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Savory cupcakes for an easy dinner

Diana De Cicco is a food editor and writer based in New York City. She has a master's degree from New York University in Food Studies. Her passions are eating, traveling, and eating while traveling.

Mini casseroles check portions

Put your cupcake pan to good use by making savory cupcakes. Instead of only using it for cupcakes and muffins, you can make individual servings of your favorite recipes that can be frozen and served when needed. Get creative and you can have dinner ready in a snap.

Mini quiche

Savory cupcakes are not exactly what they sound like—they are simply small-scale versions of your favorite dishes.

Savory Cupcakes Help Portion Control

One of the best reasons for making cupcake-sized versions of large-scale dishes is for portion control. Preparing the dish in advance, pre-portioning it, freezing it, and then simply reheating the portions you need, will help you keep your calories and fats in check. Also, you will always have a quick meal handy if you freeze a few portions that you or your kids can quickly reheat and enjoy.

Savory Cupcake Ideas

Some of the best dishes to make "cupcakes" out of are just about any kind of casserole, macaroni and cheese, or lasagna made from mini lasagna; potato dishes like sweet potato pie or mashed potato casserole also work well. You can even make mini pot pies or mini quiches. Get creative with what you make and you can pretty much make any of your favorite dishes into cupcakes.

To make cupcakes out of your favorite dishes, simply prepare your favorite recipe and fill up cupcake tins. Baking will most likely be quicker so be sure to adjust the cooking time.

 

Mini Chili Meatloaf

Makes 12 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons jalapeño peppers, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup low fat milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
  2. Sauté the onion and garlic in oil until tender; combine the onion/garlic mixture with jalapeño, red pepper, tomato paste, ground turkey, ground beef, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper; mix until well combined; add the bread crumbs and milk; mix well.
  3. Spoon meat mixture into prepared cupcake tins about 3/4 of the way full; bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until cooked all the way through. Let cool before removing meatloaf from cupcake tins. If you are freezing them for later, let them cool fully before individually wrapping them in aluminum foil.

Mini Bacon and Cheese Quiche

Makes 24 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cup low fat milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • Fresh parsley, finely chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and coat a cupcake tin with cooking spray.
  2. Combine cornstarch with milk, eggs, and yolks until smooth; whisk in heavy cream, salt, and nutmeg.
  3. Sauté bacon with onion until bacon is crisp and onion is tender; add bacon and onion to cornstarch mixture; stir in parsley and half of the cheese.
  4. Pour batter into prepared cupcake tins, about 3/4 full, then sprinkle each with remaining cheese.
  5. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until fully cooked through. Let cool before removing quiche from cupcake tins. If you are freezing them for later, let them cool fully before individually wrapping them in aluminum foil.

Mini Tuna Noodle Casseroles

Makes 12 servings

Ingredients:

  • 16-ounces mini lasagna noodles
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cups low fat milk
  • 2 cups gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 12-ounces canned tuna, drained
  • 15-ounces canned peas

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and coat cupcake tin with cooking spray.
  2. Boil noodles in a large pot of water until al dente.
  3. Combine butter, flour, and salt in a pot and heat until butter is melted and mixture is combined; pour in the milk and whisk in the cheese, heat until melted; stir tuna and peas into cheese mixture.
  4. Spoon tuna mixture into prepared cupcake tins and bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until cooked through. Let cool before removing casseroles from cupcake tins. If you are freezing them for later, let them cool fully before individually wrapping them in aluminum foil.

More dinner ideas

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