Even though we love taco salads and bread bowl soups, edible bowls and dishes have now gone far beyond those oldies-but-goodies. Using food as serving dishes helps with cleanup, reduces food waste, and makes your spread more creative and interesting.
Here are some of our favorite inventive ways to make your food both fun and functional.
Whether you make the homemade cheesecake filling or use a store-bought one, these cheesecake-stuffed apples are a fun way to serve dessert. They are festive and portable for cocktail parties or gatherings. It's also a treat to bite into a crisp, crunchy apple after indulging in some rich cheesecake.
Quick, Easy No-Bake Cheesecake in Apple Cups
- Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 8 small to medium apples, hollowed out to make cups
Instructions: Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice slowly, then beat until everything is blended together. In a separate bowl, beat the whipping cream until peaks start to form. Slowly add the whipped cream into the cream cheese while beating together. When well-combined, pour into individual hollowed apples. Chill for about 4 hours before serving. Top with graham cracker crust topping or chocolate shavings.
Don't stop at cheesecake: you can fill your hollowed apples with sorbet, Greek yogurt, or even a chilled soup like gazpacho.
And don't stop at apples, either: think about all the fruit that you peel, like oranges or lemons. You can do the same thing with the peels that you normally toss out without a thought.
Parmesan crisps are always a satisfying topping for your salad, but these cheese bowls take it a step further since they hold your greens while adding some flavor and texture to your eating experience. They are not too hard to make in your oven, but The Yummy Life shows you the fast and easy way to make these in your microwave. Use a blend of Romano and Parmesan cheeses for more flavor and pre-grated cheese if you're really low on time. You'll be able to serve gourmet-looking salads in minutes.
Chocolate chip cookie dough can be shaped into delicious bowls, shot glasses, and even plates to hold dessert or alcohol. Use glasses, muffin tins, and small bowls to shape the cookie dough into the exact size and shape that fits your needs. Get instructions and tips here.
For shot glasses made out of yummy things like toasted marshmallow or veggies (Bloody Mary-filled tomatoes!), head over to our roundup of the best DIY edible shot glasses.
Taco salads in hard shells are nothing new, but this is a foolproof way to make healthier and better-tasting tortilla bowls at home. Corn tortillas are my personal favorite, and this tutorial by Eating Well shows you how to make corn tortilla bowls using the back of a muffin tin to create the shell shape.
Use these bowls to serve a Southwestern salad, black bean salad, or layered rice bowls.
Make the most reluctant salad eater happy with these bacon cups from Not Martha. You use the back of a muffin tin to create the bowl shape, and your guests will love you whether you fill your bacon cups with a mixed green or Caesar salad.
These chocolate bowls are impressive but pretty simple to make. Blow up some balloons (making sure they're clean and washed), dip them in chocolate, and then pop the balloons when the chocolate is completely dry. Fill them with ice cream for a delicious dish. For a one-page tutorial, look at our chocolate bowl balloon infographic.