Those of you who have been reading this blog lately know that I have developed an alarmingly close relationship with my muffin pan. I blame the French Toast muffins that I made a while back. They turned on a little lightbulb over my head, one that has led me down a road filled with cupcakes of all shapes and sizes. Ice Cream Cupcakes. Macaroni and Cheese Cupcakes. And now what may be my favorites, which are these Lasagna Cupcakes. Yep, that’s a bonafide little lasagna up there, complete with layers of pasta, rich meat sauce and three kinds of cheese. Isn’t he handsome?
So here’s how this works. Instead of using lasagna noodles, you use wonton wrappers. Wonton wrappers are basically super-thin pieces of delicious fresh pasta, and they are perfect for this little exercise. The only thing you have to do is cut the little wonton squares into a round shape that will fit into your muffin tin. This is really easy to do with either a round biscuit cutter, or by putting a juice glass down on a stack of a few wrappers and tracing a sharp knife around the outside of the glass. don’t worry if the first wrapper into the muffin well comes up a little around the edges — that’s actually a good thing, as it will help to hold in your sauce. Once you do that, it is smooth sailing. You layer in the wrappers, your favorite sauce and the cheese until you have three nice layers. And by the way, you are putting these right into the muffin tins — no paper muffin cups required. I worried that they would stick, but I let them cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, slid a knife around the edges and a little spatula underneath them and they popped right out.
The recipe below is pretty close to how I found it on Food.com, but I had some of this great crockpot bolognese sauce already in my freezer, so I skipped the hamburger step. And you can leave the meat out entirely for a vegetarian version…you feel free to be totally you when it comes to lasagna cupcakes!
- One cup of your favorite pasta sauce
- 1 lb hamburger meat
- 18 wonton wrappers
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese , grated
- 3 ounces parmesan cheese , grated
- 4 ounces ricotta cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray 6 serving muffin tin with Pam
- Cook hamburger meat, season to taste, drain.
- Reserve 8 tablespoons of Parmesan and 8 tablespoons of mozzarella—this will be the topping. The remaining cheese will be used in the lasagnas (note you can vary the amount of cheese to taste keeping in mind that the parmesan is salty, the mozzarella is sweet as well as salty and helps to hold the lasagnas together, and the ricotta is sweet and creamy).
- Start assembling the lasagnas. Line each cupcake mold with a round wonton wrapper. Put a little Parmesan, a little mozzarella, and a little ricotta into each mold. Top with a little meat and a spoonful of sauce. Repeat layers of wonton wrappers, cheeses, meat and sauce, creating 3 layers in all, and ending with sauce. Sprinkle each lasagna with reserved Parmesan and mozzarella.
- Bake until the lasagnas are nicely browned, about 20 minutes.
- Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and remove from pan.