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


Spectacular savory muffin… used oat milk, butternut squash and pecans as that is what I had on hand….


I just made these because they looked so good, but I have to agree with Jane here...I taste the baking powder! 4t is way too much...I should have listened to my intuition and halved it:( In addition to the baking powder taste I find them too salty...Do you all like it as is? I am confused. I thought maybe I did something wrong, but nope:(

Alexis Grant

These are my first ever savory muffins and they are delicious! My baking days have been few and far between since my husband gave up sugar, so these hit the mark there, too. I don't think they're going to last until dinner time and are making a great brunch treat on a rainy fall day in Nor-Nor Cal. Thank you for sharing it. Oh, and I didn't have feta, so used little cubes of gruyere and I love the way they melted on the tops. I also used 100% spelt and they rose beautifully, too.


    Thanks Janet! So happy you enjoyed them - love the Gruyere swap. :)

    Heidi Swanson

Made these today using gluten free baking mix. They are really beautiful and quite delicious. I did leave out the seeds and add 2 Tab of chopped chives.


This couldn’t look any more perfect! I have to put this on my next week's menu!


Wow! I'd never heard of savory muffins before. I made these tonight with butternut squash. I used self-rising flour instead of the flour and baking powder. Absolutely delicious and they will be going in the rotation!


    Love hearing it Kristin! Glad you enjoyed them.

    Heidi Swanson

I bet these would be even nicer substituting baked kumera chunks for pumpkin!


The first time I made these, they were slightly dry. The second time I made them, I added more squash, another egg, and worried less about browning them (I overcooked them a bit the 1st time), and they were great. 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.


Great savory muffins. Just made a double batch for a family party. Everyone loved them and took them home for lunch the next day. I only had fresh dill instead of the parsley and asiago in place of the parmesan. Was still really tasty. Thanks!


Made these earlier in the week and they were sooo yummy! They were easy to make and came out looking just like the picture. I have found that strangely enough they are good for breakfast or dinner. Thanks Heidi!

Laura Z

I am obsessed with pumpkin right now. Do you have some other favorite pumpkin recipes? HS: Hi Erin. Here's a list of a few past pumpkin recipes.


Yum! We have so much fresh kale in the garden right now that I have been adding that to any recipe I can- so I substituted finely chopped kale for the spinach and it worked out quite well


Just made these delish muffins for lunch with tomato soup. Yummy. I used sea salt, not too salty, and I am picky with salt levels. Added both parsley and a bit of cilantro (love both). Didn't have enough of Parmesan and added a bit of goat cheddar. BTW Heidi your recipes make me want to cook again ~ with a healthy spin> Love your ideas.


I made these last night, with a gluten free flour mix. My batch were a bit on the dry side, as someone else who used gf flour mix mentioned above. I did not add more liquid, and I wish I had. My muffins were also a bit on the salty side. I used a sheep's milk feta that is salty, and I wish I had thought to rinse the brine off of the cheese before tossing it in - I will do that next time, as despite the above mentioned quirks, these muffins are still great when used to scoop up pumpkin ginger soup. Thanks!


I tried this muffins today, they were lovely and perfect with the spicy pumpkin soup I made from the innards of my carving pumpkin. I used Dove gluten free plain flour. Since it seemed to absorb the liquid much more than ordinary flour I only used one cup and two teaspoons of gluten free baking powder. Truly lovely! I really want the cookbook for Christmas!


Hi Heidi! Have loved your blog for so so long. Made these muffins tonight for company. Big hit with everyone, including my 16 month old! I'll definitely be making these for the holidays! Thanks! HS: Happy to hear it Sanjana! :)


Made these last night and they were a big hit. My family loved them and each of the children grabbed the leftovers for lunch. Easy to make and great flavor. Thanks!


I wanted so badly to make these and used dinner with friends as my excuse. These friends are used to me trying out different recipes, so I really hoped they would appreciate savory muffins. They LOVED them! I was very happy with them too. Thanks so much for what you put out into the world :)


I'm hosting Thanksgiving this year and these look fabulous! I'd like to make them so I'm wondering if I can make them the day before?


Thank you so much for this recipe! It turned out fabulously and I am sitting here enjoying a muffin as I type this. I made them with 2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour and did find that when I was mixing the batter it needed an extra splash of milk, which I added with no ill effects. I used butternut squash and since I didn't have any spinach I used a big handful of cavolo nero kale that I sliced into ribbons. I liked this so much that I had to order the cookbook. :-) HS: Thanks for the feedback honeybear - a kale version sounds great.


I made these for my book club this weekend! So yummy--and unique! I went eggless, and subbed a tablespoon of ground flaxseed, which worked really well. They weren't salty enough for my taste, so I'd add more next time. I also might add some chili flakes. I'm also tempted by the commenter who pondered buttermilk--it might give it a more tangy, light taste. Thanks for the delish recipe!


It's not everyday I buy a cookbook within one minute of reading about it, but today is one of those days! I am a big fan of the Women's Weekly Australian cookbook series, and it's the reason I have been using squash/feta/spinach combinations for years. This looks like a great cookbook! Thanks Heidi!


I made these today. They are delicious. I subbed chard for the spinach. I might try buttermilk next time. Also pumpkin seeds might complement the pumpkin "meat". I love feta and this recipe is enabling me to use up the pumpkins from my csa. I'm happy to find a muffin recipe with no sugar. Thanks! Renee


What drew me to this recipe was how beautiful the muffins looked. So......I just had to make them. ( I did add a clove of garlic). They did not disappoint. Thanks so much.


I put feta on everything but I never thought it could be in a muffin! Awesome. This sounds like a delicious treat, perfect for fall.


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