4 Smartly Portioned Treats Made in a Muffin Pan

I’m all about getting the most out of your kitchenware. Make it earn its keep! "Muffin” may be in the name, but I use my muffin pan for so much more than baking muffins. From the savory to the truly unexpected, use your muffin pan to make perfectly portioned everything! Here are five surprising things you can make in a muffin pan.

Turkey and Veggie Meatloaf Minis

Surprising Things You Can Make in a Muffin Pan: Turkey & Veggie Meatloaf Minis
Courtesy of Hungry-Girl.com

You don't need a loaf pan to whip up flavorful meatloaf! These minis are adorable and easy to serve. For a delicious twist, "frost" with mashed potatoes (here's how I make mine low in calories) and garnish with peas and carrots—it's like a cupcake in disguise!

1/9th of recipe (1 mini meatloaf): 142 calories, 5.25g total fat (1.5g sat fat), 494mg sodium, 9g carbs, 1.5g fiber, 4g sugars, 14g protein

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 9 cups of a 12-cup muffin pan with foil baking cups, or spray them with nonstick spray.

2. Grate 1 small onion into a large bowl. Add 1 1/4 pounds raw lean ground turkey, 3 cups roughly chopped broccoli cole slaw, 1/2 cup (about 4 large) egg whites or fat-free liquid egg substitute, 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats, 1/4 cup ketchup, 2 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon salt. Thoroughly mix.

3. Evenly distribute mixture among the muffin cups. Top each cup with 1 teaspoon ketchup.

4. Bake until firm with lightly browned edges, 30 to 35 minutes.

Personal Blueberry Pies

Surprising Things You Can Make in a Muffin Pan: Personal Blueberry Pies
Courtesy of Hungry-Girl.com

Step aside, pie pan! With a muffin pan, portion control is no problem. And you don't have to worry about slicing your pie into perfectly even pieces. With the right ingredients, you'll have itty-bitty desserts for under 200 calories.

1/6th of recipe (2 mini pies): 167 calories, 5g total fat (1.5g sat fat), 349mg sodium, 28g carbs, 1.5g fiber, 12g sugars, 2.5g protein

1. In a small nonstick pot, combine 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch with 1/3 cup cold water. Stir to dissolve. Add 2 cups blueberries (fresh or thawed from frozen), 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar, 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/8 teaspoon salt.

2. Set heat to medium. Stirring frequently (mixture will boil), cook until thick and gooey, 16 to 18 minutes.

3. Transfer to a medium bowl, and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray.

4. On a lightly floured cutting board, roll or stretch out 1 package of refrigerated Pillsbury Crescent Dough Sheet into a large rectangle of even thickness, at least 12” x 9”. Evenly cut dough into 12 squares. 

5. Place each square in a muffin cup, and press it into the bottom and up along the sides. Bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.

6. Let cool completely, about 15 minutes.

7. Distribute blueberry mixture among the dough cups.

Alternative: If you can't find the Recipe Creations dough, go for Pillsbury Reduced Fat Crescent roll dough. (The products are nearly identical.) Then firmly pinch/seal up the perforations for a seamless sheet.

Corn Dog Muffins

Surprising Things You Can Make in a Muffin Pan: Corn Dog Muffins
Courtesy of Hungry-Girl.com

These are technically muffins, but they’re savory muffins! Perfect for kiddos and adults. And while we're talking about satisfying savory bites straight from your muffin pan, try this: During the holidays, bake stuffing in a muffin pan for individual servings!

1/8th of recipe (1 muffin): 137 calories, 1g total fat (<0.5g sat fat), 660mg sodium, 25.5g carbs, 1g fiber, 3g sugars, 9g protein

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 8 cups of a 12-cup muffin pan with foil baking cups, or spray them with nonstick spray.

2. In a large bowl, mix 2/3 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal, 2 tablespoons spoonable no-calorie sweetener (like Truvia, or another no-calorie sweetener about twice as sweet as sugar), 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

3. In a medium bowl, thoroughly mix 1 cup canned cream-style corn, 1/2 cup (about 4 large) egg whites or fat-free liquid egg substitute, and 1/4 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt. Transfer to the large bowl, and stir well.

4. Chop 5 extra-lean hot dogs (45 calories or less each), and stir into the contents of the large bowl. Evenly distribute batter among the 8 lined or sprayed cups.

6. Cut 2 more hot dogs into a total of 24 coins. Place 3 coins on top of each muffin cup.

7. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 28 to 30 minutes.

Alternative: If you prefer sugar to no-calorie sweetener, you’ll need twice as much. If made with 1/4 cup sugar, each serving of this recipe will have 162 calories, 29g carbs, and 9g sugars.

Another Alternative: If you like all-natural hot dogs, try Applegate Natural Uncured Hot Dogs in either Turkey, Chicken, or Beef.

Maple Bacon Pancake Poppers

Surprising Things You Can Make in a Muffin Pan: Maple Bacon Pancake Poppers
Courtesy of Hungry-Girl.com

Pancakes don’t have to be flat! Put that fork away and pick up a few pancake poppers. They're perfect for breakfast on the go! Mix in berries, chocolate chips... even bacon. Break out your mini muffin pan and indulge in breakfast.

1/6th of recipe (4 poppers): 123 calories, 3.5g total fat (1g sat fat), 372mg sodium, 16.5g carbs, 1.5g fiber, 0.5g sugars, 5g protein

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 24-cup mini muffin pan with nonstick spray.

2. Cook 3 slices center-cut bacon or turkey bacon until crispy, either in a skillet over medium heat or on a microwave-safe plate in the microwave. (See package for cook time.)

3. In a large bowl, combine 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 3 packets natural no-calorie sweetener (like Truvia), 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mix well.

4. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, microwave 2 tablespoons light whipped butter or light buttery spread for 15 seconds, or until melted. Add 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/4 cup (about 2 large) egg whites or fat-free liquid egg substitute, 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 teaspoon maple extract. Mix until smooth and uniform.

5. Add mixture in the medium bowl to the large bowl. Mix until uniform. Evenly distribute into the muffin pan, and smooth out the tops.

6. Chop or crumble bacon, and sprinkle over batter. Lightly press to adhere.

7. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a popper comes out clean, 10 to 12 minutes.

8. If you like, top with sugar-free or lite pancake syrup.

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