With all the classic layers and flavour that make up the traditional version, lasagna cupcakes are much easier to make and, dare I say, so much more fun.
Why you’ll love it
Made in a muffin tin, these mini lasagna cups are everything you want in an Italian lasagna without the hassle.
- Wonton wrappers
- Simple meat sauce (all important)
- Ricotta “white sauce”
Made completely from scratch (with easy options), these are easy to make, fun party food.
Of course, we can’t forget the textures. If you’re the person that has to grab the corner piece of lasagna like I do, you’ll love how the edges of the wonton wrappers get all crispy in the oven.
Lasagna cupcakes are perfect for serving up at parties but they’re a few bites, so make sure to have little plates and napkins available.
Even making these mini lasagna cups from scratch doesn’t require too many ingredients, however, if you want to simplify them even further you can – see my notes below.
Detailed quantities and directions in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Wonton wrappers: You want white, square wonton wrappers. These are the perfect replacement for lasagna sheets. There is no need to pre-cook, they’re lighter but hold together and just happen to fit nicely into a muffin tin.
- Beef mince / ground beef: The meat of choice for the meat sauce is beef, however you can use any ground meat you like and even a combo. Pork and beef together are wonderful.
- Tomatoes: Use crushed tomatoes so there is less chance of big chunks of tomato taking up all the meaty sauce space. See more below but you can replace this along with some other ingredients for a store-bought sauce, if you don’t feel like making your own.
- Onion, garlic, oregano: These all provide hits of flavour to take this sauce to another level.
- Red wine: This is optional and you can leave it out altogether but it does add something special to the sauce.
- Tomato paste: This adds extra flavour and a little sweetness too.
- Milk: Milk has a two-fold job here. It tenderises the meat whilst also adding a light creaminess to the sauce.
- Cheese: In these, we use two types of firm cheese – mozzarella and parmesan. Mozzarella provides a classic cheesy gooeyness while parmesan adds flavour.
- Ricotta: The third cheese we use is ricotta. This is combined with a little parmesan, salt and pepper to create a super simple ‘white sauce’ layer. If you don’t like ricotta, you can make a simple bechamel using the recipe from my chicken lasagna or buy store-bought bechamel too.
I really urge you to make the meat sauce from scratch. It’s very easy and has a lovely flavour but if you really don’t want to do that, you could replace the meat sauce ingredients with a good jar of pasta sauce. Make sure it has some herbs and garlic in there and just cook the beef, then add the sauce and heat through.
Tools you’ll need
- A frying pan or skillet
- A standard muffin tray or silicone muffin tray
- Round cookie cutters or a glass
How to make lasagna cupcakes
These little lasagna cups are both simple and fun to make.
See the recipe card below for the full recipe details.
- Mix together ricotta, parmesan, salt and pepper (photo 1) and set aside.
- Cut some wonton wrappers into rounds (photo 2) leaving some square (photo 3).
- Soften some onion and garlic in a pan, then add the beef mince (photo 4). Cook until it’s brown all over then add the red wine (photo 5). Let that reduce, then add the remaining sauce ingredients (photo 6). Simmer for a few minutes.
Once the sauce has thickened, you’re ready to assemble
- Spray your muffin tin with just a little spray oil, then push a square wonton wrapper into the base of each hole (10 only).
- Into those add a little meat sauce, followed by the ricotta (photo 8).
- Now add a little mozzarella, then top that all off with a circle wonton wrapper (photo 9), then repeat the process again.
- Finally, top with another circle wrapper, then add a little ricotta and mozzarella to the top (photo 10).
You will have leftover meat sauce. This is due to the size of a can of tomatoes and my preference to use the whole thing rather than throw some out. Never fear! This sauce freezes well, so you can save it for cooking through pasta for a simple dinner. There will be about 1/3 of the sauce left.
I serve mine either with a little scattering of chopped parsley or basil or, like I have here, with a drizzle of fresh basil pesto.
Tips and tricks
- Layer quantity: My silicone muffin trays are deeper than the regular muffin tin holes but they are also a little skinnier. You should still be able to get the 3 layers in a regular muffin tin but make sure you’re pressing each layer down so the sauce is spreading out.
- Get ahead: The meat sauce and ricotta mixture can be made the day before you want to bake them. The meat sauce can also be made and frozen for a later date.
- Cutting the wonton wrappers: Use the top of your muffin tin to select the circle cookie cutter that will be the right size, or you can cut around an glass upturned onto the wonton wrappers.
- Lasagna cupcakes are best served fresh.
Reheating your lasagna cupcakes
To reheat any leftovers (lucky you!), just preheat your oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced. Place the lasagna cups back into the muffin tray and cook for 10-15 minutes until warmed through.
Lasagna cupcakes may be small but they’re mighty on flavour and even though they’re fairly quick to make, they’ll disappear even quicker.
If you try this lasagna cupcakes recipe, please take a moment to leave a rating and comment below. I love hearing from you and it helps other readers too! You can also take a photo and tag @sugarsaltmagic on Instagram.
More appetiser recipes you’ll love
- Feta Saganaki
- Sundried Tomato Pesto
- Oven Baked Barbecue Chicken Wings
- Bolognese Pull-apart Sliders
- Mini Chicken Pot Pies
- Chorizo Arancini
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Mini Lasagna Cupcakes
- 30 small wonton wrappers (4" square)
- 1 cup grated mozzarella
FOR THE MEAT SAUCE
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ small onion, grated
- 250 g beef mince (ground beef) (90z)
- 2 tablespoons red wine (optional) (8tsp / notes 1 & 2)
- 1 tin (400g / 14oz) crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons milk (8 tsp / notes 1)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste (8 tsp / notes 1)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
FOR THE RICOTTA
- 1 ¼ cups smooth ricotta (full fat)
- ⅓ cup grated parmesan
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 200C / 400F / 180C fan forced. Lightly spray muffin tin with oil spray.
- Cut 20 wonton wrappers into a circle using a large cookie cutter matching the size of the muffin holes or by cutting around an upturned glass.
TO MAKE THE MEAT SAUCE
- Place a saucepan over medium heat, add a little oil, then add the onion and garlic and saute, stirring for about a minute.
- Add beef mince and saute while breaking up with a wooden spoon until browned all over.
- Add the red wine and bring it to a simmer for one minute before adding the rest of the sauce ingredients (tomatoes, milk, tomato paste oregano and salt) and mixing well. Simmer for another 5 minutes until thickened and remove from the heat.
FOR THE RICOTTA
- In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta, parmesan, salt, and pepper.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
- Push one square wonton wrapper into the bottom of each muffin hole so that the points stick out the top.
- Add roughly two teaspoons of meat sauce to each, then a teaspoon or so of ricotta mixture. Sprinkle over a little mozzarella then top with a round wonton wrapper and press down lightly.
- Repeat these layers a second time, then on the the top wonton wrapper, spread over another teaspoon or so of the ricotta mix, then sprinkle over the remaining mozzarella.
- Bake for 20-24 minutes or until golden and the edges are crunchy.
- Let them cool for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh parsley or pesto.
- I like to sit them on a sheet of paper towel before transferring to plates to soak up any oil which may still be clinging to the outside.
- I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon = 4 teaspoons worldwide
- Red wine: You can swap this for water, stock or leave it out altogether.
- There will be leftover meat sauce – about ⅓ of the mixture. This can be frozen for up to 3 months for later use and will coat 1 large or 2 regular serves of pasta.
- You must use wonton wrappers. Pre-made refrigerated lasagna sheets are too thick and won’t cook in this time, or be so easy to eat.
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