The in-laws were coming to visit, and I really didn’t want to cook anything too elaborate. I have to admit- we were in a rut. Sure, there are literally thousands of recipes on Pinterest, all recipes, etc. but I just wasn’t in the mood to cook. I had to grab some cheese sticks for the littles when inspiration struck in the refrigerated section of the grocery store!! I saw the package of three cheese ravioli in the “family pack”, and I knew what was for dinner.
It only took a few minutes to assemble and was ready to pop in the oven as soon as it reached temperature. A half an hour later, dinner was done. And even better than that- dinner was GOOD! There was just enough left over for my husband and I to take to work for lunch the next day. Sweet!!
- 1 lb ground beef, turkey, or Italian sausage
- 20 to 24 oz. package refrigerated cheese ravioli
- 12 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
- 24 oz. pasta sauce
- 2-3 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400*F.
- Brown and crumble meat in a skillet over medium high heat. Drain well. HINT: this can be done a day ahead. Just put it in an airtight container and store in the fridge until you’re ready to cook!
- Spray an 8″x8″ pan with cooking spray, then spread about 3 Tbsp sauce on the bottom. Layer ingredients (ravioli, meat, sauce, cheese), and repeat layers. Sprinkle grated Parmesan on top, if desired.
- Bake in center rack of oven until cooked through. Sauce should be bubbly, and cheese layer nicely browned at the edges, about 30 minutes. Let stand about 5 minutes (10 is even better), then dig in!
Toddlers are funny little people. One minute, they’re begging for broccoli and just when you set their plate in front of them, THEN they ask for cake. My little miss LOVES cupcakes. She calls them pancakes, but I know what she means. My little mister LOVES ketchup and will dip anything in it- even apples. And he loves hot dogs. They also have days where they eat hardly anything, and days I’d swear they had hollow legs! Well, today they ate four of these mini muffins, each. And that’s a LOT for a little tummy. They both said, “yum!” and little miss even said the ‘pancakes’ were ‘so pretty’. She’s got good taste!
This recipe is easy to pull together, takes literally 5 minutes to assemble, and tastes great to boot! I hope you love them as much as we did. They also freeze very well! Perfect for those crazy week nights!
Veggie Corn Dog Mini Muffins
- corn bread muffin mix that makes 6 regular sized muffins (I used Marie Callendar’s)
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tbsp butter, melted
- 1/4 cup finely shredded carrots
- 1/4 cup finely shredded zucchini
- 2 hot dogs, chopped
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly spray 20 of the cups in your mini muffin pan.
- Make corn bread according to package directions, using milk, egg and butter.
- Place shredded veggies in a clean towel or paper towel and twist/squeeze to get some water out. Stir into corn bread batter.
- Dollop about 1 tsp batter into each of the 20 greased cups. Use your clean finger or spoon to even it out in the cup.
- Add about 1 tsp chopped hot dog on top of the batter, then top that with another tsp of batter. If you have some left over, just distribute it among the cups. Use your clean finger or a spoon to make sure the hot dogs are covered with batter.
- Place in preheated oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until sides are golden brown.
- Let cool about 5 minutes, then remove from pan to a cooling rack. Serve warm with ketchup and/or mustard.
- To freeze, let cool to room temperature, then place in a zip top bag and remove as much air as possible. Freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat by baking on a foil lined and lightly greased tray at 400 for about 10 minutes.
These would be great chili toppers, too!!
Posted in Appetizers, Bread, Kid food!, Leftovers, Main Dishes, Vegetables
Tagged corn dog, hidden vegetables, hot dog, Kid food!, mini muffin, toddler