You’d be amazed at the marvelous meals you can make using a muffin tin. For example, rather than creating individual-size quick breads and cupcakes, you can use your tin to create perfectly portioned, kid-friendly pasta dinners. Spaghetti and Meatball Cups, Chix Alfredo Pasta Pies, and Spaghetti Nests are just a few of the savory suppers you can easily whip up. Our suggestion? Head to the kitchen, grab some noodles and a muffin tin, and make a dinner that is both darling and delicious.
1. Spaghetti and Meatball Cups
Emily Bites presents a savory dinner dish that is pasta perfection. The individual-size spaghetti cups act as a basket for your marvelously moist meatballs. The recipe yields 12 spaghetti and meatball cups.
- 1 pound 95% lean ground beef
- ¼ cup seasoned bread crumbs
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon skim milk
- 8 ounces wheat spaghett, broken into 2-3-inch pieces
- 3 egg whites
- 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, freshly shredded
- ¼ cup 2% shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1½ cups plus 3 tablespoons marinara sauce, divided
- Parsley or chopped fresh basil (optional garnish)
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil then lightly mist it with cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the bread crumbs, egg, and skim milk and stir until mixed. Add the ground beef and stir in until thoroughly combined. Split the meat mixture into 12 equal pieces and roll them into balls. Set the balls on the prepared baking sheet and put them in the oven to bake for 25 minutes.
While the meatballs bake, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the spaghetti pieces according to package directions. Drain the spaghetti and set it aside to cool. When the meatballs are done, remove them from the oven and place them in a saucepot with 1½ cups of marinara sauce. Put the meatballs and sauce over low heat on the stovetop, just to keep it all warm. Stir occasionally.
Turn the heat on the oven up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. When the pasta is cooled enough to handle, whisk the egg whites together in a large bowl and then add the pasta. Stir to combine and then add the Parmesan, mozzarella, and 3 tablespoons of the marinara sauce. Mix together until thoroughly combined. Lightly mist a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Place about ⅓ cup of the spaghetti mixture into each cup in the muffin tin.
Using your fingers, press down on the center and up the sides of the spaghetti, forming cups. Slide the tin into the pre-heated oven and bake for 15 minutes. When the spaghetti cups are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool for a moment before removing them from the tin. When ready to serve, pour a tablespoon of marinara sauce from the pot into the center of a spaghetti cup, top it with a meatball, and follow it with another tablespoon of marinara.
2. Linguine and Prosciutto Frittatas
You will love sitting down to Giada De Laurentiis’ frittatas via Food Network, which are filled with linguine, prosciutto, cheese, and zesty seasonings. If you’d like to add another homemade element to your meal, we suggest following Little Kitchen Big Flavors’ recipe for Homemade Linguine Pasta — you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to make your own noodles!
- ½ pound linguine pasta
- 7 large eggs
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup cream
- ½ cup mascarpone cheese
- 6 ounces diced prosciutto
- 5 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese, diced (1 cup diced)
- ½ cup grated Asiago cheese
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta in a colander. While the pasta is still in the colander, use kitchen sheers to cut the linguine into smaller pieces. The pasta should measure about 3 cups. Grease the muffin tin. In a blender, combine the eggs, milk, cream, and mascarpone cheese.
Blend until well combined. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the cut pasta, prosciutto, mozzarella cheese, Asiago cheese, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir until the ingredients are combined. Using a ⅓ cup measure, fill each of the muffin tins until both the pasta and liquid are at the top. Bake until firm and cooked through, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool for 3 minutes before removing from the tin. Arrange on a serving platter and serve.
3. Chix Alfredo Pasta Pies
Penne pasta, creamy Alfredo sauce, and buttermilk biscuits create Pillsbury’s pasta pies. Note: You’ll need a jumbo muffin tin for this recipe, which yields 8 servings.
- 1 cup uncooked penne pasta
- 2 cups chopped cooked chicken
- 1 jar (15 ounces) Alfredo pasta sauce
- 1 box (9 ounces) frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed to drain
- 1 can (16.3 ounces) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
- ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package. Mix pasta, chicken, Alfredo pasta sauce, and spinach. Separate dough into 8 biscuits; press each biscuit to 5½ inches round. Firmly press 1 biscuit in the bottom and up the side of each of 8 ungreased jumbo muffin cups, forming ¼-inch rim. Fill with chicken mixture; sprinkle with cheese. Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from pan.
4. Parmesan Penne Cups
Thanks to muffin tins, making pasta has never been easier. You’ll love the simplicity of Hy-Vee’s Parmesan Penne Cups, which can be prepared in under an hour. The recipe yields 18 servings.
- 8 ounces penne pasta
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella pearls
- 1 Roma tomato, chopped
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- ½ teaspoon salt
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray 18 muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray; set aside. Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, combine eggs, heavy whipping cream, mozzarella pearls, tomato, Parmesan cheese, basil, and salt. Stir in drained pasta, tossing to coat. Divide mixture among muffin tins. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until cheeses are melted.
5. Muffin Tin Spaghetti Nests
If you have leftover pasta you’d like to use up, Recipe Tin Eats has the perfect dish for you. You can even personalize it by adding in veggies, such as grated carrots and zucchini. This is also a great meal to freeze; it reheats well in the oven and microwave.
- Leftover pasta and sauce mixed together
- 1 egg per 3 packed cups of pasta
- Grated melting cheese
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix the egg and pasta together. Spray muffin tins with oil, then pack tightly with pasta. If you don’t pack the pasta in, it will fall apart. Bake until the pasta gets crunchy and golden on top, around 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle on cheese, then return to oven until cheese melts.
6. Lasagna Cupcakes
Prepare to enjoy a muffin-shaped meal that’s filled with gooey layers of meat, cheese, and pasta. Requiring only 8 ingredients and 15 minutes of prep time, there’s a good chance Tablespoon’s recipe will become one of your favorite weeknight go-to’s. For a superb sauce that’s bursting with fresh flavors, consider preparing Wellness Mama’s Homemade Pasta Sauce to serve in your lasagna cupcakes.
- ⅓ pound ground beef
- Salt and pepper
- 24 wonton wrappers
- 1¾ cups grated Parmesan cheese
- 1¾ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- ¾ cup ricotta cheese
- 1 cup pasta sauce
- Garnish basil for (optional)
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray. Brown beef, and season with salt and pepper. Drain. Cut wonton wrappers into circle shapes using a biscuit cutter or using the top of a drinking glass. You can cut several at a time. Note: For a more rustic look, no cutting necessary. Reserve ¾ cup Parmesan cheese and ¾ cup mozzarella cheese for the top of your cupcakes. Start layering your lasagna cupcakes.
Begin with a wonton wrapper and press it into the bottom of each muffin tin. Sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, and mozzarella cheese in each. Top with a little meat and pasta sauce. Repeat layers again. Top with reserved Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until edges are brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. To remove, use a knife to loosen the edges then pop each lasagna out. Garnish with basil and serve.
7. Ravioli Lasagna Cups
To make Do You Know the Muffin Pan’s recipe, all you need is a few basic ingredients and a muffin tin. You’ll then create lush layers filled with ravioli, sauce, slices of meatballs, and cheese, resulting in a ravioli dish like you’ve never experienced before.
- Ravioli, any type and shape (enough for about 2 per cup)
- Precooked frozen meatballs
- Italian cheese blend
- Bread crumbs
- Pasta sauce
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Precook the raviolis for about 6 minutes at a low boil. Raviolis can be very delicate, so don’t overcook them. Heat up about 32 meatballs according to the package directions. Let them cool a bit and slice thin. Start layering your ingredients following this order: ravioli, dab of sauce, few slices of meatball, cheese. Continue adding layers. Place in the oven for about 12 minutes.