Cupcakes For Dinner! Turkey Zucchini Meatloaf “Cupcakes” With Garlic Thyme Mashed Potato “Frosting”

Who says you can’t have cupcakes for dinner? Cupcakes made of meatloaf are an exception to the rule. Take that, mom! I’m eating “cake” for dinner!


I’ve been so excited to post this recipe! It’s all sorts of amazing baked together in a dozen muffin liners. I came across a photo of meatloaf cupcakes a while back and thought they were the cleverest thing I’d seen. You’ve got a popular classic food combo (meat and potatoes), easy recipe, delicious flavour and genius creativity all in one. If you know someone that doesn’t like sweets, this would be a fun surprise for them. (I smell a good April Fool’s Day prank!)

The beauty of meatloaf “cupcakes” is that you can use whatever meat or meatloaf recipe you like, and “frost” with any mashed potato or mash/purée vegetable you prefer! They reheat well, cook faster than an actual loaf, make for good “leftover lunches” and would be perfect for a potluck or fingerfood-y gathering. They’d be great for kids too, because they’re fun (and you can totally hide extra veggies in the meatloaf for added nutrition).

I used turkey zucchini meatloaf (which is really moist and delish) and topped it with creamy garlic thyme mashed potatoes. Fantastic combo! These “cupcakes” were definitely a hit!


Turkey Zucchini Meatloaf “Cupcakes” With Garlic Thyme Mashed Potato “Frosting”
Makes 12 “cupcakes”
You can pre-make and warm in the oven if it makes life easier…or just make and serve! 🙂


*You’ll also need a muffin tray and 12 cupcake liners (foil liners preferred).

Garlic Thyme Mashed Potatoes “Frosting”

  • 2 large yellow fleshed potatoes (or 6 small), peeled and cubed
  • 3 (or more) cloves of garlic, peeled and halved or roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp non-fat sour cream
  • 1-2 tbsp milk (I used 1%)
  • 1/2 tbsp butter (Or 1 tbsp for extra buttery-ness. The more the merrier, right? Same goes for garlic.)
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme (can use fresh thyme or use more thyme if you like)

Turkey Zucchini Meatloaf “Cupcakes”:

  • About 1.25 lbs lean ground turkey (This is usually the amount in a regular sized pack of ground meat at the grocery store.)
  • 1 cup grated zucchini (One small zucchini should be more than enough.)
  • 2 tbsp onion (minced or finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (regular or panko)
    **I used unseasoned breadcrumbs and added a pinch of dried oregano, 1 tsp garlic powder, a bit of salt & pepper and a pinch of cayenne pepper (if you like spice). You could also add a pinch of dry parsley, basil, thyme or rosemary if you like.
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper (or to taste)


1. Place peeled, cubed potatoes and garlic in a medium sized pot with a bit of salt and enough water to cover. (The more garlic you add, the more garlic-y the potatoes…I LOVE GARLIC so I add more.)


2. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes of until potatoes are soft. (Check them by poking with a fork.)


3. When soft, drain the water and return potatoes and garlic to pot.


4. Add sour cream, milk, butter and thyme. Mash or blend until smooth or you’ve reached a creamy/fluffy consistency that you like. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
**You can really add as much or little sour cream and butter as you like. (More obviously = delicious.)

5. Set mashed potatoes aside to use as “frosting” for meatloaf “cupcakes”.


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tray with (foil) cupcake liners.

2. Dry grated zucchini well with paper towel. You want to squeeze all the extra moisture out of it. I went through a few paper towels to really get most of the water out of it.

3. In a large bowl, combine all meatloaf ingredients and mix well. You want all ingredients to be evenly distributed.

4. Fill cupcake liners with meatloaf mixture using a spoon. Divide the mixture equally and be sure to flatten down the tops. (I packed them down lightly with my spoon.)

5. Bake uncovered for 18-20 minutes or until cooked through.


6. Remove the “cupcakes” from the tray and place on a wooden cutting board or a baking tray. They are ready to be “frosted” with your mashed potatoes.


I piped the mashed potatoes onto the meatloaf as you would pipe frosting onto cupcakes. However, you can spread or just spoon the potatoes on top. All ways work, as long as your potatoes are on top (and stay there).

Piping mashed potatoes:

1. If you have a frosting piping bag, use it. I did not, so I used a medium-sized ziploc bag (which should be big enough to hold all your mashed potatoes).

2. Fill ziploc bag with mashed potato. You want all the potatoes down to one bottom corner. You don’t want potato falling out the top, so squeeze it down to the bottom of the bag.


3. Cut off one bottom corner off the ziploc bag with a pair of scissors. The hole should be about the size of a dime (about 1.5 cm)


4. Now use the bag as a potato gun and pipe those potatoes on there! I piped in a spiral shape. Completely up to you how you want to do it.


Take a bite!


If you’re not eating these right away and they cool off, stick them back in the oven at 250-300 degrees for 5-10 minutes or so, depending how cold they are. If you pre-made them and refrigerated them you may need to warm them up longer. This may brown the potatoes a bit, but that’s okay, they look kind of nice like that.

I hope you love these as much as I do! You can use the same meatloaf recipe and bake as a loaf. I’ve also tried adding shredded carrots to the mixture for a little veg-riety (veggie variety, did you catch that?). I can’t wait to hear what you think! Comment below, and let me know!


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