This is a fun, inexpensive, creepy Halloween entree that will gross out and impress your dinner guests. It is mini meatloaves baked in tomato sauce that are shaped like rats with cheese in the middle. When you cut it open, gooey cheese will come oozing out. Garnished with a spaghetti noodle tail and carrot ears, these pests are sure to be a devilishly delectable dinner.

Recipe Summary

prep:
15 mins
cook:
1 hr 15 mins
total:
1 hr 30 mins
Servings:
4
Yield:
4 servings
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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

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  • In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, onion, egg, bread crumbs, and meatloaf seasoning. Use your hands to mix until well blended. Measure out 1/3 cupfuls of the meat mixture and mold around a cube of cheese like a meatball. Shape into a point at one end and lengthen the body a bit by rolling between your hands. Place your ''rat'' into a shallow baking dish, and continue with the remaining meat. Insert pieces of uncooked spaghetti into the rounded end of the rats to make tails.

  • In a medium bowl, stir together the tomato sauce, sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over the rats in the dish and cover the dish with a lid or aluminum foil.

  • Bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven. Uncover the dish and continue to bake for another 20 to 30 minutes, basting occasionally with the sauce to glaze the rats.

  • While the rats finish baking, heat the peas and carrots in a small bowl in the microwave for about 15 seconds.

  • Carefully transfer the rats to a serving platter so that their delicate tails don't fall off. Press peas into the pointy end to make eyes, and insert carrot slices to make ears. Spoon some of the tomato sauce around them and serve.

Nutrition Facts

966 calories; protein 56.9g 114% DV; carbohydrates 94.2g 30% DV; fat 40.7g 63% DV; cholesterol 218.8mg 73% DV; sodium 2516.2mg 101% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (95)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
07/28/2010
Try freezing your cheese cubes a little before stuffing the rats. It cuts down on leakage. Read More
(80)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
11/03/2009
I had a hard time getting the ears on right but that's just me. Taste wise it was fine but my family is more accustomed to my meatloaf which never has tomato and I don't used packaged seasonings. I think I'll make this again next year but I might do it spaghetti and meatballs style (spaghetti can either be worms or the "rats nest" cuz my creativeness-less self could not think of something to fit it to serve w/ so I tossed it ontop of some shoestring hashbrowns and said they were in a rats nest lol Read More
(14)
121 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 91
  • 4 star values: 26
  • 3 star values: 4
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
07/28/2010
Try freezing your cheese cubes a little before stuffing the rats. It cuts down on leakage. Read More
(79)
Rating: 5 stars
11/09/2009
Five stars for presentation! I used my own meatloaf recipe and halved the "blood" sauce. Also used cooked asparagus for tails almond slivers for ears and tiny bits of raisin for the eyes. Hubby suggested adding a cooked spaghetti noodle to the cheese inside to look like guts.;D Great Halloween dinner! Read More
(58)
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2009
My rats actually came out cute instead of scary lol! I used raw carrots for the ears red bell peppers for the eyes and I felt like it needed a nose so I stuck in a piece of cheese. I tossed spaghetti in some sauce and served my rats over it. I did have slight leakage of the cheese like other reviewers but this was definitely yummy! Also I didn't put too much sauce on my rats before baking and heated up leftover sauce and put it over before serving. I saved one strand of cooked spaghetti per rat and draped it over the finished rats as the tail. Thanks for the great idea and recipe. Read More
(43)
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Rating: 5 stars
10/28/2010
I made these for my annual Halloween-themed dinner last night. These were so much fun and awesomely disgusting! Just after I'd pulled these out of the oven my husband came over to tell me something and stopped short when he saw these. His laughing/surprised/disgusted expression was hilarious:) We both really enjoyed these they tasted great and the presentation was so creepy! I used linguine for tails instead of spaghetti and I thought they worked much better than spaghetti would have. They looked more like real tails for the size of the body and they cooked all the way through. We did think the rats were a little over done after 45 min covered and 20 min uncovered and my rats were pretty big. I would probably cut down a little on cooking time next time but otherwise great recipe!! Thanks Angela! Read More
(28)
Rating: 5 stars
10/15/2010
Good Recipe! The only changes I made were: I used 1 cheese slice per rat I folded the slice until it wouldn't fold anymore. For the whiskers I used French Fried Onions and for the ears I used the corners of Doritos. Tip: Make sure the seam is sealed at the bottom and not at the top. I did half and half thinking I would save time and wound up with split top rats. Very fun to make and the gross factor sets it off! Read More
(28)
Rating: 5 stars
11/16/2010
These were a hit on Halloween! Everyone loved the look and the flavor. Yummmy! I used a noodle and cheese in each rat like suggested in another comment. And also froze the cheese cubes 15 minutes before using them. I also noticed that the onion though adding flavor breaks the meat apart. Perhaps chopping the onion very fine in a food processor would help. This would cut down on the cheese ooze during cooking. This is our new Halloween meat dish from here on out. Thank u so much for sharing:) Read More
(27)
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Rating: 5 stars
10/22/2009
This was so much fun to make and serve! I used limp asparagus spears for the tails and almond slivers for the ears. The cheese did bubble through as it baked however it simply added to the gore of the dish. Great Halloween fun! Thank you for this recipe Angela! Read More
(27)
Rating: 5 stars
10/28/2010
Great Halloween idea for the grandsons! I am rating this on presentation only because I used my own meatloaf recipe (which is almost the same except no cube of cheese) I did however make the sauce to spoon over top of the rats as blood. I used sliced water chestnuts for ears and pieces of black olive for the nose & small early peas for the eyes. And I cooked the spaghetti first and set aside to cool then added all of the embellishments after baking the rats (eyes ears nose tails) I used a tiny Pamphered Chef paring knife to cut slits and holes as needed... Worked great! Served with a side of BRAINS (Mac and cheese with lots of glommy cheese stirred in and tinted with Wilton red gel) A memorable meal! Read More
(26)
Rating: 5 stars
11/10/2010
These were made as appetizers so were 1/4 cup size then renamed "Baked Mice". Skewers were used for tails to facilitate "finger food". The cheese did melt out so was a waste (maybe 'cause they were smaller?) and used dried raisins for ears didn't bother with the eyes. Great hit much fun at the Halloween party. Read More
(22)
Rating: 3 stars
11/03/2009
I had a hard time getting the ears on right but that's just me. Taste wise it was fine but my family is more accustomed to my meatloaf which never has tomato and I don't used packaged seasonings. I think I'll make this again next year but I might do it spaghetti and meatballs style (spaghetti can either be worms or the "rats nest" cuz my creativeness-less self could not think of something to fit it to serve w/ so I tossed it ontop of some shoestring hashbrowns and said they were in a rats nest lol Read More
(14)