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Got leftovers? Make my Savory Cupcakes – an easy cupcake recipe for dinner! Cornbread cupcakes filled with chicken and gravy and frosted with – you guessed it – mashed potatoes! This is the perfect leftover dinner recipe – even picky eaters will love it.
I made all of my components using Challenge Butter, a longtime partner and sponsor of this post.
Table of Contents
Savory Cupcakes: an Easy Leftover Dinner
Alright, foodies and leftover-lovers, get ready for this: what if I told you that you could have your cornbread muffin and eat your chicken dinner inside it too? Yep, we’re talking a semi-homemade cornbread muffin stuffed like a Thanksgiving turkey with, well, turkey—or chicken if that’s what you’ve got!
Picture biting into a savory muffin and finding meat and dreamy gravy waiting for you. But wait, there’s more! We’re putting frosting on top, but plot twist—the frosting is actually a dollop of creamy mashed potatoes! Trust me, this savory cupcake is the superhero mash-up of comfort foods you didn’t know you needed until now.
- Cornbread Mix – I used a semi-homemade swap to make my cupcakes. Buy your favorite brand of cornbread mix!
- Leftover Turkey or Chicken – whatever you’ve got – even rotisserie chicken!
- Gravy – I love my gravy recipe but you can also use a packet or jar for a semi-homemade swap.
- Mashed Potatoes – Never throw away leftover potatoes – use them as the frosting!
Use Challenge Butter in all parts!
My favorite cornbread mix calls for vegetable oil but I did one better: I substituted Challenge Butter. Challenge is the only butter I buy – I’ve been using it my whole life (true story!)
In fact, there is Challenge Butter in every component of the recipe: mashed potatoes and gravy are so much better with the real thing, especially when it’s made from happy cows at over 400 family owned dairies. Challenge Butter is award winning – and a favorite!
How to make Savory Cupcakes
- Mix up your cornbread batter, being sure to swap Challenge Butter for any oil called for.
- Bake your cupcakes in liners in a cupcake pan.
- Mix together leftover gravy with shredded chicken or turkey.
- Hollow out the center of your cupcakes.
- Fill with the chicken mixture.
- Frost with mashed potatoes!
- Add thawed frozen mixed vegetables, corn, or peas to the cornbread batter.
- Cook up some ground turkey or use rotisserie chicken instead of leftover meat.
- You can use Unsalted Challenge Butter if you prefer!
- Garnish the cupcakes with extra butter and some chives for color.
- Add some shredded cheddar cheese in the muffin batter (or your favorite kind of cheese).
Tip From Dorothy
- If your leftover mashed potatoes are too thick for frosting, add a few tablespoons melted Challenge butter to thin.
- I recommend using cupcake liners for easy removal from the pans.
- Of course you want to serve these hot, but it might be easiest to assemble them room temperature, then you can re-heat them in the microwave.
These will last up to 2 days in the refrigerator.
You can freeze the assembled cupcakes for up to a month.
Savory Cupcakes Recipe
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- Place cornbread mix, melted butter, milk, and egg in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth.
- Fill cupcake liners ⅔ full. Bake cupcakes approximately 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Meanwhile, stir together chicken or turkey with gravy. Heat until warmed through.
- Warm mashed potatoes, thinning if needed with additional Challenge Butter or milk.
- Cut a small round bit out of the center of the cupcake. I used a small knife to cut a circle and remove some and then used a teaspoon to remove extra filling (to fit more turkey).
- Fill each cupcake with a bit of the chicken and gravy mixture.
- Top with 2 tablespoons mashed potatoes. Use an offset spatula or knife to flatten the mashed potatoes to look like frosting.
- Top with a pat of Challenge Butter, a drizzle of gravy and some chives. Serve warm.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Heat in the microwave to reheat.
- I used a cornbread mix that makes 12 muffins and requires adding milk, butter, and egg. You can use any mix you like; just make the muffins according to the package directions, substituting melted butter for vegetable oil when called for.
- You can use leftover rotisserie chicken, diced cooked chicken or leftover turkey.
- This is a great recipe to use up leftover gravy and mashed potatoes, or you can make fresh gravy (or use a jar). You can also use instant mashed potatoes, if you prefer. I like to doctor my instant mashed potatoes with a tablespoon or two of Challenge Butter to make them extra creamy.