Lasagna cupcakes are a perfect way to enjoy lasagna for two (or more)! They can be easily made with your favorite lasagna recipe or mine (scroll down). Like pizza muffins, they can be a whole meal or served as adorable appetizers.
I make lasagna cupcakes two ways:
- Layered lasagna cupcakes – The first way is to make more of a traditional layered lasagna but in a cupcake liner. Lasagna purists will probably prefer this method because the noodle to meat sauce ratio is spot on.
- Mini lasagna cups – In the second method, I line the walls of cupcake liners with lasagna noodles to make lasagna cups and then fill the insides with lasagna filling. Using this method, when you pop the lasagna cupcakes out of the liners, you can actually hold them.
Either lasagna cupcake method will work with any lasagna recipe. You can use my mom’s lasagna recipe at the end of this post or your own!
How to Make Layered Lasagna Cupcakes
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. 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:
How to Make Mini Lasagna Cups
Like the first method, 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.
Freezing Pizza Muffins
Pizza muffins can be frozen in an airtight container and taken out of the freezer whenever you want an easy dinner.
Defrost in the refrigerator and then microwave them to heat them up.
My Mom’s Lasagna Recipe
The recipe that I use for my lasagna cupcakes is from 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 lasagna recipe with you.
If You Like Lasagna Cupcakes, You May Also Like…
- Butternut squash macaroni and cheese bites (These are also made in muffin pans.)
- Gorgonzola cheese dip (If you like bread and cheese, you will love this!)
- Tiramisu cupcakes (You need a good Italian dessert to go with your lasagna!)
- 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
- Cook lasagna noodles according to the package instructions. Mom cooks them just past al dente.
- Pour olive oil into saute pan over medium heat. Swirl the pan to coat with oil.
- Add meat and spices. Mom likes to use equal parts of each spice and she is fairly heavy-handed with them.
- Cook meat until there is no more pink.
- 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.
- Add sauce to the meat and simmer for about fifteen minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Use round cookie cutters to cut the cooked 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.
- Start with the smallest size noodle circle and place one in the bottom of each cupcake liner. I recommend using silicone liners for this since paper liners will get soggy.
- Top with a thin layer of meat sauce a layer of ricotta, and a layer of mozzarella cheese.
- Place the 1 7/8" circle on top of the mozzarella cheese and repeat the layering.
- Top with the 2 1/4" circle and top that final layer 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 for 30 minutes and then uncovered for another 5 minutes or until sizzling.
- Serve warm, refrigerate, or freeze and store for a time when you need a quick snack.