This one is easy, cute, and continual crowd-pleaser. Everyone I serve it to always responds in a super impressed way. However, the appearance of these mini lasagnas is deceiving- in fact, the recipe is the farthest thing from complicated. All you need is some patience and a cupcake pan.
24oz lean ground turkey
28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 ½ large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 tsp dried Italian herbs of your choice
¼ cup cheap red wine
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil, as needed
6 cups shredded Mexican cheese mix
2 packs of square wonton wrappers (need 72 wrappers)
Set the oven to 375 degrees.
PAM a large-bottomed pan, and sauté the onion and garlic. Quickly follow with the turkey, by crumbling it between your fingers as you add it in; cook about 10 minutes on medium-high heat, occasionally stirring the meat to ensure it’s all cooked through. If PAM isn’t enough to keep the ingredients from sticking or burning, add a tbsp of olive oil to the pan.
Add the can of crushed tomatoes and your dried herbs. Throw in a sip of red wine, for depth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, and leave 10 minutes. Taste, to adjust if needed. S & P. Remove the pan from the heat, and set aside.
PAM your handy 12-cup cupcake baking trays. (Or if you’ve just the one, you can repeat the whole process after pulling your first cooked batch out of their baking cups). Open your package of wonton wrappers, and push 1 wrapper down into the bottom of each cup, so it’s pressed right up against the cup’s bottom and up the sides.
Spoon a little meat sauce mixture into the bottom of each cup, leaving space so a bit of the wrapper is visible around all sides.
Sprinkle liberally with cheese.
Working carefully, close the first layer and introduce a second by pushing a second wonton wrapper down around the meat & cheese filling and higher up the sides of each baking cup; this wrapper layer will reach out of the cups- rather than pushing these sides down, let them stay pointing up over the tops of the cups a little. Once cooked, you can easily remove each lasagne by taking gentle hold of this protruding crispy corners and pulling.
Repeat the meat & cheese filling process on the second layer. You can choose to leave the lasagna open, but I like to close them with a final layer, because then they not only more closely resemble regular lasagna, but biting into one is more of a juicy, savory surprise.
So, push a final wonton wrapper into each cup. Be careful to press it down on and around the second layer’s filling. Again, let the wrapper’s sides stay protruding from the cups. If you’d like, you can add a final light sprinkling of cheese (in this picture, I’d just added a thin shaving of parmesan to the tops of each lasagna).
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Let the lasagna cool somewhat, then remove them from the pan as described above, and serve!
24oz lean ground turkey- $4.00
28oz can crushed tomatoes- $1.00
1 ½ large onion- $1.00
4 cloves garlic- $0.30
¼ cup wine- $0.50
Italian herbs- pantry
salt and pepper- pantry
olive oil- pantry
24oz shredded Mexican cheese mix- $7.00
2 packs of square wonton wrappers- $6.00
24oz lean ground turkey- 960
28oz can crushed tomatoes- 210
1 ½ large onion, diced- 96
4 cloves garlic- 18
¼ cup red wine- 43
olive oil- 120
72 wrappers- 1440
The total meal cost is around $20– but that serves 12 people, and you’ll have some wonton wrappers leftover. Serving size is two little lasagna, which comes to around 440 calories per person. Make it dinner by adding a side of steamed broccoli with black pepper- which brings the meal to 470 calories per person.