Mini Meatloaf Cupcakes

Delicious little Meatloaf Cupcakes… easy to make.. easy to re-heat.. easy to serve…
This recipe combines some of my Sloppy Joe ingredients with my Meatloaf recipe.. the result is a wonderful combination of the two…. Serve with Cheddar Mashed Potatoes and you have yourself a great little meal.
I topped the little meatloaves with Cheddar Mashed Potatoes.. you can also just serve the potatoes on the side…
I use snipped chives on top.  It makes them look so nice and the light onion flavor of the chives goes perfectly.
I roll the meatloaf mixture into balls roughly the size of my muffin wells in my tin.. adding more or taking away amounts until I have it filled.. after the first few .. you kind of get the idea and eyeball the correct amounts right away.
I used cornflake crumbs in this recipe.. I like the light corn taste it gives the meatloaf.. it goes well with the other ingredients… you can substitute plain bread crumbs if you prefer.
After getting the muffin tin filled.. I go around each one and press around the edge a bit so it slopes up in the middle… this way when they come out they give the appearance and shape as a real cupcake.
My process is a two step process… I bake them for 20 minutes in the tin… then I remove them from the tin and place them on a non-stick foil covered baking sheet.  I them spoon the sauce over each top and return them to the oven to finish baking… another 20 minutes.
Removing them is surprisingly easy… two things help enormously.. one is give a quick spray in each well with olive oil cooking oil spray.. not a lot. Just a little…. and two… make sure to use a non-stick muffin tin.
To remove them I use a teaspoon (not measuring spoon.. use the teaspoon you use to stir coffee) and a fork… just slip in the fork along the side ..carefully not scraping your tin and use the spoon to lift it out.. they come out easily.
Note that some recipes call for shorter bake times because of the higher oven temperatures… I don’t go with a higher temp because of the sauce.. sugar based sauces don’t do well in high temp ovens and I don’t want my meatloaves to dry out in the first baking time.  These come out moist and the sauce is not burned or bitter.
You can make them in advance and reheat them in the oven or microwave.  If re-heating in the oven.. be sure to cover them with foil so they don’t dry out…
This recipe will make about 12-14 muffins.  I figure 2-4 muffins per person… 2 muffins will equal about 1 thick slice of meatloaf.  So light eaters may eat only 2.. but meatloaf lovers will eat 4.. trust me.
Try these adorable little meatloaves… they’re a great meal when watching the big game.. a ready meal.. and easy to serve!

Recipe:  Mini Meatloaf Cupcakes
All you need:
1 ½ pounds lean ground beef
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red pepper, diced
1 cup cornflake crumbs
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
For the Sauce:
¾ cup ketchup
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
¾ teaspoon yellow mustard
Sprinkling of salt and pepper
Cheddar mashed potatoes
All you need to do:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small skillet heat the olive oil and add the diced onions.. cook for about 4-5 minutes over medium high heat until the onions are soft and translucent.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Give a quick spray in each muffin well in your tin.
Combine all the ingredients for the meatloaf, including the cooled onions, mixing well  Fill the muffin tin with the meatloaf mixture.. and bake for 20 minutes.  *See TIPS
While the meatloaf bakes, mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
When the meatloaves have baked for the 20 minutes, remove them from the oven and remove them from the tin.  Place them on a non-stick foil lined baking sheet or a non-stick baking sheet.
Spoon the sauce over the top of each muffin and return them to the oven.  Bake for 20 minutes or until completely cooked (you can use an instant read thermometer to test doneness.  They should be done when the internal temperature is 160 degrees F.
Serve with cheddar mashed potatoes either on the side or spoon some on top.  Garnish with snipped chives.

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