Pasta Muffins

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These muffins were a pure experiment when I found myself with a limited time frame and a hungry husband and child. I snatched the leftover pasta and other ingredients, threw them together, plopped the mixture into muffin tins, and eight minutes later, I had two busy, delighted, and satiated boys.

What a tasty way to recycle, and reformat, leftover pasta! This recipe is so easy and effortless to concoct. Once cooled, place these muffins in plastic bags and freeze and keep them stashed for later when they can be warmed up in a microwave in seconds flat.

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Pasta Muffins (makes 12)

4 cups cooked pasta, tossed in cream, butter, or marinara sauce (if spaghetti, cut into about 2 inch strands)
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup cheese, shredded
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs (I like Italian seasoning)
1/4 – 1/2 cup cooked meat, finely diced (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease muffin cups with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, mix eggs, cheese, bread crumbs, and meat (optional).
3. Add mixture to pasta and toss.
4. Scoop pasta into muffin cups.
5. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
6. Allow to cool.
7. Remove from tins, serve, and enjoy!

Turkey Meatloaf Muffins

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These self-contained, portion-sized muffins are ready to be reheated at a moment’s notice. Top with spaghetti sauce or ketchup, Parmesan or breadcrumbs. These make an excellent dinner if you’re short on time. They also freeze well for quick meals on the run. To add a splash of color or sweetness, add dried cranberries or serve with a side of cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving dinner.

These muffins are especially tempting with crushed Ritz crackers on top. The sprinkle of Ritz makes an exciting impression and adds a taste that is buttery-delicious.

Tip: Use a fork to mix in order to aerate the mixture to produce a less-dense meatloaf.

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Turkey Meatloaf Muffins (makes 12)

1 Lb lean ground turkey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup bread crumbs (or 14 Ritz Crackers, crushed)
3/4 cup marinara sauce
1 tsp onion salt
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease muffin cups with olive oil or cooking spray, or line with paper liners.
2. In a bowl, combine turkey, egg, bread crumbs, marinara sauce, onion salt, and seasoning. With a fork or your fingers, mix all ingredients. (Use a fork to mix in order to aerate the mixture to produce a less-dense meatloaf.)
3. Distribute evenly into prepared muffin cups. Use a spoon or ice-cream scoop to pack each mound, for a more typical looking muffin-top and denser finished product.)
4. Bake for 30-35 minutes.