En español | Get ready to take your muffin tin way beyond cupcakes. The muffin tin can provide a creative way to cook both savory and sweet treats that go beyond breakfast.
“I love it for making meals and snacks in single portions,” says Tara Bench, author of Live Life Deliciously: Recipes for Busy Weeknights and Leisurely Weekends. “And it's fantastic for portion control.” Here are some of Bench's creative uses for this kitchen workhorse.
1. Taco-Salad Cups
Cut flour tortillas into small circles, press them into the cups and bake. Fill the baked shells with cooked, crumbled or shredded protein, like chicken, turkey or beef — even tofu or other meatless options. Add your favorite taco toppings, like shredded cheese, salsa, guacamole or sour cream.
2. Fruit Pies
Press pastry circles into cups, add filling — apple, peach or cherry are sure to be a hit — and bake. Top with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for a decadent dessert.
Pour beaten eggs over cooked fillings like sautéed onions, mushrooms, peppers, spinach, ham or bacon. Add in any kind of cheese you like — cheddar, goat cheese or feta are a good fit — and bake. By varying filling combinations within the cups, you’ll get the convenience of a make-ahead meal without having to eat the same thing every day.
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4. Potato Gratin
Toss thinly sliced potatoes of any kind — russet, gold or white all work — with cheese and herbs. Layer the mixture into the cups, and bake.
5. Mini Pizzas
Press store-bought dough into the cups; fill with shredded cheese, sauce and toppings. Bake until the crust is browned.
6. Mini Meat Loaves
Use any meatball or meat loaf recipe. Press the mixture into the cups, drizzle sauce on top, and bake.