A surprising number of your favorite foods can become single-serving portions when you make them in a muffin tin, and muffin tins can also aid in stress-free hosting and multitasking in the kitchen.
Once used strictly for baking muffins or cupcakes, muffin tins are a multi-purpose piece of kitchen equipment. Muffin tin portions create plenty ofmake-ahead bites and appetizers for parties so you can serve hot food without being stuck in the kitchen all day.
Click here to see More Delicious Treats You Can Make in a Muffin Tin (Slideshow)
They’re not just for parties, either — use muffin tins to make everyday meals for the whole family. They make lunch-size portions for kids that are cute and fun to hold (and eat!). If you're trying to watch your weight, muffin tin snacks are a perfect way to enforce portion control. Make a batch of muffin tin breakfasts or snacks packed with fruits and vegetables, and you'll be set for the week in healthy snacks.
You can also use muffin tins to freeze single-serving portions of soup, sauce, stock, and even leftovers. Fill muffin cups with some juice and fruit and then freeze for large, slow-melting ice cubes that won't dilute big bowls of punch. Portion out the food or juice in a muffin tin and place in the freezer overnight to ensure a full freeze. Once everything is frozen through, remove the items from the tin and place them in a freezer-safe plastic resealable bag. Store in the freezer until you're ready to use. Silicone muffin cups work best in the freezer because you can easily push out the frozen food instead of banging a metal tin on the counter until the food falls out.
Almost everything can be baked in muffin tins easily, and nonstick cooking spray or cupcake liners help prevent frustrating sticking in the tins.
Be a pro party host or portion-control master with these tasty and totally doable muffin tin recipes.
Baked Egg Cups with Tomatoes, Spinach, and Prosciutto
Use prosciutto as a muffin tin liner for these super easy, gluten-free, paleo-friendly baked breakfasts. Click here to see the recipe.
Caramelized Shallot Meatloaf Muffins
(Credit: flickr/Meal Makeover Moms)
Full-size meatloaf cooks for over an hour, but these mini meatloaves cook in about half the time. Save any leftover meatloaf muffins in the freezer for a future quick meal. Click here to see the recipe.
Julie Ruggirello is the Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @TDMRecipeEditor.