This is one of our favorite family recipes. I first made it the way the original recipe said, using prepackaged onion soup mix, but I have since changed up the recipe to avoid all the extra salt, MSG, and preservatives that come with the packaged stuff. I also usually make it with almond flour instead of bread crumbs, and arrowroot starch instead of corn starch. But I still use ketchup. You can easily turn this paleo if you take away the milk, and use marinara sauce or tomato sauce (heated with a little honey mixed in) instead of ketchup.
It's always been a chore trying to get my son to eat meatloaf shaped in the traditional loaf. (It's boring, I guess?) Buying silicone cupcake liners a year ago made all the difference. I didn't change the recipe from the loaf to the cupcakes, but since he LOVES the idea of cupcakes and mini-sized food in general, he willingly eats what are basically mini meat cakes. When my son is really hungry, he'll eat three or more of these for dinner, which is a big deal for a kid who seems to live on air half the time. (I don't know how some kids survive when they're so picky about food.)
Even better, dividing the loaf into smaller portions means they cook faster in the oven. What used to take 45-55 minutes (for the loaf) now only takes 25 minutes total. This is a good recipe for a quick dinner. I can steam peas or broccoli in the time it takes the cupcakes to finish baking.
Makes 12 regular-sized cupcakes (they won't fill the cups to the top)
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs (or almond meal, which yields softer -- and very tasty -- meatloaf)
- 1 1/2 tsp dried onion (or 2 tbsp sauteed chopped onion)
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp corn starch (or arrowroot starch)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 cup ketchup (or marinara sauce)
- reserve extra ketchup (or marinara) for topping
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Mix egg, milk, bread crumbs, dried onion, onion powder, corn starch, salt, and ketchup in medium bowl. Add beef and mix well until consistency is a sticky ball.
Use silicone cupcake liners in a cupcake tin or on a flat baking sheet. (The silicone liners stay upright and keep their shape.) Fill each liner about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 minutes, spread ketchup topping on each cupcake, then bake for another 5 minutes or until done.