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Mini Meatloaf Cupcakes Your Kids Will Devour

>9 January 2013
 
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mini meatloaf recipe

Tonight, I made these delicious meatloaf cupcakes for dinner. I was looking for a creative new way to use a pound of ground beef, and found this recipe on Pinterest. I was a little skeptical when I saw the meatloaf recipe called for chopped carrots, but I figured I’d sneak them in and see what the kids thought.

I experimented with using our food storage, and substituted freeze dried carrots, freeze dried onions, and dehydrated minced garlic for fresh. Using these ingredients made dinner prep SO quick and easy since everything was already chopped into very small pieces! I just rehydrated them (soaked in water for a few minutes) as directed before tossing them into the meatloaf mixture. The recipe says to saute the onions, carrots, and garlic in olive oil, but I skipped this step since the veggies were already soft.

I also forgot to add the oregano…oops… but they still came out really yummy.

TIP: Definitely be sure you use extra lean meat, such as grass fed beef, for this recipe. Otherwise, your meatloaves will be floating in a sea of grease, which will be very hard to pour off from a cupcake pan without dumping all of your meatloaves out at once.

For the mashed potato topping, you can just use your favorite recipe as long as you make them somewhat stiff so they hold their shape when piped onto the meatloaf. I topped with shredded cheddar.

You wouldn’t believe how the kids devoured these mini meatloaves! Even baby Elias ate two all by himself. I know they loved having “cupcakes” on their plates, and they all asked for seconds, which is a score in my book!

If you’re looking for a fun and healthy meal for your little ones, these meatloaf cupcakes get two thumbs-up from my crew!

Here’s the recipe found at First Look, Then Cook (be sure to check out all of the other cool stuff she’s got on her site!):

Meatloaf

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup ketchup, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, extra lean (raw)
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • Cooking spray

Mashed Potatoes

  • 4 cups cubed peeled Yukon gold potato (about 2 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350°.

Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, chopped carrot, dried oregano, and minced garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Cool.

Combine onion mixture, 1/2 cup ketchup, and the remaining ingredients except cooking spray in a large bowl.

Spoon the meat mixture into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Top each with 2 teaspoons ketchup. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160°. Let stand for 5 minutes.

While the meatloaf is cooking, make the mashed potatoes.  Place potato in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until tender. Drain. Put potatoes into a ricer for best results.  Return potato to pan. Add milk and remaining ingredients; stir with a spoon to desired consistency.  If they are not creamy enough for you, add up to 1/4 cup more milk – although they need to be stiff enough to pipe on top.

Put the potatoes into a pastry bag with a wide star tip and pipe the mashed potatoes on top of the meatloaf.

Do you have a favorite meatloaf recipe your family loves?

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11 Comments »

  • Emily B. said:

    I LOVE my freeze dried veggies!!! I usually rehydrate in beef or chicken broth (or water with MSG free boullion) for a little extra flavor.
    When I was about 10 or 11 I made up some meatloaf mix, but then discovered that we didn’t have a loaf pan o I used my mother’s muffin tin instead. That evening “meat muffins” were born! It was one of our favorites.

  • Jaci said:

    Yum! My started making our meatloaf with organic dressing mix because I hadn’t yet college t enough bread to crumb it myself and I was having a hard time finding organic crackers that were WW and follow all of our other food “rules”…its super yummy but the cupcake idea is awesome!

  • Jessica said:

    I made these a few years ago…for April Fools Day. I colored the taters. I told the kids we were having dessert for dinner and they believed me…how gullible my kids were back then! Yeah, they were so disappointed when they found out they were not real cupcakes, but they still ate them. LOL

  • Laura @ Stealthy Mom said:

    How cute! I never thought of making itty-bitty meatloaves. Thank you for the idea.

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    That’s just mean, Jessica. LOL! :)

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Laura,

    The great thing about making them smaller is that they cook much quicker :)

  • daisy said:

    I make these using ground chicken or turkey. You can also sneak zucchini in there without them knowing. The boys love ‘em!

  • Margaret said:

    My family will tell you my meatloaf is always different and usually a surprise. I make a basic recipe with egg, beef, milk, crackers and spices. Then I add whatever is on hand. Usually chopped, onions, carrots, celery. But if I have other stuff like broccoli or spinach that will be in there too. I figure if it is chopped and mixed they won’t even see it and they always ate it so it must have worked.

  • Ellen said:

    The other nice thing about making muffin tin meat loaves for smaller families is that you can freeze them and then easily pull out how many you need. I’ve also made them in a skillet and cooked on the stove. I don’t have a favorite recipe but collected a few here:
    http://www.cheapcooking.com/articles/simple-meatloaf-recipes.htm
    I keep trying new ones.

  • Terri said:

    How funny!!! We just had these as part of our Torah/Hebrew class as a way to remember how the Israelites were forced into making their own bricks. This recipe “built” the muffins into a brick with all the added “shavings” like the grated carrot. I found them to be so moist and delicious. I also added a bit of ground turkey just to make them go a bit farther.

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Terri,

    What a great idea! How fun for adults and kids :)

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