This post is written by contributing writer, Justyn from Creative Christian Mama.
One of our favorite foods to freeze is a big batch of savory muffins. They are perfect for a quick breakfast, mid-afternoon snack, or as a bread to go with dinner. When I was pregnant with my second baby, my mom, four-year-old, and I spent an afternoon making several batches of muffins to freeze. This is a wonderful recipe for your kiddos to help with, both with the planning and the cooking!
When most people think of muffins, they think of sweet ones. We tried savory muffins for the first time a few years ago and now we’re hooked! There is just so much you can do with all of the flavor combinations.
- Meat: Bacon, prosciutto, pancetta, sausage… those are some of our favorites since just a little bit packs such a punch of flavor!
- Cheese: Goat, feta, cheddar, parmesan, and asiago are all very strongly flavored.
- Herbs: Rosemary, thyme, savory, oregano, marjoram, basil, dill. We like to use whatever we’re growing in our herb garden at the time!
- Spices: Smoked peppercorns, paprika, cumin, dried mustard, curry powder… whatever you like!
Before I get into the details, I want to let you know that this is a very forgiving recipe. In fact, it’s really not a recipe at all! I’ll give you our basic guidelines that we’ve found to work well, but feel free to change it up and get creative to see what you like best!
We start with a very basic muffin recipe and then create a tasty combination using some of the above ingredients. For one dozen muffins, we use roughly:
- 1 cup of meat, chopped or crumbled
- 1 cup of cheese, shredded, crumbled or diced
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of herbs, either fresh or dried
- 1 to 2 teaspoons spices
Here are some of our favorite flavor combinations:
- Bacon, cheddar, and cumin.
- Prosciutto, goat cheese, and rosemary.
- Sausage, cheddar, and sage.
- Pancetta, asiago, thyme, and smoked peppercorns.
Just be creative! You can use your own basic muffin recipe, or the one I’ve included at the bottom of this post. Either way, here are some tips that we’ve learned to make things easier.
- Add the meat, cheese, herbs, and spices to the dry ingredients. Coating/mixing them with the flour will keep them from clumping together.
- Double, triple, or even quadruple the batch! Muffins cook quickly and you might as well go ahead and make four dozen for only a few more minutes of work.
- Let them cool completely before you prepare them for the freezer. If you wrap and freeze them while they’re still warm, they will be soggy when they thaw.
- Once they are frozen, you can bury them under other things without smashing them, so don’t think that they will take up a ton of freezer space. We love storing them in the drawer at the bottom of our freezer to keep them all together, easily accessible, and out of the way!
- To thaw, you can just move them from the freezer to the fridge and let them thaw overnight. We have also unwrapped them and thawed them in the toaster oven (we don’t use microwaves), which works beautifully. It only takes 5 to 10 minutes on “defrost” and they’ll taste like you just baked them!
- To make it even more fun, we make a different flavor combination for each dozen muffins and put a few of each flavor into each bag. When we pull out a bag to thaw, we have a variety, rather than all one kind.
Basic Muffin Recipe
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
- 1 cup milk or buttermilk
- 1 large egg, well beaten
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in all the add-ins (meat, cheese, herbs, and spices) until they are well coated/mixed.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg, milk/buttermilk, and melted butter until well blended.
- Stir the liquid ingredients into the flour mixture just until the dry ingredients are moistened (do not over-mix!).
- Spoon batter into muffin tins until each cup is 3/4 full. (Depending on the amount of add-ins and the size of your muffin tins, this will make 12 to 16 muffins).
- Bake at 400 degrees 15-20 minutes (they are done when a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean).
- Cool on a wire rack 5 minutes, then remove the muffins from the tins and leave them on the wire racks until completely cooled.
- Make certain that the muffins are completely cooled to prevent them from becoming soggy when they thaw.
- For each muffin, tear off a square of plastic wrap and set each muffin upside-down in the center of each square.
- Wrap the plastic wrap around each muffin and slide each one into a gallon-sized freezer bag, making a single layer of muffins.
- When a bag is full, gently close it and slide it into the freezer.
- Once the muffins are frozen, you can layer them or even just toss the bags into a freezer drawer like we do!
- Remove one or more muffins from the freezer and set them in the fridge overnight. They should thaw by the next day, or you can leave them in the fridge for up to a week.
- To thaw muffins quickly, remove them from the bag, take off the plastic wrap, and set them directly on the rack in the oven or toaster oven. Set it to “warm” or “defrost” and check every five minutes. Once you know how long it takes them to thaw, you can just set a timer.