These little cuties are so far removed from a typical heavy, layered lasagna casserole that they deserve their own name. I tried to come up with a clever, original label, but failed. So, they remain lasagna somethings - lasagna minis? lasagna cupcakes? lasagna muffins? little lasagnas? lasagna bites? stacks of stuff? Whatever, just think of them as individual portions of your favorite layered pasta dish, lightened up and oh! so versatile.
I pinned a similar recipe a while ago, thinking I might try it someday. You know, that indefinite future time someday, meaning it might or might not ever happen. I didn't rush ahead, recalling painful memories of a frustrating wonton wrapper session years ago. That previous experiment with wonton ravioli did not end well. The ravioli were w-a-y too soggy, they oozed filling and fell apart as I moved them from pot to plate. Everyone politely ate their served portion, but no one requested seconds. Hmmm, think I might have overcooked those little packages of goodness? or didn't crimp the edges firmly enough? or overfilled them? or... or... or
Oven-baked wonton wrappers do make novel containers for dips and spreads (link), but their hard, brittle edges can be dangerous to unwary nibblers. I feature them occasionally for Happy Hour appetizers, but don't bother with them for family snacks. So much for history: sound the trumpets, this week layered wonton mini casseroles/cupcakes have moved onto my list of Favorite Things.
Version One began with a fairly standard lasagna with three layers of red meat sauce, several white cheeses, cooked kale and trimmed wonton wrappers instead of pasta noodles. Baked in large muffin tins at 375 F. for 20 minutes, then cooled for 5 minutes to firm up a bit (and to avoid scorching my mouth), these were easy to plate and quick to disappear. We filled up on two cupcakes apiece for dinner and polished off the remaining two for lunch the next day. Mmmmm, delicious both days; filling but not too heavy and greasy.
Version Two featured layered cooked kale, caramelized onions and roasted sweet peppers, stronger cheeses, a scattering of cooked and crumbled chorizo and dabs of oregano/pimenton-flavored Bechamel sauce. OMG, this was good; yet another tasty wonton cupcake/casserole, even without the traditional red sauce.
Why make Lasagna Wonton Cupcakes? After all, it takes an extra few minutes to trim the square wrappers into circles to avoid hard, crispy points. Well... they were pretty cute, portion control was easy, served plates are more attractive when sauce doesn't run all over, and individual cupcakes freeze well and can be made ahead. These are positive features, but it was really all about the taste. These little lasagna cuties were really good eats!
Lasagna Wonton Cupcake Recipes and Ideas
A Yummly page (link) has photos and links to several food.com recipes for lasagna cupcakes.
Tumblr has a colorful page of photos and links as well.
Or better yet, create your own recipe and let me know what you come up with. I'm ready to try a few more variations.