Friday, August 3, 2012

Savoury Muffins

When most people have a muffin with their coffee or tea it's because they are looking for something quick, tasty, and nutritious. Unfortunately the normal choices out there - with their huge amounts of white flour, sugar, and very little of anything that's good for you - fall very short of the mark.  And even the ones that try to be savoury usually only contain a token amount of protein. My protein muffins are an exception, but not everyone wants to cook with protein powder.
(Image from

Does a muffin really need to contain sugar to be a muffin?  Can you be satisfied with a  savoury muffin instead of a sweet one? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a muffin as "a quick bread made of batter containing egg and baked in a pan having cuplike moulds."  That definition doesn't mention white four or sugar. What would happen if we redefined our idea of what a muffin can be?

I was thinking of the recipes that I make that are "batters containing egg", such as omelettes, quiches and Frittatas, and it seems to me these are not only better for you but in a lot of instances a lot tastier as well. So today I'm going to show you a bunch of the  savoury muffin recipes that I make on a regular basis and keep in my freezer for breakfasts, lunches and snacks.  

A lot of these recipes will look familiar because you've seen them here before as meals that are usually eaten at home with a knife and fork. I think it's worth repeating them to show what's possible when you start thinking outside the box.

Basic Savoury Muffin Recipe

First, here is my basic muffin recipe.  It will make 12 regular sized muffins, or for the big eaters among you 8 super sized muffins.  To freeze make sure they are completely cooled, then wrap in plastic and place in a Ziplock in your freezer.  You can then remove them individually when needed and eat either cold or heated for a minute or two in the microwave.

Ingredients :

-  8 eggs
-  seasoning to taste - salt, pepper, herbs
-  2 to 4 cups of chopped protein (chicken, meat, fish)
-  2 to 4 cups of chopped vegetables

Directions :

-  Preheat oven to 350'F
-  Lightly grease a 12 cup muffin tin or 8 individual custard cups or ramekins.  You can also, if you prefer, use paper cupcake liners.
-  Whisk the eggs with your seasonings in a large bowl.
-  Distribute the chopped protein and vegetables evenly among the pie plates.
-  Pour the egg mixture into the pie plates, making sure the protein and vegetables stay evenly distributed.
-  Bake in the centre of the oven until the Frittata is golden around the edges and firm when jiggled - about 15 to 20 minutes.  Make sure you don't overcook them or they will get rubbery.

Here are a few versions of the savoury muffins that I make most often.
Ham and Cheese Muffins

Ingredients :

-  8 eggs
-  1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
-  1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
-  2 cups diced ham
-  3 plum tomato, diced
-  1 yellow pepper, diced
-  2 large green onions, thinly sliced
Spinach and Bacon Muffins

Ingredients :

-  8 eggs
-  1 cup chopped onion
-  3 cups spinach leaves
-  1 cup shredded swiss cheese
-  1 cup chopped cooked bacon

Fry the onion and spinach in a little butter before adding to your eggs.
Pizza Muffins
If you miss pizza now that you've give up grains, you've got to try this.  It's fabulous ..... and a great way to have pizza for breakfast!

Ingredients :

-  8 eggs
-  1 tablespoon pizza seasoning
-  crushed hot peppers to taste (optional)
-  2 cups chopped or sliced tomato
-  1 cup chopped onion
-  1 cup chopped green (or any other colour) pepper
-  1 cup sliced pepperoni
-  2 cups sliced mushrooms
-  1 cup shredded or sliced mozarella cheese
-  1/4 cup grated parmesan (use to top the Frittata just before putting into the oven)

Fry the onion in a little olive oil until starting to brown, then add the mushrooms and keep cooking until they are soft.
Shrimp and Asparagus Muffins

Ingredients :

-  8 eggs
-  1 cup grated swiss cheese
-  2 cups cooked chopped shrimp
-  1 bunch of asparagus spears (can be used uncooked)
-  1/2 cup chopped onion (any kind)
Artichoke Muffins

Ingredients :

-  8 eggs
-  1/2 cup chopped cilantro (or parsley)
-  4 cups of canned artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
-  1 cup grated cheddar or parmesan
-  1 large onion, chopped and fried in a little butter

This gives a great artichoke flavour which I love, but if you find it a bit strong, just use a couple of cups of artichokes and add some chopped red or yellow pepper and/or more onion.
Salmon Muffins

Ingredients :

-  8 eggs
-  1 can of salmon (or about 8 ounces cooked)
-  1/2 cup chopped dill
-  1/2 cup sour cream
-  1 cup chopped red onion
-  juice of one lemon

Mix the eggs with the dill, sour cream and lemon juice.  You can also add vegetables to this like asparagus and  spinach.  And if you have a bit of smoked salmon to add, it will make this muffin taste amazing.
Zucchini Ricotta Muffins

Ingredients :

-  8 eggs
-  3/4 cup Ricotta
-  1/2 cup grated parmesan
-  2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
-  1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
-  1/4 cup olive oil
-  2 small zucchini, sliced

Saute the zucchini in the olive oil with the herbs until just starting to brown.  Put into baking dishes and cover with egg and cheese mixture.
Chicken and Broccoli Muffins
Here is an innovative way to cook these muffins if you have lots of coffee cups.

Ingredients :

-  8 eggs
-  1 cup chopped cooked chicken
-  2 cups chopped broccoli (doesn't have to be cooked but can be)
-  1/2 cup heavy cream
-  1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
-  salt and pepper
Spinach and Tomato Muffins

Ingredients :

-  8 eggs
-  2 cups baby spinach
-  1 medium onion, chopped
-  1 teaspoon chopped garlic
-  2 tablespoons heavy cream
-  1/3 cup grated parmesan
-  2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes
-  3 oz. goat cheese

Saute onion in a little olive oil until starting to brown.  Add spinach and cook until just wilted.  Mix in garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste and divide in pans.  Whisk together eggs cream and parmesan and pour over.  Top with goat cheese.
Lorraine's Muffins
This is my version of Quiche Lorraine made into muffins.

Ingredients :

-  8 eggs
-  1/2 cup heavy cream
-  1 cup grated swiss cheese
-  8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
-  4 green onions, sliced

I've given you so many ideas above that I'm sure you can find several that will become favourites.  But don't stop there. I hope you'll take this idea and run with it. Creating your own special favourite savoury muffins can be delicious fun.

If you find yourself making muffins quite often, then you might want to think about upgrading your muffin pan.  If you're sick of scrubbing all those nooks and crevices, a non-stick pan will save you a lot of time and effort.

A silicone pan is another option to consider.  Not only are they light weight, but nothing sticks to them either.

Another great option are custard cups.  If you find a muffin is just a little too small to be satisfying, a custard cup will make a larger muffin.  And if you invest in the cups that come with plastic lids, you can make them on the weekend and then keep them nice and fresh in your fridge until you need them. (My recipes will make 8 large muffins.)

At the very least, you might want to stock up on paper muffin cups to line your muffin tin.  Not as good as a non-stick pan, but for a very small investment these will definitely make cleanup a lot easier.

Now they make silicone cups as well.  I haven't tried these myself but it's another option to consider.

Here is a great lunch box idea from  This quiche isn't crustless, but I'm sure you get the idea.  Other than the crust, this is a great portable Paleo Primal meal.

 “Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”   - George Bernard Shaw


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1 comment:

  1. This was exactly what I was looking for in having a quick savory, but healthy breakfast option such as muffins. Thanks for all of your ideas!


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