Seeded Pumpkin and Feta Muffins

Savory muffins packed with spinach, feta and Parmesan cheeses, black pepper, mustard, and sunflower seeds. Adapted from a recipe in a lovely little self-published Australian cookbook, Martha Goes Green.

Seeded Pumpkin and Feta Muffins

I originally highlighted this recipe in 2010, and revisited it last week. So good! You all know by now, I love self-published cookbooks. Particularly ones with a strong point of view, thoughtful design, and inspired recipes. In that spirit, I have a gem to share with you this afternoon. It is a light-hearted little cookbook titled Martha Goes Green, created by a media-savvy trio of friends in Melbourne, Australia. The book includes a recipe for these sunflower seed and spinach-flecked pumpkin feta muffins. Savory muffin fans, you know who you are, these don't disappoint.Pumpkin and Feta Muffins with Sunflower Seeds
When I spent a month traveling around New Zealand a few years back, it became clear that New Zealand is the land of the A+ muffin. Scones too, but muffins in particular. There were lots of savory versions to choose from, but my favorites always had winter squash in them. If this book is any indication, I suspect Australia might be similar. Anyhow, these muffins are exactly the sort of thing I crave and remember from that trip. I love the kick of black pepper here, and the blend of cheese. It's not quite pumpkin season here, so I substituted butternut squash. But really, just about any winter squash will do.

Pumpkin and Feta Muffins with Sunflower Seeds
As far as the specs of the book go, Martha Goes Green is a collection of about fifty vegetarian recipes. It is just shy of 100 pages, spiral-bound and printed on recycled paper using vegetable based inks. Nearly all of the recipes have been photographed, and the book is punctuated with adorable illustrations by Jessica Honey. The recipes have an accessible, achievable vibe to them and I have the vegetarian pho, satay curry, stir fried noodles, and lentil mushroom moussaka earmarked to try next. The book doesn't seem to be available anymore (it has been over a decade), but you can still check in on some of the recipes here and here on Rosie's site.
Pumpkin and Feta Muffins with Sunflower Seeds

Other things to know about these muffins from people who have baked them over the years:

Michele says, "I froze a bunch, so wanted to let you all know they freeze well. And, while this is probably obvious, they need to be stored in the fridge. I forgot they weren’t “regular muffins” and just left them in a container on the counter and the cheese went bad." Julia noted, "I only had fresh dill instead of the parsley and asiago in place of the parmesan. Was still really tasty." And, I've also done a version with pumpkin seeds in place of the sunflower seeds. Also great. There are a bunch of other ingredient swap suggestions in the comments along with people reporting back on gluten-free and vegan versions!

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Seeded Pumpkin and Feta Muffins

4.32 from 22 votes

The recipe calls for 2 cups of flour. There are a couple different flour combinations you might explore. The original: you can use unbleached all-purpose flour - 2 cups / 9 oz / 260g. Alternatively, I use equal parts APF and spelt flour which translates to 1 cup / 4.5 oz/ 130g APF + 1 cup / 4 oz / 115g spelt flour. I might try a whole wheat pastry flour version next time - using 2/3 wpp + 1/3 apf, the first time around - to see how that goes. You might need to add an extra splash of milk though.

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups / 9 oz / 255g cubed pumpkin or butternut squash, 1/2-inch cubes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large handful of baby spinach, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley or cilantro
  • 1/4 cup / 4T. sunflower seeds kernels
  • 3/4 cup / 1 oz / 30g freshly grated Parmesan
  • 100 g / 3.5 oz / 1/2 cup cubed feta
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup / 180 ml milk
  • 2 cups flour (see headnote!)
  • 4 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 405F / 200C, with rack in the top third. Use the butter to grease a 12-hole muffin pan and set aside, alternately, use paper liners.
  2. Sprinkle the olive oil and some salt and pepper over the squash. Toss well and turn onto a baking sheet or roasting pan. Arrange in a single layer and bake for 15 - 25 minutes or until cooked through entirely. Set aside to cool. You can do this step a couple days in advance, and refrigerate the squash until you're ready to use it.
  3. Transfer two-thirds of the squash to a large mixing bowl along with the spinach, parsley, sunflower seeds, Parmesan, two-thirds of the feta, and all of the mustard. Gently fold together. In a separate bowl beat the eggs and milk together and add to the squash mix. Sift the flour and baking powder onto the squash mix, top with the salt and a generous dose of freshly ground black pepper and fold together just until the batter comes together, be careful not to over mix.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, filling each hole 3/4 full, top each muffin with a bit of the remaining squash and feta (see photo up above). Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops and sides of the muffins are golden, and the muffins have set up completely. Let cool for a couple minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack. I like these muffins cooled a bit, served just warmer than room temperature.

Adapted from a recipe in Martha Goes Green by Rosie Percival and Ruth Friedlander.

Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Recipe Rating


Just wrote this one down. I love Feta in any form. The combo with pumpkin is new to me and looks great.

tobias cooks!

I'm gonna try this! It's amazing!!!! :D

I think that the word 'yummy' is an understatement! I'm not much of a baker, but will most definitely give these a go. I've previously combined roasted butternut squash and feta with tagliatelle and a drizzle of chilli oil, which is quite delish. I know that I'm probably one of the hundreds to say this, but your photos and recipes are amazing Heidi. I receive them as a Web Clip on my email and seeing a new recipe adds such a spark to my dull working day.


This a great pic of the muffins. Totally inspires me to serve these with my Butternut Squash Soup this week. Maybe it will make the soup a hit for my young children. Their tastes do surprise me sometimes, for young ones.

April at Kitchen Blender Reviews

The aussies have such a KNACK for pumpkin and feta! Drooling. Bookmarking.


Wow, these flavor combinations sound so interesting...pumpkin, feta, and mustard? I have never heard of savory muffins and I already regret the time I've lost!

Hippie Chick Eats

Aaagh, itrs so lovely to see one of my favourite cookbooks discovered! And so far from home!! When the link popped up...i knew it had to be from Martha goes Green. Yay for Australia and good food. x


Savory muffins from a sweet cookbook! Beautiful!

The Rowdy Chowgirl

These muffins are amazingly beautiful and delicious, I used butternut squash, cilantro and pumpkin seeds. Thanks Heidi!


How cute is that cookbook! These muffins sound so delicious, I love both pumpkins and feta cheese!

Maria @ Scandi Foodie

These look wonderful and I can almost smell them. I like to try new things that are good for you. I can not wait to make this. My family will love them.


I was in NZ seventeen years ago and had the most amazing variety of savory muffins at a tiny takeout cafe called Jazz Bar in Queenstown. They also made a fantastic cookie with chopped chocolate and pumpkin seeds, slivered almonds in a shortbread base. I have searched for years to try and track down recipes from this spot and can't wait to try these! (And if anyone knows about this cafe would you please let me know - thanks!)


That cookbook looks so beautiful! And mmm. Muffins.


I suspect that the feta/parmesan/pumpkin mixture would taste equally good on top fo a whole wheat pizza crust.


These sound amazing! I love the idea of a savory muffin. Might have to make these for Thanksgiving!

Julie (Bananas for Bourbon)

These muffins and the cookbook both look amazing. I feel like I have stumbled upon a gem this morning!


I love savory one-serving bread things. In Northampton there is this place that bakes Super Foccacias, which are muffin-sized foccacias adorned with an ever-changing array of delicious things, like prosciutto and caramelized onions or roasted red peppers and cheddar. Mmmm. They are so perfect for packed lunches!

Abigail- Good to Think and Eat

From the mediterranean myself. I love feta in bready things. Was thinking, what would this muffin taste like if instead of pumpkin you put fire roasted red peppers. I dear Serbian friend of mine made this once. Truly divine. Keep eating feta.

David Haddad

thank you for posting about the cookbook! i am a fan of the homemade stuff too. do i need ANOTHER vegetarian cookbook? no. will that stop me from immediately placing an online order for "martha goes green?" no. love the blog, as always. you've saved me on many a hungry wednesday night.


Brilliant recipe - looking forward to making these to give my husband to take to work. :-) Mandy

Mandy - The Complete Cook Book

I have pumpkin. I have feta. I WAS going to make spinach and feta muffins tonight, but now it's going to be spinach, feta and pumkin. Can't stand sweet muffins - never could. Thank you for this! Robyn


Yay for Melbourne, Australia! What a gorgeous book and recipe. Darling illustrations too. Thanks, Heidi, for bringing this great book to my attention. Heidi xo

Heidi - apples under my bed

These muffins look perfect for fall. Thanks for sharing the cookbook. If and when I pt one together - this is a great model!


this is a nice new way to use pumpkins this season! besides pumpkin pie or bread. and i love the concept of a savory muffin, thanks for sharing this recipe! definitely going to try it.


Love the feta and pumpkin combo; I tried this tnite with goat cheese and it was fabulous too! Thanks Heidi!

The Healthy Apple

what a gorgeous book - I am going to see how these go with some dried chili flakes for a bit of a kick agreed that the savoury muffins are definitely less common here in Australia - I'll see if I can't do something about that :) (once we conquer savoury muffins, my next project will have to be the ubiquitous kiwi hokey pokey ice cream)


My children gave me Martha Goes Green for my birthday and the recipes are just fabulous. There are many great foodies down here in my home town Melbourne, Australia. Your posts are always good Heidi, really enjoy all your food! Thanks Sandi


Oops -- I just re-read my post and meant to say: 1/3 APF in the ratio of flours.


Just sampled my first muffin after making your recipe tonight. I used 2/3 whole wheat flour (NOT ww pastry flour as recommended...didn't have it) and 1/2 APF. It turned out a little spongey but otherwise they are great. I needed a little butter put on (while warm) and i think the flavor combinations all came together quite well! My only confusion came with the black pepper: Heidi made it sound like you could really taste the black pepper but I don't really. I wish I had added more but when I followed the directions, it wasn't clear just how much should be mixed in in order to really clearly taste it once it's baked. Some of us direction-follower types need things a bit more obvious. :) Was really easy to make, too, which I love for a Sunday night! Can't WAIT for more fall recipes! Thanks, Heidi!


Oh my goodness, I'm so excited! I love the combination of winter squash, feta, and Parmesan, and have been putting it into everything lately, from pasta, to calzones, to tarts, to omelets and I had just run out of ideas for what to do next. But now I know. I am making these tonight!!!


I love all of the savory pumpkin recipes circulating around the blogosphere lately. These muffins look and sound delicious! I recently posted my recipe for pumpkin mac & cheese, and after reading your post I think a bit of feta on top would have been a nice addition :).


OMG FANTASTIC! I just made them with GF flour and butternut squash! Wonderful! I had to tweet about it it was so good! I didn't use sunflower seeds as I don't care for them however it didn't detract from the great flavor. It was perfect for a fall treat warm with a bit of butter. Soft flavors, I wasn't looking for a strong punch but a great comfort food and this was perfect. THANK YOU!


Thanks for this recipe!! I just made these muffins and thoroughly enjoyed the smell of the baking squash (I used an organic Kuri squash). I also used basil instead of cilantro or parsley, because I had it on hand. I found them tasty but a bit salty. I found Jane's comment interesting as I have never bothered to investigate baking powder to find out about the sodium. Using goat cheese or ricotta and leaving out the salt at the end would fix this little issue, I think.


Just too gorgeous can't wait to try!:)

Ananda Rajashekar

That cookbook looks amazing. So pretty to look at and the muffins and recipes look very tasty.


I love the idea of pumpkins in muffins! And good feta makes anything taste good, so definitely a winning combination. Thanks :) I had just made what I call 'silky-smooth squash soup' for dinner last night. As I was checking out your latest post, I thought Aha! Another option for butternut squash.


I'm going to try a variation with what I have on hand: sweet potato, pomegranate seeds, goat cheese or feta. I found a great book at the library called Savory Baking by Mary Cech, Chronicle Books, 2009 with lots of interesting suggestions for making traditionally sweet baked goods into savory ones. It's definitely worth checking out! Thanks, Heidi, for this great website and for your cookbooks--your recipes have definitely inspired my own creativity in the kitchen and have clearly done so for a great many others as well. It's very much appreciated!


I'll definitely be trying these! I've used pumpkin and feta together before, together with puy lentils to make a salad and I think they really compliment each other. I really enjoy savoury muffins and as we move into pumpkin season, these will be great to try.


These are so delicious and easy to make. I am eating one as I type. Beautiful food Heidi, thank you so much for such inspiring recipes!


These muffins sound delicious! I've never tried the pumpkin-feta combination, but will definitely have to try. Thanks for sharing :-)


neel--i agree on the bulgarian feta! i buy it all the time, and it's exceptional. however, try the french sheep milk fetas, as well. they rate alongside the bulgarian.\!


I am always enticed by the notion of a savoury muffin but for some reason it hasn't been enought for me to actually make one. These muffins though have such a desirable combination of vegetables and cheese that I know I'm going to to try these out asap!


Can't wait to try these!


These look fabulous. Thanks. - Elizabeth Swigar

Elizabeth Swigar

I tried them just now, they turned out great! I only added a little bit more Parmesan, chives and I used Kabocha pumpkin (the only kind of pumpkin available in Tokyo...) Thanks for the recipe!


Really like the big chunks in this savory muffin. I haven't made a muffin that wasn't sweet and sounds like I need to give it a try.

Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary)

Holy cow! This is such a unique recipe!!


Heidi, I love the rustic look of these muffins. These are great muffins for fall where pumpkin is in season and packed with flavor and nutrients. Adding feta is an amazing combo. I have a harvest salad on my site right now that has a similar combo with sweet potatoes and feta :-). Thanks for another awesome recipe!


These look and sound amazing! I love the chunks of butternut squash and feta peeking out the top! Super cute muffin tray too.


Heidi, lovely to see an Aussie book featured - and such a pretty one, too! Pumpkin and feta were made to go together and I will be giving these ago very soon, indeed!


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