Lasagna Cupcakes Two Ways | Cupcake Project

Lasagna Cupcakes Two Ways

Years ago, my brother requested that I create lasagna cupcakes.  This was before anyone had ever heard of lasagna cupcakes; a Google search for lasagna cupcakes today will reveal that lasagna cupcakes have been created many times by all manner of food bloggers and chefs.  Sadly, I didn’t jump on my brother’s idea – I hadn’t yet embraced the world of savory cupcakes.  Now, I regularly make savory cupcakes (see my mac and cheese cupcakes for a recent example), but I still put off making lasagna cupcakes because I tend to avoid making something everyone else is doing – this is supposed to be an experimental cupcake blog.

This week, my mom came to visit from New York and wanted to prepare her family-famous lasagna.  I decided that this was the time to try lasagna cupcakes.  She was already buying all of the ingredients and doing all of the labor, so all I had to do was ask her to save a few scraps for me to cupcakify.  It was an all-around win:

  • For my mom – she is so excited to see her lasagna recipe have a moment of glory on the blog
  • For my brother – he finally gets his request fulfilled
  • For me – I instantly fell in love with these single-serving lasagna cupcakes
  • For you – maybe you have seen and put off making lasagna cupcakes OR maybe this is the first time you are hearing of them – this is your chance to try them!

I made lasagna cupcakes two ways.

 

The first way to make lasagna cupcakes is to make more of a traditional layered lasagna but in a cupcake liner.  In the second method, I lined the walls of the cupcake liners with lasagna noodles to make a lasagna cup and then filled the innards with lasagna filling.  Lasagna purists will probably prefer method one because the noodle to meat sauce ratio is more even.  However, using the second method, when you pop the lasagna cupcakes out of the liners, you can actually hold them.

Because either lasagna cupcake method will work with any lasagna recipe (and you may already have one you swear by), I’m going to first go over the two lasagna cupcake techniques and then at the end of this post, I’ll share my mom’s specific lasagna recipe.

Lasagna Cupcakes, Method One

Have all of your lasagna ingredients ready (at the point where you would layer them in your lasagna pan).

After cooking your lasagna noodles, use round cookie cutters to cut the noodles into circles.  For each cupcake, I used three circles – a 1 1/2″ circle, a 1 7/8″ circle, and a 2 1/4″ circle.  I highly recommend getting a round cookie cutter set – it will have all of the sizes you need.

Start with the smallest size noodle circle and place it in the bottom of your cupcake liner.  I recommend using silicone liners for this since paper liners will get soggy.  I got these clear ones from Crate and Barrel.   Layer the cupcake just as you would the lasagna in a big pan.  When it’s time to add the next noodle, use the medium-sized circle.  Continue to layer.  End with the large circle topped with meat sauce and Parmesan cheese.

Put the filled liners into a baking dish (you can use the same type of dish you would use to bake lasagna).  Cover with foil and bake at 375 F for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for another five minutes until the tops are bubbly.  Serve warm, refrigerate, or freeze and store for a time when you need a quick snack.

When they are all cooked, they look like this:

Or, if you take them out of their liners, they look like this:

Lasagna Cupcake, Method Two

Like method one, have all of your lasagna ingredients ready (at the point where you would layer them in your lasagna pan).

This time, instead of using cookie cutters and making perfect little noodle circles, you shove a lasagna noodle (or a part of one) into a cupcake liner, letting it run up the sides (as shown above).  It’s a big mess and that’s fine.

Next, pour some meat sauce on top.  Cover that with one layer of lasagna innards (typically ricotta and mozzarella).

Top with a square of noodle (again, it’s totally imperfect), more meat sauce, and some Parmesan cheese.

Bake the same way as you would method one:  Put the filled liners into a baking dish (you can use the same type of dish you would use to bake lasagna).  Cover with foil and bake at 375 F for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for another five minutes until the tops are bubbly.  Serve warm, refrigerate, or freeze and store for a time when you need a quick snack.

When they’re done, they look like this:

If you take them out of their liners, they look like this:

You can even pick them up and hold them.

My Mom’s Lasagna Recipe

My mom

 

My mom isn’t Italian, and she doesn’t make the fanciest lasagna.  However, she’s made her lasagna recipe for almost every major occasion that I can recall, and each time everyone looks forward to it.  We don’t get bored.  I took copious notes when she made the lasagna during her visit, and I’m happy to share the secret family recipe with you.  More importantly, though, I’m thrilled to have the recipe recorded so I can make it and share it with my loved ones.

Lasagna Cupcakes Two Ways

Lasagna Cupcakes Two Ways

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lasagna noodles (typically this is one box)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground round (Mom insists that ground round has just the right amount of fat for lasagna - not too much and not too little)
  • ground peppercorns, to taste (Mom likes the multi-colored ones)
  • garlic powder, to taste
  • onion powder, to taste
  • dried basil, to taste
  • oregano, to taste
  • 2 pounds Ragu Robusto 7-herb tomato sauce (Mom will hear nothing of any other brand)
  • 8 ounces part-skim ricotta
  • 1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Cook lasagna noodles according to the package instructions. Mom cooks them just past al dente.
  2. Pour olive oil into saute pan over medium heat. Swirl the pan to coat with oil.
  3. Add meat and spices. Mom likes to use equal parts of each spice and she is fairly heavy-handed with them.
  4. Cook meat until there is no more pink.
  5. Hold a lid over the pot and tip it over the sink to drain out any excess liquid. "I don't like any extra fat," says Mom.
  6. Add sauce to the meat and simmer for about fifteen minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  8. Put a thin layer of the meat sauce into a lasagna pan.
  9. Top with a layer of the noodles (slightly overlap them).
  10. Top the noodles with a thin layer of ricotta, making sure to cover the entire surface.
  11. Top the ricotta with a thin layer of mozzarella cheese, making sure to cover the entire surface.
  12. Repeat steps 8-11 until you get almost to the top of your pan.
  13. For the last layer, add the meat sauce and top with Parmesan, making sure to cover the entire surface.
  14. Bake covered for 30 minutes and then uncovered for another 7 or until sizzling.
  15. Let sit for a couple of minutes and then serve warm.

Notes

Yield: A 4.8 quart baking dish of lasagna or use a smaller pan to have some leftover for cupcakes

http://www.cupcakeproject.com/2012/02/lasagna-cupcakes-two-ways.html

 

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27 Responses to Lasagna Cupcakes Two Ways

  1. Stephanie February 23, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    I’m Italian and my mom also always makes lasagna when our family gets together on special occasions. I LOVE the idea of lasagna cupcakes. They are adorable! I can’t wait to try this. Thanks Stef!

  2. Grandma Kat February 23, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    Oh my goodness that look amazing! My great grandchildren are coming over this weekend and we will have to try to make that for dinner. ;-)

    Thank you for sharing this recipe with me.

    Grandma Kat
    XOXOXOXOXO

  3. Tugs Girl February 23, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    My husband would probably raise an eyebrow at me if I served him a lasagna cupcake, but this looks like it would be really great for those situations (such as potlucks) where you want a little more portion control.

  4. Glen February 23, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

    Those look DELISH. I hope we can eat some at the next family function.

  5. Jo-Lyn February 23, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

    LOVE the cupcake lasagna!! =)

  6. Gabriela Rodiles February 23, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

    These Lasagna Cupcakes look so adorable! It would be so fun to make these for a little dinner party or evening with girl friends. Have you tried any other pasta-like cupcakes? “Cupcakes” with pesto would be great!

  7. Margherita February 23, 2012 at 11:34 pm #

    One word: AMAZING!!!!

  8. Cupcake and Talk February 24, 2012 at 5:21 am #

    What a cute idea. My son would love Lasagna Cupcakes.

  9. Tara @ The Butter Dish February 24, 2012 at 5:57 am #

    now that’s what I call perfectly portioned! so cute and I just love lasagna.

  10. Rose Atwater February 24, 2012 at 8:25 am #

    Oh my… we love lasagna and of course, I love baking & cupcakes, so I am going to have to give these a try!!

  11. Festive Party Girl February 24, 2012 at 11:09 am #

    What a fun idea! We need a picture of your brother enjoying them. lol

  12. Lisa @ Sweet 2 Eat Baking February 25, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

    I’ve never heard of lasagne cupcakes until now so I’ll reserve the right to say your brother invented them, lol.

    They look so cute and inviting. I shouldn’t go through my baking RSS blogs while I’m hungry, it’s not good for me. I love the pic of your mum, she looks so happy. :)

    Anything could be baked in cupcake form… Mmmm carbonara! I’m glad I have rainbow coloured silicone cases, I know I can do these too. I just need the cookie cutter set, I only have scalloped ones for now. The cheese looks great on top too.

    Time for dinner now, me thinks.
    -Lisa.

  13. Dianne@Maids February 26, 2012 at 10:38 pm #

    Awesome! those lasagna looks great. this is my first time ever saw it in a cupcake haha. really nice.

  14. Mrs. Measurement February 28, 2012 at 7:07 am #

    I love them both ways! Actually, I think the layered lasagna cups are the cutest. It’s almost like real lasagna – just smaller.

  15. Lindsey March 20, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    Are those regular cupcake liners or silicone? They look great!

    • Stef March 20, 2012 at 11:43 am #

      They are silcone. They sell the clear silicone ones at Crate and Barrel.

    • Lindsey March 20, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

      Thanks!!

  16. Meera April 21, 2012 at 10:24 pm #

    I did this without the silicone cupcake liners, I just put the noodles and other ingredients straight into the cupcake pan. It turned out alright, probably a little sloppier than yours, though!

    Also whoever uses this recipe must be careful with how much sauce and cheese they put. I made the mistake of putting 2-3 scoops of sauce and generous handfuls of cheese when each cupcake only needs 1, 1 1/2 and just a pinch and a half of cheese.

    • michy-rican May 18, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

      Just the answer to my ? Don’t have silicone liners

  17. Anonymous September 14, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    YUMMMMM! Guess what everyone LOVED!!

    Thank you.

    Pennie

  18. falalala fatgirl December 19, 2012 at 9:02 am #

    I just made these for my parents’ Christmas party. Instead of Lasagna noodles, I used wonton wrappers. When you bake them, they taste really close to lasagna noodles. Also, it allow these to be finger foods, rather than having to plate them. They were a hit…no leftovers.

  19. michy-rican May 18, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    Great gonna try now !! don”t have enough noodles for a lasaga~a and want to try new things !

  20. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl June 2, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    I absolutely love these, how cute.. plus lasagna is my favorite!

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  22. Amy July 5, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    Hi these look great. I hv a question or suggestion. Could ravioli be substituted for the lasagna noodle. Uncooked but thawed ravioli? That even make it faster to make. Any thoughts?

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