Meatloaf Cupcakes

It’s MARCH! That means Eat Like a Dinosaur is just around the corner! In honor of our book’s release, we are the Featured Chef this month over at US Wellness Meats. We’ll be sharing a brand new recipe every week this month featuring products from the preeminent online pastured meat distributor. We’ve tried a BUNCH of US Wellness Meat items and can tell you two things: (1) We’ve never been disappointed (2) Their customer service is phenomenal!

You know how kids love cupcakes? Ever wonder why a kid will always go for a cupcake over a regular slice of cake? It’s smaller, held in the hand, and has a top you can lick the frosting off of like an ice cream cone!

At the same time, we know that a staple meal for many families is meatloaf, another food that comes in slices. Some kids don’t enjoy the bread-like slices of meat, so why not make meatloaf cupcakes instead? Our recipe packs in a lot of “chocolate chips” (or, in this case, vegetables), and ices the top with a caramelized thick tomato sauce. The result is so delicious, your kids will want a half dozen. And you’ll want them too!

Meatloaf Cupcakes


2 Tbsp lard
1/2 C diced onion
1/2 C diced mushroom
1/2 C diced celery
1/2 C diced carrot
2 lbs 75/25 ground beef (our favorite US Wellness Meats item!)
1 lb. ground pork
2 eggs
1/2 C almond or coconut or other flour
1 Tbsp sea salt
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

2 C tomato sauce
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp honey


  1. Melt lard in large pan over medium high heat
  2. Saute vegetables for about 8 minutes, until onions are translucent ♥ stirring occasionally
  3. Meanwhile, simmer tomato sauce, tomato paste and honey over medium heat for 15 minutes, ♥ stirring frequently
  4. ♥ In separate bowl, combine meats, eggs, flour, spices, and cooked vegetables, incorporating by hand
  5. ♥ Fill muffin tins (preferably silicone or silicone lined; do not use paper liners!) 4/5 full
  6. ♥ Top each meatloaf cupcake with 1/2 tsp of sauce
  7. Bake cupcakes for 30 minutes at 350 degrees; makes 36 “cupcakes”

Any step marked with a ♥ is a step our littles enjoyed helping with. Feeds 6-8. I know it seems like a lot of meatloaves to make, but they were a big hit for our family of five. Only a few were remaining at the end of dinner, and those were begged for at lunch the next day!

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  • Deb Stahl

    Ooooh, that looks like some serious noms! (also the right size for kids’ or adults’ lunchboxes, and good hot or cold!) Will definitely be sharing this one around!

    • We do often put them in lunch boxes (for both bigs and littles)!

  • Entirely Too Perky

    Excellent idea, thank you!

  • tastyeatsathome

    Love these! Not only cute and kid-friendly, but they cook a helluva lot faster than regular meatloaf!

  • Dogfood

    I made a version of these a couple days ago with mashed potato frosting and my 8-yr-old daughter went ape. I also poked a little hole in them and filled it with ketchup. Once out of the oven, it looked like they had a cherry on top.

    •  That’s a really cute idea! I might do that next time!

  • Anna Rude

    Thank you for the “ground meat” recipes!  I have half a cow in my freezer, that = so much ground beef I’m running out of ideas!  

    •  You’re welcome! You’ll love our “this week in ground meat” series then 🙂

  • We made these tonight and they were the biggest hit EVER! The kids (ages 13, 11, and 9) had a blast helping with all of the cooking, from start to finish. The silicone cupcake holders were a little bit pricey ($9.99 per dozen at Michaels), but I know we’ll get a lot of use out of them, so I’m thinking of them as a good investment. 🙂 And best of all, the finished cupcakes were incredibly tasty. A definite winner!

    • I can find them locally for a little bit less and on Amazon for cheaper – but even at $10 I think you’ll get good use out of them. Coconut and Almond flours stick to paper, so we always use silicon now. SO glad your whole family loved them! Thanks!!

  • Samdamm

    My girls and I loved these meatloaf cupcakes.  I didn’t line the pan, but instead greased the pan with olive oil.  We served them along with our dinner and couldn’t believe how flavorful they are.  They are getting excited about more of my recipes, so thanks for sharing.  I want all of us to eat the paleo way, but if it doesn’t taste good, my teens won’t eat it.  Thanks for sharing!

    •  That’s fantastic! Glad we could help you make something that passed muster!

  • Have you ever tried this in a larger loaf (or two)?  

    • Yes and it will work just as well. Just longer cook time of course.

  • Michelle

    I found your recipe on Pinterest and had to try it! My family enjoyed this–after they realized they weren’t really “cupcakes with meat in them.” In fact, the kiddos requested it again. I used my favorite meatloaf recipe (didn’t have yours handy) and made a regular meatloaf and a cupcake batch for lunches. They were awesome!

  • Brandilynn

    I realize I am way late for this post, but with all of my silicone bakeware, when I cook in them I can taste a soapy flavor. I was hoping I just had a hormonal bionic tongue for a minute, but it persists. No one else will fess up that they taste it (maybe they do not!) but I sure do. Even when I wash them and then send them through the super rinse (another wash cycle) with nothing but water! Heps! Now they are relegated to candy and firming up ghee cubes, but it kind of bums me out. I had such high hopes! Are yall soapy-taste free or did you do something to win the nastytaste war? Thanks! Brandi

    • Ours don’t impart a taste as far as I know, but some silicones do have a terrible odor when cooking. I stopped using those, but maybe your brand is like that?

    • It isn’t just you – I tossed my silicone cupcake liners for the same reason. They were bought several years ago, so maybe there have been improvements since the ones I bought, but I will stick to a regular cupcake pan and having to scrub it.

    • Gini

      Yeah, I can taste it also. :/ I use little ramekins or a regular muffin tin. This recipe looks FANTASTIC though, I can’t wait to try it!!

  • What do you do about the grease?

    • We pop the meatloaves out and let the grease that stays in, stay…

  • jenni

    I just made these last week. Delicious. Thank you so much for sharing! I appreciate all of your recipes and like the step by step pictures too.

  • Meg

    What a great idea for kids’ lunches!

  • Sherri

    This was amazing… I just made it today. I made 10 little loaves instead of “cupcakes”. My hubby loved it!

  • Renee P.

    I like to use this recipe to make meatballs that I serve simmered in a tomato sauce. Meatballs, cupcakes, meatloaf – it’s all good! Yum!

  • Charmaine Taylor

    Stacy, by way of listening to TPV I know your opinion on coconut flour… and just want to verify that it’ll be 1/2 cup of coconut flour for this recipe when I make it this week. Will not have time to get almond flour and TJs did not have cashew flour tonight. :/
    Thanks for all of your hard work!

    • Yes, 1/2 C of coconut flour. Hope it turned out for you!

  • Michelle

    Have a recently diagnosed egg allergy, and s family that loves meatloaf with our local meat.
    Before I waste precious meat, do you think the flax/water will work as a replacement in this kind of recipe??

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