Savory Cottage Cheese Muffins are one of my favourites for an afternoon snack or breakfast. Made with chickpea flour, ground almonds, cheese, and broccoli, these gluten-free muffins are sure to keep you satisfied. Freezer-friendly and perfect for meal prep.
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Anyone else find themselves feeling snackish mid-morning or in the afternoon?
When I went back to work after my maternity leave, I'd pack a muffin along with my lunch to make sure I had a quick something if I got hungry. Usually a No Sugar Banana Bran Muffin or a Healthy Pumpkin Muffin, with a few slices of cheese tucked alongside because that's just how I roll.
As much as I love my classic muffins, I found that they didn't quite fill me up in the way I wanted. I was looking for a snack or grab-and-go breakfast that was protein-packed, calorie-dense, and would truly leave me satisfied. Then I remembered these Savory Cottage Cheese Muffins I first shared way back in 2012, and thought I'd revisit the recipe.
What we have here is, in my mind, pretty much the perfect small meal or snack. These are:
- Gluten free
- Grain free
- Packed with protein
- Completely delicious
To call these muffins is a bit of a misnomer, except for the fact that they're baked in muffin tins. If you're expecting something light and airy and fluffy, you'll need to shift your mindset or call them something else.
Imagine if a frittata and a gluten-free muffin had a dense, savory, cheesy, broccoli-studded baby, and that's what we have here. So good. So satisfying. Are you guys ready to make some broccoli muffins or what?!
Most of the ingredients for these cottage cheese muffins are fairly easy to find in your regular grocery store. Here's what you'll need:
- Cottage cheese --> This is kinda the star of the show. I recommend you use the full-fat stuff.
- Eggs --> Four big guys, please and thanks.
- Almond flour --> This is usually pretty easy to find at the regular grocery store, but you can also order it here.
- Chickpea flour --> I do recommend picking this up, but if you can't find (you can order it here) it I'll discuss substitutes below.
- Cheddar cheese --> Or another sharp cheese of your choice.
- Broccoli --> We're using steamed florets all chopped up. Perfect to use up leftovers from batch cooking.
- Milk --> I forgot to include this in the ingredients shot above, but it's there!
- Baking powder --> This is our leavener.
I think it goes without saying that you'll need a set of muffin tins to make this recipe. One thing that is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL for this recipe is that you line the muffin tins either with parchment muffin liners, silicon muffin cups (mine are from IKEA, but these are similar), or, as a last resort, squares of parchment (I love this unbleached parchment paper) you cut out and stuff into the muffin tins.
Trust me on this one. These will stick to even the most well-greased muffin tins, and if you use regular paper muffin liners you'll lose about half your muffin stuck to the paper. I'm talking from experience here. Go for parchment.
How do you make these cottage cheese muffins?
Alrighty, friends, I'm going to talk you through the process step by step. No need to take notes, though, there's a printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: Start by pre-heating your oven and lining your muffin tins. Remember, parchment or silicon muffin liners are absolutely essential for this recipe!
Step 2: (above) In a large bowl combine the eggs, cottage cheese, and milk. Whisk together.
Step 3: (above) Add the almond flour, chickpea flour, and baking powder. Stir to combine well.
Step 4: (above) Add the chopped broccoli and ½ cup of cheddar cheese to the bowl. Stir to combine well.
Step 5: (below) Spoon the savory muffin mixture into the lined muffin tins. If you're using squares of parchment, they won't stay down on their own, but when you drop the muffin batter in they'll hold their shape.
Step 6: Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with the remaining cottage cheese.
Step 7: Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the muffins are puffed and golden.
How easy was that?!
Ok, now let's go through some tips and trouble shooting.
My muffins were super stuck to the tins
You must, must, must use either parchment muffin liners or silicon muffin cups. This is non-negotiable. See the links above or the equipment section of the recipe card for where you can grab those.
As a last resort you can cut squares out of regular parchment paper (as I have done here) and use those to line the tins.
Can I freeze savory muffins?
You sure can! Once they are completely cool simply pop them into a freezer bag and they'll last for about three months.
I toss a frozen muffin into my backpack in the morning, and usually by the time I'm ready for a snack they're thawed and at room temperature. You can also gently re-heat them in the microwave.
I can't find / don't want to use chickpea flour
If you don't have chickpea flour on hand you can sub in another high-protein gluten-free flour such as soy bean flour. Since there's only a small amount of this flour used in the recipe, it's also perfectly fine to replace it with good old all-purpose flour if you prefer.
If you *do* buy a bag of chickpea flour just for this recipe, I suggest you also try making these Chickpea Fries to use it up!
I can't find / don't want to use almond flour
The almond flour is pretty essential for this recipe, but you could certainly replace it with another kind of nut meal, like hazelnut flour, if you don't have almond flour handy. You can also just whizz up one cup (about 150g / 5.5oz) of whole almonds in your food processor to make a fine powder.
If you make your own homemade almond milk, this recipe is great for using up the almond meal! Just make sure it's dried out before you use it to make these muffins.
If you don't like broccoli, feel free to replace it with another kind of vegetable! I've previously made these muffins using an equivalent amount of cubed, roasted butternut squash or sweet potato.
Semi-dried tomatoes are also a fantastic addition to your savory muffins, and if you add some fresh basil your house will smell like a pizzeria.
Feel free to use a different kind of cheese in place of the cheddar. I've often used Parmesan instead, and Gruyere is also delicious.
Hey Nutrition Lady, are these muffins healthy?
Friends, yes. Here's what's going on:
Eggs are a natural, nutrient-rich whole food and an amazing source of high quality protein. In fact, many public health authorities use eggs as the reference standard against which protein qualities are evaluated.
Cottage cheese is a good source of high quality protein, and calcium.
Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats – this is a healthy fat when consumed in moderation, the same type as is found in olive oil. Almonds are also a good source of manganese, vitamin E (which has antioxidant properties) and magnesium. (source)
Chickpea flour is gluten free, and has 35% protein, boosting the protein profile of this fuel food.
Other recipes you might enjoy:
Savory Cottage Cheese Muffins
- Heat your oven to 200°C / 400°F.
- Line 9 muffin tins with parchment muffin liners, or squares of parchment paper.
- If you don't already have steamed broccoli on hand, start by lightly steaming some broccoli florets and stems. Rinse in cold water, squeeze out the moisture with a clean kitchen towel, and finely chop the broccoli. You should have 1 cup of chopped broccoli for this recipe.
- In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup cottage cheese, 4 eggs, and ¼ cup milk.
- Add ¼ cup chickpea flour, 1 ½ cups almond meal, and 1 teaspoon baking power and mix well.
- Now add ½ cup of grated cheddar cheese, and 1 cup finely chopped steamed broccoli florets.
- Spoon into 9 prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle the tops the muffins with remaining ¼ cup of cheese.
- Set in the oven and bake for 25 - 30 minutes, until the tops are golden and puffy. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
- Nutrition values are an estimate only.
- Parchment muffin liners or silicon muffin cups are essential for this recipe.
- Chickpea flour can be replaced with another bean flour or all-purpose flour if desired.
- Almond flour can be made by grinding 1 cup whole almonds in a food processor.
- Muffins can be frozen once completely cooled and stored for up to 3 months.
This recipe was originally published March 13, 2012. It was retested, rephotographed, and updated on January 18, 2020.