We’ve all had cupcakes for dinner before. It’s late, you’re lazy, the cupcake is just right there, with its sweet buttercream frosting calling out to you…

But did you know you could make cupcakes for dinner that are actually (relatively) healthy? Oh, my dear readers, it’s so true and so delicious.

Allow me to introduce you to Meatloaf Cupcakes and Mac and Cheese Cupcakes. (Photos by the lovely and talented David Zimmerman.)

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These meatloaf cupcakes were based on a recipe by Betty Crocker. I changed it up a bit by using instant mashed potatoes for the “frosting” (they’re quicker and easier to frost than traditional mashed potatoes) and topping them with a “cherry” tomato. The tomatoes ended up being a bit big for the cupcakes, but they were still delicious!

Meatloaf Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 lbs raw lean ground beef
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 TBS coarsely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 tsps Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Box of instant mashed potatoes (You’ll use about 6 servings’ worth)
  • Ingredients to make the instant mashed potatoes (I used water, margarine, milk, and salt)
  • 18 cherry tomatoes

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees and prepare 18 unlined cupcake cups with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mix all of the meat loaf ingredients (Anything listed above “Box of instant mashed potatoes”) together until well-combined. Press mixture evenly in 18 cupcake cups, pressing firmly down on each to make sure they’re packed in tight!

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cupcakes are cooked fully through. Let cool slightly until you can safely remove the cupcakes from the tin.

While the cupcakes are baking, make the mashed potatoes! Follow instructions on the box to make 6 servings. Let cool slightly, then place the mashed potatoes in a frosting bag (or a Ziploc bag with a corner cut off).

Pipe some mashed potato “frosting” onto each meatloaf “cupcake” and top with a cherry tomato. Serve!

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 These mac and cheese cupcakes are a carb-lover’s dream, and make a great contrast to the meatloaf cupcakes, above. This recipe was inspired by one created by an old co-worker’s friend. He topped them with mashed potatoes and a cherry tomato, but I chose to use that for the meatloaf cupcakes. If you’re just making one of these dishes, either will work with that topping!

Mac and Cheese Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 12 cupcake cups with paper wrappers.

Boil water for the mac and cheese. (Don’t forget to boil enough for two packages!)

Cook the mac and cheese according to directions on the box. Make sure the shells are “al dente” (firm), by not letting them cook for too long. Let the mac and cheese sit for a moment.

Pop open your tube of biscuits. Take a biscuit, remove a quarter of it, and reshape the rest into a cone/bowl shape that will fit into the cupcake wrappers. Push the biscuits along the wrappers and up above the sides.

Fill the middle of the biscuit “bowl” with mac and cheese, don’t be afraid to fill it up high!. Top with panko bread crumbs and Parmesan.

Bake for 12 minutes, or until the biscuits look flaky and golden. Serve!

 

I think the next savory cupcakes on my list to make are lasagna and pizza. Have you made savory cupcakes before? What kind’s your favorite?