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Cowboy BBQ Meatloaf Cupcakes—Gluten Free

Cowboy BBQ Meatloaf Cupcakes—Gluten Free

Updated June 8, 2018.

Cowboy BBQ Meatloaf Cupcakes—Gluten Free was inspired by the king of cowboy cuisine, Chef Grady Spears, author of A Cowboy in the Kitchen:  Recipes from Reata and Texas West of the Pecos Cookbook, and owner of Reata Restaurant in Texas.

His Reata Grill Blend is the best dry rub we've ever tasted and a key ingredient in award-winning barbecue at our house.

The smoky, robust flavor is like stepping back in time . . .

. . . “Cookie” grabbed his ladle and mightily struck the triangle, calling out, “Come and get it!”

Whistles, whoops and the thrum of horse hooves pounding dirt echoed in the dimming light. Cattle lowed as night’s long shadow crept along the canyon walls at sunset.

The cowboys and wranglers raced to the chuck wagon.

Shorty slid from his Cayuse and slapped the dust from his hat.

“What’s for supper?”  Shorty ejaculated as he reached for a sweet, but snatched his hand back, just in time.  “Cookie” wielded a mean ladle, and a bruised hand would mean lost time on the trail. A wide grin split Shorty's leathered face as he grabbed a tin filled with a pile of beans and beef, and a large hunk of cornbread.

In good humor, Cookie hollered, “It’s hot and brown, boys.  An’ I got some apple pie to tide ya over ‘til mornin’.”

The cowpokes shuffled into line.  Cookie scooped a pile of beans and beef onto Cal’s tin.

Cal grabbed a cup of coffee and squatted down beside Shorty.

They dug in like they hadn’t eaten in days, lips smacking like a crackling campfire.

Supper was good and satisfying.

This was the best “cookie” ever hired on a trail drive.  He had a way of changing up beans, beef and cornbread so the usual fare was like coming home to a pretty girl every night . . . 

. . . fast forward to current day

In your dreams, cowboy!

One taste of these BBQ meatloaf cupcakes will change your mind about them good ol' days.

This old west comfort food has a new millennium twist the keeps ‘em coming back for more!

Cowboy BBQ Meatloaf Cupcakes—Gluten Free

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Time:  about 2 hours

Servings:  12 meatloaf cupcakes



  1. Prepare Cinnamon Honey Butter recipe (garnish) and keep chilled in the refrigerator until final assembly.
  2. Prepare Gluten Free BBQ Sauce--Texas Style.
  3. Prepare gluten-free BBQ Baked Beans (filling) using the Quick Stove Top Method variation.
  4. While the BBQ Baked Beans are simmering, prepare and bake the Sweet Gluten Free Cornbread Muffins recipe.
  5. While the BBQ Baked Beans and Sweet Gluten Free Cornbread Muffins are cooking, begin making the meatloaf mixture.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Spray a standard 12-cup cupcake tin with non-stick cooking spray.
  8. In a large mixing bowl, blend together the ground beef, onion, cilantro, rolled oats, egg, barbecue sauce, garlic, Reata Grill Blend and liquid smoke.
  9. Scoop 1/3 cup of meatloaf mixture and form into a patty.
  10. Press the patty into a cupcake tin, forming a cupcake liner.
  11. Repeat until all cupcake cups are lined with meatloaf patties.
  12. Fill each cupcake liner with BBQ Baked Beans mixture.
  13. Put the cupcake tin on a large, sided jelly roll pan to catch any juices that will spill over.
  14. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
  15. Using 2 forks, carefully remove meatloaf cupcakes and place on a wire rack sitting over a layer of paper towels to soak up dripping juices.

Assembling Instructions

  1. Arrange one meatloaf cupcake in the center of a rustic supper plate.
  2. Top each meatloaf cupcake with a Sweet Gluten Free Cornbread Muffin.
  3. Remove Cinnamon Honey Butter from the refrigerator.
  4. With a sharp knife, slice the chilled honey butter roll into 12 equal size pats.
  5. Place one pat on top of each Sweet Gluten Free Cornbread Muffin.
  6. Serve with coleslaw and fresh fruit.

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