Saturday, January 19, 2013

What's for Dinner: Lasagna bites for Potluck

This past Thursday was our quilt bee's annual potluck. We had a very light turnout this year, not due to the weather, but due to some unplanned quilty conflicts (a new quilt shop in the area hosted their first sleep-away retreat, and we suspect at least three of our members joined them).  So our potluck ended up with 3 salads, tortilla soup, chicken with biscuits casserole and these lasagna "cupcakes" that I brought. The hostess (Vicky R, the "other" Vicky) scrounged up a frozen pumpkin roll leftover from the holidays, as we were in danger of not having dessert (that usually never happens).

I learned about these fun cupcake-sized lasagna bites from Tommy Cooks blog, and I modified the recipe slightly. Very yummy! Plan to have 2 per person or more; this depends on number of dishes at your potluck, and the size of appetite of the guests.

Recipe: Lasagna "Cupcakes"

2-1/2 to 3 cups good spaghetti sauce
3/4 to 1 pound ground beef
Salt and pepper to taste
2 packages wonton wrappers
8 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella
3 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded
4 ounces Ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray muffin tin generously with cooking spray (even better would be non-stick muffin tins, cuz these buggers really stick).

Brown ground beef; season with salt and pepper, and drain.
Mix mozzarella, parmesan, and ricotta cheeses together with garlic powder and Italian seasoning.

Cut wonton wrappers into circles the diameter of your muffin openings, using a sharp biscuit cutter. (I didn't have quite enough wrappers the first time through, so used the scraps as the middle noodle layer where they wouldn't be seen).

Reserve 6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese and 6 tablespoons mozzarella for the top of cupcakes.

Start layering the cupcakes. Begin with a wonton circle, add 1-2 teaspoons cheese mixture, and top with 1-2 teaspoons meat and marinara sauce. Repeat layers, and end with marinara sauce. Top with reserved Parmesan and mozzarella.

Bake 18-20 minutes or until edges are brown. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes. Use a knife to loosen the lasagna cupcakes and pop each lasagna out.

Note: I made the cupcakes the night before, refrigerated them, then baked them the next afternoon prior to the potluck. Add 5 minutes more baking time if you do this.

Nutrition information per cupcake: 114 calories, 5 grams fat, 8 grams protein, 9 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 18 milligrams cholesterol, 192 milligrams sodium.


tink's mom said...

These sound mighty tasty and easy enough to do. I have a question though, was there a reason you didn't use paper liners instead of spraying? That would be my first thing to do so I wanted to know if you have a down side to using them before I attempted them.

Vicky F said...

The original recipe didn't call for paper liners, and I would guess that the melting cheese would glue to the paper more than the metal cupcake pan. At least with a cupcake pan you can easily cut around each lasagna with a knife and release them easily.

Joyce said...

I have made these (I saw them in Tommy's blog) and I found using the spray is great for getting them out. Also, I used a spoon instead of a knife. I don't cut the wonton wrappers- there really isn't that much extra to deal with- I just try to fold it in under the last layer of cheese. I also used Jimmy Dean's sage sausage- the best flavor- we liked it more than italian sausage even. Oh- and Tommy says she mixes everything together, scoops it in, and tops with cheese!! Very easy and tasty!