25 Muffin Tin Recipes to Take You from Sunup to Sundown
You bought it for cupcakes, but you can use it for meatloaf. All hail, the mighty muffin tin!
If you've relegated your muffin tin exclusively to muffins and cupcakes, you're really missing out. What you have right there is the perfect vehicle for 12 individually-sized anything — well, almost anything — that will take you well beyond breakfast to lunch, cocktail hour, or an entire dinner, plus dessert.
Not convinced? Here are four reasons it's time you had some muffin tin meal recipes in your arsenal.
You can make almost anything into finger food. If you’ve ever been tempted to eat lasagna with your fingers, there’s a muffin tin dinner recipe out there, just for you. Single-serving mac ‘n cheese. Yes! A mini-meatloaf just for me? Totally. And while you already eat tacos, pizza, and burgers with your hands ... made in a muffin tin? Much cuter — and perfect for entertaining.
Clean-up is simple. With the right recipe, all you have to clean is the muffin pan. True story. Most muffin tin recipes come together with relatively little prep. Pop the finished product right out of each muffin cup and voila — dinner.
Kids love muffins. Kids love permission to eat with their hands, and muffin tin recipes make that inevitable — each serving is perfectly proportioned for tiny fingers. And parents of picky eaters, rejoice — it’s super easy to customize a few muffins for the child who doesn’t like peppers, or what have you. And you’ll be glad to know that most of the core ingredients in family muffin tin meals — cheese, ground meat, pasta, tomato sauce — are kid-friendly to begin with.
It’s easy portion control. Muffin tin meals allow you to easily track your food intake, and the standard size makes for perfectly petite portions of serious comfort food — like mac ‘n cheese — so you know exactly how much you’re indulging.
If you still need more convincing, check out these 25 muffin tin recipes.
Mini Lasagna Cups
Lasagna doesn’t always feel this dainty — unless you make it in a muffin tin! There are some rogue elements, here — wonton wrappers and chorizo, for starters — but trust. The flavors all come together in the end.
Cheesy Chicken Quinoa Enchilada Meatloaf Muffins
What happens when you cross meatloaf with chicken enchiladas, try to make it a little healthy, and stuff it all into a muffin pan? This recipe, from Ambitious Kitchen. What sounds complicated is actually pretty easy. And if you can’t find ground chicken, ground turkey works great. Serve each with a tiny dollop of sour cream for an oh-so-fancy look.
Crunchy Taco Cups
As if you needed to make tacos easier to inhale. These adorable wonton wrapper taco cups make for a great appetizer or kid-friendly meal — and, for those who can’t decide on soft or hard tacos, a compromise. “This taco recipe is the best of both worlds,” write Kevin and Amanda.
Keto Taco Cups
Mini Deep Dish Pizzas
Damn Delicious delivers again with these mini pizzas! This super-popular muffin tin recipe uses flour tortillas instead of pizza dough, and the end result is both fun and familiar. The mini pepperonis are everything.
Keto Pizza Chips
For a similar flavor profile (minus the carbs), Moscato Mom layers different cheeses and pepperoni — let’s be honest, the best parts — in a muffin tin, then bakes for 8 - 10 minutes. Dip in marinara for the full pizza effect.
Muffin-Tin Mac and Cheese Cups
If there’s one thing that could make kids love mac n’ cheese even more, it’s these finger-friendly mac and cheese bites. Toss cooked elbow macaroni in a classic cheddar-rich roux, scoop that into the muffin tin, top with breadcrumbs, and bake.
Prosciutto-Wrapped Macaroni and Cheese Cups
If you want to kick it up a notch, try this recipe from Chowhound. You line the muffin tin with prosciutto.
Keto Three Cheese Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Cups
This healthier keto version from Hey Keto Mama skips the flour and includes cauliflower and spinach.
Anything with “tots” in the title has got to be fun and kid-friendly, right? This outrageously popular muffin tin recipe from The Two Bite Club has just five ingredients (if you aren’t counting salt and pepper). The secret is to squeeze as much liquid out of the broccoli as possible before mixing it with the other ingredients — then, your tots will stay crispy.
Cheesy Cauliflower Tots
These cheese and cauliflower tots are another way to sneak veggies into something eminently snackable. Thank Julie Harrington for your kids' new favorite side dish.
What is a meatloaf if not a really large, block-shaped meatball — served with ketchup? That’s what you’ll learn making these adorable mini meatloaves from Lulu the Baker.
Greek Gluten Free Meatloaf Muffins
Abbey from Abbey’s Kitchen says it best: “Let’s be honest, meatloaf screams 1950s. It was begging for a trendy little upgrade and the flavors of the Greek islands work perfectly.” This muffin tin meatloaf recipe features spinach, feta, lemon, and herbs for a more mature palette.
Muffin-Tin Bacon Cheeseburgers
So. Fun. And with only half the bun, healthier? Maybe. (200 calories each!) For this muffin tin recipe, from The Girl Who Ate Everything, you keep it simple — the pressed buns are layered up with cooked, seasoned beef, ketchup, and cheese, baked just to melt the cheese, and then topped with whatever else you like.
Corn Dog Muffins
Corn dogs are one of those things I only have when I’m out and about, but with a muffin tin — and this handy recipe from The Pioneer Woman — you can have a bite-size version at home. Kids love ‘em, even if they aren’t exactly traditional. “Corn dog muffins are basically just like corn dogs. Except they’re not on a stick, they’re in muffin pans. And they’re not fried, they’re baked. And the hot dogs aren’t whole, they’re cut into pieces,” Ree Drummond writes. “But other than that, they’re exactly like corn dogs!”
Bacon, Potato, and Egg Casserole Bites
If you in the breakfast-for-dinner fan club, these breakfast “muffins” are just as delicious alongside a salad as on their own for a grab-and-go kind of morning. Also, brunch!
Spinach And Mushroom Egg Muffins
Similarly, these veggie-forward egg cups from Yummly can carry brunch, lunch, or dinner, depending on your side. Don't skimp on the fresh basil!
Individual Garlic Parmesan Potatoes Au Gratin
Potato Nests with Crab and Apple Topping
This bite-sized appetizer recipe, from La Tartine Gourmande, is just so chic. You make the crispy potato nests ahead of time in the muffin tin, then top them with fried leeks, green apple, pomegranate seeds, crab, and crème fraiche right before serving. Use a mini-muffin pan for best results.
Thanksgiving Stuffing Muffins
If you yearn for that particular time of year, but November is still far off, you can still have the best parts, in muffin form. Celery, apples, onions, mushroom and sage come together just the way you want them to in this muffin tin recipe. Cranberry sauce is entirely optional.
You don’t necessarily need Thanksgiving leftovers to make this chic little muffin tin appetizer idea by Steamy Kitchen. The core recipe — using thin pasta, parmesan, butter, and tofu to help bind everything together — creates a perfect vehicle for almost any topping, from smoked salmon and creme fraiche to ikura (a.k.a. salmon caviar).
Spaghetti and Meatball Nests
For a more traditional approach with pasta, this Spaghetti and Meatball Nests recipe from Good Housekeeping is a surefire winner for the whole family.
Foolproof Muffin Tin Molten Lava Cakes
Individual desserts feel so decadent — and if it’s a molten lava cake, even more so. For this Yummly recipe, you just need semisweet chocolate chips and some standard pantry items. The dusting of powdered sugar at the end adds a lovely, restaurant-esque touch. Don't forget the ice cream!
Mini Pies Muffin Tins
If chocolate isn’t your thing, consider these adorable individual blueberry pies from Spinach Tiger. (Bonus — they can also be made gluten-free).
Keto Mini Cheesecakes
You don’t even have to be keto to love these little cheesecakes. (But you do need two keto standbys on hand to make them: erythritol and almond meal). Vicky Abrams of TasteaholicsYou bought it for cupcakes, but you can use it for meatloaf. All hail, the mighty muffin tin! says that this muffin tin recipe is easier to make than full-size cheesecakes. “They will be ready to eat in about half the time and, we have found that they bake much better. The smaller size seems to come out of the oven perfect every time! No need to worry about the surface cracking or overbaking these beauties!”