Crisp fall days are upon us, and if you’re like most people, you’ve let go of that lazy end of summer vibe and are now into full-on rush mode. Too busy for dinner? Think again… We have you covered with these delicious, warm, could-even- be-eaten-for-breakfast muffin tin meals. These tasty little bites are a snap to make, freeze beautifully, and are the perfect dinner or snack for your hungry posse: Chicken Pot Pie, Zucchini & Leek Baked Noodles, and Turkey Meatloaf. Your family will thank you.
Chicken Pot Pie
Pot Pie Filling:
2 tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tbs. all-purpose flour
3/4 C. whole milk, at room temperature
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 C. grated Parmesan
1 small store-bought rotisserie chicken breast, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1 C. meat)
2 C. of a mix of… peas, diced carrots, onions, celery and red peppers
All-purpose flour, for dusting
Two 10-inch round unfold-and-bake frozen pie crusts, thawed
1 large egg
Special equipment: 12-cup muffin pan; 3-inch round cookie cutter; 2-inch round cookie cutter
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 12-count muffin pan with vegetable oil cooking spray. Set aside.
For the pot pie filling: Melt the butter in a 1-quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Simmer over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thick and smooth, about 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the salt, pepper, Parmesan, chicken and vegetables.
For assembly: On a lightly-floured work surface, roll out the dough 1/8-inch thick. Using the 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 12 pieces of dough. Using the 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out another 12 pieces of dough. Press the large rounds of dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spoon the sauce into the pastry.
Combine the egg and 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl, using a fork. Brush the edges of the pastry with the egg mixture and place the remaining pieces of dough on top. Lightly press the edges of the dough together to seal. Press around the edges of the pies using the tines of a fork. Brush the tops of each pie with the beaten egg. Cut a 1/2-inch-long slit into the top of the pies using a paring knife. Bake until the tops are golden and the filling is bubbling, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and serve.
Zucchini Leek Baked Noodles
3 large eggs
1 lb. egg broad egg noodles, cooked
1 tbs. olive oil
3 medium leeks (white and light green parts only), diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
8 large zucchini, coarsely grated
6 scallions, trimmed and chopped
2-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs. Add noodles to eggs and toss to coat. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring for two minutes. Stir in garlic. Add zucchini and cook for 4 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in scallions, salt and pepper. Add vegetable mixture to noodles and mix well. Spoon mixture into muffin cups. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until top is firm to touch. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm.
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
½ C, finely diced celery
½ C. thinly sliced white mushrooms
1 C. finely diced carrots
¼ C. ketchup
1 ¼ lbs. ground turkey
2 egg whites
½ cup bread crumbs
2 cloves of crushed garlic
Ground black pepper
¼ C. ketchup
¼ C. bbq sauce
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Liberally coat a muffin tray with oil spray and set aside.
Heat oil in a large nonstick pan and sauté the onions, celery, mushrooms, and carrots over medium heat until soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and allow the vegetables to cool to room temperature. Add ¼ C. ketchup and stir to combine.
In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, egg whites, cooled vegetables, crushed garlic, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper. Using your hands, combine the ingredients until they are fully incorporated. Divide the meat mixture between 12 muffin cups. Spread a spoonful of the combined bbq and ketchup mixture over each muffin. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
Cooked mini meatloaves may be individually wrapped and frozen for up to 2 months.
[Photo Credit: Courtesy of A Cozy Kitchen]