland or, even worse, kinda gamey. That’s possibly because first meatloafs were created out of necessity rather than desire. Frugal cooks, needing to make a serving of meat go as far as possible and feed as many as possible, added cheaper ingredients and fillers like bread crumbs and grated vegetables to pad it out. That’s how meatloaf got it’s humble start. In the hands of an especially savvy cook, the balance was just right and the meatloaf was a big hit. And meatloaf done right can be the best kind of comfort food. So, let’s put past experience behind us and approach this with an open mind, because we’ve got 10 new-school recipes for meatloaf that will change everything we ever thought we knew about it.

Did you catch the meatloaf meatballs recipe in that collection? Yeah. Those are from Ree over at The Pioneer Woman. What a great idea to smother them in barbecue sauce, but there’s also something really sweet and down-homey about her presentation, as well. The meatball look is an improvement over the meatloaf look. Just the word meatloaf, in and of itself, is as unappealing as the sight of it can sometimes be. What can be done with a big old lump of meat to make it look tasty? Well, we could bake it in a muffin tin. Fact is, muffin tins are used all the time to bake sweet or savory muffins, or even foods not intended to be muffins at all — like little baby meatloafs. Here are 25 recipes that prove the muffin tin wants to be your best friend in the kitchen.

Meatloaf — love it or hate it? Tweet us at @BritandCo.

(Photo via The Pioneer Woman)