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.
Eggs contain all eight B-vitamins, including folic acid. Vitamin B12 and choline are particularly abundant in eggs. Eggs are also a very good source of selenium and iodine.
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:
Roasted Vegetable Frittata
Vegetarian Breakfast Casserole with Swiss Chard and Gruyere
Vegetarian Breakfast Burritos
Ricotta and Spinach Egg Bake
Savory Cottage Cheese Muffins
- 1 cup cottage cheese preferably full fat
- 4 large eggs
- ¼ cup chickpea flour
- 1 ½ cups almond flour or 1 cup / 150g whole almonds ground to a fine powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ cup milk
- ¾ cup grated cheddar cheese divided
- 1 cup finely chopped broccoli florets from lightly steamed broccoli
- 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.
Finally a real good savoury muffin recipe, and with tons of proteins, no less! Thank you so much for sharing. My husband hates broccoli (yeah, I don't know how our marriage is still going) so I used bacon, spinach and sundried tomatoes instead. Delish!
Yay! So glad you enjoyed this as much as we do, Chiara. And regarding your husband, I feel your pain. My husband hates pancakes... I just don't know.
So I nearly set my oven on fire making these yesterday (not the recipes fault)! We didn't have any parchment paper and I wanted to make sure I listened to your advice about lining the muffin tins, so I thought "Wax paper is basically parchment paper. I'll use that!" I'm sure you are already groaning, as the two can definitely NOT be substituted when baking at high temperatures, a fact I only just learned. Fortunately I noticed after only a minute or two that the oven was filled with smoke, and my dad helped me rescue the batter, transferring it to a different muffin pan.
Despite the near disaster, the muffins were delicious! I will definitely be making them again.
Haha oh dear. Yeah... parchment and wax paper are NOT the same.
These are a favorite muffin, can't believe it took me so long to try them. Finally got some almond flour which I have not used much before. I think the higher calorie count on it stopped me from using it or making recipes that used it, but I have now changed my mind on that! I had to improvise a bit as I didn't have quite enough cottage cheese left so I took a gamble and used a bit of nonfat greek yogurt ( Fage, which is a thicker one,)and made up the difference. (60 grams worth) I also added only a bit over 1/4 cup shredded cheese total-(that was just to keep calories down for me,) and used white whole wheat flour instead of the chick pea flour, ( may get some for next batch) plus made smaller so- 12 of them with parchment type papers. ( Hopeful portion control!) They look beautiful and tasted amazing. I don't think I will ever be without them in my freezer.
Best ever! Love them. Perfect freezer backup snacks.
Switched broccoli for zucchini to make daughter happier so I added parmigiano for a bit more kick.
Also tried loaf version when I was feeling lazy. It was perfect for picnic/summer salad dinner, warm or cold.
One of my fav recipes on your blog.
Did not like the flavor of the chick pea flour. Might have liked them with regular flour.
Oh my goodness! How seriously good are these muffins? I made these today and they have all gone!!! Best savoury muffin ever. I am new to this website, but am liking what I have found - thank you, Katie for all the advice on nutrition and the lovely recipes.
Yay, so glad you enjoyed them so much!
I had to sub chickpea flour with almost 1/4c whole wheat flour, and cheddar cheese with mozzarella. I added onion powder, garlic powder, Trader Joe's chili lime spice mix, and salt. I also forgot to put in the baking powder. These were delicious!!! It's obviously a very versatile recipe. I hope they'll freeze well even w/out the baking powder. We'll see. Thank you for a great recipe.
These are amazing! They are the perfect, healthy snack. I'm making them for the second time as I type this comment, and the only things I've done differently are add a bit of fresh black pepper and garlic powder, and a pinch of salt. Thank you for this wonderful recipe:)
Mine did it turn out well. They are stuck to silicone cups. It took More than an hour to bake and still inside was not cooked appropriately. 😞
Oh wow. More than an hour? Stuck to silicone? It sounds like something went terribly wrong. Without being there to troubleshoot it with you, I'm afraid I'm not much help to sort it out, but it does seem very unusual that an egg-based recipe would have to cook for that long.
As soon as I saw you post this recipe, I had to make these! Love the idea of a savoury muffin. Why are these not more of a thing?? So many sweet muffins out there and I’m usually not that into muffins generally. They turned out perfectly! Definitely will have these on regular rotation.
I know, right?! They're so great for quick breakfasts or snacks, and it's nice to not have something sweet all the time.
Oh my goodness, these are so good! And just the perfect thing to have as a snack after work so that I can have a jog before dinner. (I didn't make any changes to the recipe)
Yay, I'm so glad you like these! They're the perfect pre-workout snack 🙂
These are delicious, I added a little diced red pepper but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. I love the texture and I'm always looking for easy grab and go breakfasts.
Love the idea of adding red pepper to these!
Made these this morning with leftover broccoli and cottage cheese my kids have decided to hate all of a sudden. My 4yo had a great time helping me.
Both the 4yo and 10mo are currently devouring them and asking when we can make them again.
Do you think this recipe would work using WW cake and pastry flour instead of the almond and chickpea flour?
Nope. That's a completely different recipe.
Believe it or not I was actually planning to comment on the old recipe just before I saw that you had updated it. I've made it so many times over the years for my kids. It's such a fantastic recipe for a high calorie but healthy snack (something I searched high and low for on the internet to help give my underweight toddler a boost). The kids always devour them and I love being able to keep them at the ready in the freezer. I had previously substituted quinoa flour for the soy flour. Look forward to trying this new variation!
This is a great recipe. I might try it with spelt flour, cause I have it, and love it.
I love spelt flour too. It'll change the protein profile a bit, but not too significantly.
this is great, i'm going to try it. My bf is a protein buff so he will definitely appreciate this. lol
Instead of the soy flour, do you think wholegrain flour + a scoop of protein OR skim milk powder could do the trick? I know soy flour is good for increasing the protein content without increasing the toughness but if not into the soy flour, do u know of anything else that could work. let me know what you think. or i can try it and let u know how it goes. 🙂
I recently make high protein pancakes with wholegrain flour, protein powder, ricotta cheese, egg, milk, blueberries and chocolate chips. turned out great! although a little on the brown side due to protein content and maillard reactions! (yes 340!!) lol!
they were delish nonetheless!
There isn't that much soy flour in the recipe, so I'm sure if you tried replacing it with all purpose or whole grain flour it wouldn't change the structure all that much. Most of the structure is coming from the eggs in this case anyways since there isn't any gluten in the soy flour. Give it a try and let me know how they turn out! There was a lot of maillard browning in these as well!
How do you think these would be with pureed squash or pumpkin ( I have bags of it in my freezer)?
I think that would make them really wet. The roasted squash is for adding tasty chunks (and isn't vital to the recipe, you could substitute lots of other chunky bits. Tomatoes? Olives?), pureed squash would drastically increase the moisture content. You could try it, but I'd personally save the puree for something else.