Cheesy Carrot & Courgette Savoury Muffins - perfect breakfast, snack & packed lunch staple. These wholesome veggie muffins are loved by kids & adults alike!
These Cheesy Carrot and Courgette Muffins came about by accident and during the fridge clear out. Trying to come up with a snack food using tired courgette, a chunk of cheddar and a carrot. Soup perhaps? Would kids eat it though? To be fair they probably would but I fancied something more portable we can take with us to the park after school. Savoury muffins were born.
They are not just for kids, mind you! I've been having them for lunch with a side of my Homemade Fresh Tomato Salsa (Pico De Gallo), soo good!
Check out my Vegan Savoury Vegetable Muffins for tried and tested plant-based version.
How do I make self-raising flour to use in Cheesy Carrot & Courgette Savoury Muffins?
The recipe calls for self-raising flour but if you don't have any there is a quick tip, make your own! All it takes is adding 2 teaspoon of baking powder to each 150g/1 cup of plain flour (as per Nigella Lawson herself). As this recipe calls for 225g / ½lb flour you will need 3 teaspoon of baking powder.
Knowing this easy hack comes very handy especially is you'd like to use different type of flour than just plain white. I've made these with white spelt and white rye flours before with great results. Using half wholemeal and half plain (all-purpose) flour will work well too. Don't forget to add baking powder whenever not using self-raising varieties!
My grated courgette/zucchini is really wet what can I do?
One thing to mention straight from the start is the water content of the veg you are using. Courgettes especially have very high water content, hence (once grated) the excess liquid they produce should be squeezed out. You can use thin muslin cloth or kitchen towel to squeeze the liquid out or simply pop them onto the sieve over the sink and squeeze as much as you can with your hand. Do the same with grated carrot.
How can I adapt these savoury muffins?
There are so many veggie adaptations you can try with these savoury muffins. You could try the following:
- grated sweet potato in place of carrot
- some chopped red pepper
- fresh baby spinach (washed, dried and chopped)
- some chopped spring onions
- fried and softened onion or leek
- sliced and fried mushrooms
- some smoked paprika
- crumbled feta or goat's cheese instead of cheddar
When it comes to quantity of veggies you are adding there really isn't a specific answer. You can add as much or as little as you want. I tend to be quite generous.
How can I make these veggie muffins vegan/dairy-free/gluten-free?
To make these muffins vegan you can replace an egg with 56g (¼ cup) of mashed avocado or alternatively ground flaxseed (1Tbsp/7g) mixed with 3 Tbsp/45ml water.
Dairy milk can be replaced with oat or almond milk which work really well here.
As for the cheese you could try vegan substitute or add a tablespoon of Marmite to the mix for that cheesy, stinky umami flavour!
For gluten-free version try using your favourite gluten-free flour.
What's so great about these Cheesy Carrot & Courgette Savoury Muffins & can I freeze them?
What I really love about these muffins is that they are so quick and easy to prepare (no need for food processor here). Just pop your dry ingredients in a bowl, mix, add wet ingredients, mix again and that's it!
You can store these muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. I wouldn't recommend storing them in the fridge as it alters their texture and makes them go stale quicker.
They are freezer friendly so you can always have perfect little snack ready, just take them out of the freezer and defrost in room temperature for couple of hours. When freezing wrap them individually in some aluminium foil and pop in the freezer for up to 4 months. You might want to put them in the labeled freezer bag so that you know what they are. Having these frozen saved my bacon more than once when it comes to having yummy stuff for my son for his packed lunches.
One quite important tip I need to give you here is to try and resist eating these Cheesy Carrot and Courgette Savoury Muffins straight from the oven. When they first come out they will feel firm and springy to the touch, however they will be quite sloppy inside. Let them cool first (I know it's difficult, trust me). They are best slightly warm but definitely let them rest once out of the oven and you shall be rewarded!
Cheesy Carrot & Courgette Savoury Muffins - Step-By-Step
Cheesy Carrot and Courgette Savoury Muffins
- 225 g self-raising flour see notes
- 125 g mature cheddar or vegan cheese grated
- 175 ml milk (oat or almond milk work really well too)
- 55 ml rapeseed/sunflower/olive oil
- 1 egg lightly beaten see notes for alternatives
- salt pepper
- 1 large courgette grated and liquid squeezed out one I used was approx 340g
- 1 large carrot grated and liquid squeezed out one I used was approx. 150g
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/ Gas Mark 4.
- Start with preparing your veggies by washing and grating the courgette (no need to peel) and washing, peeling and grating the carrot. Squeeze the excess liquid as discussed above.
- In a bowl mix together flour and grated cheese. Add grated veggies and mix some more.
- Follow with all your wet ingredients and mix until well combined.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Divide between 12 muffin cases and bake for approx. 25-30 min. Make sure the top is nicely coloured and springs back when you touch it. Let the muffins cool on the cooling rack.
- Nutritional information is approximate and should be treated as a guideline only.
- If you don't have self-raising flour simply use same amount of plain (all-purpose) flour with 3 teaspoon of baking powder.
- You can replace an egg with 56g (¼ cup) of mashed avocado or alternatively ground flaxseed (1Tbsp/7g) mixed with 3 Tbsp/45ml water.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days otherwise freeze. I wouldn't recommend storing them in the fridge as it alters their texture and makes them go stale quicker.
Update Notes: This post was originally published on 5 April 2017 and republished in March 2019 with some more useful info, updated Pin, photos, step by step instructions and recipe card.
Adapted from My Daddy Cooks: 100 Fresh New Recipes for the Whole Family*
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Margaret Mason says
This recipe does not work! After being on this planet for 72 years, I should have known better than to expect success from this type of recipe, which has a lot of watery ingredients. Following the instructions to the letter by squeezing the excess water from the courgettes and carrots simply yielded a hot,soggy, uncooked mess after more than 30 minutes of baking time. I threw the uneaten muffins away as they were inedible. However, not being one to waste ingredients unduly, I had kept the leftover batter. I added a bit more liquid and a few grams of porridge oats and made mini savoury pancakes with it. I plan to use them as an accompaniment to home made Cauliflower Soup.
Hello Margaret and many thanks for your feedback!
I don't know what to say beside the fact that this recipe does work as I have been making it for a long time both with eggs and with egg substitutes. The only things I can think of would be the oven temperature might not have been high enough (180C), too much veg (I stick to suggested max 340g for courgette and 150g for carrots) and letting the muffins rest once they're out of the oven as they do firm up as they cool. Best wishes. Jo
These are delicious, thanks for the recipe. I made mine with gluten-free flour and baked them for 30 mins. They did stick to the paper cases rather badly, any tips to avoid this?
Hi Jo, Really pleased you enjoyed the muffins. As for them sticking, I would suggest baking them without any paper liners but in silicone muffin trays gently sprayed with a touch of oil. That's how I bake mine and they come out beautifully every time. There are lots of inexpensive options available online and they're brilliant! However, if that's not an option for you at the moment, perhaps try brushing the inside of your paper liners with a touch of oil before pouring the batter in and hopefully that will make a difference. Also remember to let them cool on the wire rack first. Hope that helps a bit!
Rachel Andrews says
Hiya from what age are these appropriate?
Hi Rachel, That's entirely up to you when you'd like to offer them. Personally, I think they're great when doing baby lead weaning and I know from experience that toddlers love them. 🙂
Looked great on the outside but didn’t cook on the inside . What have I done wrong ?
Hi, Sorry to hear that. Two things that come to mind are whether you squeezed the liquid out of your veg (especially courgette) and whether you let the muffins cool down before eating? They are usually quite soft first thing after they come out of the oven (think all the veg and cheese in them) and need a moment to rest and firm up. Have you noticed their consistency change once cooled down?
Same happened to me:-( I did try to squeeze the liquids out but perhaps not very well. The whole house smells soo lovely but I'm not sure now if I'd be able to eat them. Gutted.
Hi Cecylia, We've made them more times than I can count and the recipe really works. Make sure you let them cool down first as they do firm up as they cool. Were they nicely coloured and springy to touch after 30 minutes in the oven? If in doubt and they're not too brown keep them in the oven for a few extra minutes as ovens differ. Best wishes. Jo
I love these such a good snack they are so delicious thank you jo keep the recipes coming!!
Thank you so much Isabelle! You just made my day. 🙂 x
I made these for my 10 month old baby today. OMG they are a dream!! So so yummy! Very light and fluffly. Baby loved it and so did I ( I might have stolen a couple 🙈)
I'm so pleased that both baby and yourself liked them. They make perfect finger food for little ones with lots of goodness sneaked in! Thanks so much for letting me know Jessica! 🙂 x
jenny walters says
I absolutely love these. They look so tasty and I love that they're pocket sized! I really am tempted to try them out on my veggie phobic son! These are just great for snacking on in the holidays I would imagine. I will let you know how I get on.
Thanks Jen! They are great all-rounders really. We've had them for breakfast, lunch, picnic, as a car journey snack you name it! Look forward to hearing how you got on! 🙂
Anna | Once Upon A Food Blog says
These look gorgeous. Perfect picnic food!
Thanks Anna! They are indeed, super portable!
Kat (The Baking Explorer) says
Mmm I love savoury muffins, these look delicious!
Thanks Kat! I love how versatile they are and that kids really love them too!
I’ve just made them for my 16 month old, they were very easy to make! I made a double batch used all carrot as I had lots to use and a bit less cheese to keep the salt levels low. I think he’s going to love them!
Kat, I'm so pleased to hear that! Fingers crossed your little one approves. 🙂 x
Elizabeth Allen says
Try slicing the eggplant into 3/8"-1/2"-inch ROUNDS, (Sorry, I'm in the USA) of EGGPLANT/Courgette (NO-oils of any kind should spoil these virgins) and placing them in a broiler tray on the middle shelf of oven and broil until their surface is dry like a piece of white paper, and any blackened spots should be cut-off with kitchen scissors and discarded, then go ahead and dice for use, this way you avoid any extra salt ( I have failing kidneys and luckily I thought to try this some years ago for "My Genuine Moussaka- the National Dish of Greece", so it shouldn't have any grease at all!!!) and this will intensify the courgette flavors, yummmm, I can't wait until our cougete season hits us hard and I'll make these with "My Moussaka"!!! Thank you, you are magnificent and Merry Christmas, Hannukah's over, But Happy Belated Hannukah, and Happy Yuletude-Winter Solstice and Candlemas and Happy-Happier-Happiest New Year Ever for 2019!!! Thank you for your spectacular recipes!!!
Thank you Elizabeth and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you too! 🙂