Cheddar Cheese and Olive Oil Savory Muffins

 I had precisely one half cup of cheddar cheese in a bag that was just begging to be used.

I thought about just sprinkling it on a salad, but that wouldn’t have been as fun as muffins.

You’re thinking, oh but that sounds like a lot of work, baking and muffin-making rather than salad sprinkling.


Dump everything in one bowl, stir a few times, pour into liners, and bake.

The recipe only makes six muffins and because I don’t need any more than half of a dozen little white bread nuggets made with with cheese and olive oil just laying around, I am always grateful for small-batch recipes.

And grateful for cheesy and easy.

These would be wonderful served alongside chili (vegan) or as a dipping vehicle for salsa.

I can imagine sour cream or cream cheese would be wonderful on them, but I wasn’t going to open a fresh 8-ounce container just for these.

I save unopened 8-ounce tubs of cream cheese for these. Priorities people.

This recipe could support the addition of a few vegetables or even extra protein if you’re so inclined. Corn, bell peppers, spinach, artichokes, beans, precooked shredded chicken, canned salmon or tuna stirred in.

But I wasn’t inclined so these are just dough and cheese. They’re cheesy in flavor but don’t have a pizza cheese quality, with cheese just oozing and stinging everywhere. You could add more cheese and make them more like that but I was fresh out of cheese after my little half cup.

The olive oil subtly flavored the dough and kept them moist.

For savory muffins, these weren’t too shabby and were inhaled by the family. But if I’m being honest, I prefer sweet mango muffins and sweet will always trump savory for me.


Cheddar Cheese and Olive Oil Savory Muffins (Small-batch recipe)

Makes 6 muffins

2 tablespoons butter, melted

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons cream or milk

1 large egg

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese, loosely packed (I used extra sharp)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon pepper, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon optional seasoning(s), to taste (garlic powder, onion powder, chipotle seasoning, Lowry’s, Old Bay, Mrs. Dash blend, 21 Salute)

1/3 cup vegetables or pre-cooked protein, optional (corn, bell peppers, spinach, artichokes, beans, shredded chicken, salmon, tuna)

Preheat oven to 425F, line a muffin pan with 6 liners; set aside.

In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. Add the olive oil, cream, egg, and whisk vigorously to combine. Add the cheese and stir gently. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, optional seasonings, vegetables, or protein, and stir until just incorporated, taking care not to overmix which would result in tougher muffins. The batter will be thick, gloppy, and lumpy; this is okay. Divide batter evenly among the liners, filling each cavity to about three-quarters full.

Bake at 425F for 5 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 375F and bake for 12 to 15 more minutes, or until tops are just golden and barely browned (total baking time, about 17 to 20 minutes) Tip: baking at high heat for 5 minutes helps muffins rise better. These muffins can be prone to drying out so take care not to overbake; they will set up more as they cool.

Allow muffins to cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before removing. Serve immediately. Optionally serve with butter, sour cream, cream cheese, salsa, guacamole, peanut butter, almond butter, or other dip or spread if desired. Store leftover muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

To keep these gluten-free, use your favorite all-purpose gluten-free flour blend.


Related savory and cheesy recipes:

Baked Savory Cream Cheese & Herb Donuts (vegetarian)

Chips and Cheese Chili Casserole (vegetarian/vegan, GF)

Cheesy Taco Casserole (vegetarian, GF)

Cheezy Vegetable Bake (vegetarian/vegan, GF)

Roasted Grapes and Balsamic Reduction with Cheese and Crackers (vegetarian)

Avocado, Cream Cheese, and Salsa-Stuffed Puff Pastries (vegetarian)

 Have you ever made savory muffins?

The closest I’ve come were these savory donuts. The savory donuts could be made as muffins, and today’s muffins could be made as donuts, if you’re wanting to switch things up.

Have you ever baked with olive oil?

I know some people make sweet cakes and sweet breads with it, but I haven’t. There is a noticeable flavor that olive oil imparts and it’s great in all things savory from muffins to stir fries, but I’ve held off in trying it with sweeter recipes.

If you’ve tried a sweeter recipe made with olive oil, let me know about it or feel free to link it up.

Thanks for the Magimix by Robot-Coupe Food Processor & Juice Extractor Giveaway entries


  1. Pingback: Cheese Recipes

  2. oh avery – I just LOVE the colors! the muffins look great, Im sure they must have tasted amazing too – how can any recipe calling for cheddar cheese ever go wrong?? (this shows that I am not quite the cook, but I just really love cheddar, what can I say?)

  3. I have made a savory muffin!
    Funny you mentioned your muffins not having a pizza-like way about them because I made “pizza muffins”! But they only had 1/2 cup cheese for 6 jumbo muffins so there was not cheese oozing:) recipe here:
    I am curious to try yours. A cheddar muffin sounds dang tasty.

  4. Yum, they look divine! I’m always torn between whether I’m partial to being a sweet or salty person. I think maybe I’m both!

    I used to make cornbread muffins when I was younger. With a bad recipe, they’re quite dry, but with a great recipe, they’re melt-in-your-mouth, moist deliciousness!

  5. Oooo I an going to try veganizing this! Thanks!

  6. I totally appreciate small batches! I almost always halve cookie recipes and a dozen muffins? They’ll be bad before they’re gone in my house! They sound delicious. A perfect side to chili

    • Same here… I frequently halve and once in a while quarter them because cooking for one doesn’t require as much and my freezer can’t hold enough! And good idea, I think these would be amazzzzzzzing with chili.

    • You and me both with halving things…you just HAVE to if you want variety or want to button your jeans :)

  7. Oh man, these would be perfect with the chili I’m making later this week!

  8. Oh, yumster! How lovely, Averie! Can I throw a few diced jalepenos in there to fulfill my cheese/spice quota?? haha

    Also, your Cheezy Vegetable Bake looks AMAZING. Happy Tuesday!

  9. As always – those look amazing. The colors just jump off the screen!

  10. I’m much more of a sweet muffin baker. In fact I don’t think I have ever baked anything savory. I love baking with olive oil though. Olive oil muffins and cakes are among my favorite treats

  11. Awesome flavors. And I too love that this only makes 6, I don’t like having so many leftovers of these kinds of things!

    • Which is why I always halve the C. Tosi recipes….her stuff makes an army-load. Don’t exactly need quite that much food/buttery desserts just lingering with everything else I already have :)

  12. Mmmmm…these look delicious! Definitely a much better use for cheddar than a salad. ;)

  13. I love making these.
    next time add a little of bacon jam–you’ll love it!

  14. I love small batch recipes as well. Sometimes you just don’t want 24 muffins lying around. You feel guilty if you don’t eat them, so you pawn them off on the family as well as yourself, but you really don’t want to force yourself and your family to eat all those muffins. I also use what I have at home and don’t go buy an ingredient that will only be used once of for a garnish. What a waste!

    These muffins would be great alongside some chili as a nice break from your standard corn muffins.

    Have a great day Averie!

    • Same exact sentiments. Don’t need more than 1 dozen of anything; and if I don’t want it, I sort of feel bad for pawning it off on the family and they’re super good sports about it (And with cheese muffins or choc chip cookies, they arent exactly complaining) – but I never make recipes that make more than 2 dozen of anything. I either don’t make it, halve it, pare it down, or reduce it in some way. Variety. Gotta happen!

  15. Now THIS is a muffin I can wrap my head and mouth around.

  16. As much as I love sweet treats, I LOVE savory muffins. So perfect with a light salad or soup for an easy meal. And 6 is the perfect amount- anymore and I’d eat them all too! :)

  17. Small batch baking… something I live for. If I can reduce the size of a recipe, I certainly will. Baking just 6 muffins is perfect for me. I actually found a recipe while I was home at my parents’ this past weekend… a recipe for 7 dozen oatmeal raisin cookies (in our recent oatmeal cookie recipe research lol) … 7 DOZEN??? are you serious?

    Anyway, I digress. I like savory muffins. Corn bread muffins would be my fave but these babies look like they may take the cake. Who doesn’t love a little cheese? I think they’d be good with some jalapeno peppers chopped up! And I’ve never baked with olive oil! Just cooked.

    • These are way more flavorful, less dry, bland, and boring than cornbread (my gripes with cornbread).

      7 dozen…are you kidding me?! That’s not baking, that’s opening a bakery! As we’ve talked about, reducing recipe sizes just HAS To be done when you’re not cooking for an army and/or you’re trying to make different things, both for personal tastes and to blog about. You just don’t need mass quantity of all the same thing!

  18. Love the savory muffin! Though I suppose it’s way too hot outside, I think these would be amazing with some chili!

  19. Those savory donuts up there look INSANE! And I really love muffins of all types (predictable). Though my heart lies with banana nut and blueberry, I really love cornbread and cheese muffins even though we rarely have them around here. You’re right–these would be awesome with chili! I love easy, small recipes like this :) makes it easier to inhale only 6 rather than 24!

    • And after 6 muffins, if you’re not feeding a football team or a big family, really…who wants more? They just get dry and stale. Lol The savory donuts were really good…the rosemary. Mmmmm.

  20. those sound delicious! i love how you utilized what was in your fridge! props to you!

  21. Love a savory muffin and I love your muffin liners!

    • LOL…I had a couple odds and ends liners and in a batch of 6, I managed to have 4, 1, & 1 – of different prints. I was hoping no one noticed but then figured, well, it would add some charm. Lol

  22. Wish we could take some of these savory muffins on the airplane today ~ would make great snacks!

  23. Sounds delicious!! I wish I had a few of these for lunch today :)

  24. Oh these look JUST like cheese scones which are my absolute favourite thing ever, so I can’t see why I wouldn’t enjoy these too! Delish!

  25. I love me a savory muffin, and after eating 6 (!!!) cupcakes yesterday, I’m ready to switch over from the sweet side for a bit. Definitely more fun than salad!

  26. I love cheese and I think these recipes is just good for me. I think the cheddar cheese muffin looks very delicious and cheesy. I’ve really gotta try to baked this.

  27. Yum! Those do sound tasty, and I like the idea of serving these as a side to chili. I normally opt for cornbread muffins (so something a little savory there)…but next time, I just might have to do these instead. =)

  28. I can’t remember if I made savoury muffins before, but I do think I would prefer them to the sweet kind. Also, I baked with olive oil once because I thought it would be an okay substitute for canola/vegetable oil (back before I knew better). The result was NOT good! Olive oil is much better suited to savoury foods.

  29. I can’t say I’ve ever made a savory muffin, but it does sound like a yummy side dish!

  30. Looks heavenly! Very nice!

  31. Those look outstanding! I actually bake/cook with olive oil all the time. I know what you are saying about the flavor, but I just find it easier to buy one giant oil and use it for everything.

    This is totally off topic, but these TOTALLY reminded me of you! :-)

    • I just commented on her post! I read her blog and I just saw it on FG (she and I are in neighboring squares :))

      Good to know you use olive oil for all kinds of stuff…I’m always scared my banana bread will taste like a stir fry. lol

  32. I make a really similar savory zucchini muffin, using nooch instead of real cheese. I’m looking forward to having some more when my zucchini finally start fruiting. I just talked to a friend who is going to give me some of her leftovers from last summer. SWEET!

    If I’m going to eat a muffin, I’d rather it be savory, to be honest. I think muffins are muffins and if they are sweet, they should go all out and just be cupcakes!

    • Zuke is so nice to bake with…it makes everything moist. Sort of like carrots except really, even less flavor, I find. Just a moisture and slight texture addition, not much overall flavor, which makes them so versatile.

      “If I’m going to eat a muffin, I’d rather it be savory, to be honest” <–REALLY!!??

  33. These look fabulous! I love a good one bowl treat, and savory muffins are the best :)

  34. These look so good! Question for you, when you know you’ll be photographing a muffin, do you bake it with two papers on or add an additional paper just before you take the picture? I’ve noticed that the color sucks right out of the liners :(

    • Recently (it only took me 3+ yrs of doing this!) figured out that for pics only, to just pop another liner on b/c it looks so much better b/c yes you’re right, the color just gets baked out. There are supposedly new liners that don’t do that, and I’ve bought them but so far haven’t used them (reynold’s). But it’s the oil I think or butter melting while baking that causes them to fade.

  35. I just made a savory (herb) quick bread a couple of weeks ago and I put cheddar ( when I have it) into cornbread/muffins. Unpopped popcorn (ground up to a fine meal in the vita and then sifted so no one breaks a tooth) works as a great substitute for cornmeal…I call it popcorn bread/muffins! I shy away from using olive oil in sweet baked goods–I’m with you on that pronounced flavor profile and am afraid it wouldn’t taste right.

  36. Ha! As soon as I read the first couple lines of this post and looked at the first picture, my brain immediately pictured one of these muffins alongside a bowl of chili… and then bam, you suggest chili. :) Great minds, I tell ya!

  37. I used olive oil in a sweet baked dessert once or twice, and I really didn’t like it. Totally altered the flavor in a way I was not looking for. But for savories, hell yeah, hook it up ;-)

  38. I definitely love that this only makes 6 muffins…less for me to keep cramming in my mouth:-) They remind me of the cheesy biscuits at Red Lobster. Yum!!! And I have to say, your pictures always inspire me!!!

  39. I love when ingredients at home inspire recipes. Sometimes those turn out to be the best. I love what you’ve done here. First of all, I think 6 muffins is perfect because there are just 2 of us at home. When I make muffins I usually give many of them away. I also really love the cheddar/olive oil combo. I can’t wait to try these.

  40. I love savory muffins! In fact, I like them better than sweet muffins. These look fabulous and your pictures are stunning as always!

  41. I don’t usually bake savory muffins. That would be well received by my family.

  42. muffins looks tasty! amazing pictures! greetings from my kitchen!

  43. Pingback: 15 Un-Labor Day Recipes

  44. I don’t understand why your family isn’t obese with all the sweets you make!!! The small batches?
    As for savory muffins,, I LOVE them! I used to make some from a Martha White recipe with ham, broccoli, probably cheese, and a Martha White mix. They were delicious! But then I quit ham and Martha White. Must find new recipe! Your cheese muffins look good.
    Now, the savory doughnuts, I don’t know. They sound tasty, but savory doughnuts??

    • There’s really not much of a difference between the batter of a donut or muffin, simple the shape it’s baked in. Whether I pour the batter in a donut mold and call it a donut or in a muffin tin and call it a muffin, it’s largely the same batter.

  45. I made your Cheddar Cheese and Olive Oil muffins last night, and they are amazing! So light and yet packed with flavour. Of course, my carnivorous husband thinks that some bacon would make them perfect, but I’m loving them! Thank you for a savory muffin recipe that tastes as good as it looks.

  46. So lovely, must try these! Pinning!

  47. Pingback: Easy Sausage Muffins

  48. Such a great idea! I best these are amazing.

  49. Pingback: Easy Sausage Muffins | Never Enough Thyme

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