Mini Meatloaf Muffins
Take any meal from drab to fab with this fun take on an American classic. You must try these family-friendly and kid-approved Mini Meatloaf Cupcakes. Tasty meatloaf bites topped with mashed potato “frosting” and a cranberry glaze will have even the pickiest eaters asking for more.
The holiday season is already busy enough without countless errands and events. Sometimes, dinner needs to be stress-free, delicious, and kid-friendly. These Mini Meatloaf Cupcakes tick all the boxes and will put a smile on everyone’s face, adults and kids alike!
I’m a big fan of meatloaf, and I think it’s a tried-and-true dish that everyone should have in their recipe repertoire. This version takes that classic meatloaf taste but turns it on its head for a fun and tasty twist. It’s an easy and fun meal for a busy weeknight or, anytime you need a quick dinner solution.
If you have the time, you can lean into the home-cooked aspect of this recipe. Whip up your own homemade mashed potatoes and cranberry relish to go along with the meatloaf. Or, you can make use of those Thanksgiving leftovers and have dinner on the table in only 30 minutes.
You can even use any extra turkey in this Thanksgiving Turkey Stromboli and save your family from eating the same boring leftovers for days. Pair these recipes together, and you’ll have a post-holiday spread that keeps dinner exciting (and quick).
How To Make Mini Meatloaf Muffins
Make the meatloaf mixture. Combine ground beef, cranberry relish, an egg, breadcrumbs, and seasoning in a large bowl. Mix with your hands or a spoon until all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated.
Shape into meatballs. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions. Take each portion and roll it between your palms to form a meatball. Continue this process until you’ve shaped all of the meatloaf mixture.
Press into muffin tins and glaze. Next, press each meatloaf ball into a pocket of your muffin tin. You don’t have to squish them. Instead, nestle them into each divet of the muffin tin. Then, brush the tops of the Mini Meatloaf Cupcakes with the remaining cranberry relish.
Bake and cool. Pop the muffin tin into a 425°F oven for 15 minutes until the meat is cooked through. Allow the Mini Meatloaves to cool for 5 minutes before adding the mashed potato frosting.
Frost the meatball cupcakes. Spoon ready-made mashed potatoes into a resealable bag, and snip off the tip of one of the corners. Use this make-shift piping bag to add a swirl of mashed potatoes to the top of each Mini Meatloaf. Top each “cupcake” with a cranberry garnish and serve immediately.
Tips & Tricks
- Save yourself some time. Use leftover mashed potatoes, or whip up instant mashed potatoes for the frosting.
- Go the extra mile. Transfer the baked and frosted Meatloaf Cupcakes onto a baking sheet. Then, place them back into the hot oven for a couple of minutes so that everything is nice and hot when you serve them.
- Don’t skip the muffin tin! Obviously, these Mini Meatloaves are smaller than usual. However, it’s this smaller size that makes this recipe so quick. The muffin tin also keeps everything neat and speeds up the cooking time.
What To Serve It With
Bulk up and round out dinner by pairing these quirky Mini Meatloaf Cupcakes with filling and bright side dishes.
This Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad with Cranberries and Sunflower Seeds pulls together the warming, hearty flavors of the season without overshadowing the Mini Meatloaves as the star of this show.
You can create a filling meal by serving Roasted Delicata Squash with Pomegranate and Pumpkin Seeds alongside the Mini Meatloaf Cupcakes. Both recipes require the oven to be at the same temperature, so you can effortlessly coordinate having a complete hot dinner on the table all at once.
Another delicious but lighter option is this Roasted Asparagus with Pine Nuts, Parmesan, and Balsamic Glaze. The flavors are complimentary, and the side dish is just as simple to pull together as the main.
Avoid the fuss and use those leftovers with these effortless post-Thanksgiving recipes!
- Thanksgiving Leftover Turkey Sandwich
- Pumpkin Bread Pudding
- Cheesy Turkey and Cranberry Sliders
- Turkey Noodle Soup
Get the Recipe: Mini Meatloaf Muffin Recipe
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup Cranberry Relish, divided
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 2 cups mashed potatoes
- 6 whole cranberries, optional
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- In a large bowl, blend together the ground beef, 1/4 cup Cranberry Relish, bread crumbs, egg, parsley, salt and pepper until loosely combined.
- Divide the meat mixture into 6 equal portions and press each into a well of a standard size muffin tin. Brush the remaining cranberry relish over the tops of each meatloaf and transfer to the oven.
- Bake the meatloaves for 15 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
- Place the mashed potatoes in a resealable bag and snip off one end. Transfer the meatloaves to a platter and pipe the mashed potatoes on top of each to create your cupcake.
- If desired, toss the 6 cranberries in any leftover relish then top each cupcake with one cranberry. Serve immediately