Savory Caramelized Onion, Feta, & Herb Muffins

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These muffins were revolutionary for me.  Until I made them, I had never had a savory muffin before (yes, you read that right…never!  Well, except cornbread, if that counts ;) ).  These muffins were unique to me because they showed that good muffins don’t need a boatload of sugar to be delicious (and so incredibly moist!).  I’m even thinking of remaking a few of my favorite sweet muffins (like blueberry, apple cinnamon, banana walnut, and lemon poppy) with this basic recipe (obviously omitting the savory additions), because these muffins are so tasty I really don’t think the sugar will be missed.

I made these to go along with the Pancake Chicken Salad I recently made, and they were definitely a wonderful accompaniment.  They also made fantastic little sandwiches on their own (turkey and spinach was divine, as was tomato and cheese), or they’re great toasted under the broiler and spread with a little bit of cream cheese or butter.

When I made these muffins I was just playing around with the ingredients I had on hand; the flavors I used (caramelized onion, feta, and rosemary) can absolutlely be swapped out to suit your tastes.  I’m planning to make a batch with sharp cheddar, dried cranberries, and orange zest, and then a batch with provolone, sundried tomato, and basil.  And after that I’m sure I’ll think of something else.  :)

Savory Caramelized Onion, Feta, & Herb Muffins

 (Yield:  10-12 muffins)

1 medium cooking onion, thinly sliced

3 TB canola oil, divided

1 c all-purpose flour (plus a little more to flour the muffin tray)

1 c whole wheat flour

1 TB baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

Slightly scant 1/4 tsp pepper

2 large eggs

1 1/4 c milk (low-fat or fat-free is fine)

1 TB brown sugar, lightly packed

1 TB minced fresh green herbs, plus a few more leaves intact for decorating the tops if desired (I used rosemary, but I think any of the following would also be good:  dill, thyme, parsley, or chives)

1/2 c crumbled feta (or any cheese you like)

Butter (to grease the muffin tray)

In a medium-sized, thick-bottomed pot, heat 1 TB oil over medium-high heat until it starts to ripple, then add onion and stir to coat onion with the oil.  Cook about 5 to 10 minutes, until onion starts to soften and turn color (stirring occasionally).  Lower heat to medium-low/low and cook about 15 to 20 minutes more (again, stirring occasionally) until onion is a rich caramel color.  (You can add a splash of water at any point in the process if the onions start to stick to the pan too much.)  Let onion cool completely. 

Preheat oven to 350F.  Butter and flour a muffin tray (or line it with paper liners, if you prefer).

In a small bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, salt, and pepper.  In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining 2 TB canola oil, eggs, milk, and brown sugar.  Gradually whisk dry ingredients into wet, being careful not to over-mix.  Gently stir in herbs, feta, and caramelized onion.

Fill each muffin well 3/4 full; if desired, sprinkle a few leaves of whatever herb you used on top of the muffins.  Bake 20-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.  Let cool 10 minutes in the tray, then remove and finish cooling on a wire rack.

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Comments

  1. says

    These are so going on my to do list! I know my boyfriend won’t eat them… which is perfectly fine with me, because I want them all to myself!

  2. says

    Savory muffins are the best! I wish I had someone to share them with though because I can’t make them and it them all by myself. I mean, I could, technically, but it wouldn’t be very good for me.

  3. says

    Beautiful Faith. You’re right. I always default to sweet, but obviously savory can be just as delicious if not more so. This version you’ve put together looks downright fantastic!

  4. Lu says

    You are my new hero. I can’t imagine anything better than these. Well, I can imagine some things, but right now these muffins are all I want.

  5. says

    These muffins look especially good! I’m thrilled with your suggestion of provolone, sundried tomato and basil. I’m going to try that, maybe this weekend! Thanks for the marvelous suggestions. Love your site, by the way. Happy weekend!

  6. says

    Aren’t savory muffins the best? These look wonderful and delicious, Faith, and I love your combination of flavors. I make savory muffins for my husband’s weekday breakfasts with Italian sausage, cornmeal, bell peppers, cheddar, etc. SO yummy! Glad you’ve opened yourself up to a new kind of muffin recipe!

  7. says

    You sure have some great ingredients ideas for muffins. Sometimes the best creations evolve from playful cooking. These muffins sure look moist and wonderfully delicious. Have a great weekend!

  8. says

    I have never eaten savoury muffins myself.These look so so good with feta.I m glad that this recipe is with canola oil.I love the healthy twists you add to your recipes.Have a nice weekend my friend :)

  9. says

    Wow! How unique!! I’ve never had a savory muffin. I like the idea though. And they look so beautiful with the fresh herbs peaking out of the top. Hope you have a nice weekend!

  10. says

    I predict that the savory muffin is going to replace the dinner roll in years to come. There is way more going on in these than in your average dinner roll. (Plus then it’s kind of like you get to eat a cupcake with dinner. Hellz yeah.)

  11. says

    And i have yet to bake or have my sav muffin!
    What struck me first were those little mounds of joy Faith!
    I have never had any muffins rise so high , even after i shifted to a double acting baking powder!
    I dont know what it is i do or dont do , or my oven that has a mind of its own :-)
    Any tips?
    That said ,im gng ,yet again , with a bookmark , as well as hungry!
    I can imagine this with the pancake chicken!
    And i had a good dinner of tandoori paneer and potatoes while the family had chicken :-)
    ( u dont want to know why i aint eating chicken at the moment , i promise , but i cook , bake , grill for family , lol)

    Moist and no sugar , + whole wheat , these couldn get better really..
    and i cant get over those mounds ,keep going back to that first pic, beautiful!
    Will try this recipe and see if the same happens this side of town!
    Happy weekend and sunshine love!

  12. says

    I can’t say I’ve ever had a savory muffin either, aside from corn muffins. With the flavors you used I can see why they are so delicious! Love your other ideas too.

  13. says

    Faith…I love making savoury muffins…and yours are definately going on my to do list. Excellent blend of ingredients. I’m doing the happy dance ;o)

    Have a great weekend and flavourful wishes,
    Claudia

  14. says

    You know Faith, aside from corn muffins… I don’t think I’ve ever made savory muffins before… and even the corn muffins have sugar in them. These would be so good with a bowl of warm soup… really great recipe!

  15. admin says

    Mia, I do have a couple tips if your muffins aren’t rising as much as you’d like them too. First, make sure your leavening agent (usually baking powder when it comes to muffins) is fresh. Then make sure you’re using the right amount of leavening agent in comparision to how much flour and wet ingredients you’re using. Be sure not to over-mix the batter (even a few lumps are better than over-mixed batter!). Hope these tips help! :)

  16. says

    Great photos, Faith! Butter melting on anything makes me go weak in the knees! When I attended Christmas in November at the Fairmont Hotel Jasper Park Lodge in the Rocky Mountains last year, Canada’s own Chef Michael Smith introduced his audience (it is written about in my post on him) to savoury sugar cookies. They were fantastic. The experience was as surreal for me as this one was for you. Try cookies, too!
    :)
    Valerie

  17. says

    I just finished making these and, oh my gosh, they came out perfect! I’m hosting a private sale tomorrow and I’m featuring tese as part of my snacks! I think they’ll be a hit! I’ll just warm them up again before serving and presto!

    Thanks!

  18. Elana says

    I just made these and they are absolutely lovely! Fool-proof and delicious, they turned out exactly like the photograph!

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