Now, when I first came across savory muffins, I was skeptical. Muffins are supposed to be sweet, tender little treats that are acceptable to eat for breakfast, but should probably qualify as dessert.
But when I had to make and photograph these butternut squash-based muffins for work, I sucked up my preconceptions and baked up a batch. And boy were they fantastic.
Butternut Squash and Feta Savory Muffins
What You’ll Need:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups baby spinach, chopped
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 teaspoons Grey Poupon mustard
3/4 cup non-fat milk
2 cups flour (I used gluten-free flour from Bobs Red Mill)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
*Note: I often find when baking with gluten-free flour that I need to add a little extra liquid to get the batter or dough to the right consistency. So, when throwing these together, if the batter looks a little too sticky, don’t be afraid to add a little extra milk — I did (probably about 2 tablespoons).
What to Do:
Heat the oven to 425F.
On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the diced squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange in a single layer.
Stick in the oven, and roast until tender, about 20-30 minutes. (Be sure to stir ’em up every 5-10 minutes). They should be slightly browned, but not burnt! Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Turn down the oven to 400F, and grease a muffin tin with a bit of EVOO.
In a large bowl, combine 2/3 of the squash, the spinach, parmesan, and 1/2 cup of the feta.
In a small bowl, beat eggs. Add milk and mustard, and stir until combined.
Add the wet ingredients to the larger bowl, and stir.
Add in the flour, baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt. Gently stir until evenly combined (but not over mixed!)
Spoon the batter into the muffin pan. Top each muffin with the leftover squash and feta, and sprinkle with a generous grind of black pepper.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the muffins are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of one muffin comes out clean.
Remove, and let cool. Enjoy alongside soup, crumbled over a salad, or as a savory breakfast or snack!