Big Bucks Lasagna Bites

most parents cherish memories of our child’s

First Day of School

photos are taken to capture the moment,

a few tears shed

(most often ours)

hands kissed and folded shut to keep the kiss from blowing away..

some small hands detached from legs with reassurances that

“you will love school”

and

“wait ’til you meet your teacher”

with both of my kids now graduated
from high school

i thought these moments would be fewer

and farther between

well, parents with young children,

you will be happy to know…

i was (not sadly) mistaken!

now i get to cherish memories of their

First Day of Work

of course, we had to shop for new clothes..

(something a little more appropriate for a “grown-up” job)

appointments were made to get hair just right
for this new and exciting world…

where they actually get paid “big bucks” for their “chores”

…and they actually do them!

schedules are rearranged

bus stops found and routes planned out

oh.. but there was one more detail…

someone needed to make lunch

*sigh*

some of you remember this post.. “Strawberry Fields Forever”

i wrote long ago, celebrating the end of

making school lunches

long before I became known as “Smidge”;)

yes, i know…

they do make their own lunch most days

except when they’ve slept past their alarm and

“i’ve” neglected to wake them up

i guess i’m making lunches again

apparently my job never ends

and i have to admit

…I’m so glad it doesn’t

I think a version of these little lasagna lunches have been floating around cyberspace for a while.. I’ve wanted to make my own version for some time, ever since I found these adorable little mozzarella pearls at Mercato West!

These Lasagna Bites are meltingly soft and cheesy straight out of the oven, but really “set up” nicely and that makes them really portable for travel. Add a green side-salad and you’ve got a great lunch!

I had a few left-over won tons.. so I just had to try them in my tart pans…

I knew they were a winner when my son checked to see how many more were baking in the oven…

“Big Bucks” Lasagna Bites
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
Cups
  • 454 g pkg won ton wrappers
  • (fresh vegetable section of our grocers)
  • vegetable cooking spray
Filling
  • 650 kg (1 1/2 lbs) extra-lean ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, chopped fine
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 400 ml tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pink peppercorns, crushed
  • 2 tbsp flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 500 gm ricotta
  • 2 tbsp flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 380 gm part-skim mozzarella
  • (you will have left-over)
  • medium chunk parmesan Reggiano, grated
  • 200 g pearl bocconcini
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, fry ground beef, onions, and garlic over medium-high heat until beef is thoroughly cooked and onions are lightly browned. Remove any additional accumulated fat. Stir in the remaining ingredients in order. Simmer over medium heat until mixture has thickened somewhat. Set aside once this is done.
  2. While the meat is simmering, lightly whip the egg with a fork in a medium-sized bowl. Stir in the ricotta. Add the parsley, salt and nutmeg and stir to blend thoroughly. Set aside.
  3. Line 24 muffin tins with won ton wrappers, using two wrappers for each cup. Try to “off-set” each of the two wrappers so that the sides of each cup has 8 “peaks”. This gives each cup more depth for filling.
  4. Spray lightly with a vegetable cooking spray.
  5. Using a small spoon, fill each cup approximately 1/3 full with the meat mixture, pressing to fill the cup. If there is a bit of runny sauce, push it off to the side and just use the meat.
  6. Then fill each cup with a spoonful of the ricotta mixture, pressing again to flatten the top.
  7. Sprinkle a small amount of mozzarella, followed by a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
  8. Top each cup with a few bocconcini pearls.
  9. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling, but not overly browned and the won ton wrappers have browned.
  10. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later.

 

 

  • Oh! Those pearls are so cute…perfect for stuffing dumplings or tarts, like you’ve done! Those lasagna tartlets look like they belong in a restaurant, you know.ReplyCancel

  • Wonderful photos – the kids are brilliant, both very likeness you there on the photos – and I love your bites …. I did bits myself – with duck … http://wp.me/p293Pw-cB – one of my first posts .. so not that exciting .. but brilliant bites. This will go on my file … easy to make too and impressive when being served.ReplyCancel

  • ACK!! Metrics! But this is a great way to do lasagna without going the big pan route. Cool! And welcome back from camp :)ReplyCancel

  • Oh these look very special!ReplyCancel

  • I’ve got one in each world… school and occupation. How fortunate you are to live near your big kids. I too, am glad we never fully take off our mothering hats.
    Love these mini lasagnes… great for a potluck or in mini muffin tins for hors d’oeuvres. clever.ReplyCancel

  • Gorgeous lasagna bites! They are the perfect golden color, too!ReplyCancel

  • well those are just so perfect, I adore small individual portions of anything and your food is so divine.. i am sure that your kids will never REALLY quite leave home.. love love cReplyCancel

  • LOVE the mozzarella pearls, just too gorgeous. It i\has been an age sine I last made individual lasagne’s – loving your recipe.
    Well spotted on the notifications tab.
    :-) MandyReplyCancel

  • Oh, there goes my virtual diet again Smidge! Shame on you! LOL! Come on, pass those virtual diet pills please! LOL! Great post and I can see they were absolutely yummy! Thanks for sharing the recipe again. You are one creative chef for sure. :)
    *hugs*ReplyCancel

  • Oh ho ho… what a feast and a treat for the eyes as always Smidge. Truly lovely… I just got a tub of Bocconcini and now I know what to do with it :-)ReplyCancel

  • Oh my dear Barbara, how seems beautiful, I can fly there… Loved it so much. Thank you, and also Thank you for beautiful poetical memories… took me too into the past years… Love, niaReplyCancel

  • So, if I go out and get myself a proper job again and then send you over my lunchbox, please could you fill it up for me?!ReplyCancel

  • Oh, man, as we sneak up on my oldest’s first day of Kindergarten this fall, I know I’m going to be a disaster – but I am sure I will cherish every tear streaked memory. And you make me so happy to hear that as the years fly by, my boys will still need their mommy – even if it’s for a delicious lunch like this. Good luck to your kiddo’s new job!ReplyCancel

  • I also am very fond of things in small, individual portions – and these lasagna bites are amazing!

    great that you get to play Mom so well and for much longer than high school times – with all this cooking, I bet they will never move too far away! ;-)ReplyCancel

  • Look at you breaking out the heart shapes. Very nice. Everything looks delicious as always.ReplyCancel

  • I love the hearts, and the little ones are just bundles of cheesy goodness waiting to be gobbled up. You’re making me hungry!ReplyCancel

  • Loving your post – the lasagna bites look yummy – thanks for sharing! Have a Great Day!ReplyCancel

  • Those are so cute, Smidge! Great post and I absolutely love those little balls of mozzerella! Have a great holiday! Out of interest, does my blog show up in your reader? I think I’m having some subscription problems – is a bit of a pain!ReplyCancel

  • This is such a cute post my friend – although my mummy is still going through the phase ;)
    Your pearls and lasagna looks utterly delectable :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip UruReplyCancel

  • These look so lovely – oh how I wish you were making my lunch! ;)ReplyCancel

  • Hope you had a great weekend. These look positively sinful, but I like them!ReplyCancel

  • Kammie

    These look fabulous! Such cute but yet delicious little bitesReplyCancel

  • These look scrumptious…will surprise my very picky food douche daughter with them one night soon. She’s home for the summer so I’m back to making more than lunch….ReplyCancel

  • Adorable pictures of your children Barb. I have a first day of school coming up for my youngest in September. She is SO excited about starting Junior Kindergarten! I read this post earlier in the day and I was so inspired by these lasagna bites that I could barely concentrate at work. This is such a creative recipe — nicely done!ReplyCancel

  • How awesome is that! I will have to try to make these soon! :)ReplyCancel

  • Jen

    What a beautiful idea and a nice way of portion control. Not sure that would apply to my lasagna loving husband hahaReplyCancel

  • Now that’s a lunch made with love. I think with children it doesn’t matter how old they get, we mothers love to keep mothering. I make lunch for my son who’s at Uni and my daughter who’s in her final year of school. Sure they could do it themselves and sometimes they do but I just love to know they’ve been set off for the day with some love and care. Great post Smidge and these look amazing – especially the heart shaped one! xxReplyCancel

  • I would love it if someone would make these for my lunch! They look delicious, not to mention pretty.ReplyCancel

  • These look delicious – what a good idea! I hope your “kids” loved them ;)ReplyCancel

  • How delicious, and clever, too. They make a great presentation. I loved the premise of sharing about the milestones of motherhood, Smidge. So much energy and emotion accompanies each stage, and aren’t we glad to still have roles. My children are in their thirties, and I still get to play mom occasionally! And this August my first grandchild enters school…she is ready, and her mom and I are not! Hope band camp was great! But glad you’re back :-) DebraReplyCancel

  • Looks absolutely delicious – dainty, but satisfying at the same time, which makes a perfect pack-away meal!ReplyCancel

  • The lasagna bites are gorgeous and what a good idea! I’ve made gluten free & dairy free lasagna that was very good (doesn’t sound like it, I know!) and I just found a recipe for gluten free won ton wrappers…I think I might just be able to do this recipe!

    My son is almost 20. When I dropped him off for the first day of pre-school he clung to my leg and cried his eyes out. Then, when he moved out after graduating high school to go to college and live with roommates, I felt like doing the same thing to him! But once I got used to the idea of not having him around all the time, I started to notice that he needs me and loves me just as much as he always has. He’s growing into a man and becoming more independent, but it’s nice to know that our kids never forget who their momma is!

    Have a lovely day ~ AprilReplyCancel

  • I just totally love this recipe Barb! I wish you could make my big girl lunches too. Congrats on the first jobs. And happy to know it doesn’t end. I got all teary with this one. :)ReplyCancel

  • I’ll trade you my peanut butter and banana sandwich for it!
    Yum! Definitely going to make these!ReplyCancel

  • These little lasagna bites look SO delicious! And they have such a beautiful presentation.ReplyCancel

  • What a wonderful mom you are! That is such a clever lunch idea, I might have to steal it :)ReplyCancel

  • These look delicious, Smidge! Can they be eaten cold or do they need to be zapped!ReplyCancel

  • What beautiful little hors d’œuvres Barbara. I just got back from a trip to NYC too…still catching up.ReplyCancel

    • Lucky you! NY is a mush more exciting destination than mine! I have 450 emails!! Aaahhhh!

      Sent from my iPhone

      ReplyCancel

  • Oh these look wonderful! I love making bite sized food with wonton wrappers. You should try pizza bites too, they are great for parties :)ReplyCancel

  • You’re such a good mum, Smidge! And doesn’t it all go past so quickly? Suddenly they’re all grown up…sigh..ReplyCancel

  • They look beautiful and tasty!
    I know what you mean; the work never ends, but is one we make delighted :)ReplyCancel

  • You find the best things to make and eat Smidge! You’re my kind of girl :) these look so good! Sound good too!ReplyCancel

  • Oh wow, I just LOVE the look and idea of this…brilliant! Delicious and fun to eat, and they’d make awesome appetizers, too. How clever you are!ReplyCancel

  • These would be perfect to serve at a party. I haven’t seen the pearls at our market…hopefully they are coming soon.ReplyCancel

  • I definitely understand the transition from school to work. After college, I found it so odd that I’d never have to take another exam or turn in another essay. No complaints, though! That’s so sweet that you still pack lunches once in a while. These mini lasagnas are adorable and sound SO good. I need those mozzarella pearls!ReplyCancel

  • I love those mozzarella pearls! Especially drizzled with good olive oil, mixed in with roasted tomatoes, and a little bit of fresh basil. Oh, and freshly ground pepper. Love those lasagna bites too…great appetizer!ReplyCancel

  • I love lasagna now but you just took it to a whole different level Barb lol. Yeah, you totally went there lol. Love it and definitely missed this placeReplyCancel

  • I’d not seen lasagna bites before, Barb, and these look fantastic! Using wonton wrappers for the base is really clever. When I have people for dinner, I always serve a primo piatto of pasta. My friends all like my lasagna but I don’t dare serve it because it is just too filling a dish. These bites, though, are the perfect solution. My friends can enjoy a “bite” or two without spoiling their dinner. You’re a genius, Barb!
    Martha who? :)ReplyCancel

  • What a perfect party food! So gorgeous and cocktail-y but totally comfort food at its finest. You always make everything look magazine cover worthy Smidge. I don’t know HOW you do it.ReplyCancel

  • How cute are these little bites!? They would make the perfect finger food for parties! :)ReplyCancel

  • You’re a lovely mum:) it’s funny we all remember that first day of school but that first day of work was just as terrifying! These look amazing delish.ReplyCancel

  • What you only made 12???? What were you thinking? With your hungry teenage boys? I hope you were able to fend off one at least for yourself! Take care, BAMReplyCancel

  • beautiful – I bought a packet of WonTon wrappers knowing that I wanted to buy them, but without a definite recipe in mind. Perfect :)
    And your kids, well they are are so lucky to have you, wish them good luck in their new working livesReplyCancel

  • Juggling work and school runs, preparing meals and lunch box — that’s my current status now but thanks for pointing out that that will pass too but maybe by that time, I’ll be looking with much longing to these days. ;-)

    Those are wonderful looking lasagna bites. Perfect for cocktail parties too. ;-)ReplyCancel

  • Those cute are those mozzarella pearls ?! And great idea on the wonton skins. Beats faffing about with filo pastry :)ReplyCancel

  • I probably shouldn’t even visit your blog when I’m on day one of the post-vacation dietary detox (aka ‘stop eating so constantly and so much and such naughty stuff!!!’), but I can’t resist finally getting back over here. As usual, you’ve hooked me with the gorgeous and delicious sounding goodness of your cookery. Love it! I’m something of a lasagna-holic, among my many other fanatical loves, so this’ll go on my list for post-detox! :)
    xoxo
    KathrynReplyCancel

  • […] When tired and famished after a long day’s expedition, improvisation of a loved recipe can be a quick solution. You may have tried my Roasted Asparagus Tart.. as well, Nature’s Fare Markets had luscious heirloom tomatoes on offer. Of course, I was delighted to see they also carry the tiny Buffalo Mozzarella Pearls (used in this Lasagna Bites recipe)! […]ReplyCancel

  • You just made lasagna bites in muffin pan, what a brilliant idea ! :) Those mozzarella pearls are cute!ReplyCancel

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