Recipe Post: Leftover Thanksgiving Dinner Meat Muffins

An old friend of mine used to talk about her single father’s, er, creativity in the kitchen, and how once he came up with an “ingenious”, time-saving recipe of meatloaf made in muffin tins. Which of course, he called “Meat Muffins” and in fact penned a charming little song about them too.

While I won’t go into further details (mainly because I don’t remember anymore than that), I’d been thinking lately about how American Thanksgiving is imminent, and that, due to That Virus Which Must Not Be Named, there may be fewer, smaller get-togethers than in previous years and therefore more leftovers than usual this year. I was wondering if anyone else had thought to come up with a frugal recipe that involved TG leftovers…and then the “Meat Muffins” refrain went through my head and I knew I had to make this a reality.

Thanksgiving Leftover Meat Muffins

Yield: 12 jumbo muffins or 15 standard muffins | Prep: 15 minutes | Cook: 15-18 minutes

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup turkey gravy
  • ¼ cup light cream or plain Greek yogurt (can be substituted with more gravy)
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt or seasoned salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. sweet or smoky paprika
  • ¼ tsp. poultry seasoning or dried sage
  • 1 cup leftover cooked turkey, diced
  • ½ cup leftover vegetables, diced (carrots, green beans, peas, sweet potatoes, corn)
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 tbsp. cranberry sauce (for topping – optional)
  • 1 cup leftover mashed potato (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C. Place rack in middle of oven. Liberally grease a 12-cup muffin tin/s of your choice with oil or shortening.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the wet ingredients (eggs, cream, gravy, and oil) and mix well. [This will look horrendous, but power through]
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, pepper, paprika, and poultry seasoning). Stir wet into dry ingredients just until combined; do not overwork. Fold in the turkey, vegetables and cheese. If mixture seems too dry, add some cream or gravy to loosen the batter a little bit. If mixture is too wet, add 1-2 tablespoons more flour.
  4. Fill greased muffin cups two-thirds full (standard muffin cups = ⅓-½ cup batter, jumbo muffin tin = ½-⅔ cup batter). Top each with ½ teaspoon cranberry sauce. Bake for 15-18 minutes (standard size) or 20-22 minutes jumbo size, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
  5. If desired, reheat mashed potatoes and pipe a “frosting” topping (quick tip: use a Ziploc bag with a hole snipped in the corner). These muffins are best served warm and sprinkled with minced parsley, with more gravy and/or cranberry sauce on the side.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Geri Lawhon says:

    I have not made meat muffins in a long time. Great idea.


  2. kagucuisine says:

    Such a great recipe idea! Even if we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Europe, tips for the use of leftovers are always great! Also, they look absolutely delicious!👌


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