These veggie muffins are bright, beautiful, and packed with three kinds of vegetables. You can enjoy them as a quick snack, pack them in a lunch box, take them to a picnic, or serve them as part of a meal. They are moist, delicious, and easy to make. Plus, they are allium-, gluten-, grain-, and egg-free.
This recipe for gluten free veggie muffins, like this bullet naan recipe, took me many trials to perfect, but I am so happy with the result. And I am thrilled to share it with you and hope you will love it as much as I do.
I had a clear idea of what flavor profile I wanted for these savory vegetable muffins, so that part was not too hard. The tricky part was to get the texture right: fluffy and moist - which can be challenging when you are not using regular ingredients like whole wheat flour / all purpose flour and eggs. But, after some trial and error, I finally nailed it 🙂
This recipe is very customizable! These hidden veggie muffins are a great way to make your picky eater eat healthy vegetables. You can use different veggies than the ones I have used here and adjust the flavors to your liking. I will tell you more about that later.
Please read the notes section for some tips and tricks that I learned along the way.
This post contains helpful notes, tips, and tricks to help you make the perfect dish. However, if you are in a rush, please use the "Jump to Recipe" link above or the "Jump to" links below to get to the section you want.
Allergens Free Labels
These healthy vegetable muffins are allium free i.e. they have no onion and no garlic and are also free of:
This recipe does not have tomatoes.
Make it plant based - replace buttermilk with a vegan alternative.
Ease: These veggie muffins are a great way to enjoy a healthy and delicious meal with your leftover veggies. They are soft, moist and colourful, and you can use any veggies you want, as long as they are not too watery. They are easy to make and hardly require any meal prep. You just need to mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and bake them. You can make them ahead of time and store them in the fridge for up to 5 days, or freeze them for longer. To reheat them, just wrap them in a moist paper towel and microwave them for a few seconds.
Versatility: These vegetarian muffins are great for breakfast, school lunches or as a snack, and they pair well with soups, salads, dips and sauces. Enjoy these versatile and tasty muffins any time of the day! 😋
Texture: The chickpea flour with a hint of cornmeal give these muffins a unique and delightful texture. Chickpea flour, also known as gram flour or besan, is made from ground chickpeas and has a nutty and earthy flavour. It is gluten-free, high in protein and fibre, and low in carbs. It also helps bind the batter together, without the need for whole eggs or flax egg. You will love the texture of these muffins as much as the taste! They are soft and moist on the inside, with a slight crunch on the outside. They are not too dense or crumbly, but just right for biting into.
Flavor: They are packed with vegetables, whole peas, earthy spices, buttermilk, ginger and green chillies. You will enjoy the contrast of textures and tastes, from the soft and moist inside to the crunchy and juicy peas, from the nutty and aromatic cumin and coriander to the tangy and zesty buttermilk and ginger, from the mild and sweet carrots and broccoli to the spicy and fiery green chillies. These muffins are not bland or boring, but full of flavor and excitement!
Healthy: These savory muffins have all the veggie goodness, have very little oil in them, are made with wholesome ingredients and are high in protein. They have no added sugar.
This recipe calls for simple, everyday ingredients.
See recipe card for quantities.
Chickpea flour: This is a gluten free flour and is made from split chickpeas, also known as besan. It has a mild nutty flavor and is a good source of plant-based protein. See the nutrition chart at the end of the recipe card.
Vegetables: I use carrots, broccoli, and peas for their color, texture, and nutrition. I use frozen peas, but you can use fresh ones if you prefer.
Buttermilk: This adds a delicious tangy taste to the veggie savoury muffins and helps them rise. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own by mixing some yogurt with water.
Cornmeal / fine polenta: This absorbs any excess moisture and gives the muffins a fluffy texture. You can also use semolina, but then the recipe won’t be gluten-free.
Powdered spices: I use cumin and coriander powders for their warm, earthy flavor. They complement the chickpea flour and the vegetables well.
Ginger-chili paste: This adds some heat and zing to the muffins. You can make this at home by blending equal amounts of fresh ginger and green chili peppers in a blender. Alternatively, you can crush them with a mortar and pestle or chop them finely. Adjust the ratio of ginger and chili pepper according to your taste.
Oil: Use a good quality neutral oil that won’t overpower the other flavors. I do not recommend olive oil.
Have a question regarding the ingredients? Feel free to ask in the comments section below and I will try my best to answer it for you.
Let's make these savoury muffins. The full recipe with quantities is in the recipe card below.
Also see the video at the end of the recipe card below.
Gather the ingredients, measure and keep them ready.
Step 1: Sift the chickpea flour and the baking powder into a large bowl.
Pour in the buttermilk and stir well. Whisk the batter in one direction with a balloon whisk.
The batter will start out thick, but it will thin out as you whisk. Keep whisking for 4-5 minutes until the batter is smooth and lighter in color.
Hint: For better results I recommend whisking by hand. You can use an electric mixer, but only for 1-2 minutes. Whisking too much will change the texture of the muffins.
Put the whisk away, cover the bowl and let the batter rest for 15 minutes.
Step 2: While the batter is resting, do the following:
1. Preheat the oven to 320 ℉ (160 ℃) on the fan setting.
2. Prep the veggies: rinse and dry the carrots and broccoli. Grate them with the help of a box grater or chop them finely in a food processor. Leave the peas whole.
3. Make the ginger-chili paste, if you haven’t already. See the notes below.
4. Put the muffin cases in the tray.
5. Fill a small bowl with water.
Step 3: After resting the batter for 15 minutes, add the cornmeal, salt and spices and mix well.
Then, stir in the vegetables until well combined.
Your savory vegetable muffins batter is ready for baking.
Spoon about 1 and ½ tablespoons of the wet mixture into each case. Gently tap the muffin pan a few times to level the batter.
Put the muffin tray in the oven and place a small bowl of water on the oven floor.
Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Turn off the oven and let them rest inside for 5 minutes.
Take the tray out and let the muffins cool on the counter for 10 minutes or more.
Carefully remove them from the cases - silicone molds make this easier - and enjoy them warm or cold.
Recipe notes and equipment
Yield: This recipe makes 10 - 12 muffins. I assume that each person will eat 3, so this serves 4 people.
Ginger-chili paste: To make this paste at home, blend fresh ginger and green chili peppers in equal amounts. You can use a mixer-grinder, a mortar and pestle. Alternatively you can chop them finely. You can adjust the spiciness by changing the ratio of ginger and chili pepper.
Adding more flavor: You can add any or all of these for a flavor boost:
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon sliced black olives
- ¼ teaspoon of dried thyme or any other dried herb of your liking
- 1 stalk of finely chopped scallion (spring onion) - not allium free.
Steam baking: I put a bowl of water in the oven to create some steam while baking. This makes the muffins moist and fluffy inside and golden brown outside.
Bake time: Ovens vary, so keep an eye on the muffins while they bake. If you under bake them, they will be wet and uncooked in the center. If you overbake them, they will be dry and hard. To check if they are done, insert a toothpick or skewer in the deepest part of a muffin. If it comes out clean, your muffin is well cooked. Let them rest in the oven after turning it off to finish cooking.
What are the best vegetables to add to these veggie muffins?: I use three vegetables: carrots, broccoli, and green peas, but you can add more if you like.
Some other veggies that would go well here are bell peppers, green beans, sweet corn, asparagus, cauliflower, and cabbage. However, if you add extra veggies, you might not have enough batter. You can replace the vegetables I use with any of these, as long as you keep the same amount. I suggest avoiding vegetables that have high moisture content, such as zucchini and greens.
Role of cornmeal in this recipe: Cornmeal helps to absorb the moisture and gives the muffins a fluffy texture. You can use semolina instead but then the recipe will not be gluten free.
Making this recipe for kids: You can make this recipe more kid-friendly by skipping the chili peppers and using less ginger.
Equipment: I highly recommend using silicone molds or tray. You can also use paper cups or muffin liners.
Top tips for success
I have learned some tips from my mistakes. Here they are:
- Sift the flour and baking powder. This will remove any lumps in the flour and add air to it, making the muffins soft.
- Whisk in one direction. This will help you whisk consistently and comfortably. Avoid over mixing, which can be a problem. I recommend that you whisk by hand so that you have control over it.
- Grate or mince the veggies. This is important because the veggies cook only in the oven.
- Steam bake for moistness and great color!
- Do not skip the cornmeal. Just that little bit of cornmeal will prevent your muffins from being soggy!
- Another tip to avoid soggy muffins is to choose veggies that are not too watery. Otherwise, your muffins will have a wet center that will ruin your taste. You want your veggie muffins to be moist and colourful, not soggy and dull.
Any doubts or questions? Feel free to ask via the comments below. I will try my best to answer them for you.
Serving, Storage and Reheating
Serving suggestions: These muffins are as versatile as they are delicious! They taste best warm or at room temperature. You can serve them as a side to your main meal or as a snack. Here are some pairing ideas:
- Serve them as a side to your main meal. They go well with soup. I love having them with this sweet potato turmeric soup.
- This may sound strange, but trust me it is delicious: crumble one muffin and use it as a filling for your wrap with some sauce and salad (these spiced onions!).
- Enjoy them warm as a snack with a dip of your choice. I love pairing them with a sweet and spicy tamarind sauce, green chutney or a creamy Indian cucumber dip.
Storage: Remove the muffins from their cases and let them cool completely on a wire rack. Then, store them in an airtight container, preferably a glass one, and keep them in the fridge. They will stay fresh for 4-5 days.
Reheating: Wrap a muffin in a moist paper towel and microwave, on high, for 10 - 20 seconds. Alternatively, take them out of the fridge and allow them to come to room temperature.
These muffins are a great finger food option for your baby from 1 year old. They have a lovely texture that your baby will enjoy. If you feed these muffins to your baby, remember these things:
1. Leave out the chillies and use less ginger.
2. Squash the peas between your fingers to make them safe for your baby.
3. Make sure your baby has tried these vegetables before.
You can use coconut flour or almond flour instead of cornmeal in this recipe for a hint of nuttiness. However, if you use almond flour, remember that the recipe will not be nut-free.
These muffins are as versatile as they are delicious! They taste best warm or at room temperature. These muffins are great for breakfast, lunch or snack, and they pair well with soups, salads, dips and sauces.
To make your muffins moist, you need enough fat in the batter. You can use yogurt, buttermilk, eggs, butter, oil, milk or other ingredients that add moisture. Another tip is to steam bake your muffins. Put a bowl of water on the oven floor. The water will create steam that will prevent your muffins from drying out. This is especially helpful when you use gluten-free flours.
This veggie muffins recipe has approximately 61 grams of carbohydrates per serving i.e. for 3 muffins.
Yes, vegetable muffins are healthy because they have the goodness of vegetables, are a good source of plant based protein, have less amount of added fat, and have no added sugar.
If you have made these healthy veggie muffins, please take a moment to leave a comment and a rating below. This will make me super happy and motivate me to create more good content for you! You can also engage with me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram xx Padma
Savory Veggie Muffins: Eggless, Gluten-free
- 1 deep bowl with lid
- 1 whisk
- 1 mixing spoon
- 1 spoon for scooping the batter into the molds
- 1 fine sieve
- 1 vegetable chopper or grater
- 1 muffin / cupcakes baking tray
- 12 muffin molds, silicone or paper ones
- 1 wire rack, optional
- 1 small bowl
For the batter
- 1 cup (125g) chickpea flour (besan)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ cup (185g) buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal (fine polenta)
- 1 medium sized (~80g) carrot
- 3-4 florets (~80g) broccoli
- ¼ cup (~40g) green peas, frozen or fresh
The spices and flavorings
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 tablespoon chili-ginger paste, see notes
- 2 teaspoons neutral oil
- Gather the ingredients. Measure and keep them ready.
Make the batter (1)
- Making the batter is divided in two stages. In the first stage:Sieve the chickpea flour and baking powder into a deep bowl. Add the buttermilk and mix well. Whisk, in one direction, for 4-5 minutes or until the batter has become smooth and lightened in color. Keep the whisk aside, cover the bowl and let the batter rest for 15 minutes. This is stage one done.1 cup (125g) chickpea flour (besan), 2 teaspoons baking powder, ¾ cup (185g) buttermilk
Prep and preheat oven
- While the batter rests, do the following:1. Preheat the oven to 320 ℉ (160 ℃) on the fan setting.2. Prep the veggies: rinse and dry the carrots and broccoli. Grate them or chop them in a food processor. Leave the peas whole.3. Make the ginger-chili paste, if you haven’t already. See the notes below.4. Put the muffin molds in the tray.5. Fill a small bowl with water.
Make the batter (2)
- In the second stage:After resting the batter for 15 minutes, add the cornmeal, salt and spices and mix well.1 tablespoon cornmeal (fine polenta), 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon coriander powder, 1 teaspoon cumin powder, 1 tablespoon chili-ginger paste,, 2 teaspoons neutral oil
- Then, stir in the vegetables until well combined. This is stage two done. Your savory veggie muffins batter is ready for baking.1 medium sized (~80g) carrot, 3-4 florets (~80g) broccoli, ¼ cup (~40g) green peas,
Make the veggie muffins
- Spoon about 1 and ½ tablespoons of batter into each muffin mold. Gently tap the tray a few times to level the batter. Put the tray in the oven and place a small bowl of water on the oven floor. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.Turn off the oven and let the muffins rest inside for 5 minutes.
- Take the tray out and let the muffins cool on the counter for 10 minutes or more. Carefully remove them from the molds - silicone molds make this easier - and enjoy them warm or cold.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only.
Note: The nutrition information is based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.