Monday, October 29, 2007

Cottage Cheese and Egg Breakfast Muffins Recipe with Bacon and Green Onions

Cottage Cheese and Egg Breakfast Muffins
There are so many multi-talented people writing food blogs, and photographer and cookbook author Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks is definitely one of them. About a month ago she shared a recipe from Rose Elliot for Cottage Cheese Muffins, and as soon as I saw the recipe I knew I'd be making them. It took me a few weeks to make Heidi's vegetarian version with sun-dried tomatoes and basil, but they were delicious. I loved the idea of a muffin with cottage cheese, eggs, Parmesan, and almond meal, with just the tiniest bit of flour, and decided I wanted to experiment and see if I could make a version that was more of a breakfast muffin.

If you've seen my recipe for South Beach Diet Friendly Egg Muffins, you may be thinking this recipe is similar, but actually they're quite different. Egg Muffins are kind of like a mini frittata, with a texture that's fairly soft. These muffins are more chewy and with a slightly chunky, dense texture. I actually tried four versions of the recipe to get one I was happy with. I knew I'd want to cut it down to six muffins so I could use my silicone muffin pan in the toaster oven. Initially I was hoping to use less almond meal since it's a rather pricey ingredient, but the recipe was much better with the proportions Rose Elliot created. I did actually decide there is no real way you can screw up this recipe, since every version tasted quite good, but this is the final version with a hint of bacon, and seasoned with green onions. (If you don't eat bacon, don't miss trying Heidi's version mentioned above, which is vegetarian.)

Yes, I know the South Beach Diet doesn't really recommend bacon, but I used only three strips in six muffins. I also use the pre-cooked bacon from Costco, which comes with a lot of the fat already cooked out.

Then I microwave the bacon to remove every possible bit of fat. (I do like my bacon very crisp, as you can tell from the photo.)

The muffin batter will be rather chunky due to the cottage cheese and almond meal. Be sure to beat the eggs before adding to other ingredients.

Then mix in crumbled bacon and green onions, and stir gently until it's well distributed in the batter.

Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full, with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top, if desired. I used a non-stick spray in my silicone muffin pans. You could probably use foil muffin liners sprayed with non-stick spray, but I don't think paper ones would work.

Cottage Cheese and Egg Breakfast Muffins with Bacon and Green Onions
(Makes 6 muffins, recipe adapted from Sundried Tomato Cottage Cheese Muffins by Rose Elliot, featured on 101 Cookbooks)

2/3 cup cottage cheese (I used low-fat)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese + 1 T for topping muffins if desired
1/4 cup white whole wheat flour (can use soy flour for gluten-free version according to Heidi)
2/3 cup almond meal (I used Bob's Red Mill almond meal, you can use 2/3 cup almonds ground in food processor for this, which makes it slightly chunkier)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 T water
4 eggs, beaten
3 strips bacon, cooked until crisp, fat blotted with paper towel, then crumbled
3 T thinly sliced green onion (scallions)

Preheat oven to 400 F.

In mixing bowl, combine cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, white whole wheat flour, almond meal, salt, water, and beaten egg. Mix well. Gently mix in crumbled bacon and green onion, until well distributed in batter.

Spray silicone muffin cups with nonstick spray, or use foil muffin liners (I would spray those also.) Fill muffin cups 3/4 full, topping with a small amount of Parmesan cheese if desired. (I made it both ways in my experiments and didn't think the parmesan on top was really essential.) Bake 25 -30 minutes, until muffins are firm and lightly browned. Serve hot or room temperature.

Muffins can be refrigerated and reheated in the microwave. (I cut in half crosswise before heating. Be very careful not to microwave more than about a minute, or they will become tough.) I haven't tried freezing them, but I would imagine they will freeze well.

Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions:
I truly hope no one will call the bacon police for this recipe, because I don't think the small amount of bacon in this recipe will be anything serious, as long as you cook the bacon very crisp and blot off as much of the fat as you possibly can. This would be phase 2 or 3 for the South Beach Diet, due to the flour. Be sure not to use regular white flour for South Beach. (If anyone tries it with regular whole wheat flour or soy flour, I'd love to hear how they turn out.) Even with low-fat cheese, the almond meal makes these muffins relatively high in fat, so be aware of your other food choices that day.

More Tasty Muffins for Breakfast:
(Recipes from other blogs may or may not be South Beach Diet friendly, check ingredients.)
Egg Muffins Revisited, Again
Green Chile and Cheese Egg Muffins
Pumpkin Ginger Nut Muffins from Simply Recipes
Susan's Best Bran Muffins from Farmgirl Fare
Chocolate Flecked Multigrain Muffins from Baking and Books
Sweet Potato and Goat Cheese Muffins from Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once
Bacon, Blue Cheese and Basil Muffins from What Did You Eat
Pumpkin Muffins from Smitten Kitchen
St. Patrick's Day Zucchini Muffins from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
Hearty Heart-Loving Muffins from A Veggie Venture
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  1. These sound absolutely delicious. I've been finding Bob's Red Mill products in our Ocean State Job Lot stores, of all places! They seem to have the entire product line, so I'm off to get some almond meal.

  2. I can see myself having these as part of a dinner too!

    I too "cooK' my bacon in the microwave. A great way to get crispy bacon AND leave the fat behind.

  3. Cottage cheese is a staple in my diet, I love it. I will for sure try these muffins...minus the bacon:)

  4. Kalyn, the look absolutely delicious. I will try to make them without bacon (I don't eat red meat) if I only get almond meal...

    Enjoy your day, Margot

  5. Those look wonderful! I really need to get out of my Bran Flakes and O.J. rut... There're so many much tastier things in the world.
    Maybe I'll be inspired to try these...

  6. oh thank you for putting in a gluten-free option on this one. it's quite challenging to figure the gluten-free thing on my own! i can't wait for yumminess!

  7. Kalyn, this is a great recipe (I missed Heidi's...not quite sure how that happened).

    I'm also here to say that your comment on Susan at The Well Seasoned Cook's Halloween post, about your seasonal outfit? MADE MY DAY!


  8. Lydia, how funny. I never thought of Bob's Red Mill as being anywhere but Wild Oats or some other overpriced store, so snap it up if you can get a bargain!

    Peter, could be good for any meal, absolutely!

    Maria and Margot, good reminder because I'm sure this will still taste great without the bacon. Also Heidi's vegetarian version was delicious.

    Katie, bran flakes are also good, in a different way, but these are really tasty!

    B - you're so welcome, and it reminds me that I need to check whether my flourless peanut butter cookies are gluten free.

    Lucy, how funny. I think my blogger outfit will be a hit with the parents, who are very aware that I'm a food blogger. With the kids, not sure if they will get it, but at least I'll be comfy at school!

  9. my god these look good! i rarely follow other peoples recipes closely but i am totally making these with a slight variation... like leaving some of the fat in the bacon. ;-)

  10. These are the perfect snack, Kalyn - and I also love crisp bacon, it's the best way of having it, imho!

  11. Stop, stop, you're killing me here! That combo of ingredients sounds completely irresistible and muffins are the one thing I am happy to bake on a regular basis (everything else just looks like too much hassle!). Thanks for sharing that recipe - and I agree that crisp bacon is the way forward :)

  12. Yum!!! Bacon and cheddar, one of my fav combinations. And I love that you used cottage cheese. These sound fantastic!

  13. Oh--that's the kind of thing after my heart! I would have a hard time eating just one. Cottage cheese improves any bread recipe. And thanks for mentioning my muffins! :)

  14. These look and sound really good! Cottage cheese would probably go really well in a muffin. I will have to try these.

  15. I am sold! This is on our menu for this weekends breakfast. Thanks for the great recipe.

  16. I can't eat cottage cheese unless it is in a cooked meal - go figure. Regardless, this looks great! I will be trying this one for sure.

  17. Hi there - I do not like almonds or any other nuts really. Is there any substitute for the almond meal? Thanks!

  18. uclafan11, I'm not sure about substituting other types of flour for almond meal. The almond meal is there for people who are using this as part of a diet where you're not eating white flour or corn meal. If you don't care about that you could try substituting one of those, but I haven't tried it. I'm not enough of a baking expert to really make any recommendations about what would work.

  19. could you replace the flour with arrowroot powder?

  20. Lisa, I honestly don't know if arrowroot would substitute for flour in a baked item like this, but Heidi did mention you could use soy flour. I think you could make this without the flour too, but it would be a bit more dense. Let us know if you try it.

  21. Ooh this looks yummy. I must try it. Thanks for the recipe!!

  22. Yeah! This is EXACTLY the breakfast muffin recipe I was looking for! Thanks for the trial and error to find the perfect combo.

  23. Mandy, so glad you like the recipe. I used to eat these in the car on the way to work!

  24. This looks fantastic! I'm going to a friends house for the weekend. Do you think these would last for a few days if I made them ahead of time? (make them on Fri, eat on Sun?) Do you think they would freeze ok? Would be great to make these up for the week.

  25. They will definitely last for quite a few days in the fridge. I would just refrigerate instead of freezing. (I used to freeze egg dishes like this, but now I prefer them when they haven't been frozen.)

  26. These are absolutely delectable. I made them with soy flour instead of the white wheat flour. I did not have Parmesan cheese so I opted for sliced swiss cheese I shredded myself. I also omitted the meat. I love bacon, but when made with certain dishes, it has a tendency to become almost raw in texture--this is gross for me. Thank you so much for the recipe.

  27. Would you happen to know the protein, calorie, and fiber content of this recipe?

  28. So glad you enjoyed them and I love knowing it will work with soy flour.

    I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly because I didn't want to have to calculate the calories, points, or other nutritional information for everything I ate, so I don't have that information.

  29. In case you are looking for yet another variation for these muffins (love, love, love them- so glad I found them on your site), I sometimes use soy chorizo, jalapeños (fresh, but I'm sure the canned ones would be fine too), and cotija cheese instead of the parmesan. ¡Qué rico!

  30. These muffins are fantastic! I had all the ingredients on hand,except almond flour. I had almonds on hand and could have made almond flour, but looking around I had some Bob's Mill Garbonzo Bean Flour in the fridge and decided to experiment. SUCCESS! The muffins baked up perfectly and the texture was slightly dense. Hubby and I loved the taste and have decided this recipe is a keeper. I also have pictures.

  31. Jan, good to know it will work with garbanzo flour! Did you use any wheat flour at all, or all garbanzo flour?

  32. I used to follow the recipe as written, with the exception of the flour, I used soy flour instead. But this time I was looking to lighten it up, so I eliminated the egg yolks and just used the whites instead, along with the soy flour. I also had to grind up my own almonds to make the almond meal/flour. They were just as delicious with a little less color. I think next time I will use a different bean flour instead of soy flour to see how it turns out.

  33. I've been experimenting with hemp hearts, and I'm going to try those in these muffins to replace the flour!

  34. I made these for the first time today; followed the directions exactly except for the oven temperature (mine runs hot), which I set at 350˚. Two big differences from yours: The recipe filled up 12 regular-sized muffin tins, and they came out almost over-done after 25 minutes. I'm thinking that's because of the oven temp - I need to do a temperature test. But I'm wondering why it made so many. Verdict: wonderful. I used a little salsa and am nice and full.

  35. Cyndi I would guess it might be partly because I'm at high altitude? And those silicone muffin pans I used in the photo are a bit on the large side. Glad you enjoyed them.

  36. Great taste, but even with the well oiled muffin cups, they still terribly stuck and when paper cup was pealed off, a 1/4 of the muffin went with to :(. I wonder if flour or maybe even corn flour would prevent it from sticking?

  37. If you use the silicone baking cups (I now prefer the individual ones) that will keep them from sticking. I don't think paper would work for this, even with flour (and personally I would not use flour; that defeats the purpose of a relatively low-carb breakfast like this.) Even a well-sprayed metal muffin pan would be better than paper muffin liners.


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