Infinitely adaptable savoury vegan muffins packed full of nutritious deliciousness. This easy recipe is quick to make and the muffins are ideal for lunch boxes, picnics, parties and pot luck events.
One of my work colleagues eats only vegan and sugar free food. Recently, we celebrated the many years she’d worked at our establishment. As she was leaving, we threw a socially distanced afternoon tea to wish her well in the future.
Baking something sweet was out of the question, so my thoughts turned to savoury. It was then I realised I’d never made a savoury vegan muffin. I’ve baked any number of sweet vegan cakes and muffins over the years, but somehow dipped out on what proved to be these super easy-to-make and delicious savoury vegan muffins.
Savoury Vegan Muffins
This recipe for savoury vegan muffins is quite similar to my carrot, cabbage and cheese muffins, only it’s vegan. I swapped the cheese for nutritional yeast, the yoghurt for a mix of plant milk and vinegar and the eggs for chia seeds.
The method is a really simple one. Once you’ve grated the carrot and snipped the chives, the muffins take almost no time to prepare. Start by making a chia seed egg, see below for how to do this. Then turn the oven on.
Whisk your dry ingredients together, then add the wet ingredients. Finish by stirring in the vegetables and herbs. The main thing to remember with muffins is to mix as little as possible. The more you stir them, the more gluten develops in the flour and gluten makes for a tough muffin rather than a soft one.
These muffins are both soft and moist, despite being made with wholemeal flour. I use wholemeal spelt flour for this sort of baking as it gives such a good results. It’s also generally better for gut health than modern wheat varieties.
The recipe makes twenty four mini muffins and twelve regular sized ones. You’ll need to bake them for twenty to twenty five minutes for the minis and twenty five to thirty minutes for the larger ones. When done, they’ll be well risen and firm to the touch. If you’re really not sure, take one out and tap it on the bottom, if it sounds hollow, it’s done.
Although the muffins are at their absolute best warm from the oven, they’re still super tasty when cool. They’re also quite filling. With this in mind, I tend to bake them as mini muffins. You can then indulge in a second or even a third one without feeling as if you’ve had one too many. This also means they’re perfect for parties.
How to Make a Chia Egg
Chia eggs help to stabilise and bind baked items together. You can use them as a direct replacement for eggs in many vegan bakes.
Mix one tablespoon of chia seeds with three tablespoons of water. Leave to swell until the seeds have absorbed all of the water and form a jelly like mass. It alway reminds me of frogspawn, but I try not to let that put me off. This usually takes between five to ten minutes.
I’ve done a lot of vegan baking in my time and I’m not entirely convinced they’re needed. They are, however, highly nutritious, so I’m happy to use them in these nutrient dense savoury vegan muffins.
You can use ground linseeds (flaxseeds) instead of chia and they will work in much the same way.
Versatile Savoury Vegan Muffins
As I’ve already stated, this savoury vegan muffin recipe is just a template. You can jazz it up or down just as you like. I reckon you could bake a batch every week of the year and get a delicious but different muffin each time, if you like a bit of variety in life.
If you try these muffins with an ingredient I haven’t mentioned, do let me know.
Vegetables To Use In Savoury Vegan Muffins
Whilst I’ve used grated carrots in this particular batch of savoury vegan muffins, you can swap them for any number of other vegetables. Use about a hundred grams after trimming. A bit more or a bit less won’t really matter. Here are a few suggestions:
- Beetroot – grated
- Brussels sprouts – finely sliced
- Butternut squash – grated
- Cabbage – finely sliced
- Celeriac – grated
- Courgette – grated. You may need to squeeze some of the moisture out if they’re particularly wet.
- Kale – finely sliced
- Spinach – chopped
- Sweetcorn kernels
- Sweet potato – grated
- Sweet peppers – finely chopped
Oil gives structure to muffins but it also helps to keep them tender and moist. Dry muffins are horrible.
As these are savoury vegan muffins, I’ve used oil rather than butter. Although muffins are generally made with oil anyway. I’ve used sunflower oil here as it’s cheap and relatively healthy. Olive oil is a lovely one to use and probably my favourite, but if you use extra virgin, it will have a distinctive taste.
However, you don’t need to stick to only sunflower or olive oil. You can use rapeseed oil, coconut oil or even avocado oil.
I often use yoghurt in savoury muffins, but for these I’ve used plant milk instead. I add a little cider vinegar to sour the milk, which not only adds to the flavour, but it helps the muffins to rise.
You can use any plant milk you like, but I find soy works particularly well in baking. I tend to have soy milk to hand as it’s the only plant milk that works for vegan mayonnaise and I make a lot of that.
How to Flavour Savoury Vegan Muffins
When it comes to flavour, the world’s your oyster, though not literally of course. There’s so much to choose from. Savoury muffins often contain cheese, but there are lots of alternative flavours and ingredients that make vegan savoury muffins taste just as good.
Nutritional yeast is an excellent flavouring for savoury vegan muffins. It gives a much needed cheesy umami boost and it also packs a nutritional punch. You could use Marmite, or an equivalent yeast extract instead, but you’d only need a teaspoon or two, so it’s not a direct swap. Likewise with brewers yeast, it will give the desired savoury notes, but it’s not a good idea to use too much of it.
Another good source of umami flavour is mushrooms. So how about using mushroom powder? I haven’t tried this yet, but it’s on my list.
Alliums such as onions and garlic give fantastic flavour to savoury muffins. I’ve used chives here, but you could swap those for spring onions (scallions), wild garlic, baby leeks or garlic chives. You could even add a finely diced shallot or small onion.
Herbs and Spices
When it comes to herbs and spices, I find smoked paprika works particularly well. I also like to add some freshly ground black pepper and a little chilli warmth. But I know that’s not everyone’s cup of tea, especially if children are destined to eat the muffins.
Coriander pairs well with carrot, so if you’re sticking to carrot as your vegetable, why not try it? Both the ground spice and fresh leaves (cilantro) are good.
Other herbs and spices you can use include, cumin, mustard powder, turmeric, garam masala, thyme and chopped parsley.
A spoonful of vegan pesto is another alternative to add a bit of zip to the flavour profile. I haven’t tried it, but I reckon my carrot top pistou would be a good bet too.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts make a great addition to savoury muffins. One of my favourites is walnuts. They seem to go best with the savouriness of the ingredients, but by all means experiment with other nuts. Just chop them roughly so that you get a bit of crunch, but not a whole nut.
If you like seeds, go ahead and add some. They’re full of nutritional goodness. Use a tablespoon of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or sesame seeds. Or go for a mix of all three. You could also scatter some over the top prior to baking.
Poppy seeds are another good one to use. Like most seeds, they’re an excellent source of antioxidants and are particularly rich in manganese and copper.
These vegan savoury muffins are completely open to experimentation. My only note of caution is to not use too many flavours together. Other additions or substitutions you could make include:
- sun-dried tomatoes – chopped
- jalapeno peppers – chopped
- pickled gherkins – chopped
- lemon zest – finely grated
How To Store Savoury Muffins
Savoury muffins are best stored at room temperature. They’re really not particularly nice when fridge cold. Line a tin or other airtight container with parchment or greaseproof paper and place the muffins inside. Cover with more paper and put the lid on. They’ll keep for three days like this.
If you want to keep them for longer, then go for the freezer option.
Freezing Savoury Muffins
Savoury muffins freeze really well. For best results freeze on the day of baking. Once out of the oven, allow to cool, then insert a suitable number in zip lock bags and place in the freezer. The number you have in each bag will very much depend on how many you’ll want to defrost at the same time.
They’ll keep well in the freezer for two to three months. After that, they’ll still be edible, but won’t taste as good.
To defrost, remove from the freezer, making sure you leave them locked in the bag. They should thaw at room temperature within a couple of hours. If they’re a bit soft or even soggy once thawed, you can place them in a hot oven (180℃ (350℉, Gas 4)) for ten minutes.
Other Vegan Bakes You Might Like
- Blueberry muffins
- Drizzle cake
- Healthy vegan carrot cake with cashew icing
- Peanut butter banana muffins
- Spelt burger buns
- Wholemeal scones
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make these vegan savoury muffins, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. And do please rate the recipe. Have you any top tips or favourite flavour combinations? Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
If you’d like more carrot recipes, follow the link and you’ll find I have quite a lot of them. All delicious, of course.
Vegan Savoury Muffins. PIN IT.
Savoury Vegan Muffins – The Recipe
Savoury Vegan Muffins
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 3 tbsp water
- 300 g wholemeal spelt flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 40 g nutritional yeast
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ¾ tsp sea salt
- 12 grinds black pepper
- 80 ml sunflower oil
- 250 ml plant milk I used soy milk
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 large carrot – topped, tailed, scrubbed and grated about 100g once grated
- 12-15 chive leaves – snipped or other finely chopped herbs, such as parsley
- Place the chia seeds in a small cup or glass and add the water. Leave to soak whilst you get on with grating the carrots and preparing the rest of the ingredients. They will soak up the water and form a gelatinous mass after a few minutes.
- Turn the oven on to 180℃ (160℃ fan, 350℉, Gas 4).
- Place all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together. Make a well in the centre.
- Pour in the oil, followed by the milk and then the vinegar and soaked chia seeds.
- Stir from the inside out until the batter is just mixed. Over stirring can cause dense and heavy muffins.
- Add the carrots (vegetables) and chives (herbs), then stir in until just mixed.
- Spoon into 24 mini muffin holes or 12 large muffin holes. There's no need for muffin cases if you use silicone, but may need them if you use a tin.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180℃ (350℉, Gas 4) for 20-25 minutes or until the muffins are well risen and firm to the touch. Larger muffins will need a bit longer.
- Turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Try not to eat them all at once.
I’m sharing this recipe for vegan savoury muffins with The Peachicks Bakery for #CookBlogShare.