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Merry Meatloaf Cupcakes

Pull this holiday recipe out of your sleeve (um, we mean Christmas stocking)! You’ll serve up Christmas cheer with these fancy (but easy) single-serve meatloaves. These merry meatloaves are a fun alternative to a traditional Italian-style meatball. Whether your Christmas menu needs a fun hors d’oeuvre or another traditional dish for your family’s table, these ‘cupcakes’ bake quickly, present a sweet visual, and would surely be savored by Santa himself!


(12 servings)


  • 1 lb. extra lean ground beef
  • 1/2 lb. bulk sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup matchstick-cut carrots, finely chopped or 3/4 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 1 cup tomato pasta sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Land O Lakes eggs
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh garlic
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 6 (3/4 oz.) slices Land O Lakes 4-cheese Italian blend

Potato Topping

  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 6 (3/4 oz.) slices Land O Lakes 4-cheese Italian blend, cut into quarters
  • 2 tbsp. Land O Lakes butter
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/3 cups instant mashed potatoes
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • Paprika, if desired


(Prep time: 30 min.; Total: 55 min.)

  1. Heat oven to 450°F. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray. Place muffin pan onto 15x10x1-inch baking pan; set aside.
  2. Combine all meatloaf ingredients except cheese slices in a bowl; mix well. Stack 6 cheese slices. Cut into 4 even strips; then cut across into thirds to create 12 small square stacks.
  3. Shape 1/3 cupfuls meatloaf mixture into 12 (2 1/2-in.) balls. Press 1 stack cheese into the center of each ball, covering evenly with meat mixture so cheese is in the center. Place stuffed meatloaf balls into muffin cups. Bake 20-25 minutes or until internal temperature is at least 165°F and meat is no longer pink.
  4. Combine 1 1/4 cups water, 6 cheese quarters, butter, and 1/2 tsp. salt in 4-qt. saucepan; cook over medium-high heat until cheese is melted and mixture begins to boil. Add potatoes and milk; mix well.
  5. Cool mashed potato mixture slightly and place into gallon-sized resealable freezer bag. Cut hole 1/2 in. from bottom corner; pipe 3 tbsps. potato mixture onto each meatloaf; sprinkle with paprika. Pipe into center of meatloaf, if desired.

Nutrition Facts (1 serving): Calories 290, Fat 15g, Cholesterol 85mg, Sodium 860mg, Carbohydrate 19g, Dietary Fiber 2g, Protein 19g

Recipe courtesy of Land O’Lakes, Inc.