All muffins, all the time. That's our new rallying cry, especially now that we’ve discovered muffins can be healthy. But did you know that your muffin pan is secretly a multitasking tool? Yes, really. Think beyond blueberry muffins and vanilla cupcakes, as this tin can make any number of single-serving meals and snacks.

There’s so much to love here: These recipes are portable, portion-size, and photogenic. (Instagram-worthy snacks on the go? Sign us up!) Plus, so many make easy party foods and can be made ahead of time.

Breakfast Bites

Muffin Tin: Breakfast Hash Brown
Photo: Damn Delicious

Here the veggie omelet gets hit with a shrink ray, and the skillet gets replaced with little hash brown nests. The result is these gorgeous little breakfast bites. Tip: To ensure the potatoes don't stick, squeeze out as much water as possible and oil the pan well.

Granola Cups
Photo: The Skinny Fork

Sweet and salty, nutty and fruity, granola is pretty much breakfast perfection. But it's also made our “dangerfood” list thanks to the fact that the store-bought stuff can be overloaded with sugar and calories. The solution is as easy as using your muffin pan for pre-portioned goodness. These granola cups are full of oats, chia seeds, cinnamon, and coconut.

Muffin Tin: Paleo Omelette
Photo: Freckled Italian

In the whirl of the morning rush, finding the time to make a proper protein-packed breakfast can feel impossible. Solution: Whip up a batch of these at the beginning of the week, then reheat them in the microwave for an out-the-door boost any weekday. Like a traditional omelet, this is a great way to use up whatever veggies you have lying around in the fridge.

Baked Oatmeal
Photo: The Hummusapien

Yup, this is the flip side of omelets to go. Bake up a pan of oatmeal on Sunday, and you'll have the trifecta of a perfect weekday breakfast—fast, healthy, delicious—all week long. It’s super easy to customize each cup with different toppings so you won’t get sick of this meal by the time Friday rolls around.

Bacon + Egg Toast Cups
Photo: The Noshery

Using a muffin pan to fashion toast cups is pretty much the best thing ever. And don’t fear getting piggy with it, saturated fat isn’t the nutritional monster it was once made out to be. Adding in a few eggs not only ups the protein and vitamin B, but it also brings some serious deliciousness to these lil' cups of heaven.

Impressive Appetizers

Muffin Tin: Crab Cakes
Photo: Joe's Healthy Meals

Frying crabcakes can be super frustrating—the cakes often fall apart and tend to soak up way too much oil. Result: grease stains on your cocktail napkin and a heavy belly. When you bake them in a muffin tin, however, they hold together perfectly and stay moist and light. Bring on the panko.

Muffin Tin: Southwestern Won Ton
Photo: Peas and Crayons

Won-ton wrappers are perfect, crispy little vessels for all things made in a muffin pan. These cups are filled with corn, beans, cheese, and topped with a creamy chipotle yogurt sauce.

Spicy Sriarcha Party Meatballs
Photo: Kelley & Cricket

These adorable meatballs are the ideal one-bite snack (although we bet you won't stop at just one). With an amazing homemade Sriracha dressing, the meatballs pack in tons of flavor. The recipe for the sauce might look long, but you'll be surprised at how many of the ingredients you already have on hand.

Bite-Size Comfort Foods

Muffin Tin: Mac n Cheese
Photo: Emily Bites

Anything made mini automatically becomes more playful. In this recipe, a portable, lightened-up version of mac n' cheese (childhood favorite) mixed in with greens (not a childhood favorite) makes the most perfect bite-size treat for any age. Indulge in all the cheesy goodness knowing it's already sensibly portioned.

Gluten Free Quinoa Pizza Bites
Photo: Wonky Wonderful

If you’re already on the mac n' cheese bus, put the pedal to the metal by adding pepperoni and sauce. Ta-da! It's mini pizzas. Or are they pastas? Either way, bring these to your next dinner party, and you’ll be everyone’s favorite guest.

Muffin Tin: Spaghetti and Meatballs
Photo: Clean Food Crush

This is more than just a pretty dish; with spaghetti squash, lean ground turkey, and cheese, these "cupcakes" are actually a filling and complete dinner. The cupcake shape also transforms pasta into the perfect party food. (Bet you can't say that about messy, loose noodles!)

Muffin Tin: Stuffins
Photo: Get off your Tush and Cook

World family peace is possible. You no longer have to fight to get the best pieces of stuffing—the crispy, toasty edges. With stuffins, those beautiful edges are part of every serving. You can make stuffins with almost any stuffing recipe, but this one is full of color and fall flavor.

Muffin Tin: Meatloaves
Photo: Fork and Beans

Cupcakes for dinner? Why not—especially when they're packed with flavor. Individual vegan cupcakes are topped with a dollop of mashed potato "frosting" to create the savory antidote to every bakery window. You may be tempted to put a candle on top.

Mini Desserts

mini apple pie
Photo: Laura Fuentes

Cake batter and muffin pans are an obvious combo, but it’s worth taking the path less traveled: pie in a muffin pan. That road ends with these amazing mini tarts. If you're a crust person, these will be particularly satisfying as the crust-to-filling-ratio is pretty much one-to-one. And while they are dessert, their miniature stature and good-for-you fillings mean they're rich with benefits.

Muffin Tin: Nut Butter Cups
Photo: My New Roots

As a kid trading Halloween candy, did you prize Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups above all else? Well, these cups are all treat and no tricks. And the only trading involves swapping in almond butter, which beats peanut butter in total fiber, iron, and vitamin E. Top with a sprinkle of sea salt and you'll never go back to the store-bought stuff again.

Muffin Tin: Cinnamon Baked Apples
Photo: Live Simply

Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free—these baked apples can please a crowd without bumping against common dietary restrictions. And using a muffin pan for the task is a stroke of genius: Each apple bakes in a well of its own juices, keeping the fruit soft and tender. There’s a reason "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" is a saying—apples are a great source of fiber and . Feel free to sub coconut sugar for the sucanat.

Kitchen Hacks

Muffin Tin: Minestrone
Photo: Super Golden Bakes

No one can argue that soup makes a filling and healthy lunch, but transporting soup in your work tote can test the limits of your Tupperware. This blogger found a genius solution: Freeze pucks of soup to make them easy to take on the road. You can use this trick for any number of soups, but the minestrone highlighted here, with protein-packed cannellini beans, lycopene-rich tomatoes, and folate-full leeks, is a great place to start.

Muffin Tin: Taco Salad Cups
Photo: Damn Delicious

Another appearance from those handy won-ton wrappers, the perfect, mini crispy salad bowl for these taco cups. Feel free to fill with any and all of your favorite taco salad toppings. Shredded cheese, sour cream, olives, tomatoes, onions, lettuce? Go crazy!

green smoothie cups
Photo: Organize Yourself Skinny

It’s a battle to up your greens intake, even if you’re a smoothie veteran. And the truth is, prepping and washing greens in the a.m. isn't the easiest way to become a morning person. Here’s a perfect work-around: Blend up these make-ahead smoothies, then freeze them in a muffin pan for ready-to-go portions. In the morning, you'll only need to drop a couple pucks into a blender with some coconut water for a shortcut shake. (Tip: Try this technique with any smoothie recipes.)

Originally posted February 2015. Updated September 2016.

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