These Silicone Baking Cups Are My Meal Prep MVP
Batch cook, save leftovers, and organize your kitchen like a pro.
If you’re like me, the new year is when I finally resolve to clean out my closets and purge thread-bare clothes, too-small shoes, and basically anything that no longer sparks joy. This year, my kitchen desperately needed a cleanse, too. Past-their-prime holiday treats got the boot, long-expired spices were tossed in the trash, and cracked wooden spoons, chipped spatulas, and their ilk were respectfully retired.
Instead of rewarding my cleaning spree with a shopping spree — all in the name of upgrading my kitchen gear and organizational storage — I looked for ways to repurpose what I already had. I found that Mason jars handily doubled as utensil crocks, my growing collection of plastic take-out containers subbed in for tired Tupperware, and silicone baking cups — previously relegated to only to making muffins — became my unexpected meal prep and kitchen organization MVP.
Silicone Muffin Cups Make Excellent Prep Bowls
Every time I pull out prep bowls (which, at this point, is every day), my husband jokes that he’s ready for the next episode of the Chopped. So, to keep our dishwasher load (and the peanut gallery) in check, I use these silicone cups for my mise en place to hold measured spices and seasonings, chopped herbs, juiced citrus, minced garlic, and chopped veggies. I can also use them to melt small amounts of butter or coconut oil in the microwave.
The cups stand in as organizers too, corralling kitchen odds and ends like twist ties, rubber bands, paper clips (my junk drawer has never looked tidier) and rescuing the takeout condiment packets swimming around in the doors of my fridge. I even use them to organize beads and sequins for my daughter’s craft projects, which now has me thinking beyond the kitchen, too. Maybe my home office will get the silicone baking cup treatment next.
I Use Baking Cups for Batch Cooking
They’re great for batch cooking and stocking your freezer, too. For an easy make-ahead breakfast, whisk up eggs and veggies for a frittata mixture and bake in individual cups. The easy-release silicone material allows them to pop right out (hooray for no messy pans to wash!) and you can store them in the fridge for a quick grab-and-go breakfast or stash them freezer until you’re ready to thaw. (These make a great back-pocket breakfast-for-dinner option, too.) Or whip up a batch of oatmeal and use the cups to portion out individual servings. Freeze the cups for a couple hours, pop ‘em out, and store in the freezer in resealable bag until you’re ready to reheat.
Silicone baking cups also work in Instant Pots and air fryers, ideal for making mini quiches, mini frittatas, and egg casserole bites. When I make a batch (or double batch) of soup, stock, or grains, I freeze half in these cups and then stash ‘em in the freezer — when you’re ready to use them, the smaller portions thaw much quicker. Use the cups to freeze leftovers, too, like that last cup of broth or those remaining spoonfuls of pasta sauce.
You Can Use Them for Serving and Portion Control
I could justify an upgrade since I’ve discovered that silicone baking cups go beyond meal prep. They double as serving dishes for my toddler’s snacks and keep me from stress-eating handfuls of chocolate-covered almonds. Tuck several cups together into a reusable plastic container and you’ve got yourself a make-shift bento box, great for on-the-go snacks and lunches (especially if you have kids who don’t like any of their meal components to touch).
Plus, They're Super Affordable
I’m partial to these budget-friendly rainbow-hued cups from Amazon, especially since my toddler loves to arrange them by color when lining muffin pans. When I’m ready to upgrade, I’ve got I’ve got my eye on this set from OXO which are designed with a batter fill-line that measures out to 1/3 cup, so I know just how much broth or sauce I have on hand for a future recipe. Plus, I’ll be able to bake treats that are consistent in size and they have tabs on the side which means I won’t accidentally smush my cupcakes.