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
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Recipe Rating


This cookbook looks amazing. I want it! Saved this recipe for later :)

millys mini kitchen

Very yummy! I doubled the amount of butternut squash that I used, and I'm glad I did, its sweetness played off so well against the feta. I used half APF and half whole grain spelt flour. I have never used spelt before, and while the muffins cooked perfectly and were incredibly moist, there was a flavor I'm not really used to...almost sour. I wonder if that is the spelt? It was not unpleasant, actually quite delicious, just different!


These are delish! I was a little skeptical about the mustard, though, and had recently eaten some feta muffins with chili, so I tried used a chili/cacao spice mixture I had on hand instead. Also used cilantro, to go with the Mexican vibe. Very, very tasty - I'll make these again!


I just made these gluten-free and eggless, with the all-purpose gf flour mix from (modified somewhat based on the flours I had on hand), and flax seed egg replacer, and 1/4 tsp xanthan gum. I also added an extra tablespoon or two of milk as the batter seemed very dry. They turned out very nice although perhaps a tad salty.


I just had my first bite... Amazing! I used pumpkin seeds in place of sunflower, 1 tsp. dried oregano in place of the fresh parsley/cilantro, added a small squeeze of lemon juice, and used 1 cup white whole wheat flour and 1 cup AP flour. Oh, and I mixed in all of the squash and feta because I didn't read the recipe closely enough. Hehe :) I really like the crunch of the seeds and the sweetness of the squash in these muffins. I made these to have on hand for savoury breakfasts and snacks, so I will be freezing them.

Holly E

I am trying these Friday night - that's it - I must have them!!!! I'll share with friends - promise.


This recipe is wonderful. Tried it yesterday for dinner with the sautee zucchini also from your site. I am really impressed by the precision of 12 muffins! I used buttermilk instead of milk and 2/3 of whole wheat flour as you suggested. The result was 6 muffins for me and 6 for my vegetarian boyfriend! All gone. Thanks, Clarisse


This recipe looks great. I love muffins and I love pumpkin. I may have to figure out something to substitute with the feta (I don't do well with cheeses) but it looks delicious. I love this season and all the pumpkin treats that come with it.

Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer

I was going to say these would be great with soup, or even a hearty casserole. Pumpkin and feta are a perfect combo.


I also fell in love with savory muffins in New Zealand - I can't wait to try these!

Katie |

I've got 6 basket ball sized, homegrown pumpkins outside - now I know what to do with at least 1 of them!. This site is a foodies gold mine, the photography is excellent too - inspirational stuff!


I just made these this morning and they were really good (and perfect with soup - I had cauliflower soup as that's what was in the fridge, but I think tomato would work better). I used 2/3 wholemeal pastry flour and would probably up the milk to 200ml if I did that again, as the mixture was a teeny bit stiff and the tops didn't go quite as lovely and smooth as I'd have liked as a result. Also, I replaced sunflower seeds with 2tbsp pumpkin seeds and 1tbsp pine nuts, as that's what I had to hand. The flavour was great, but as someone questioned it, I think it might improve (I find this a lot with cakes and muffins) after a day or so. Also, I can't eat 12 of these in one day. But I'm wondering about storage, because of the feta - should they be kept in the fridge? And if so, will that make them go stale quicker? Guess I'll find out. Anyway, thanks for sharing such a lovely recipe.

Kate in England

I made this in a loaf pan (to save time and spare me of my perfectionism with muffin pans), and albeit not as cute as the muffins, it turned out just fine. However, cooking time needs to be at least doubled if you resort to the lazier loaf option. I bet this recipe would also work really well with zucchini (perhaps even shredded - zucchini bread style) in place of the pumpkin.


I just made these muffins this afternoon, and they were super-fantastic!!! Thanks!


I could not resist making these muffins after just looking at the photos. However, I got carried away with how much butternut squash and kale I put in that by the end, it was more a butternut squash/kale/feta ball bound by a little bit of muffin instead of the other way around. Sigh. But they were still tasty and very filling. So next time, I will stick closer to the recommended ingredient amounts. Now I'm looking forward to the Tuscan Kale salad.


I made these this weekend and they are delish!! They will now be my "go to" recipe to take to gatherings. -- Like a few have said, I may add more butternut squash next time I make them.


Question -I made these tonight, and they were good, but more dry like a biscuit, rather than moist like a muffin. Is that the way they are supposed to be? I am considering adding more pumpkin next time. We had them with a swiss chard, cannelini bean, brown rice soup and it was a great combo. I ordered the cookbook and looking forward to its arrival. I will also join in on the muffin tin lovefest.


ooo - yum! might try a gluten free adaptation of these with the pumpkin in my fridge - I love savoury muffins!


I made these for our company this morning and they turned out so good. Absolutely delicious. I did 1 cup white flour and 1 cup whole wheat organic pastry flour and they were perfect. I loved how you could taste every ingredient and each one added something special. Everyone went for seconds and thirds and before I knew it I unfortunately had no leftovers. Thanks so much for the awesome recipe!


I finally had a chance to make these yesterday and they are well worth the effort. They reminded us of little quiches. I will do this again for brunch over the Thanksgiving holiday to go with soup!


Made them exactly as instructed. Turned out perfect. Picky boss loved 'em. My pic looks quite different. Funny how that happens. Thanks for the recipe!


These were great. My wife made them. Cautionary tale: We debated coating the muffin tin with butter as called for in the recipe vs using paper cupcake liners. We used the cupcake liners. I know, I know. The muffins stuck to the paper. Do not deviate from the recipe in this manner! HS: Thanks for the tip Adam. I'm quite butter/metal muffin tin loyal - w/ the exception of some cupcakes :)

Adam Kuban

I love this recipe of pumpkin and feta savory muffin, as I would have never thought of it to make it otherwise. This book "Martha Goes Green", sounds lovely with beautifully hand drawn images and pictures!

Pam @ Kitchen Cookware

Wow! Another great recipe and they are so pretty, too. I love to visit your page to see what is cooking.


I just luv out of the ordinary cookbooks -- there are so many interesting cooks from around the world. Thanks for sharing and look forward to receiving Martha Goes Green -- don't you just luv the internet!


Made these delicious muffins yesterday with a few great modifications: 1. I tried the 1/2 APF + 1/4 Whole Wheat Pastry Flour + 1/4 Whole Wheat Flour = GREAT consistency! 2. I actually used Spaghetti Squash (as it was conveniently in the fridge) and it tasted delish! 3. No sunflower seeds handy, so I substituted sesame seeds instead. It gave it a slightly nutty flavor which worked great with the parmesan/feta combination. This recipe is DEFINITELY a keeper! We hope to make it regularly! :)


I've bookmarked these and can't wait to make them!! Not only are they absolutely beautiful, but they sound super delicious, too :)


after i saw this post, i kept telling my husband how excited i am to make these... specifically for a "100 mile thanksgiving" potluck we'll attend next month (if i can pull it off). ... and then, i was at ANOTHER potluck while out of town this weekend, and low and behold these muffins were there. they were DELICIOUS. everyone loved them! still can't wait to make them myself :)


I'm thinking -try that recipe tonight! Sound just perfect w/a good soup. Need advice-would like to sub applesauce for sugar in a zucchini bread recipe. Any idea how to figure?


I don't think I've ever had a savory muffin, but it looks delicious! I have a couple of sugar pumpkins that I bought at the grocery store that I was trying to figure out what to do with - think those will work?

Katherine @ Dexter & Dinah

New Zealand = Muffins: who would've guessed? I don't think I would have, but these look awesome, and perfectly seasonal too. We have a lovely local feta cheese available at our farmer's markets too, so I suspect these will be inevitable in my short-term future.

becky and the beanstock

No way! Those look and sound amazing! I have to see where these ladies get their books printed. Very cute.

Michelle @ Find Your Balance

Wow--can't wait to try this next week while on fall break. Thanks for posting!


These muffins look absolutely delicious! I will have to put these on my to-make list!

Emily @ Foodie/Nutritionist

I am one of those savoury muffin lovers! Thanks for the lovely review and the great, season perfect recipe! xoxo bianca


Ani, APF is all purpose flour (or plain flour to Australians.)


@Jane- My baking powder tin says 2 teaspoons to 1 cup, so that's the standard amount. Perhaps you're thinking of bi-carb (aka baking soda), or perhaps American baking powder is different to Australian? Also, yes, as a few Australasian commenters have said already, funny to hear anyone surprised at the pumpkin and feta combo. It's nice to realise Australia does have a unique food culture in some ways- just seems 'normal' to me. HS: Thanks Ella, and yes @Jane, 4tsp. is the correct amount. Be sure to use aluminum-free.


Wow do these sound amazing! Thank you so much for sharing. I'm always on the lookout for a savory muffin. They make perfect snacks!


The picture being worth a thousand bites, I made these for dinner with 1/3 spelt, 1/3 ap, 1/3 wwp.

Bill Burge

This sounds like a neat recipe. I like the way you can change the recipe and use the vegetable that is in season. I know that I will enjoy them.


Hi Heidi, my name is Lorella, I am Italian and I live in Londor. I made the muffins yesterday, 100 gr apf and 160 strong wholemeal flour, I used watercress instead of spinach as that was available. we loved them !!!! reallly relly nice !! HS: Happy to hear you liked them Lorella, thanks for reporting back with your tweaks.


long time reader, first time commenter- HOLY SH*T were these good. My husband and I have made every recipe from SuperNatural Foods at least once and now cook from your blog at least weekly- thank you thank you thank you, especially for this recipe - yumyumyum So glad you liked them. And thanks for the nice note!


Am definitely going to try these, but can someone tell me what APF flour is? Thanks!


I absolutely luv feta, muffins and pumpkin. I would've never have thought of pairing pumpkin/feta. I can't wait to try this! :)


What a great idea! Savory muffins are so delicious and you feel really good eating them without all the sugar.


Thanks for sharing such an interesting recipe and cookbook!

madge @ vegetariancasserolequeen

That looks seriously good !

Food Man

I've never made savory muffins before, but am thinking these would be perfect on my Thanksgiving table. I may toss a little fresh rosemary into mine. THANKS - S

Oui, Chef

... might be yummy with cornmeal ...


mmmmmm :) I want to ad these to my soup sunday coming up, but I'm trying to figure out a good soup to accompany any ideas?? HS: Hi Annie, I'm thinking about making them to go along this tomato soup next time.


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