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Gluten Free Meat Loaf & Mashed Potato “Cupcakes” Recipe

Having trouble getting the kids to the dinner table? Well, I would be willing to bet they would come running if you told them you were serving cupcakes for dinner!

I was in the mood for a good old fashioned meat loaf dinner but short on time so I made my meatloaf in muffin pans. Not only does this method result in perfect sized portions but it bakes in 20 minutes! So I had just pulled out the mini meat loaves when my hubby comes in and says “meat loaf cupcakes?!?” At first I thought he was crazy and then I realized he was inspired! Why not? I mean after all, what goes better with meat loaf than mashed potatoes and why not just combine the two into one adorable little package?

There is really no way to prepare mashed potatoes that I am not going to love, but my new favorite way is to make them dairy free with a tangy, buttermilk ranch-style dressing flavor. I simply combine some Vegenaise with lemon juice, a touch of garlic and some fresh herbs and mix that with the potatoes and WOW! It’s Amazing! And no buttermilk! Or butter! Since my inspiring hubby is working to keep his cholesterol in check, I have taken to substituting cholesterol-free Vegenaise whenever possible. And by the way, the little sauce I make to whip into the potatoes makes a great creamy, dairy free salad dressing or veggie dipper as well. Seriously, all the yum of ranch dressing with no dairy!

The mini meat loaves (or beef cakes as my friend Karin suggested I call them) are moist and meaty with a little carrot and onion grated in. I like to grate the veggies into my meat loaf, it adds moistness. Then I top it with a little dollop of ketchup glaze that has a hint of sweetness. On their own, they are terrific but when you add that tangy topping of potatoes, each bite is pure delight. And it all comes in such a cute package!

So, what do you think? Cupcakes for dinner anyone?

Gluten Free Dairy Free Meat Loaf and Mashed Potato Cupcakes

Gluten Free Meat Loaf & Mashed Potato “Cupcakes” Recipe



1½ pounds Yukon gold potatoes (4 or 5 medium sized), peeled and chopped
½ cup Vegenaise
1 small clove garlic
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (about ½ lemon)
1 teaspoon flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon chives or scallion, finely chopped
½ teaspoon black pepper

Meat Loaf

1½ pounds lean ground sirloin
1 small or ½ large white onion
1 carrot
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce plus a couple of dashes for the glaze
1 cup gluten free bread crumbs
1 large egg
1/3 cup ketchup
1 dash hot sauce
2 teaspoons honey

Optional Garnish

12 cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
12 sprigs of flat leaf parsley


Start by getting the potatoes going. Put the chopped potatoes into a large pot of cold water that has been liberally salted. Cover the pan and bring to a boil. Let boil until the potatoes are tender, 15 – 20 minutes. While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the meat loaf.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a standard muffin pan with gluten-free, non-stick cooking spray.

Put the sirloin in a large mixing bowl. Grate in the onion, carrot and garlic. Add the salt, pepper, Worcestershire Sauce, bread crumbs and egg. Mix with your hands to combine. Do not over mix the ingredients. Portion the mixture into the prepared muffin tin, an ice cream scoop works well for this or just lightly roll the meat mixture into balls with your hands.

In a small bowl combine the ketchup with a couple dashes of Worcestershire Sauce, the hot sauce and the honey. Spoon some on top of each mini meat loaf. Bake for 20 minutes. Cut into one and make sure they are cooked through.

Make the ranch-style dressing for the potatoes. Put the Vegenaise into a small mixing bowl, grate in the clove of garlic. Add the lemon juice, parsley, chives (or scallions) and pepper, whisk to combine.

When the potatoes are tender drain them and then put them right back into the hot pan. Whip the potatoes a little with a hand held mixer. Add the dressing and whip until smooth and creamy. Taste the potatoes and add a little salt if needed.

When the meat loaves are done top them with a generous portion of the whipped potato mixture. Garnish with the tomatoes and a parsley leaf and serve.


This Gluten Free Meat Loaf & Mashed Potato “Cupcakes” Recipe makes 12 meat loaves, 1-2 per serving.

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Categories:    Main Dishes

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeanine March 4, 2011 at 2:59 pm

CUTE! I know my kids would love it! Great job, Carol.


Hänni March 4, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Carol, this is so darling. Guess who’s making “beef cakes” this weekend?


Susan @ SGCC March 4, 2011 at 7:57 pm

Very cute! Great minds think alike. I just published a post on Meatloaf Cupcakes a few months ago on SGCC and again, last month at Tampa Trib.


Carol, Simply Gluten Free March 5, 2011 at 8:19 am

Haha I guess so! Honestly never would have thought of it had hubby not made that comment. What day do you publish in the Trib? We get the paper but I am so busy these days I never have a chance to read it. I want to start looking for your articles.


Susan @ SGCC March 5, 2011 at 11:35 am

Clever guy! Mine occasionally comes up with “suggestions”, but most are not printable. Lol!
My stuff usually appears in the Trib’s “Flavor” magazine that comes out on Wednesdays.


Carol, Simply Gluten Free March 5, 2011 at 9:50 pm

Great! I will start making a point to look!


Juanita March 5, 2011 at 4:04 am

What a clever way of tempting kiddies to eat something!


Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) March 5, 2011 at 9:32 am

I love this idea. I saw a show just the other day on the Cooking Channel with a restaurant that makes all kinds of foods into cupcakes. Fun way to eat for sure!


InTolerantChef March 5, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Very cute! They would be a yummy canape with mini sized cupcakes too.


Lauren @ As Good As Gluten March 5, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Cute! I saw Rachael Ray made meatloaf cupcakes this week too! A few months ago, I heard of a “man’s bakery” in Chicago that only serves a wide variety of meatloaf cupcakes.


marla March 7, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Carol, I love that you just posted these meatloaf cupcakes. I have had the same thing on my mind lately. You have now inspired me to cook this up!


jas @ the gluten free scallywag March 8, 2011 at 5:31 am

these are so awesome carol! forget the kids – I want them on my dinner plate – but maybe half a dozen or maybe a bigger one???


Carol, Simply Gluten Free March 11, 2011 at 8:50 am

haha – that’s what my hubby said, forget the kids!


Eleanor's Gluten Free March 10, 2011 at 10:55 am

Wow those look amazing. I’m going to have to try them.


Carol, Simply Gluten Free March 11, 2011 at 8:53 am



Mary Lou ridler March 17, 2011 at 1:39 pm

i made these last night, and my husband knew i was making them, and yet when i brought him a plate he looked surprised and thought i made dessert! he ate 4 of them and had no complaint about the gluten free breadcrumbs. just a fun dinner! thank you for being so creative.


Mika March 21, 2011 at 6:55 am

What a nice idea!!!
I was thinking about a side dish or an appetizer for easter to post on my blog and you gave me a wonderful idea!!!!
I will make egg stuffed tomatoes with potatoes lentil topping…Can I steal your idea if I mention you in my blog, can I?


Carol, Simply Gluten Free March 21, 2011 at 9:42 am

Absolutely! Enjoy.


Virtually Vegan Mama March 21, 2011 at 11:36 am

Love it!! Great idea =)


Hänni April 27, 2011 at 3:38 pm

I want to tell you, I made these last night for my two boys (my fiance and brother-in-law) and they LOVED these. I didn’t have a cupcake pan, so I used a half-cup scoop to form the loaves and then baked on a silpat. I also substituted the gf breadcrumbs with almond flour. Worked like a charm! Carol, your recipes never fail me. I hope you’ll consider a main course cookbook for your next offering!


Carol Kicinski April 27, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Thank you so much and I have more than considered it, the second book is done and off to the publisher – it does in deeed contain main dishes :)


DesertPA July 24, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Wow these are yummy! THey keep well for left overs the next day as well. We have made them several times for different guest and they are very much a hit. Thinking about making mini ones for a cocktail party.


Carol Kicinski July 25, 2011 at 9:07 am

Thanks and what a great idea to do mini ones for a cocktail party!


Mandi thompson October 3, 2011 at 8:12 pm

I think it’s important to leave comments so others can know the pros and cons… Sister there’s no cons here!! These were lovely and so fun! My kids ages 5, 3, & 22months gobbled them up. Even my husband liked them, thank you!


Carol Kicinski October 4, 2011 at 9:03 am

Thanks for your lovely words Mandi!!!


Krystal Kain February 26, 2012 at 10:53 am

Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed! Extremely helpful info particularly the last part :) I care for such info much. I was seeking this certain info for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.


Carol Kicinski February 26, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Thank you!


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