Savory muffins

A great way to use up scraps of cheese, salami, and veggies in the frig during the Covid impasse. This recipe is adapted from the Naff Caff coffee shop in Queenstown, New Zealand where they are served as an alternative to sweets before an adventure-packed day. They are an ideal way to sneak veggies into a picky eater’s food.

Yield: 2 dozen regular or 10 jumbo muffins


1 ½  cups canola oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
2 cups buttermilk ***
6 cups all-purpose flour
6 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan cheese

*** to make buttermilk, substitute 2 cups of milk with 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice or white vinegar, let sit until thickened)


1 cup grated cheese of your choice

3 – 4 cups of chopped fillings—fresh veggies, herbs, and cubed meat

1/2 cup of toppings—nuts, herbs, seeds, or additional cheese


  • Chopped spinach, feta, oregano, oyster mushrooms, and tomatoes with pine nuts on top.
  • Roasted red pepper, onion, Italian parsley, and Lark’s Meadow Alto Valle cheese with pumpkin seeds on top.
  • Chopped ham, green chilies, cilantro, and tomatoes with sharp cheddar on top.
  • Fresh corn, basil, smoked turkey, Swiss cheese, and finely chopped kale with sunflower seeds on top.
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease two regular muffin tins or two jumbo tins.
  2. With an electric mixer beat together the oil, eggs, garlic, and buttermilk. If using spinach or fresh herbs, mix them in at this time.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper, and cheeses. Stir in the filling ingredients.
  4. With a large spoon combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir only enough to mix. This is a delicate process, almost like folding. Batter should be moist but not runny. Adjust with extra flour or buttermilk.
  5. Fill each muffin tin to the top—the muffins are thick enough not to run over the sides. Sprinkle nuts, seeds, cheese, or place an olive on top.
  6. Bake 30–40 minutes, depending on size of the muffin. Muffins are done when golden brown, firm to the touch, and a tester comes out clean. Serve warm.

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