Thursday, July 26, 2012

Kid-Friendly Fare: Lasagna Cups & Meatballs on a Stick

Let's face the facts. When you're preparing dinner for little ones, sometimes it can feel like an episode of Chopped. Yep, that's one of my favorite shows on the Food Network. :) Some nights I feel like I am struggling to pull something together that the boys will decide looks good enough to eat, before they even give it a try. Kids can be some of the toughest critics! Preparing meals that taste good is important, but presentation is definitely a key component too. When I saw this idea on Pinterest from the catching fireflies blog over the weekend for mini lasagnas, I knew I had to try it. How much fun is lasagna in a little single-serve cup form?!? I thought it looked fun enough for the boys and tasty enough for hubby and me. I was not disappointed. These were super easy to make and took much less time to cook than a traditional pan of lasagna. Score! I have realized recently that with two hungry little guys waiting for dinner, at my feet nonetheless, to be ready every night, quick meals are a must. I had originally planned to add meat to my lasagna cups (to make sure they would be hearty enough for hubby and the boys), but Ethan had told me earlier in the day that he wanted meatballs instead, so I thought meatballs on a stick would be a fun alternative to putting the meat in the lasagna cups. :)

Lasagna Cups
Makes 12 cups

  • 24 won ton wraps (I used 6 egg roll wraps cut into fourths)
  • Spaghetti sauce (small jar will be enough)
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Italian seasoning
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Spray a muffin tin (I used a standard size tin for 12 muffins) with Pam. Place one won ton wrap in each cup. Next, put a spoonful of sauce in each cup. Add a spoonful of ricotta cheese on top of this.

Sprinkle the grated parmesan cheese on top. Add about 1/8 cup (large pinch) of the shredded mozzarella on top of this.

Repeat with another layer of won ton wrap, sauce and cheeses. Sprinkle some Italian seasoning on top.

Bake for 18 minutes, or until edges of the wraps become lightly browned and crispy. Let cool for a couple of minutes, then slide them right out onto plates. Plan for 1-2 cups for kids and 2-4 for adults.

Meatballs on a Stick
Makes 12 to 16 meatballs

  • 3/4 to 1 pound ground beef (I use lean)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 slice of bread, torn into crumbs (I use whole wheat sandwich bread)
  • Desired seasonings - I use thyme, oregano, Italian seasoning, minced onion, garlic powder, salt, black pepper and ground red pepper (about ~ 1/2 to 1 1/2 tsp each)
  • Panko bread crumbs
  • Spaghetti sauce, if desired
Preheat an indoor grill pan to medium heat and drizzle with a little EVOO. Using your hands, mix the beef, egg, bread and seasonings until well blended.

Form into 12 to 16 equally sized meatballs. Place 4 meatballs on to each wooden skewer. Sprinkle the meatballs with a small amount of panko bread crumbs.

Place the skewers in the grill pan, rotating them as they brown. Cook until meat is no longer pink in the middle.

Serve with a dish of spaghetti sauce for dipping, if desired. Plan for 1-2 meatballs for kids and 3-4 for adults.

We all enjoyed this fun meal and it will be one we keep in the rotation. I love when I have two happy campers after dinner! What fun spins do you put on traditional dishes to appeal to your kids?


  1. This food looks amazing! And like something I might be actually able to pull off?? Also, tried to find your e-mail so I could contact you directly, but I nominated you for The Sunshine Award today!
    I adore your blog :) Check it out!

    1. Thank you so much!! You can definitely pull it off! :)

      Thank you so much for the award nomination!! It is very much appreciated and means a lot coming from someone whose blog I love to read! I am still working on my post now. :)


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