It's easy to think of muffins as something sweet and a treat. But, that's not always true. Savory muffins have always had a place in our diet, especially as snacks or as part of a lunch.
In general though, savory muffins do tend to be less common and less popular than their sweet cousins. To me, that seems like a bit of a pity, because there really are so many options with savory muffins.
With this list, I was specifically looking for recipes that were a little bit unusual just because it's always fun to have a idea to work with and share. To be honest, I was shocked with the variety of different types of muffins out there, including taste combinations that I hadn't even thought of previously.
I don't think I have a single favorite from the list, but I did find that both the simple and the complex recipes were appealing for different reasons. If you've ever made savory muffins, feel free to let me know in the comments what your favorite flavor combination was.
Unique Savory Muffin Recipes
28. Sausage and Kale Cornbread Muffins
These muffins from mountainmamacooks.com are a great example of how unique savory muffins can be. The use of sausage would make this recipe a particularly good choice for early in the morning, while the kale gives the whole thing a fresh component. Kelley notes that these are basically a muffin form of a breakfast casserole and I'm inclined to agree.
27. Chive and Nettle Muffins
The idea of using nettles in muffins is really a bit novel, but then again, so are many of the recipes from energyanaturalfacelift.com. Even though the recipe is a bit unusual, it is a cool approach if you are trying to cook using foraged ingredients. The end result certainly offers a talking point if you were going to share the muffins with friends.
26. Ham, Cheese and Spinach Muffins
When it comes to savory muffins, the combination of ham, cheese and spinach is one of the more common ones.
After all, the flavors do combine together very well. Another cool thing about this type of muffin is that they are easy to make. That's probably why the recipe is featured at learnwithplayathome.com, as Debs focuses on food that kids can help to create.
25. Pumpkin and Sundried Tomato Muffins
Pumpkin recipes are always a great choice for the fall, and I love the way that the pumpkin is paired with sundried tomatoes, which would give the recipe just a little bit of a bite.
You can find the recipe at themerrymakersisters.com if you want to give it a try, and the authors also talk about alternatives to sundried tomatoes if you don't like those.
24. Quinoa, Feta, Capsicum and Corn Muffins
Quinoa has become a popular alternative grain, and I always love seeing it used in recipes like these muffins from fussfreecooking.com.
The recipe itself is one that I particularly admire, because it makes use of so many different components. Recipes like that tend to work very well because you are left with a complex and appealing flavor.
23. ‘Accidental' Vegan Carrot Muffins
Emma from baketheneat.com calls these accidental vegan muffins because she was making a different recipe then left out the eggs by mistake. It's always funny how kitchen mistakes can end up making great recipes and Emma tweaked this mistake a little bit more to get a pretty appealing recipe that has a great texture.
22. Spinach Muffins with Onions and Ricotta
My first thought with these muffins from atastylovestory.com is that I love the way they look, especially with the pumpkin seeds for decoration.
The recipe itself is also pretty cool, because it's a twist on the common combination of spinach and cheese. Josephine also notes that the muffins freeze well, so it would be easy to make a batch and set it aside for another time.
21. Zucchini and Sundried Tomato Muffins
This savory muffin recipe is quite impressive, as it images to be nut-free and also paleo. Recipes like that are great, because they can be used for such a wide variety of people.
The recipe comes from eatdrinkpaleo.com.au and the end result is something that looks great and probably tastes just as good.
20. Savory Breakfast Muffins
I wasn't sure what to call this entry into the list, as the post at veggierunners.com is a recipe that makes two different types of muffins. You can actually see that in the image too.
The top line of muffins are toasted seeds and cheddar, while the bottom line is black olives and Italian cheese. Personally, I think both types of muffins look great, but you could always choose to make one or the other.
19. Spinach and Cheese Cornbread Muffins
This recipe is another twist on the combination of spinach and cheese, with the cheese this time being goat cheese. The recipe is hosted over at amyshealthybaking.com and I'm very taken by the decision to use cornbread muffins.
The color of the cornbread contrasts really well with the spinach, which makes the muffins stand out.
18. Gruyere and Garlic Savory Muffins
To me, these muffins feel like a grown up version of cheese muffins. Part of that is because gruyere cheese is used. But, it's more than just that. Kate at thevegspace.co.uk also uses additional ingredients (including the garlic) to really make these muffins come alive.
17. Pesto Pine Nut Parmesan Muffins
I've always found pesto to be a particularly appealing flavor, and the way that foodlustpeoplelove.com combines it with pine nuts in these muffins seems pretty much perfect. The recipe is also for mini muffins, so these would be a great option for a quick snack or for an appetizer.
16. Sour Cream and Chive Muffins
These sour cream and chive muffins from roxanashomebaking.com are a great example of how a recipe can be both simple and complex. The flavors used seem fairly simple, but at the same time, the end result is a batch of unique muffins. Plus, you just have to look at the photo to see how perfect they end up looking.
15. Baked Potato Muffins
The idea of baked potato muffins might sound a bit surprising, but that doesn't mean you should ignore them. In fact, these muffins from portandfin.com look fantastic and they're a pretty cool idea too.
You'll have to check out the recipe for all the details, but these are far more than muffins that happen to look or taste like loaded potatoes.
14. Cheesy Chive Muffins
These muffins from cubesnjuliennes.com look simple, but don't let their appearance fool you.
The thing I love about this particular recipe is that it relies on herbs and other ingredients to create an interesting and complex taste. So, you end up with muffins that appear simple, but taste quite different when you actually bite into them.
13. Kale and Sundried Tomato Mini Muffins
Combining sundried tomatoes and kale into muffins might be an unusual approach, but it is also a good one. These muffins from rednailsgreenveggies.com are a very healthy option for savory muffins, especially because you don't have to deal with the heaviness of meat.
The choice of flavors is also pretty cool, because sundried tomatoes do have a tendency to make recipes that bit more interesting.
12. Cheddar, Chive and Bacon Muffins
This savory muffin comes from erinnudi.com and it is a simpler option than many of the other items on this list.
That's not a bad thing though. The recipe is a great one for people new to savory muffins, particularly because it is simple and easy to follow. The choice of ingredients would also work to win over even the fussiest of eaters.
11. Kale, Chili and Buckwheat Muffins
These little muffins from thelittleloaf.com are a great way to get extra vegetables in your diet, and kale itself contains all sorts of nutrients, making it particularly appealing.
The use of chili in this recipe is pretty cool and it's a great way to impart a slightly different flavor. I imagine that these muffins would go perfect warm with butter, or whatever spread you fancy.
10. Bacon and Cheese Muffins with Honey Butter
I love this particular savory muffin recipe for its overall flavoring and also because of the honey butter. The recipe comes from cookingandbeer.com and it is actually a bit more complex than just bacon and cheese muffins.
That's a good thing though, because the flavors in these muffins work together really well and are a perfect complement to the honey butter.
9. Olive Thyme Mini Muffins
With savory muffins there are a lot of flavors that you see repeated over and over again, like ham and cheese or bacon and cheese. But, these muffins from gourmandeinthekitchen.com are a complete deviation from this approach, relying largely on olive and thyme flavors.
Personally, I think the flavor combination sounds absolutely perfect and it matches well with the size of the mini muffins.
8. Butternut Squash, Spinach and Feta Muffins
Here is another muffing that fits in perfectly with the season. I found the recipe over at everylastbite.com and loved it immediately.
One of the best things about this recipe is that it uses different flavors than you'd expect. So, the muffins would be a bit of a surprise for anyone biting into them, but that would be a good surprise because it really is a good recipe.
7. Savory Ham and Cheese Muffins
Ham and cheese savory muffins are a classic, and for a good reason. The flavors do work together extremely well, something that toworkwithmyhands.com shows in this recipe.
Like most savory muffins, this recipe would be a great option for breakfast, and is certainly much healthier than a sweet muffin. As Karen notes, you can also add in some other ingredients to make the recipe a little bit more interesting.
6. Polenta and Semi-Dried Tomato Chili Cheese Muffins
This batch of muffins from angieisagirl.wordpress.com manages to be both cheesy and spicy, which is a fun combination of flavors.
The recipe itself is surprisingly simple, and it would be a very easy one for just about anyone to follow. I love the way they look and they would also be quite a surprise to anyone who just expected a simple cheesy muffin.
5. Cheesy Muffins with Turkey Bacon and Chives
This recipe is a slight twist on one of the classic flavors for savory muffins and the change works well.
Turkey bacon is a great alternative to bacon for people trying to cut down on calories and it still ends up tasting just as good, especially in recipes like this one. The recipe comes from 6ftfit.com and it is worth checking out.
4. Cheesy, Sausage and Chive Muffins
Sausages are a great breakfast food, so it makes sense to throw them in savory muffins.
This recipe is also a gluten free option for muffins, which is great as most muffins (savory or otherwise) do contain gluten. The recipe comes from runninsrilankin.com and it looks like the muffins would be a popular option for young and old alike.
3. Ham and Swiss Muffins
We're back to a classic flavor combination, but there are a few things about this recipe from clockworklemon.com that make it a bit special. One thing is the use of Swiss cheese, which really changes up the flavor of the muffins.
The other thing is the way the recipe uses chunks of ham. Big pieces of ham can work really well in savory muffins because they give such a cool texture and they mean that every bite is not the same.
2. Ham and Chive Breakfast Muffins
These ham and chive muffins look simple, but there is more to them than meets the eye. You can find the recipe at cakeistheonlythingthatmatters.com and it's a bit unusual because the muffins end up with a texture that is similar to quiche, rather than muffins.
Personally, I think that's a fantastic outcome and would be a great option for people who aren't that excited by muffins.
1. Kale and Rhubarb Muffins
The inclusion of rhubarb in this muffin recipe from delectable-victuals.blogspot.co.nz is unusual, and it does mean the muffin would be a bit sweeter than most other items on this list.
I had to include it though, because the choice of flavors is just too good to ignore, especially if you have a lot of rhubarb at hand. Like other savory muffins, these ones would work well as a snack or breakfast, and taste best when they are warm.