Jumbo Muffin Pan Meals

triciaeOctober 20, 2012

We are not large eaters. We enjoy leftovers but two days in a row are usually enough from one meal. So, for years I've packaged meals for the freezer in single-size servings that we can grab for lunch or dinner. I freeze entrees, sides, & desserts. Many times we each choose something different for our meals.

Now though I'm wanting even less to eat & a traditional meal with entree and a side or two is just too much. For instance, last night we cooked 6 oz. of fish & had leftovers. They are starting to accumulate in the fridge. :(

I keep seeing recipes that are made in muffin pans but I don't care for the ingredients (packet of this, can of that...). I want to be able to grab one from the freezer & have it be a complete meal. Just making our normal things but smaller serving sizes we've used jumbo muffin pans for:


Mac 'n Cheese w/Ham/Spinach

Scalloped Potatoes/Ham/Spinach

Chix Pot Pies (from scratch)

Chix Enchilada Verde (including a few black beans)

What else can I make in muffin pans for the freezer that's a complete meal?

Thanks for suggestions.

/tricia (Look at me...I learned how to do bold!)

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Oops, forgot to mention that meals have to be moist otherwise I chock so needs some kind of sauce in that muffin tin thing.


    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 6:03PM
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Congratulations on the bold!
How about some things that are usually served on rice? I'm thinking that picadillo, one of our standbys, could be made wetter than usual and frozen either with a layer of rice on the bottom, or with rice mixed in.
Curries would work that way too.
There's shepherd's pie.
Any substantial soup with vegetables and a few beans. Soupe au Pistou from Mastering the Art of French Cooking is a favorite of ours.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 6:16PM
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Meatball stew
Unstuffed cabbage (chopped cabbage and onions, ground beef, rice and tomatoes)
Sausage and eggplant soup
Chicken tetrazzini
Borscht with beef, beets and cabbage
Minestrone soup

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 6:39PM
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I would also freeze some "gravy" in mini muffin tins....to go with the other muffin tin meals, in case they are too dry.
Therea re many good suggestions, things like creamed chicken and mushrooms, chicken or shrimp curry, beef and mushrooms....all to be served over rice....with a "side of gravy"! LOL!
Soups and things like chili are a no brainer...
When my MIL was in the nursing home and having difficulty swallowing...ultimately she was served pureed food....but before that things were finely minced and there was a little container of chicken broth on the table, to make things "soupier". She couldn't swallow normal mashed potatoes or baked potato....but with added broth, she enjoyed them.
A little container of a lovely chicken or beef broth would be very nice....and could be frozen in muffin tins or ice cube trays.
Linda c

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 8:01PM
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It will be so easy for you to also do italics! Just like bold except use an i instead of a b.

If you don't like or can't tolerate canned cream soup, try the recipe below. I made it with potato starch when my daughter was trying to avoid gluten. It was so good!

This is the Mushroom Bechamel Sauce from Robert St. John's Deep South Staples (or how to survive in a southern kitchen without a can of cream of mushroom soup)

Mushroom Bechamel Sauce

1 Tbl olive oil, light
1/2 cup onion, minced
1/4 cup shallot, minced
1/4 cup celery, minced
2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic, granulated
1/2 tsp thyme, dry
10 oz Mushrooms, cleaned, sliced (4 cups)
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup flour
1 cup whipping cream

Heat oil in 3 quart saucepot over low heat. Add onions, shallots, celery, and salt. Cook vegetables until tender. Add mushrooms and increase heat to medium. Cook 10 minutes, stirring often. Add chicken broth, garlic, and thyme. Bring back to a simmer and cook 10 more minutes.

In a separate skillet, make a light-blond roux by melting butter and stirring in flour. Add to the simmering broth mixture. Cook 3-4 minutes and add cream. Freezes well.

Yield: 2 quarts.

You can freeze the bechamel sauce to use whenever a recipe calls for a can of cream soup.

This thread is making me want to buy a jumbo muffin pan!

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to Robert St. John Mushroom Bechamel

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 1:26AM
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um . . . are you getting enough calories? That doesn't sound like very much food . . .

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 1:29AM
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I make meatloaf, it freezes well.
The muffin tins are just the right size.
Beef meatloaf
Turkey meatloaf
Chicken meatloaf.
I do that all the time. That way Leland and I have portion control on our meals.


    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 10:28AM
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I did a search on "meals made in a muffin tin" and there are seemingly "tons" of great ideas and recipes out there. I'm going to give this adult-version of Mac and Cheese a try. I have a lonely box of frozen spinach I need to use ;-).


Here is a link that might be useful: Emily Bites - Mac & Cheese Muffins

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 10:44AM
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One more thought.... How about converting Betty Crocker - Bisquick Impossibly Easy Pie recipes to muffin tins. They even have a selection of recipes for Impossibly Easy Mini Pies, and many of the regular recipes could easily be converted. -Grainlady

Here is a link that might be useful: Betty Crocker - Impossibly Easy Mini Pies

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 11:09AM
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Some good ideas here. Again, I'm looking for a complete meal so I don't have to eat anything else...just that muffin size thing. I already make meatloafs, etc. in serving sizes but it's not a complete dinner so DH yips at me for not eating my veggies. :(

The cabbage sounds like it has several possibilities. I'll play around with that.

Soups I already make/package & they are easy to just take a small serving so I think I'm okay on those.

Rice? Do you think rice would unmold frozen without falling apart? Probably, because I'd have to make it really moist. I gag on rice and it's hard to cough up all the little bits.

Lindac, your idea to freeze ice cube trays of broth is good. I can see where that would be helpful with many meals.

grainlady, I'm already doing the Mac 'n Cheese w/Spinach but I also add some ham to bump the protein since serving size is quit small. They're very good. Easy to eat. One of my favorites.

I think there could also be something that turns up on John's meat pie thread that I can use also. Just make them smaller.

John, I fill in calories on days I just don't want to eat anything with those gawd awful Ensure cans. Since on those days I can't hardly taste anyway it doesn't matter if they're awful. They're easy.

I need to make Shepherd's Pie. Those would be good. I'm also wondering if I could somehow make a pot roast with veggies and bind it together to form in the muffin pan with a bit of my homemade Bisquick-type mix? Then, bake them off as needed. I'm pretty sure that will work...just need to make the pot roast.

I'm really looking for things that come out still looking like a muffin when ready to serve.

Keep thinking friends. There's got to be lots of things that could be cooked into a muffin.

I've even wondering if I could convert a beirock (runza) type thing? Beirocks used to be one of my favorite lunches. Not a complete meal but would be good.


    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 11:20AM
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Look what my little eye did spy....
"The Muffin Tin Cookbook" (see link below)

Taste of Home- Mini Shepherd's Pies http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Mini-Shepherd-s-Pies

After about an hour of plinking around on the computer, I now have a folder with 25 new recipes in it, all using a muffin tin. I thank you for bringing the subject up. I've used muffin tins for many things, but after finding all these recipes, my muffin tin has a lot more work ahead of it ;-).


Here is a link that might be useful: The Muffin Tin Cookbook

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 6:25PM
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I was thinking that a Shepherd's Pie would be good!!

I've made some potato stacks in it, with cheese and cream, but that's not a full meal. Sorry Tricia.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 6:35PM
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I've given up on the Pats. Fair weather fan today, I guess. So I'm back checking this thread.

grainlady, Impossible Pies are pefect! I'll be playing around with those for sure. I also ordered a Kindle edition of both of those Muffin Tin Cookbooks you linked. Even if there's a few ingredients I either don't use or don't have, I think I can sub homemade versions. Thanks for your searching. Sounds like you're thinking along similar lines. It is easy portion control with variety.

Tonight, I had one of my muffin cup chicken pies with a side of make ahead chicken gravy - thanks Lindac! Perfect dinner. DH had two plus a green salad so it worked for us both.

I think I've got the basics in storage to make many combinations. It's going to be my winter project to relearn how to feed myself.

We cooked a 4.5 lb. well seasoned rump roast today to 125 degrees & sliced wafer thin on our electric slicer. With the au jus for dipping and a moist homemade roll I'm hoping that will work.

I'm starting to think I can make various items in mini-muffin tins for variety at one meal too. I think I can stick most anything together with a couple tablespoons of my homemade Bisquick-type mix thinned out a bit.

I'll start taking pictures of the cute little things. I bet it's not just me that would enjoy the size & convenience even if you're not dealing with Sjogren's.


    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 7:41PM
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I want to try some Muffin Pan meals. What brand jumbo muffin pan are y'all using? Are you using metal or silicone? Are there sizes of "jumbo" muffin pans or do they all hold about the same amount?

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 8:57PM
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Tricia, this is a great thread. I always liked the idea of muffin pan meatloaf, etc. But the small size made me wonder if it was worth the trouble. For some reason I never thought of using my jumbo muffin pans. They'd be the perfect size. And thanks to Grainlady for the links and Linda for the gravy idea. I specially like the homemade impossible pies idea. I'm gearing up to make my own homemade "Bisquick" mix.

The muffin pan meals or dishes would be perfect for when I'm exhausted or under the weather. Last week I was horribly sick, and my poor husband had to do the cooking. He's really good at plain brown rice, melted cheese toast and scrambled eggs, but anything else is harder for him. Having some muffin pan meals would have been a real help.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2012 at 10:01PM
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Maybe you could make your beirocks by using crescent roll or Grands biscuit dough to line the jumbo muffin cup then add your filling recipe, bake and freeze. I'd have to add some American cheese on top of mine - love cheese melted in with my beirock filling. You could also try them with the Impossible biscuit batter in the cup, then filling added, with another bit of the biscuit batter on top.

This would be similar to the BBQ Cups that I made for my boys when they were little. Since I don't have a jumbo muffin tin, I would probably eat two (or more) of them for a meal....that's my reasoning. ;o)


    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 8:56AM
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Vegetable timbales come out in a muffin shape. Although I make them in custard cups and steam them, you could probably use a greased muffin tin set in a pan of hot water and bake them. I've made the same recipe with chopped broccoli and leftover ground ham mixed in too.


2 (10 oz.) packages frozen chopped spinach
4 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
Cheese or hollandaise sauce, if desired

Cook spinach according to package directions; drain thoroughly. In small mixer bowl, beat eggs until foamy. Stir in cooked spinach and remaining ingredients except sauce. Divide mixture between 5 greased 6 oz. custard cups.

Place cups on a rack in a 10" skillet. Fill skillet with hot (not boiling) water to 1/2". Put a loose piece of foil over the cups, shaped so that the steam drips back into the pot instead of on the custard cups. Cover with lid and cook over medium heat for 18 to 22 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Loosen edges with knife; unmold. If desired, serve with sauce. Makes 5 (1/2 cup) servings.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 9:28AM
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