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Festive Spaghetti Muffins

Spaghetti Muffins are cute traditional picnic food in Italian homes and a popular snack for the kids. Easy and practical for mums as you can plan a spaghetti dinner the previous day and make extra to re-purpose into these cute muffins the next day. I often add some grated “hidden” veggies or chopped spinach inside for my boys and then spice it up for the adults!

For added protein, you can always add one additional egg. If you do not eat eggs, just add in some cheddar in the beginning which will help bind it all together. With the gorgeous festive colours of red, white and green, you know you want these babies on your table this December!

Watch the video here:

For more vegetarian recipes please check out:

Makes 12 mini muffins

What you need:

350-400 gms cooked spaghetti

1 cup Italian tomato sauce

1 cup Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup cheddar cheese

1 egg (optional)

¼ cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup sliced black olives (optional)

¼ cup grated veggies (optional)

Fresh basil leaves

Salt and black pepper to taste

Chili flakes (optional)

Putting it all together:

1. In a bowl, combine half the tomato sauce and cooked spaghetti and toss together.

2. Add Parmesan cheese, couple of pinches of salt, chili flakes and black pepper (if using) and a few chopped basil leaves and mix gently.

3. Whisk an egg and add it in. If you do not consume egg then add in 2 tbsp extra of cheddar cheese. Add in any grated vegetables or chopped spinach if you like.

4. Brush a silicon muffin tray with olive oil and fill in the base of each cavity with some breadcrumbs. You can also use a metallic muffin tin and insert paper cups or grease them well for easy removal.

5. Twirl the spaghetti with a fork neatly into the cavities. Top with a teaspoon of the remaining tomato sauce, olive slices and a sprinkle of breadcrumbs.

6. Preheat the oven to 200 C and bake the muffins for 10 minutes. Remove the tray after 10 minutes & add the grated cheddar cheese on top.

7. Reduce heat to 180C and bake for another 5 minutes or till the cheese has melted and the top of the muffins are slightly browned.

8. Cool outside on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes before removing the muffins and finish with chopped basil leaves.

9. Serve at room temperature so one can hold them in their hands and bite in like a regular muffin. They can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days and also taste delicious cold!

Natasha's Family Recipe - Italian Tomato Sauce

Yields 3 cups of sauce

What you need:

1 kg tomatoes, quartered

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 rosemary sprigs (optional)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chili flakes (optional)

Putting it all together:

1. In a pot, cook the tomatoes with 2 tsp of salt, cover and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes or till the tomatoes are soft. The tomatoes will cook in their own water. Stir every now and then. This can also be done in a pressure cooker.

2. Heat a pan and add the olive oil. Add the onions and cook till translucent. Add the garlic and cook on medium heat for another 30 seconds, stirring often. Add the chili flakes, cooked tomatoes with all their water, rosemary sprigs (if using). Cover and cook on a low flame for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste for salt and add some freshly crushed black pepper. Discard the rosemary stems.

3. Cool and blend till you have a smooth consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning.

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