German Meatloaf Muffins—Gluten-Free

Updated June 24, 2017.

German Meatloaf Muffins—Gluten-Free

German Meatloaf Muffins are a modern rendition of an old-world comfort food taste sensation.

Recently, I happened to catch a segment of Sugar High, a Food Network show hosted by Duff Goldman, featuring The Meatloaf Bakery located in Lincoln Park, Chicago, Illinois.

Meatloaf muffins are taking the USA by storm!

We are a one income family.  Feasting on restaurant cuisine at $8.95 per meatloaf cupcake wasn’t my idea of a frugal family meal.

Inspired by proprietor, Cynthia Kallile’s creative ingenuity, I wondered if I could kick up my Classic Gluten Free Meatloaf recipe so my husband, who really dislikes meatloaf, might be tempted to try it again.

For days, I wrote down ideas and worked over the recipe on paper.  No ingredient combinations seemed to transcend the common meatloaf experience . . . 

. . . until the day I peeked into the pantry and wondered what I could do with a jar of sauerkraut and some ground beef.

With a grandmother descended from German immigrants, who passed on her love of German cuisine to her offspring, we grew up cutting our teeth on sauerkraut.

So, it was natural for me to somehow make these two humble ingredients into a frugal dinner that would do my grandmother proud.

What better way to celebrate my German roots than to insert some Oktoberfest fun into our weekend meal!

No meatloaf skeptic, including my husband, can resist the exciting aroma, the perfect fusion of rustic flavors and the original presentation.

Grab a stein of a great gluten-free German beer (Liebharts, Neumarkter Lammsbrau or Schnitzer Brau) and strike up the traditional German folk music!

This mouthwatering gluten-free homemade German Meatloaf Muffins recipe will have your family and friends kicking up their heels for more!

German Meatloaf Muffins—Gluten-Free

German Meatloaf Muffins-Gluten Free

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Time:  about 1 hour

Servings:  12 muffins

German Meatloaf


  • 2 lbs. 85% lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups gluten-free old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seed
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground sage
  • 6 oz. Allgäuer Emmentaler (Bavarian Swiss or Swiss cheese), cubed or sliced into 12 pieces


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  
  2. Spray a standard 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, blend together, the ground beef, onion, rolled oats, egg, salt, brown sugar, garlic powder, nutmeg, dry mustard, caraway seed, cayenne, coriander and sage.
  4. Scoop 1/3 cup of meatloaf mixture and form into a meatball.
  5. Press open the meatball to the center and insert an Allgäuer Emmentaler cube.  
  6. Reform the meatball around the cheese cube, closing up the hole.  
  7. Press the meatloaf ball into a prepared cupcake cup.
  8. Repeat until all the cupcake cups are filled.
  9. Evenly distribute any leftover meatloaf mix among the cupcakes and press the leftover into the top of each cupcake.
  10. Put the muffin tin on a large, sided jelly roll pan to catch any juices that will spill over.
  11. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
  12. Using 2 forks, carefully remove meatloaf cupcake and place on wire rack over a layer of paper towels to soak up dripping juices.

Germain SauerKraut


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pound packaged sauerkraut, rinsed
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • 5 juniper berries
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion, sliced thin
  • 1 dash ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tart apple, peeled and chopped 
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • Sea salt to taste


  1. In a 12-inch frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat. 
  2. Add onion and sauté until it is softened and translucent.
  3. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and then bring it to a simmer.
  4. Reduce heat and cover pan.
  5. In a medium saucepan, combine sauerkraut, bacon, broth, juniper berries and bay leaf.
  6. Cover and reduce heat to a slow simmer; cooking for about 10 minutes until flavors combine.
  7. Discard bay leaf.
  8. Add sea salt to taste and then set aside. 

Caramelized Onion Rings


  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar


  1. While the meatloaf muffins are baking, prepare the garnishes.
  2. Over medium heat, melt butter in a large sauce pan.
  3. Add the brown sugar and stir together until syrup forms.
  4. Add onion, stirring until all slices are coated with syrup.
  5. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions wilt, turn golden and become caramelized.
  6. Remove from heat and let cool.
  7. Evenly divide into 12 portions.

Crispy Bacon Bits


  • ½ lb. thick sliced Hickory smoked bacon, diced


  1. While the onions caramelize, heat a frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Add diced bacon.
  3. Cook bacon, stirring frequently, until bacon bits are crisp.
  4. Remove bacon bits from pan with a slotted spoon and drain on several layers of paper towel.
  5. Evenly divide into 12 portions.

German Mashed Potato Frosting


  • 6 medium russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 3 tart apples peeled and chopped
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch granulated white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup sour cream


  1. While onions are caramelizing and the bacon is crisping, start the mashed potatoes.
  2. In a Dutch oven add potatoes, apples and onion, and then cover with cold water.
  3. Over medium high heat, bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and drain potato mixture. 
  5. Return the potato mixture to the Dutch oven.
  6. Add butter, garlic, salt, cider vinegar, sugar and black pepper.
  7. Mash the potato mixture until smooth.
  8. Whip in the egg until well mixed.
  9. Stir in the sour cream.
  10. Cover the potato mixture and set aside.

Assembling Instructions

  1. For each meatloaf muffin, dip a 1/2 cup ice cream scoop into the potato frosting mixture.
  2. Level the scoop with the back edge of a table knife.
  3. Place the potato frosting scoop on top of a muffin, pressing down to make it adhere to the meatloaf.  
  4. Smooth the top of the potato frosting using clean hands.
  5. Garnish the peak of the potato frosting with a portion of caramelized onion, so it looks like caramel drizzle.
  6. Gently press a portion of bacon bits, evenly distributed, over the top of the caramelized onion.
  7. Serve each cupcake on a bed of German Sauerkraut garnished with bacon bits.

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