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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.

photo showing cut in half cupcake with turkey inside.

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.

ingredients in savory cupcakes

Important Ingredients

  • 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

  1. Mix up your cornbread batter, being sure to swap Challenge Butter for any oil called for.
  2. Bake your cupcakes in liners in a cupcake pan.
  3. Mix together leftover gravy with shredded chicken or turkey.
  4. Hollow out the center of your cupcakes.
  5. Fill with the chicken mixture.
  6. Frost with mashed potatoes!
photo showing cupcakes on a rack and one on a little white plate with butter box in the middle.


  • 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).
photo showing cupcake with mashed potato frosting and gravy and chives on top

Tip From Dorothy

Expert Tips

  • 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.


How long do savory cupcakes last?

These will last up to 2 days in the refrigerator.

Can you freeze savory cupcakes?

You can freeze the assembled cupcakes for up to a month.

photo showing cut in half cupcake with turkey inside.

Savory Cupcakes Recipe

5 from 3 votes
Easy cornbread muffin cupcakes filled with chicken or turkey and gravy and topped with mashed potato frosting.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 17 minutes
Total Time 47 minutes
Yield 12 cupcakes
Serving Size 1 cupcake


  • 1 15 ounce box cornbread mix (see note)
  • ½ cup (118ml) milk
  • cup (75g) Challenge Butter melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup (237ml) gravy
  • 8 ounces cooked chicken or turkey
  • 2 cups mashed potatoes
  • Challenge Butter gravy, and chives, for garnish
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Prepare Ingredients:

  • 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.

Assemble Cupcakes:

  • 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.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • 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.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 124kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 175mg | Potassium: 176mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 207IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 0.4mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Main Course
Cuisine American

Favorite Recipes using Butter

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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