How To: 5 Savory Appetizers You Can Make in a Muffin Tin

5 Savory Appetizers You Can Make in a Muffin Tin

To me, the term muffin tin is a lot like Voldemort—it should never be uttered. Not for being evil, however... instead, it's because it's inaccurate.

First of all, muffin tins are hardly ever made out of tin anymore. (The materials on trend are stainless steel, cast iron, and silicone.)

Second, the name implies that it's exclusively for muffin making—which most certainly is not the case. If I had my way, the muffin tin would be rechristened as the adorable pan. That's what it truly does: it adds a dose of cuteness to any given dish by making everything bite-sized.

With that said, let's investigate some easy-to-make, adorable recipes!

1. Frittata Minis

Frittatas are like omelettes, but usually much more chock-filled with delicious cheeses and veggies. These frittata minis are the perfect size when making brunch for a potluck.

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 1 small/medium tomato, diced
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, Parmesan cheese, pepper, and garlic powder. Set aside for now.
  3. Combine the onion, zucchini, and water in another microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 2 minutes, or until veggies are soft. Drain the water.
  4. Add the onion, zucchini, and tomatoes to the egg mixture in the large bowl. Stir.
  5. Grease the adorable pan.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the cups of the adorable-making pan, until each cup is about ¾ full.
  7. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until cooked through.

2. Corn Puppies

Sometimes, you just don't want to commit to a whole corn dog. You just want the mini version, or a "corn puppy." (Or maybe you want a whole corndog, but you want a higher ratio of cornbread to wiener. Don't worry, we won't judge you.)

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Grease the adorable pan.
  3. Combine the Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix, milk, and egg.
  4. Spoon the mixture into each cup of the pan until 2/3 full.
  5. Cut the hot dogs so that they are about the height of each cup of the pan.
  6. Place each hot dog piece in the center of the corn muffin batter.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the muffins are a golden brown.

3. Tostaditas

How I love a tostada! And when miniaturized, they also make a great appetizer. Feel free to add meat or other veggies such as grilled peppers to your tostaditas before serving.

Ingredients:

  • 6 mini tortillas (corn or flour, your preference)
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 2 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
  • 1 can tomatoes, diced
  • ½ cup grated Mexican cheese blend

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Arrange the tortillas on the adorable pan as pictured below.
  1. Bake for 5-6 minutes, or until crispy.
  2. Remove the tostadita shells from the pan, and allow them to cool.
  3. Scoop 1-2 Tbsp. of refried beans into each tortilla cup.
  4. Fill with iceberg lettuce, and top with diced tomatoes and Mexican cheese.
  5. Serve!

4. Pizza Bites

These can best be described as "pizza clouds." They call for Pillsbury crescents, which, when baked in a muffin tin, become especially fluffy and crispy on the outside.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can crescent rolls (each can contains 8 crescents)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • ½ cup grated mozzarella

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Mold each crescent roll against the cup of the adorable pan so that a miniature cup is formed by the dough.
  3. Add in about 1 Tbsp. of marinara sauce to each cup and top with 1 Tbsp. of grated mozzarella.
  4. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the edges of the crescent rolls are slightly browned.
  5. Allow to cool, and then serve.

5. Mini Ricotta Tomato Bake

Ricotta and tomato flavors are most famously combined in lasagna, but they are equally good in other dishes—like this creative example that pairs them with tortillas and avocados. Both creamy and tangy, these mini-bakes are the perfect appetizer.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 12 small tortillas or 4 large tortillas
  • (optional: chopped bell peppers and sliced avocado for garnish)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Take a tortilla and use a drinking glass to cut out rounds.
  3. Push the rounds into the adorable pan in order to form tortilla cups.
  4. Mix together 1½ cups ricotta cheese with 1 cup of tomato sauce; then stir in one egg.
  5. Scoop the mixture evenly into the tortilla cups until about 2/3 full.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.
  7. If desired, garnish with chopped bell pepper and sliced avocado.

Hurray for Mini Meals!

If good things come in small packages, then that's a great omen for these mini appetizers. They're both adorable and quick to prepare, with each recipe requiring twenty minutes or less to make. The beauty of downsizing classic recipes into bite-sized delights is that the reduced surface area allows them to cook much more quickly.

Just don't forget what we've discussed—you're dealing with an adorable pan—not a muffin tin—and remember to spread the word. Let's standardize this name together! (But let's keep He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named out of the loop, okay?)

More Appetizing Appetizer Hacks:

Photos by Taylor Friedlander/Food Hacks

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