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Recipe: Savory Caramelized Onion and Herbed Turkey Cupcakes

I randomly stumbled upon the idea of lasagna cupcakes and was so overcome with excitement that I spent an entire Friday night assembling different flavors and testing proportions.  Here’s the answer I came up with:  they all taste good.  It’s lasagna!  What’s not to like about lasagna?!

The nice thing about this recipe is that the cupcakes are (surprisingly) very easy to handle without making a complete mess.  So, if you were hoping for a lasagna-style finger food, here’s your answer!

Here are some additional flavor ideas:

  1. Traditional Lasagna Bolognese: ground, lean turkey or beef, your favorite tomato sauce, part skim ricotta cheese, grated parmesan, thinly sliced mozzarella
  2. Pesto and Corn: any homemade basil pesto and corn (raw, fresh corn is preferable but frozen will do)
  3. Mushroom and Chive:  Sauté the mushrooms first and choose your sauce wisely (but I prefer just a little herbed ricotta cheese in lieu of the sauce)
  4. Butternut Squash and Sage: Thinly sliced butternut squash should be sautéed first or steamed and pureed.  It depends on the texture you want.  Either way, add a little nutmeg to the butternut squash to give it an extra burst of flavor.
  5. Spicy Chicken and Broccoli:  I prefer this recipe with a little goat cheese and the spicy from cayenne, paprika, crushed red pepper and oregano sautéed with the chicken.

*Always cook meat before using it in this recipe!

Savory Caramelized Onion and Herbed Turkey Cupcakes

Makes about 20 cupcakes

  • 1 package wonton wrappers (about 42, 3 ½” square wraps)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 Vidalia onions, sliced
  • 1 pound ground lean turkey
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, plus 1 tablespoon for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • ¾ cup tomato sauce
  • ¾ cup part skim ricotta
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup plain goat cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil or vegetable oil spray

Preheat the oven to 375°F and lightly grease 2 muffin tins.  You can leave the wonton wraps whole (square) or cut them to fit inside the tins – if you want to cut them, now is the time to do it!  Heat the oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and stir to coat them in oil.  Reduce the heat to medium (or lower to prevent burning) and cook the onions for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they’re an amber color but not crispy.  Remove from pan.

Add the turkey, garlic, thyme, cayenne, paprika, salt and pepper.  If you want the turkey to have a little more kick, add some crushed red pepper to taste.  Cook the turkey over medium for about 3-4 minutes, breaking up large pieces.  Remove from heat.

Layer 1-2 wontons in the bottom of each muffin cup (they can cross over each other).  Assemble each in your preferred order – I like to start with a layer of turkey with 1-2 teaspoons of sauce, then add another wonton wrapper, a layer of cheese, the onions, and then a sprinkle of parmesan and a few thyme leaves.  Repeat in your preferred order until all the cupcakes are made.

Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until the wontons are golden and tops are lightly browned.



144 calories ∣ 48 calories from fat ∣ 5 g fat ∣ 2 g saturated fat ∣ 14 g carbs ∣ 1 g fiber ∣ 9 g protein ∣ Good source of vitamin B6 ∣ selenium

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