Cheddar Cheese and Olive Oil Savory Muffins


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 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.

Cheddar Cheese and Olive Oil Savory 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.

Cheddar Cheese and Olive Oil Savory Muffins

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.

Cheddar Cheese and Olive Oil Savory Muffins

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.

Cheddar Cheese and Olive Oil Savory Muffins

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.

Cheddar Cheese and Olive Oil Savory Muffins

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


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.


Cheddar Cheese and Olive Oil Savory Muffins

Related savory and cheesy recipes:

Baked Savory Cream Cheese & Herb Donuts (vegetarian)

Baked Savory Cream Cheese & Herb Donuts

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

Chips and Cheese Chili Casserole

Cheesy Taco Casserole (vegetarian, GF)

Cheesy Taco Casserole

Cheezy Vegetable Bake (vegetarian/vegan, GF)

Cheezy Vegetable Bake

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

Roasted Grapes and Balsamic Reduction with Cheese and Crackers

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

Avocado, Cream Cheese, and Salsa-Stuffed Puff Pastries

 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

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.


    1. Thanks for pinning – I remembered this recipe for one I just made that I’ll probably post in 2 weeks or so.

      LMK if you try these!

  1. 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.

    1. I am so glad to hear that they were a big hit, with you and your husband! I had actually forgotten about this recipe so thanks for reminding me about it :)

  2. 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??

    1. 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.

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

  4. 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.

    1. Yes – any more than 6 and it just seems like you’re sort of eating them just to eat them because you have them and don’t want them to go stale (when it’s only 2 people!)

  5. 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!!!

    1. I know those exact bites and of every comparison people have made from cheese scones to cheese biscuits to cheesy cornbread….YES they are most like the Red Lobster biscuits!!!

  6. 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 ;-)

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

    1. Now THAT is clever! You need to start a blog :) And yes, the pronounced flavor profile of EVOO scares me from using it in sweets, indeed.

  9. 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 :(

    1. 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.

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