1 pound extra lean ground beef
1/2 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
1 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup tomato pasta sauce
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
6 (3/4-ounce) slices deli cheddar cheese
1 1/4 cups water
6 (3/4-ounce) slices deli cheddar cheese, cut into quarters
2 cups mashed potatoes whipped with butter and milk
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat oven to 450°F. Spray 12 cup muffin pan with no-stick cooking spray. Place muffin pan onto 9 x 13 inch baking pan; set aside.
2. Combine all meatloaf ingredients except cheese slices in large bowl; mix well. Stack 6 cheese slices. Cut into 4 even strips; then cut across into thirds to create 12 small square stacks of cheese.
3. Shape about 1/3 cupfuls meatloaf mixture into 12 (2 1/2-inch) balls. Press 1 stack cheese into center of each ball, covering evenly with meat mixture so cheese is in center. Place stuffed meatloaf mixture into muffin cups. Bake 20-25 minutes or until internal temperature is at least 165°F and meat is no longer pink.
4. Meanwhile, combine left over mashed potatoes and 6 cheese quarters and cook over medium-high heat until cheese is melted. Top each cupcake with about 3 tablespoons potato mixture over each meatloaf; sprinkle with paprika, if desired.
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