Vegan Meatloaf Cupcakes

One of the tough things about finding good dinner ideas is putting together a recipe that is easy to whip up after a long day at work. Oh, and also finding a dinner that is in the shape of cupcakes. (That is a common requirement, right?) These Vegan Meatloaf Cupcakes are not only a fun party food to serve to your guests for this upcoming New Years, they are also a kid-friendly meal to serve for dinner.  With the mashed potatoes piped on top to look like frosting, what kid wouldn’t want his or her dinner to look like a cupcake? I know I would…And I did last night.

Vegan Meatloaf - Fork & Beans

On Facebook, I received a request to veganize this recipe found here. I gladly accepted the challenge because well, I love a challenge and I really loved the outcome of this recipe. It was my first attempt at a meatless meatloaf and I really loved the texture from the tempeh.

Vegan Meatloaf - Fork & Beans

One of my favorite aspects of eating meatloaf as a kid was the ketchup on the top that becomes slightly burnt and crispy along the sides. Do you know what I’m talking about? Oh man, don’t get me started about burnt items or the corner section of certain foods (ie: brownies, lasagna, etc.) I am salivating just thinking about it. Due to my need to incorporate a childhood memory, I had to recreate a homemade “ketchup” to top these vegan meatloaf cupcakes.

Vegan Meatloaf - Fork & Beans

You can omit it if you want to but I highly recommend it. It brings a little sweetness to the salty and savory cupcake.

Vegan Meatloaf Cupcakes
Serves: 10
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • ¼ c. red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 (8 0z) package tempeh, ground up in a food processor
  • ½ c. gluten-free oats
  • ⅓ c. sunflower seeds
  • ¼ c. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. (heaping) tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp. vegan worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. ground chia seed + 6 Tbsp. warm water--set for 5 minutes until thick
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
For "ketchup"
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Grease a muffin pan.
  2. In a small skillet, sauté the garlic, shallots and bell pepper for 5 minutes until translucent and fragrant. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the ground tempeh, cooked veggies tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, dried herbs and salt until well-mixed.
  4. Add the chia "egg" and mix. Add the remainder: oats, sunflower seeds, and parsley.
  5. Scoop the tempeh meat into each muffin cup and gently pat down with your hands. This should fill 10 of the spots in your muffin tin.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the "ketchup." Lightly coat the tops of the meatloaf with this mixture.
  7. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until fully cooked in the middle.
  8. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan. Top with mashed potatoes.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 832 Fat: 33g Saturated fat: 4g Unsaturated fat: 27g Carbohydrates: 115g Sugar: 32g Sodium: 2763mg Fiber: 25g Protein: 29g
If there is anything you are interested in converting into a gluten, egg, and dairy-free version of itself, leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you and what you are missing!


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  1. I made these for supper and they ended up mushy? Not sure what I did wrong.. I couldn’t scoop them out of the muffin tins. I put them on buns with a spoon and the flavored were good just the texture was off.

  2. This sounds delicious! I will definitely try to cook this free tempting recipes. I’m still learning! Thanks, I can’t wait to try this!

  3. I’ve just tried this recipe and I have to admit that this is better than a real meatloaf! I was very surprised. Thank you for the recipe!

  4. These look amazing, unfortunately I can’t eat oats can I substitute anything else for it?

  5. tiffany says:

    I have whole chia seeds and no way to grind them, would the measurements for the chia be less if I use the whole seeds, if so what measurements should I use?

  6. Hey Cara, you have a foodlicious and beautiful blog. The cupcake looks super yummy and tempting. I am going to try this one and I am sure it would be heavenlicious. Thanks a lot for sharing the recipe with us. Keep baking, Keep smiling.
    And do visit us sometime, if you’re looking for online cake delivery delhi.

  7. Oh, meant to say—Totally considering throwing in some herbs de provence for the mashed potatoes. You think that would mess up the taste?

  8. I love this idea! What a beautiful way to serve something so comforting and tasty. Thanks for sharing!

  9. I have fear of tempeh (looks sooo ugly to uninitiated), but think this will be my deflowering recipe. Looks SO good (and, yes, I agree about ketchup crusties). Thanks!

    • I share a similar fear as well :) But I really think you will like the tempeh in these meatloaf cupcakes, I really do. I hope you like them. Ketchup crusties unite! :)

  10. Made these last night- very tasty! I didn’t realize I needed to grind up the tempeh in a food processor so I just broke it apart with my hands, then used an immersion blender when I realized that… Definitely would have been better to use the food processor though to get a better smooth texture! It went great with my mashed potatoes, kale and brussels sprouts. I’m going to crumble up the leftovers and put them in wraps today! FYI- like someone else mentioned, it does not say where to add the veggies!!

  11. HI! Just made this for dinner including potatoes and asparagus. It was great! Will definitely make again.
    Just a side note, I didn’t see where you like to add in the veggies after they are sauteed, but I made it work! :)
    Thanks for a great recipe!

  12. yum. yum. yum. Made these last night and was doing cartwheels of delight!

  13. Great idea and recipe. Thanks
    Is there a recipe for the mashed potatoes?
    They look like they were made with CO2 or aerated.

    I also imagine that the potato tops could be made and flash frozen?

    • If whipping up the potatoes with my near-dead hand mixer makes them look like they are aerated, I will take it! What a compliment 😉 I don’t have a recipe I just made them as I went so I can try to remake them in my brain and write it out for you: Take 4 large red potatoes (peeled and uniformly cubed) and place into a pot of boiling water–allow to soften (about 12-15 minutes). Remove from heat and drain. Place in a large bowl with 2-3 Tbsp. vegan butter and 1/4 c. non-dairy milk and blend on medium speed with a hand mixer until fluffy. If you need to add more milk do so by the tablespoon. Season to taste.
      Hope that helps AC!

  14. Just made this for lunch. It was wonderful! Thank you for sharing!

  15. These look great, must try for my hubby soon! Thanks!

  16. This looks like a tasty treat, but what is “Tempeh?” Maybe we can try making heart-shaped ones for Valentine’s Day?

  17. This looks so yummy and easy! I HATED meatloaf as a kid, (because- ground beef… need I say more?) but vegan meatloaf- heck yes! Have to try this!

  18. Sounds amazing Cara! Haha… they really do look like little cupcakes. Fantastic ‘deception’ to get kids to eat healthy deliciousness too! Great adaptation. Sounds so good, thanks! x

  19. Oh yum, I’ve been looking for a good vegan meatloaf recipe. These would be perfect for my kids, they would LOVE the mashed potato “frosting”. I totally agree with the crispy edges thing, best part in my opinion. Also, ketchup is a must for meatloaf 😉

  20. I’ve seen this cute idea floating around pinterest and love that you made a vegan version. The loaf sounds delicious too, especially for a tempeh-lover like me 😀

  21. I am in love with this Cara! I’m with you on liking the shape- if food is cute, I want to eat it. I am pinning this immediately so I remember to make it when I’m back in Toronto. LOVE that it’s tempeh based :)

  22. I love the idea of serving these at a party! So adorable! I too am obsessed with the crispy edges of stuff. Oh man. That all-edges brownie pan is the smartest thing ever made…why haven’t I bought it yet?

  23. My kids would dig these! Fun!!!


  24. Just curious, why did you make the ketchup like this?
    Storebought ketchup is vegan and it’s also really easy to make a homemade ketchup, so maple and tomato paste seems weird to me (not bad, just weird).

    • Hi Shell, Feel free to make your own version of ketchup. This is just what I had on hand and I thought it tasted great.

  25. Hello Cara,
    I have a recipe given to me by a neighbor a few decades ago for anise cookies which starts with a 5 lb. bag of regular flour, 12 eggs, some baking powder, sugar and anise seeds.I also add a dash of anise extract, as fresh anise seeds are difficult to find.When putting together all ingredients, this recipe made about 3/4’s of a grocery sackful of diamond shaped cookies.
    I have become gluten free and would still like to make this “biscuit”. If you are interested I will provide actual recipe for you.

    • Whoa. 12 eggs?! ha. Helen, I said I love a challenge so bring it on :) You can send the recipe to me at and if you have a picture of what they look like that will be helpful too since I have never heard of them. I will look it over and see if it’s doable. xo


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