Cottage Cheese Muffins

Golden, puffy cottage cheese muffins are high in protein, filling, and endlessly adaptable. If you love a savory baked situation, these are for you.

Cottage Cheese Muffins

I'm always on the lookout for cookbooks by Rose Elliot. They aren't always easy to find, particularly if you are like me, living in the United States. For those of you who haven't heard of her, Rose is an accomplished UK-based cookbook author who focuses on vegetarian recipes - three million copies of her books are in print (and probably many more now!). I loved the idea behind her golden, puffy, sun-dried tomato muffins which I came across in Vegetarian Supercook (2006). Not only does the cottage cheese and ground almond base make them a smart way to start the day, but you can adapt the accent flavorings based on whatever you fancy. 
Cottage Cheese Muffins in a Muffin Tin

Rose highlights the combination of tomatoes, cheese, and basil in her version of cottage cheese muffins. The ingredients come together to make your kitchen smell like a cozy pizzeria. In the years since I first highlighted this recipe I’ve baked a good number of variations beyond the original. You can see an herb-flecked version here. It's loaded with fresh thyme, fresh oregano and lots of chives. I’ll include some other variation ideas down below.

Backing up a bit, one of the great things about Rose's recipes (generally speaking) is that many of them strike a nice nutritional balance. They tend to combine proteins, complex carbohydrates, vegetables and good fats together in interesting (and delicious) ways. This is something that is actually harder to do than it sounds and I always appreciate her approach. You see that in a recipe like this one.Cottage Cheese Muffins on a Marble Counter

Cottage Cheese Muffins: The Ingredients

The ingredients called for here are fairly straight forward - eggs, cottage cheese, a bit of flour, some almond meal, etc. Plus whatever accent flavors you want to work in. I do have a couple preference I’ll share though.

  • Cottage Cheese: I tend to grab the low-fat option here. And, the larger the curd the better here. The large curds leave nice pockets of oozy cottage cheese throughout the crumb and I love it. The smaller curd cottage cheese works great as well, you’ll just be missing out on some of those magic spots.
  • Almond meal: You want to use a fine almond meal here. You can buy it, or grind your own in a blender. If purchasing, the skin-on almond meal option is fine, it’s just a bit darker and more rustic. I used the lighter almond meal for the muffins pictured here.

Muffin Batter in Tin Before Baking

Other Things To Know

I encourage you to give these muffins a try (they’re *really* good), but keep a few things in mind. The texture here isn't attempting to emulate a traditional flour-based muffins. These are much moister, less bready, and more quiche-like.  Maybe a better way to think of them is like a souffle's heartier, denser, more portable cousin. 
Muffins Cooling on a Counter After Baking
The muffins can be made gluten-free, use a GF flour or GF flour blend. If you make the muffins mini-sized they are perfect party fare, whether you go Rose’s sun-dried tomato route, the herb-fleck route (pictured) or I’m sure you can dream up countless other ways to flavor the cottage cheese and almond flour-based batter.
Side View of Muffin

Cottage Cheese Muffins: Variations

A few variations, and people have been mentioning other ideas in the comments.

  • chopped olives, lemon zest and chopped herbs
  • roasted, chopped mushrooms and fresh thyme
  • chopped chipotles and adobo sauce
  • roasted garlic, pesto and toasted pine nuts
  • sautéed chopped potatoes and rosemary
  • No nuts version: Amanda noted in the comments, “ I used half cup flax meal and half cup ground pumpkin seeds. They turned out great.”

Muffins Cooling after Baking

Let me know what you think of these, I really enjoyed them hot, as well as room temperature as a quick snack.
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Cottage Cheese Muffins

4.66 from 20 votes

You can use the flour of your choice in this recipe. The original recipe calls for soy flour (great for people looking for a gluten-free option), I tend to use white whole wheat flour, unbleached all-purpose flour will work as well. To make almond meal, grind 1 cup almond in food processor or blender. You are looking for a flour-like consistency. Be sure to stop short of turning the almonds into an almond paste. Lastly, for Rose’s sun-dried tomato version, omit the below herbs and add 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (in oil), finely chopped and 1/4 cup basil, finely chopped.

  • 1 cup / 8 oz / 227g plain cottage cheese (low-fat is fine)
  • 3/4 cup / 1 oz / 28g parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/4 cup / 1.25 oz / 35g flour (see headnotes)
  • 1 cup / 3.5 oz / 95g almond meal or almond flour, finely ground
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup / 60 ml water
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup fresh herbs (I like: 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh oregano & 1/4 cup chopped chives)
  1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Line a muffin pan with medium-sized paper baking cups, you'll need eight of them.

  2. Put the cottage cheese into a bowl with all but 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese, the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, most of the herbs, water, and eggs, and season with salt, then mix all together.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the muffing cups 3/4 full (or a bit more). Scatter with the remaining Parmesan and herbs. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until set, risen, and golden brown. Serve as hot or at room temperature.


Makes 8 muffins.

Adapted & Inspired by the Sun-dried Tomato Cottage Cheese Muffins in Rose Elliot’s Vegetarian Supercook (2006).

Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
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Recipe Rating


Can this be adjusted to make a sweet muffin? Omit the cheese add some sweetener and chocolate chips?


    Hi Rosemarie - I haven't experimented with this, but let us know if you give it a try!

    Heidi Swanson

Great recipe! And indeed very adaptable! I used 1 chopped jalapeño and a fist-ful of cilantro, used cheddar instead of parmesan (but still gave a generous sprinkle of parm for depth). Came out amazing and looking forward to trying different combinations. Bacon is def on the horizon haha The only thing is I wouldn't use muffin liners next time, a lot of the muffin sticks to it :'(.


Love this recipe! I substituted coconut flour for almond flour and added diced mushroom, crumbled feta cheese, a few tablespoons of pesto. It turned out delicious. I can’t wait to try different variations. Thank you for sharing!


    Thanks Kim!

    Heidi Swanson

Delicious! Unfortunately mine stuck to the paper liners—any tips for minimizing this? Thank you!


So, so good! I used 1/4 cup olive tapenade in lieu of the herbs and cut the salt back to 1/4 tsp. The smell wafting from the oven was heavenly. Lots of stir-in options would work here.


    Fantastic dp - thanks for the note!

    Heidi Swanson

How long can these be stored at room temparature?


    Hi Leah, go ahead and refrigerate them, and then re-heat or let them come back to room temperature when you're ready to enjoy them.

    Heidi Swanson

Also tip for anyone: I used silicone muffin cups and the muffins came out perfectly without sticking to the cases. Love that no oil is needed.


Wow these are incredible. I've made them 3 times in the last couple of weeks lol. Would you be able to confirm the nutrition info: is that per muffin if you've made 8? Thanks!


I make these often and discovered they don’t stick to the unbleached liners often available in upscale and natural food stores.

Gail W-H

    Yes - thanks Gail. Great tip! Also, squares of parchment paper tucked into muffin tins are another liner option.

    Heidi Swanson

Delicious! Wondering 3 things: Can you freeze these - would it affect the texture? Would spraying the paper liners help with peeling the muffin from the paper? How would they do in mini muffin pans?


    They are fine from the freezer - or, at least, I like them! You could definitely spray the liners, or skip them, and oil the pan before baking. And they're great in the mini muffin, just reduce baking time.

    Heidi Swanson

These turned out so lovely! Simple, quick, protein-packed and low-carb. Perfect for diabetics! Thanks for sharing


Do these freeze well?


I’ve been making these for awhile for breakfast muffins. I love them! Today, instead of the savory dried tomato route I’ve been taking, I switched it. A lot! I tossed in dried sweetened cranberries, no parm, using some feta instead. I love it. This plan might also work well with chèvre and some tarragon or cheddar.

Gail W-H

    Thanks for the suggestions Gail! I love hearing how people switch these up.

    Heidi Swanson

These muffins are so delicious!!! So savory and flavorful.

C ourtney H

Finally made this! I baked it up in a loaf pan (took 15 extra minutes), and it slices up just fine. Super-good. Had to sub ground sunflower seeds for most of the almond meal, but it came out great! Nice and adaptable to what you have on hand. Thanks for this lovely recipe!!


    Fantastic! LOVE the loaf pan idea. Thanks for relaying the extended baking time info! -h

    Heidi Swanson

While these are totally delicious (almost reminiscent of a popover!), so much of the batter ends up sticking to the paper muffin cups. Wonder if greasing a ceramic muffin pan would be more successful?


    Yes! It's on my list to test. I've you give it a try before I do, please report back.

    Heidi Swanson

DELICIOUS. I will be making these for the rest of my life. Amazing. Any cheese works (in addition to cottage cheese). Keeper! Oh, and double the recipe. Trust me. (Note: I'm a quiche, souffle, strata...lover).


    Thanks Lise!

    Heidi Swanson

These were phenomenal--airy, puffy, flavorful! They are wildly adaptable to tastes and dietary preferences--I used almond and whole wheat flours, fresh dill, dried thyme, and skipped parm because I didn't have any. My only issue is that these little guys are suuuuper sticky and I lost half the muffin to the muffin liner-- anyone else experience this or have tips on how to avoid this next time? Thanks for the great recipe, Heidi!


So I tried this recipe and was disappointed. Not with the recipe but that the muffin mix stuck to the sides of the muffin cases and had to be scraped off. Annoying and unsuccessful. Maybe they needed some butter? The cases or the muffin mix I mean. Hope this comment is posted and that Heidi will reply publicly in case anyone else has the same problem. Cheers

Louise Wrightson

    Hi Louise - I haven't tested them without the wrappers, but you could certainly go for a buttered muffin tin. I'l give it a go the next time around.

    Heidi Swanson

These sound amazing--planning to make for breakfasts next week! A few questions: Should the cooked muffins be stored in the fridge, or is room temp ok? If I omit the parmesan, do the muffins need another ingredient to act as a binder? Perhaps a bit more almond meal? Thank you!


    Hi Connie - I refrigerate & then let them come back up to room temp. If you have a toaster oven, that's a great way to reheat. Re: the Parmesan question, I think I would just leave it out and go ahead with the rest of the recipe as written.

    Heidi Swanson

Well I don't even know what to say. These sound ridiculously amazing. I always thought cottage cheese pancakes were delicious and innovative....but cottage cheese muffins, well I'm just in awe.


Thank you for this wonderful gluten-free muffin Heidi! I adore your recipes and your love of whole grains and fresh vegetables and fruits! i love your passion! I can't wait to try these beautiful muffins!


I have been looking all over for some really good glutenfree recipe's to try for my son and this one seems great.


Do you think these would freeze?


    I'm testing that right now!

    Heidi Swanson

I made these last night and they are delish! However, I used the paper baking cups and the muffins stick to them depriving me of all that yumminess! Is there a trick to getting them to not stick? I think next time I will just spray my muffin tin with cooking spray and see how it works, but I am thinking that if I made these to bring to work, etc., people might like the idea of the paper cups. I used 1 cup of pre-ground almond powder and I ended up with 12 muffins!?


these muffins look absolutely delicous


When I was a teenage vegetarian, my dad got me one of Rose Elliot's books, and to this day, I think it is one of my favorites. Thanks for this reminder to get it out again! These look incredible.


an answer to NO NUTS... I just made these for my ten month old. I used half cup flax meal and half cup ground pumpkin seeds. They turned out great.


    Thanks for this Amanda! Updating to include this in the variation ideas.

    Heidi Swanson

wow, cottage cheese, or Paneer is a favourite for all Indians!! pair tht with sun-dried tomatoes, almonds and parmesan, that's total bliss!! great recipe pick Heidi!!


Holy moley! I went home last night and immediately whipped up a batch of these. SOOOO TASTY! Even the tomato-hating boyfriend enjoyed them.


Looks delicious! I am a big fan of Rose Elliot and have been for a long time. In the UK it's very easy to get hold of her books. Haven't tried this one. Must!


I have been a fan of Rose Elliot for a number of years now. Try her Hazelnut and creamcheese pate loaf from the Complete Vegetarian Cookbook. It is a great little starter when entertaining. Moira


To replace nut flour, try ground flax seed/flax meal. You get added benefits from the omegas in the flax and plenty of fiber.


I would also be interested in a nut free recipe - Am I correct in thinking that the nut base adds moisture to the recipe so whatever replaced it would need moisture like that or additional something or other? Help? I would love to try them out!

Polish Pottery

To Sheila, with the nut-allergic husband: I would take an equal amount of cooked drained chickpeas, and then dry them out in a low oven, until they're just dry, but not rock hard, and then wizz them in the food processor. Just a thought--I make no warranty as to its effectiveness. A lesser amount of dry toasted chickpea flour (1/2 - 3/4 cup?) might also do the trick. Just pour the flour in a skillet and stir it continuously on med. heat for a few minutes. Let cool and add to recipe. As for the eggs: I don't eat them. I use a quarter- to a half-teaspoon psyllium seed husk powder (believe it or not) as a substitute. You could add a tad more cottage cheese to sub for the yolks' richness.


I love Rose Elliot! Her book "Vegetarian Express" was one of the first books I bought when I went all veggie. One of the few benefits of living in the UK is finding her books easily!


What Melissa said! I would totally go with pistachio, myself, but you can use virtually any nut.


Thanks for this recipe! This sounds like a perfect post-weight lifting snack for vegetarian lifters like me. I think you could also sub in quinoa flour, matzo meal or (maybe) potato starch and make an awesome Passover muffin.

Not Jewish, but I pretend in the kitchen

Related to the almond relacement question: My husband is allergic to all tree nuts - does anyone have a suggestion for replacing nut meals/flours in recipes to get a similar taste/texture?


mmm i like the sound of this recipe! i love cheese, so will have to give it a go. cheese muffins sounds great.

maninas: food matters

You can use almost any nut as a flour. I've successfully used hazelnuts, pecans, macadamia, pistachio, etc. Try one of those for your husband.


Hello, My husband is allergic to almonds. Does anyone have a suggestion for something to replace them in this recipe? Thanks!


Thanks for the muffin recipe. I've been struggling for months trying different muffin combos with varied success. These sound great for a savory option. Thanks Heidi!


This was such an easy recipe, I was a bit worried with the consistency of the batter but I think they turned out beautifully.


These sound like a delicious alternative to a lunch sandwich as well. I am going to give them a try.

Deborah Dowd

I made these for lunch today and I turned out lovely! I was a bit worried initially because the batter seemed almost too wet. Interesting texture, very much as you described. I used pre-ground almonds and soy flour. Yum yum.


A beautiful recipe! I like your suggestion of roasted garlic, pesto and toasted pine nuts... So I will be trying it out.


love cheese~ love yummy muffin~


As for grinding the almonds, why not do aspastry chefs do? Since all the ingredients are going to be mixed together, add the flour to the whole almonds in the food processor, and grind them together. I make nut flours on a regular basis, and the odd bit of flour absorbs the nut oils and keeps them from becoming a paste!


how about putting in some orange zest and orange juice? what about vanilla extract or lemon extract? just a different way to go with flavor.


Huh, 1:1 sounds like quite a bit more almond meal. I'll try grinding a cup of almonds and see what happens.


I'm also interested in what happens when you grind 1 cup of almonds into almond powder. If someone is trying this, please do share the result.


I have the same question about using almond meal -- these look great and I can't wait to try them!


I have almond meal in the freezer, so I'm wondering how much you'd use to replace the 1 cup of ground almonds. Thanks.


What's the answer on the almond meal question? I have some too (from Trader Joes) and want to use it. 1:1 seems like it might be too much...?


I want to try making them in a mini muffin pan and serve as appetizers...sounds yummy and can't wait to smell


I absolutely love Rose Elliot's books. Thanks for making me aware of her new one!


I'd say, go for a 1:1 trade. 1 cup. -h


I have a bag of ground almonds. How much should I use? These look yummy!


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