Baked lasagna cups  are my attempt to make dinner feel like dinner – yet easier, please. Dinnertime in the current state of the world looks a little differently than this same time last year. For example, Americans are now eating 93% of their dinner meals at home compared to 81% in Spring 2019. Eating out at restaurants has slowed down due to closings and new restrictions. Staying at home to eat means that as a whole we’re cooking more, we’re doing more prep, and we are choosing more involved recipes. 

lasagna meatballs in a muffin tin

Maybe this is a good thing? But, in hearing from clients, they are SO tired of cooking, so maybe we’re asking too much of ourselves? For some, it starts with asking ourselves: What do we consider an acceptable family dinner? Must it include a “recipe?” Must it be “homemade?” Where did the definition of dinner come from? Our own experience with dinner growing up? What social media portrays as healthy? 

Lowering our bar might be the first place to start. These baked lasagna cups feel like dinner without any heavy dinner meal prep. PLUS, the most important piece of family mealtime is that we eat together – it has less to do with what is served, but who you eat with. 

McDaniel short-cuts have been more important than ever in our family; we love these baked lasagna cups made with store-bought flavorful chicken meatballs. They are simply prepped, but also fun to eat. We use these meatballs to make a flavorful meatball cup that is similar to a lasagna cup, but has more protein and less fat! These are perfect for a dinner that feels high quality, but doesn’t take as much time as a full classic lasagna.

Check out last week’s McDaniel Short-Cut Recipe: Rosemary White Bean Soup

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lasagna meatballs in a muffin tin

McDaniel Short-Cuts | Baked Lasagna Cups


  • Author: Jennifer McDaniel

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 T olive oil or cooking spray
  • 12 wonton wrappers
  • 1 1/2 c. ricotta cheese
  • 1 c. marinara sauce
  • 12 chicken or turkey pre-made (store-bought) meatballs – we used Aidells Italian and Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh basil for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a 12-cup standard muffin tin or coat with olive oil or cooking spray.
  2. Crumble or coarsely chop chicken meatballs.
  3. Fit wonton wrappers into each of the 12 muffin tins, pressing carefully to make sure there is an opening in the center.
  4. Fill each cup with 1 tablespoon ricotta cheese. Top with 1 tablespoon marinara and crumbled meatballs. Top with a bit more marinara sauce and cheese.
  5. Place into oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the wonton wrappers are golden brown
  6. Serve immediately, garnished with basil.

 

Jennifer McDaniel

Jennifer McDaniel is a Registered Dietitian, Media Spokesperson, and co-author of Prevention's Mediterranean Table Cookbook. She and her team of Registered Dietitians aim to help their clients go further, make change last, and unlock their potential. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband, and three young sons. If you are interested in working with Jennifer, please visit our contact page.