Think your trusty muffin tin is only for blueberry muffins and cupcakes? Think again! Inexpensive and versatile, a muffin tin can be quite the multitasking tool in the kitchen, creating a variety of portable and, if you’re watching your weight, portion-sized meals, snacks, or desserts.
There are so many benefits to making muffin tin meals: they make great party foods, portions freeze and defrost quickly, and they’re the perfect portable size for taking on-the-go. For an added bonus, dishes cook quicker when portion sizes are smaller, making muffin tin meals a great option for busy weeknight meals.
Which type of muffin tin should I use?
A standard metal pan is a reliable choice for even browning, but stoneware or cast-iron options also work well. For popping out easy freezer meals, and for recipes that tend to stick (such as egg dishes), a nonstick silicone tray is ideal. (Note: when cooking with a silicone muffin pan, it helps if you put a sheet pan underneath for added stability in the oven).
Muffin tins come in mini, small, medium, and jumbo (Texas-sized), so you can get creative with portion sizes as well!
Try these ideas:
- Pepperoni pizza muffins (see video above) make delicious bite-size after school snacks.
- Omelet muffins or breakfast casseroles become perfect portable on-the-go meals when cooked in a muffin tin (recipe below).
- Crab cake appetizers for a party!
- Desserts such as cheesecake bites, brownie cups, and mini pies.
- Portion out comfort foods: Mac n’ cheese cups, stuffin’ muffins, spaghetti and meatballs, and mini Shepherd’s Pies are sure to please even the pickiest of little eaters.
- Freeze homemade soups, broths, and sauces, and store in a baggie once frozen. Then take them out and heat up for quick meals.
Breakfast Casserole Muffin Tin Recipe
3-4 pieces of whole wheat bread, torn into small pieces
3-4 slices of ham, crumbled sausage, or bacon (optional)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons of ground mustard
Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400º F. Grease muffin tin. Drop torn bread pieces into each muffin tin cup until about 2/3 of the way full. Add ham, sausage, or bacon (omit or replace with vegetables for a meat-free option), then evenly sprinkle cheese over each cup.
Whisk together eggs, milk, ground mustard, and pepper and pour egg mixture evenly into each cup. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown on top and cooked through the middle. Pop out, serve, and enjoy!