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Cheesy Garden Vegetable & Herb Muffins - my nutritious, versatile lunchbox and healthy snack recipe. A perfect protein and fiber-packed mini-meal for traveling, too.

Cheesy Garden Vegetable & Herb Muffins – my nutritious, versatile lunchbox and healthy snack recipe. A perfect protein and fiber-packed mini-meal for traveling, too.

Cheesy Garden Vegetable & Herb Muffins - my nutritious, versatile lunchbox and healthy snack recipe. A perfect protein and fiber-packed mini-meal for traveling, too. kelliesfoodtoglow.comI know I don’t really post “child-friendly” recipes all that often, much less label them as such. However, after making these tender, vegetable-packed muffins I realised that they would be perfect tucked into a lunchbox.

Or nibbled for breakfast.

Or munched alongside a lunchtime bowl of soup.

Definitely a stop-gap, mid-afternoon snack at the desk to prevent keyboard slump.

You get the idea. Versatile.

Cheesy Garden Vegetable & Herb Muffins - my nutritious, versatile lunchbox and healthy snack recipe. A perfect protein and fiber-packed mini-meal for traveling, too.

Cheesy Vegetable and Herb Muffins with Caponata (Sicilian Vegetable Stew)

Although my daughter has flown the nest (third year at University of St Andrew’s), I am programmed to still think about healthy afterschool-type snacks – nutritious nibbles to tide anyone over until dinner.

The last home-time snack I can recall preparing over and over again (her ask, not mine) was kale crisps, hoovered up by both of us as they came out of the oven.  We both find them surprisingly filling for something so light and ephemeral. I particularly love them because they are naturally salty tasting owing to the high mineral content. These savoury, vegetable flecked muffins are equally satisfying, as well as flexible. Flexible as in the flavour options, NOT because they are rubbery!

Feel free to sub in whatever vegetables and flavourings that you like, and even ditch the cheese and egg to make it vegan (the how-to, below). There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of combinations to explore. You could try chopped cauliflower or grated beetroot with goat’s cheese; chopped asparagus with lemon zest in the spring (hello Australia and New Zealand!); roasted squash and rosemary. Or go left field with a punchy spice blend or curry powder, crushed chickpeas, and dried shallots. Let your imagination run wild!

I haven’t made these yet with a gluten-free flour blend or any of the naturally gluten-free flours, but I may try and get the ingredients for this homemade all-purpose gluten-free flour blend recipe.

I am off to Japan quite soon (!!) and I will be making these to ensure I have something filling that tastes nice on the loooong flight to Tokyo. I will also be ordering a Hindu meal (and getting some confused stares I imagine) – my tip for getting an interesting veggie meal on any flight. I’ve never been disappointed with this canny strategy. 🙂

Oh, have a giggle at this funny, quick scene from British sitcom, Miranda – the savoury muffin sketch. Thanks to Kevin for bringing it to my attention. 🙂

Have you been doing any autumnal baking? Do you have any favourite savory muffin recipes or flavour combinations to share? If you are a gluten-free baker, what’s your advice for the best flour options when making muffins?

Cheesy Garden Vegetable & Herb Muffins - my nutritious, versatile lunchbox and healthy snack recipe. A perfect protein and fiber-packed mini-meal for traveling, too.

Cheesy Vegetable and Herb Muffins

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

These uber-savory, nutritious, versatile lunchbox and healthy snack muffins are super-easy to make. Eat some now and freeze some for later. Oh, vegan options are listed below, too. xx

150g wholemeal/wholewheat flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (soda bic)

1/4 tsp salt

50g fine cornmeal/polenta

2 medium eggs (or two chia/flax eggs – what I did)

50ml olive oil or rapeseed oil

200ml buttermilk or yogurt

70g cooked spinach, kale and/or chard – squeezed and chopped (I used kale and chard)

50g grated extra mature/extra sharp Cheddar cheese (or other strongly flavoured cheese)

5 sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated in hot water then chopped

2 tbsp dried shallots or onions (no salt) OR 1/2 red onion, finely chopped and sauteed until soft

2 tbsp finely chopped herbs – I used basil, parsley and rosemary from the garden. Dill, lovage, coriander, oregano, thyme would all be good. Not all together 😉

Palmful of sunflower or pumpkin seeds


1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/400F. Oil a 12-hole muffin tin or use baking cases in the tin.

2. Sieve the flour, baking powder, soda bic into a large mixing bowl; stir in the cornmeal.Whisk the eggs, oil, buttermilk in a jug and pour into the dry ingredients. Mix very gently with a spatula or metal spoon (wooden ones mush things), then add the vegetables, herbs, tomato pieces, onion and cheese, mixing lightly.

3. Spoon into the prepared tin and top with the seeds. Slide into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden and a skewer/toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Eat warm or room temperature. If freezing, wrap individual muffins in parchment paper and pop in a freezer bag; defrost at room temperature. Use within three months.

Make it vegan: ditch the cheese and add 3-4 tbsp nutritional yeast; use 2 tbsp ground chia or flaxseed mixed with 6 tbsp of water (let sit for 10 minutes) in place of the egg; use non-dairy yogurt in place of buttermilk/dairy yogurt

Flavour Options:

  • chopped steamed/roasted/fried cauliflower or broccoli + goats cheese + thyme leaves
  • grated beetroot or carrot + dill or parsley + za’atar
  • chopped raw asparagus + dill + lemon zest
  • dry curry spice blend + mashed chickpeas + dried onion + leaf coriander/cilantro
  • roasted squash or sweet potato + rosemary
  • peas + grated carrot + grain mustard.

A few more healthy and delicious lunchbox and snack recipes from Food To Glow (loads more in my Recipe Index):


Apricot and Citrus No Bake Bars (dunk in chocolate for a raw Jaffa cake!)

Artichoke and Spinach “No-Meatballs” (really tasty cold with a pot of low-sugar, low-salt ketchup!)!)

Baked Marinara-stuffed Arancini (Rice) Balls

Butternut Squash and Almond Dip with Homemade Pitta Chips

Cocoa-Roasted Pumpkin Seeds + Salt & Vinegar Pumpkin Seeds ( a great up-cycle for all of those seeds that tend to go to waste in autumn cooking)

No-Bake Cookie Dough Brownie Bites (the secret ingredient is…!)

Scandinavian Multi-Seed Crackers (my absolute favourite cracker)Scandinavian crispbreads made with minimal flour, some salt, oil, water and sesame, flax, poppy and sunflower seeds (and a few aromatic ones too) are a crunchy, delicate platform for butter, cheese, pickled herring and anything at all savoury. They are superb crunchy accompaniment to soup, too. Versions of knækbrød are eaten all over Denmark, Sweden and Norway and considered essential foods. High in protein, healthy fats and fiber, these are a near-perfect snack.

Super-Smooth Hummus – a classic recipe made easier to digest!

Add a pop up colour and sweet with Beetroot and Cashew Hummus

Puffed Rice and Cardmom Cashew Bites for a healthier rice crispy cake

Malted Wholegrain and Quinoa Granola – lovely and “clumpy”, so perfect for munching!

Crunchy Granola ApplewichesGranola & Peanut Butter Applewiches // food to glow

Brilliant muffins from fellow food writers:

Cauliflower Cheese Bread with Marinara Dipping Sauce (plus tips for raising healthy eaters)

Cheesy Sweetcorn Muffins

Buttermilk, Beetroot and Apple Muffins

Cheese and Red Onion Muffins

Za’atar & Olive Focaccia

Wholemeal Cheddar & Apple Chutney Soda Bread

Beetroot, Goat’s Cheese, Chocolate and Walnut Brunch Muffins

Vegan Banana and Cashew Muffins

Keep In Touch!

You can also find me on:

Instagram – behind the scenes with my recipe development (triumphs and tragedies!) and mini, Instagram-only recipes;

Twitter – tweeting on health, nutrition and global news, as well as sharing other bloggers’ content;

Facebook – posting on the latest nutrition and food stories, as well as sharing recipe links; 

Pinterest – loads of boards on food, travel, food writing, blogging, health and novel ingredients;

Huffington Post – writing bespoke recipes and opinion pieces on my own Huff Post blog

I’m linking up to a new-to-me recipe community, Foodie Friday, hosted by The Fit Foodie Mama, Fairy Burger, Chocolate Runner Girl, and Hello To Fit.

As always, **If you are reading this on any site other than this is against international copyright law and my expressed wishes. See copyright statement at foot of this page.**





24 thoughts on “Cheesy Vegetable & Herb Muffins

  1. Susan says:

    I’m hosting a retreat in October…I’ll be scouring your recipes!! Thanks for always including a vegan option <3

    1. Gosh I need to update my Index then! Most hated blog task ever! Thanks so much, Susan. I so appreciate your support over the years. xx

  2. Im actually still laughing out loud with the Mirada sketch, brilliant including that 🙂 Your recipe looks scrumptious as usual. I also love the inflight meal tip, nice one. x

  3. choclette says:

    Great tip with the hindu meal, made me laugh. Luckily, unlike Miranda, I’m already a fan of the savoury muffin so I’d relish one or two of these in my lunchbox.. I like your inclusion of polenta for some additional texture.

  4. Ha! I’m so glad you liked the Miranda clip… I trust you saw the sneaky eating at the end too; I think she’s a fan really! These look delicious and remind me I must make some of my cheese and sundried tomato muffins sometime soon. Trouble is, they’re too easy to eat every time I pop into the kitchen…

  5. These sound delish!!

  6. HedgeComber says:

    LOVE these Kelly! Mind you, I am a bit of a muffin fiend 😀
    Janie x

  7. Definitely “Food To Glow” ….Great muffins! BRAVO!!!!

  8. BeaFreitas says:

    These look amazing!! I may have to try this !

  9. That Miranda sketch makes me chortle absolutely every time. Unlike her I absolutely LOVE a savoury muffin and the seeds on these look particularly enticing.

    1. Thanks so much, Claire. I don’t watch Miranda so I had to have the sketch pointed out to me. It seems everyone who watches the show remember this skit. 🙂

  10. Off to Japan? Colour me neon green with jealousy. Enjoy your trip and don’t forget to take these fab muffins with you! 😉

  11. I must try these for Cooper’s lunchbox. I don’t know why I haven’t thought of it before now and yes they’d be gorgeous with soup too. ps thanks for including one of my recipes/

    1. I don’t bake as much as you but when I do it does tend to be savoury as we all prefer it to sweet (mostly!). The basic recipe is good to riff on depending on what you like. I gave a vegan option too. Thanks for stopping by, Jac. 🙂

  12. Lol, I don’t normally laugh at Miranda but that clip made me giggle… I love a savoury muffin and especially like the idea of serving them up with soup this winter. I’m now in full-on lunchbox mode for both boys, so it’s good to get some inspiration. Let’s hope they don’t have the same reaction as Miranda!

    1. I don’t watch Miranda, it was another blogger who brought it to my attention. But it was so apt and funny! Well, not apt per se since she spits it out, but yes funny and silly. Do let me know if you make a version of these. 🙂

  13. superfitbabe says:

    Hahahaha, Miranda is the best! Ah, these look amazing! I’m so excited for your trip to Japan too! I hope that you can post a few recaps of your visit!

    1. It is work-related Cassie so not sure how much scope for tales on F to G. But I will certainly try and do some food snapping and share on Instagram. 🙂

  14. Yum. I don’t eat nearly enough savory muffins, so thanks for the reminder. These look like just what I want to snack on as fall comes.

    1. Oh, I’m eating them now… 🙂

  15. Yum your muffins look wonderful, my youngest starts school next week so I will try out a batch for a healthy lunchbox option!

  16. fabfood4all says:

    Love all the yummy healthy ingredients in these savoury muffins and especially the seeded topping:-) Thanks for including my savoury breads:-)

  17. stateeats says:

    Saw these on your Insta feed and am now happy to have the recipe. Making your Eggplant Shakshuka this week! -Kat

    1. Oh, tell me who it goes, will you? Thanks for your enthusiasm. 🙂

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