FOOD

How To Make Mouthwatering Mini Meatloaf Cupcakes

by Elyse Wanshel
Elyse is a Senior Writer at LittleThings.com. She enjoys tacos, kickboxing, and naming animals. In fact, she named two of her mother’s six cockatiels Mr. and Mrs. Featherbottom.

For me, no meal feels complete without a juicy serving of satisfying red meat.

And my favorite? Ground beef!

I know it seems odd, like I should claim something more sophisticated like ribeye, filet mignon, or New York strip as my most beloved cut of beef, but there is just something about the way ground chuck or sirloin smells as it sizzles on a skillet that gets me salivating.

Because of its texture, ground beef can also be used in a variety of ways in all kinds of cuisine. It can be patted into a disc for a juicy American cheeseburger; rolled into a ball for Italian spaghetti and meatballs; or spiced and loosely sprinkled on top of Mexican nachos — or totchos a nacho-like dish where tortilla chips are swapped for tater tots.

Yet, if you want ground beef at its finest, nothing beats meatloaf. This classic American staple is comforting, delicious, satisfying, and — best part? —pairs perfectly with mashed potatoes.

Only problem? It’s more of a sit-at-home family dinner — and good thing, because it’s not the prettiest piece of food to look at.

But what if I told you that you could make meatloaf look more visually appealing and cook it in a way where you could easily tote it to a potluck, barbecue, or tailgating party?

Sounds great, right? Well not as great as this clever meatloaf recipe tastes. After seeing how I made it, you can read the full recipe at the very end.

First thing you need are your ingredients. If you have a meatloaf recipe that you like, by all means use yours. For my meatloaf I use ground beef, eggs, onion, fresh garlic, whole wheat bread, sage, and raisins. For this project, I also used instant mashed potatoes, but if you have a creamy recipe of your own, use it! I also used bacon and chives to top my mashed potatoes.

First thing you need are your ingredients. If you have a meatloaf recipe that you like, by all means use yours. For my meatloaf I use ground beef, eggs, onion, fresh garlic, whole wheat bread, sage, and raisins. For this project, I also used instant mashed potatoes, but if you have a creamy recipe of your own, use it! I also used bacon and chives to top my mashed potatoes.
LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

It may seem a little unorthodox, but I decided to start by making one of my garnishes, bacon. Because I was cooking bacon in the microwave, instead of on a skillet, I decided to utilize a food hack and laid the bacon over a flipped-over bowl on top of a plate.

It may seem a little unorthodox, but I decided to start by making one of my garnishes, bacon. Because I was cooking bacon in the microwave, instead of on a skillet, I decided to utilize a food hack and laid the bacon over a flipped-over bowl on top of a plate.
LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

Just go with it, there is a method to my madness.

Just go with it, there is a method to my madness.
LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

I microwaved the bacon for a few minutes, or until it was crispy.

I microwaved the bacon for a few minutes, or until it was crispy.
LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

The beauty about this hack is that by placing the bacon on top of a flipped over bowl, all the grease drips from the bacon and onto the plate, leaving you with perfectly cooked strips.

The beauty about this hack is that by placing the bacon on top of a flipped over bowl, all the grease drips from the bacon and onto the plate, leaving you with perfectly cooked strips.
LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

But I wasn’t going to let that good bacon grease go to waste! I took a paper towel, saturated it with the grease, and then greased my muffin tin with it.

But I wasn’t going to let that good bacon grease go to waste! I took a paper towel, saturated it with the grease, and then greased my muffin tin with it.
LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

I then put my bacon aside and let it cool as I made my meatloaf. First, I put the beef, onion, garlic, raisins, and sage into a mixing bowl with a little salt and pepper (full recipe below).

I then put my bacon aside and let it cool as I made my meatloaf. First, I put the beef, onion, garlic, raisins, and sage into a mixing bowl with a little salt and pepper (full recipe below).
LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

Next I added four slices of whole wheat bread, but before I added it to the mix, I soaked each piece in water.

Next I added four slices of whole wheat bread, but before I added it to the mix, I soaked each piece in water.
LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

Then I wrung the bread. This will give your meatloaf extra moisture without making it too soggy or dry.

Then I wrung the bread. This will give your meatloaf extra moisture without making it too soggy or dry.
LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

Next, I ripped up the bread into little pieces and added it to the mix.

Next, I ripped up the bread into little pieces and added it to the mix.
LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

Then I added the final meatloaf ingredient: one egg.

Then I added the final meatloaf ingredient: one egg.
LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

After all my ingredients were in the bowl, I mixed it together with my hands.

 After all my ingredients were in the bowl, I mixed it together with my hands.
LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

Next, I filled my bacon-greased muffin tin with the thoroughly combined meatloaf mix.

Next, I filled my bacon-greased muffin tin with the thoroughly combined meatloaf mix.
LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

And let it bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

And let it bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

While my meatloaf baked, I crumbled my bacon and made the instant mashed potatoes.

While my meatloaf baked, I crumbled my bacon and made the instant mashed potatoes.
LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

Once they were done cooking, I let them cool. I then took them out of the muffin tin with a kitchen tong.

Once they were done cooking, I let them cool. I then took them out of the muffin tin with a kitchen tong.
LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

They looked and smelled so delicious that I wanted to eat them right then and there! But this recipe wasn’t quite done yet.

They looked and smelled so delicious that I wanted to eat them right then and there! But this recipe wasn’t quite done yet.
LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

I put my mashed potatoes in a piping bag (which you can make with a plastic freezer bag, just fill the bag, cut a corner, and squeeze) and decorated my mini meatloaves with the potatoes.

I put my mashed potatoes in a piping bag (which you can make with a plastic freezer bag, just fill the bag, cut a corner, and squeeze) and decorated my mini meatloaves with the potatoes.
LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

The end result should look like frosted cupcakes.

The end result should look like frosted cupcakes.
LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

Yet what cupcake is complete without sprinkles?

Yet what cupcake is complete without sprinkles?
LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

I added bacon and chives to the top of the mashed potato “frosting.”

I added bacon and chives to the top of the mashed potato “frosting.”
LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

The final products are gorgeous meatloaf cupcakes!

The final products are gorgeous meatloaf cupcakes!
LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

They are three-or-four-bite savory treats that are perfect for a dinner or tailgate party with friends.

They are three-or-four-bite savory treats that are perfect for a dinner or tailgate party with friends.
LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

Cute right? But how do they taste?

Cute right? But how do they taste?
LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

One word: Exquisite!

One word: Exquisite!
LittleThings / Heeral Chhibber

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices of bread
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2-4 tsp. of fresh chopped or dried sage
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. raisins
  •  1 large egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Instant mashed potatoes
  • 4-5 slices of bacon
  • 2 tsp. of fresh chives, chopped

Directions:

  1. Set oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Put the beef, onion, garlic, raisins, egg, and sage into a mixing bowl with a little salt and pepper.
  3. Soak each piece of bread in water. Wring out, rip into small pieces, and add to the meat mixture.
  4. Mix the ingredients until thoroughly combined.
  5. Grease a muffin tin and place a handful of meat mixture into each cup.
  6. Place in oven and let it bake for 25 minutes.
  7. While the meatloaf bakes, cook bacon and make mashed potatoes (however you like, in this recipe we just used instant).
  8. Take meatloaf out of oven and let cool.
  9. Put mashed potatoes into a piping bag or freezer bag, snip a corner, and squeeze.
  10. Frost your mini meatloaf cupcakes with the mashed potatoes.
  11. Top the potatoes with sprinkles of bacon and chive.
  12. Eat and enjoy!

Please SHARE if this cute recipe made your mouth water!