10 Clever Ways to Use Your Muffin Tins

Do you know your muffin pan?

You've got a multifunctional kitchen tool hiding out in your pantry, and it's called a muffin pan. And if you're only using it to make muffins, you're missing out on all the other things your muffin pan can do for you. In the video up top and the recipes below, Nicole McLaughlin, aka NicoleMcmom, demonstrates 10 different ways you can use a simple muffin pan to make everything from tortilla bowls to snack trays.

1. Sushi Cups

three portions of rice cups filled with ahi tuna sushi recipe on a plate
Pictured: Ahi Sushi Cups. Allrecipes

Wow your crows with these gorgeous appetizers. Simply press sushi rice into your muffins tins and fill them with a mixture of ahi tuna, cucumber, and avocado to make this recipe for Ahi Sushi Cups.

2. Tortilla Bowls

homemade tortilla bowls filled with ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions

Flip your muffin tin over to make edible tortilla bowls. Spray small flour or corn tortillas on both sides with cooking spray or olive oil spray, tuck them between the cups of your inverted muffin tins (you can fit about three tortillas to a standard 12-cup muffin tin), and bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for about 10 minutes or until they're golden and crispy. Fill with taco or burrito fixings and enjoy.

3. Cheddar Cheese Cups

cheddar cheese cup filled with bacon, lettuce, and tomato

Rounds of shredded Cheddar cheese are melted on a parchment-lined baking pan and then pressed over inverted muffin tins to form individual cups. In this recipe for BLT Cheese Cups, the individual cups are filled with bacon, lettuce, and tomato to make low-carb snacks, but you can fill them with whatever you like.

4. Mini Meatloaves

two mini meatloaves on a plate served with green beans and mashed potatoes

Kids and adults alike will love these Mini Meatloaves made by rolling up portions of meatloaf mixture and baking them in a muffin tin. Feel free to use your favorite meatloaf recipe.

5. Corn Dogs

corndog muffins on a tray with catsup and mustard in a dipping bowl

Cornbread mix and sliced hot dogs make these kid-friendly Corn Dog Muffins easy to put together and fun to eat. Serve a little dipping sauce on the side and go for it. These would be great in lunch boxes, too.

6. Individual Desserts

three Individual No-Bake Key Lime Pies on a plate

Make these Individual No-Bake Key Lime Pies in your muffin tin for an easy-to-serve dessert. No slicing necessary, and portion control is built right in.

7. Snack Plates

muffin tins filled with a variety of snack foods and dips: nuts, fruits, edamame, pretzels, candies, popcorn, and chocolate

Here's a clever way to serve up snacks. Fill the muffin cups with an array of nibbles such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, crackers, and dips, and let the kids help themselves. You can use this same concept for movie night, filling the muffin cups with popcorn, pretzels, and candies.

8. Mini Cookie Cups

chocolate chip cookie cup filled with vanilla ice cream and topped with chocolate syrup, whipped cream, candy sprinkles, and a maraschino cherry

How cute is this dessert idea! And so simple to make. Easy Cookie Cups are formed with refrigerated cookie dough baked in muffin tins. Once they're cooled, you can fill them with whatever you wish. For a party, you can bake the cookie cups ahead of time and set them out with ice cream and toppings so everyone can customize their own mini ice cream sundaes.

9. Breakfast Cups

breakfast granola cup filled with yogurt and mixed berries

Your muffin tray simplifies serving brunch to a crowd. You can go savory with Muffin Pan Frittatas, or go a little lighter with Breakfast Granola Cups (shown above).

10. Condiment Trays

array of condiments and toppings in a muffin pan

Got a Taco Tuesday coming up? Or a Build-Your-Own Hot Dog night? Instead of pulling out endless bowls to hold all the various fillings, toppings, and sauces, just fill muffin tins with everything your guests need and let them help themselves. You can prep the tins way ahead of time, cover the whole thing with plastic wrap, and pop it into the fridge until party time. Best part? Cleanup is a snap!

You can connect with Nicole as NicoleMcmom on Allrecipes and on Instagram @nicolemcmom.

More tips, tricks, and ideas from Nicole:

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