In honor of April Fools, I have made these sneaky mini meatloaf cupcakes complete with creamy mashed potato frosting! These meatloaf cupcakes aren’t just good for April Fools, they make the perfect week night meal since their mini size helps them cook in half the time of the traditional “loaf”.
It’s easy to sneak vegetables into meatloaf. The combination of onion, spinach, celery and zucchini that have been pureed and mixed into the ground beef, make these meatloaf cupcakes the perfect dinner for picky eaters who usually skip their veggies on the side.
[ezcol_1half]For The Meatloaf:
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 yellow onion
2 stalks celery
small handful spinach
2 tbsp bbq sauce, optional[/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end]For The Mashed Potatoes:
1 1/2 lbs (about 3 large) russet potatoes
2 tsp salt
1/2 stick butter
1/4 – 1/3 cup cream[/ezcol_1half_end]
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
To make the meatloaf cupcakes, the first step is to start making the mashed potatoes since they take a while to cook. Peel and dice potatoes. Add to a large pot of salted water, and bring to a boil. This is the trick to making perfect mashed potatoes. The smaller you dice your potatoes, the quicker they will cook.
Next, prepare vegetables to sneak into the meatloaf. I LOVE sneaking vegetables into my kids food. They have no idea that all these veggies are in their favorite foods, and I feel good knowing that they are getting all this added nutrition in their diets.
Roughly chop onion, celery and zucchini. Place in the bowl of your food processor with spinach and process until smooth.
In a large bowl, mix pureed veggies, ground beef, eggs, bread crumbs and spices until well combined. We made a half recipe, but this recipe easily doubles, triples or even quadruples very easily.
Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners (if you want), and place about 1/4 cup of meatloaf mixture into each tin.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, finish making your mashed potato “icing”. Boil potatoes over high heat until fork tender and drain. Return potatoes to pot with cream and butter. Using a whisk or a electric beater, mix potatoes until smooth and there are no lumps. Alternatively, if you have a ricer or a tomato mill, process cooked potatoes through until smooth and add softened butter and cream and mix with a silicone spatula until smooth.
Once meatloaves have cooled enough for you to handle, scoop 2 tbsp of mashed potato “icing” over the top of each “cupcake” and spread around evenly to look like icing. If you have a piping bag, you could even pipe the mashed potatoes on for fancy looking icing.
If you want, finely chop the green part of a green onion, and sprinkle over the top of your mashed potatoes to look like sprinkles. Serve meatloaf cupcakes right away and enjoy your kids reactions when they realize that they are eating meatloaf instead of a sweet treat!