A recent post on The Kitchnfor bite-sized fall breakfast ideas got me thinking about the joy of serving “mini” portions for entertaining menus during the holidays. Converting recipes to mini servings not only looks adorable, but it’s practical: Smaller-portioned dishes means that your guests can enjoy a personalized sample platter of foods they’d like to try without plopping massive amounts of food onto a single plate all at once.
Here are some classic holiday recipe ideas that can easily be adapted into “mini” portions, along with tips on how to do it without any fuss. Let the bite-sizing begin!
Cornbread: Cornbread is a holiday staple in many households, and it’s versatile enough to be served on the appetizer platter as well as the dinner plates. Bake up a batch of mini cornbread muffins and serve them alongside your holiday buffet spread, especially next to jams, cheeses, honey, and sparkling cider drinks.
Try: Prepare your favorite cornbread batter as usual, and pour it into lined and buttered mini muffin trays. Bake according to cornbread directions, checking a few minutes early for doneness. (You’ll know they’re done when a toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffins comes out clean.)
Large dessert pies: Avoid the sad scenario of multiple beautiful baked pies sitting untouched on the dessert table, as one too many people brought a pie to your holiday party and no one has room for even one slice of pie. Instead, whip up a few different varieties of mini pies, and let guests try a sample of each without having to commit to a full slice.
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Try: Experiment with the standby pecan or pumpkin pie by transforming into mini pies. When preparing your nut-based pie crust, press the crust mixture into oiled mini muffin tray cups, and pre-bake them until golden. Then fill with your pecan or pumpkin filling, and bake until filling is set. Cool slightly in trays before popping out and serving.
Stuffing: Not everyone likes the herby, nutty flavor of traditional holiday stuffing, especially younger kids at the dining table. Instead of making a large batch of stuffing that half the table won’t enjoy, try individual ramekins of stuffing for just those interested.
Try: Take any stuffing recipe you’d like to use, and divide the prepared batter evenly into small, lightly oiled ramekins. Bake until golden on top and hot in the middle, then cover and keep warm until ready to serve.
Soup: If your dinner menu has just too much food in it to allow for a full soup course, skip the regular big bowls and offer your sipper as shooters instead. Soup shooters can be served in decorative glass shot glasses and are a fabulous way to indulge in a rich seasonal soup with just a few sips.
Try: Prepare any soup you like and serve in shot glasses. Thick, creamy soups work best for shooters and look so pretty when garnished with sprigs of fresh herbs or a smattering of ground cinnamon.
Quiche or Breakfast Casserole: Christmas Brunch lends itself to breakfast casseroles, pies, and tarts—usually filled with eggs, ham, and cheeses. Switch up the usual casserole dish by baking individual servings for your guests in small ramekins.
Try: Any quiche or casserole recipe can be prepped and divided into oiled ramekins and baked until cooked in the middle. For deceptively easy baked eggs and bacon, line the outside of muffin tray cups with uncooked bacon, then fill with a cracked egg and splash of cream. Bake until egg is set and bacon is cooked, then pop out and serve.