Monday, April 22, 2013

Cheesy Spinach Muffins #MuffinMonday

A cheesy muffin with cheddar and feta and spinach, topped with thinly sliced tomatoes. There's thyme in there too! These guys are perfect for breakfast, brunch, lunch or a snack. 

There are a few staples I keep in my freezer, just in case.  Frozen spinach is one of them.  In a pinch, spinach can be thawed quickly and added into omelets or quiches or cheesy sauces for pasta.  It adds color and nutritional value without an overly strong or objectionable flavor.   It is also beautiful added into muffins.  (See exhibit A, above.)

I've got to tell you that this is my all-time most-visited on this entire blog. I published it originally almost four years ago and have made these muffins countless times since then. It is almost my most-pinned recipe. It give me great joy to know that folks are pinning and saving and making these!

Ingredients - for 12 muffins
3 1/2 oz or 100g frozen spinach
2 2/3 oz or 75g feta
3 1/2 oz or 100g extra sharp cheddar
2 tomatoes
2 cups or 250g flour
Sea salt flakes
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs
1/4 cup or 60ml olive oil
1 cup or 240ml milk
Several sprigs fresh thyme
Black pepper

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and grease your 12-cup muffin pan liberally with non-stick spray or butter.

Thaw your spinach with a few zaps in the microwave.  Or allow to thaw naturally, if you have time.  I never seem to.  Allow to cool, if you zapped it too long.

Buy the spinach that is frozen in cubes.  It's much easier then to thaw just what you need. 

Grate your cheddar cheese and crumble the feta.

Slice the tomatoes fairly thinly and leave to drain on some folded paper towels.  You need 12 slices so if you have any tomato left over, save it for a sandwich or share it with your helper.

Measure your flour, salt, baking powder, grated cheddar and some of the leaves off of your fresh thyme sprigs into a large mixing bowl and mix well.

Measure the milk and olive oil into a smaller bowl and whisk with the eggs and thawed spinach.   Just two eggs, pay no attention to that double yolk behind the curtain.  (Sorry, watched too much of The Wizard of Oz in my youth.)

Here’s something incredible, and I use that in the literal sense.  Hard to believe.  But true!  In the last week, I have opened SEVEN eggs that had double yolks.  I think I may have had one or two in the whole rest of my life!  And they weren’t all from the same batch of eggs, although they were the same brand.   Isn’t that something?!  Have you ever found a double yolked egg?

Fold your wet ingredients into your dry ones until just mixed.

Fold in the crumbled feta.

Divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups.

Pat the tomato slices really dry with another paper towel and top each cup of batter with one.

Sprinkle the tomato slices with a little more fresh thyme, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until you can see that the sides are turning golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.  Remove from the pan, loosening gently with a knife if necessary, and cool further on a wire rack.


For those who might need a gluten-free version, check out this post.  The author/baker saw this link on Pinterest and modified it for her family's needs.  Thank you, K!


  1. I always have frozen spinach in my freezer too! These muffins look like...just...the ultimate. I LURVE em!

  2. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I wish I had one of these muffins right now. It would be good for breakfast or brunch. I am bookmarking the page so I can try this recipe. If you get a chance stop by my blog Recipe for Life at and chck out some of my family favorite recipes.
    Deborah H. Bateaman - Author

  3. You can easily use fresh, Lauren. Just wilt it briefly in a hot pan with a little water and then drain well. Chop it up with a sharp knife. I don't know how big your bag is but, as you know, it cooks down to nothing so just keep throwing handfuls in the pan until you think you have enough. :) How that for precision? Honestly, a little more spinach or a little less spinach won't matter as long as you've drained it well after wilting. Things are great here! Hope Houston is treating you well!

  4. Hi Stacy! Wow! These muffins look great! I love muffins that can serve as a meal! These are great and I especially love the tomato on top!! beautiful, inventive and looks delicious!

  5. Thanks, Alice! They would make a great breakfast or brunch item for sure. Or even to accompany a bowl of soup at supper.

  6. I love savory muffins and these are perfect - but my favorite part is that beautiful tomato that you topped them with! I can just taste the garden fresh tomato melding into the spinach and cheese of the muffin and it looks so pretty too!

  7. These muffins sound so delicious and I love that they're pretty good for you too! The tomato hat on top is too cute!

  8. I don't know why I did that, Kelli! It just popped into my head and I'm so glad it did. At first, I was sad that they had baked up all crooked but then I decided that added character, and I liked them better like that. :)

  9. Compared to a sweet muffin, I guess these are healthier, although I'm not sure how low calorie they would be with the cheeses. The recipe does make 12, though, so it depends how many you eat. :)

  10. Oh I am totally making these muffins! I never seem to have the time to thaw my spinach either! LOL I am always wringing it out with paper towels after microwaving.

  11. For these, I didn't even bother to squeeze it dry, Karen. I did have to let it cool a little though so it wouldn't cook the eggs. I hope you enjoy them!

  12. Thanks! Will give that try. I need to stay away from the sweets b/c I'm 27 weeks pregnant and sugar makes the baby dance around like crazy!

  13. Woo hoo! Congratulations, Lauren! That is fabulous news!

  14. Hi Stacy,

    This is the prettiest blog post I have come across in a really long time. From the time I first saw this, I have been waiting to try this recipe out. I finally did try making them today slightly tweaking it and guess what, it came out quite well. Thanks for sharing this recipe, I'd thank you every time I make this entertaining a crowd or just for plain breakfast :)


  15. Thank you so much, Saloni! That is the sweetest compliment I have had in a long time.

  16. I just made these! I adapted the recipe a little - I used goat's cheese instead of feta and fresh spinach instead of frozen, and I didn't bother drying out the tomato (I'm lazy!) and they were reeeeally good! I blogged about them here if you're interested :) Thanks for the recipe!

  17. I made these today and they are delicious. I had to adapt to make them gluten-free (and use what I had on hand). Here is what I changed...

  18. Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed the recipe and for the link back, Becca. I appreciate it!

  19. Thanks, K! I left you a gluten-free baking question as a comment. I sure appreciate the link back!

  20. Do you think you could freeze these muffins after baking them? Is that something you have done?

  21. I freeze muffins ALL THE TIME. Just pop them in a Ziploc and suck the air out. They'll keep for several weeks. I haven't actually ever frozen THESE, they disappear too fast, but I don't see why they wouldn't behave like other muffins I have frozen.


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