Savoury Muffins – School Lunch Recipe


Summer in Australia means school aged kids are under their parent’s feet at home, yet, paradoxically, many parents actually look forward to School holidays. Why? One reason is that holidays means a slower start to the day, no school run stress, no juvenile screaming they can’t find their hat/maths homework/bus-card, and most significantly, no need to prepare school lunch boxes, each and every morning.




Day after school-term day, many parents over-stress and almost tear their hair out trying to provide a nutritious, yet appealing school lunchbox for their kids, particularly during the high school years. As any parent with teens knows, asking adolescents to consume anything remotely wholesome and not packaged in four layers of plastic or laced with half a salt mine, is tantamount to offering them a piece of buttered cardboard and likely to be received with this enthusiastic response:



So how does home-cooked food, originating from the household pantry or fridge, compete with the highly addictive products of multinational food companies or their derivatives, with the myriad of flavourings, salt and sugar content? How did we get to this situation?

What society thought school lunch should look like –


What teenagers thought school lunch look like –

junk food

What parents think school lunches are like –


mum lunchbox

With the impending start of the school work year, I  decided the school lunchbox had to be not only visually appealing, but tasty as well and, it had to tick most of the ‘healthy lunch’ boxes, (no pun intended!) So I studied a few basic muffin recipes and came up with my own savoury muffin that I am confident even the fussiest teen would be hard-pressed to refuse, (and if he/she does, there is always bribery and corruption as Plan ‘B’….)

The real secret to this recipe is that it looks like a sweet cake in appearance, (first duplicitous manoeuvre) and, secondly, it tastes like the junk food on offer at most food outlets, (but is actually good to eat).

Enter the Savoury Muffin to Die for……

savoury muffins
Amanda’s Savoury Muffins

The rosemary and sea salt topping really stimulates those adolescent taste-buds and once your teen has shown a positive interest such as, “What’s that you are cooking, Mum?” comments, and eats a few here and there:   then and only then might I suggest slowly, (over a few batches), decreasing the amount of sea salt used as topping, to improve the nutrition levels further. Easy does it though: Teen noses and taste buds can easily detect the covert operation you might have in mind.

The list of suggested fillings, is one that you can add as many or as few of these as you have on hand, or in the pantry, without unduly affecting the outcome of the recipe.

Experiment to see which flavors teens like best.

Savoury Muffins

[Makes 12 serves]


2 cups Self Raising Flour

(or 2 cups Plain flour with 4 teaspoons of baking powder added)

1 teaspoon Baking Powder

80 g Butter, melted

1 tablespoon good quality Olive Oil

1 Egg

1  cup Milk ( I use low-fat)

1 slice Ham – diced

1/3 cup grated Zucchini (courgette)

1 clove Garlic, minced

1/3 cup Baby spinach, diced

1/3 cup cooked Pumpkin (roasted or steamed)

1/3 cup Capsicum strips, roasted (can use jarred variety)

80 g Feta cheese ( crumbled)


savoury muffins20 g Feta cheese ( crumbled), extra

1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon Rosemary

Sea salt

Optional extra or substitute fillings:

1 tablespoon Olives, sliced

1 tablespoon Parsley

1 teaspoon Mint leaves

2 sticks Spring Onions, sliced

1/3 cup Sun-dried Tomatoes

grated carrot

Pineapple Pieces – (drained well)


Pre-heat Oven 200 degrees

Mix Flour and Baking powder in large bowl.

Mix melted Butter, Oil and Egg and Milk in separate bowl.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix gently with a wooden spoon.

Fold in the rest of the ingredients only until just mixed and no lumps of flour remain.

Fill a Muffin pan that has been lined with paper Muffins cases to 2/3 capacity.

Sprinkle Parmesan, extra Feta and a mixture of Rosemary and Sea salt on top.

Bake for 20 minutes or till golden brown on top.

Cool on a wire tray covered with a fresh tea towel to prevent muffins drying out.

These muffins freeze well wrapped individually or in a seal-proof container.

The perfect morning tea or lunch snack for those on the go.

P.S. If you are really daring or have one of those ” I’ll eat anything as long as it’s food,” kind of kids: Round off the lunch box offerings with some hummus, hard-boiled eggs and fruit.

Tantalizing Tuesdays

Filling the lunch box give parents ‘Something to Ponder About’




24 thoughts on “Savoury Muffins – School Lunch Recipe”

  1. [puts hands over hears] Lalalalalala Can’t hear you, can’t hear you. It is NOT nearly term time!
    When my eldest son was in Grade 4 and the middle one in Grade 1, I had one too many sandwiches come home uneaten and I cracked it. I announced that they could make their own lunches from now on. The next morning, I did think “Oh, no,” but stuck to my guns and did indeed insist they make their own lunches. They’ve been doing it ever since. (The youngest had his made for him in Prep but did his own from Grade 1.)

    Thank you for this recipe, though, as I never see the middle son make a sandwich so I’m not sure what he even eats. He may be happy to grab a muffin. Besides, I could get them to make them which would be even better. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brilliant idea to get them to make them. I like it… a lot. I must admit that I did as you did, insist that they make their own lunch in later high school, with the consequence that they took nothing….. which made me concerned about their concentration levels. After almost 12 months of them starving themselves all day, or raiding the tuckshop, I tried to strike a happy medium and stepped back into making things, but NOT every day. I admire you for getting them in the habit of being self-sufficient, earlier in their school life, when they don’t baulk at it so much. Hope they like the muffins, and you too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think the advantage of starting so early was that they needed guidance in the beginning and then what they packed became the norm. A sandwich, one sweet thing (I usually bake muffins (sweet) and put them in the freezer), one savoury (like Shapes biscuits) and at least one piece of fruit. That’s still pretty much what they take except the Middle Son has a strange aversion to sandwiches. But then, he likes flat bread or tortillas, so I’ll buy those and he’ll put a bit of salad in one of those. Canteen lunches were only occasional treats so they don’t even think to ask for it really.

        I can’t say I’ve been so successful in training them up in other things but I’m grateful not to be making multiple lunches every morning. 🙂


        1. I can see you have worked out a better way to handle the breakfast/school run rush hour. On holidays my kids were great at feeding themselves but not during the term. And my middle one slso disliked sandwiches and butter! So wraps and little bits of salad even croissants were offered. But he has the most varied diet now. I guess variety is the key to an eaten school lunch and when they make it themselves, they get to choose the fillings – which gives them variety.

          Liked by 1 person

        1. It is always difficult to plan ahead when you never know when you are going to be needed. A friend, who is also a cas. Teacher Aid, was lamenting this same situation yesterday. I hope it works out well for you this year.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Very creative, Amanda. I love savoury food, so reading this recipe, I felt like eating some of your savoury muffins. Also, they look easy to eat with your hands too 😀


  3. My mother used to give me nutritious sandwiches – with sliced tomatoes. By the time I got to eat them they were a soggy mess – so they ended up in the bin. I just couldn’t eat them. One of my sisters snitched on me and my mother was furious. So after that we all had to make our own sandwhiches – I won’t say what I did but I ate them up. I made my children make their own lunches too – under supervision. Less stressful. Great idea

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My kids all had to make their own lunch and breakfast in the school holidays but not during school terms. Perhaps I spoiled them? What age did you start making your own school lunch, Raewyn? And could I ask them what fillings you put on them?


  4. These are some really brilliant muffins!! I am really glad to have you as a part of my challenges..I like the fact that you have used Feta Cheese…I came across it very recently…it’s hard to find here in India…my mom always packs my lunchbox! Home food is home food!! Nothing can beat that☺☺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your lovely compliment. I guess you could always substitute another kind of cheese for feta, perhaps something a little bit sour as feta has that kind of flavour. That would certainly be fun to taste! I absolutely agree about home cooked food or baking!!! Especially baking. Looking forward to your cake challenge!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll try them if they won’t!!!! 🙂
      To be honest, I know the answer already, there’s no chance that they would try them! Well actually, the two youngest boys may try them, but with the other three, there’s more chance of seeing a ‘flock’ of pigs flying across the moonlit sky! Lol!
      Personally I would never have let my kids get as fussy as they are, but alas I didn’t meet my wife till the youngest of our kids was 4, and the oldest 14.


      1. Once they turn 14, all hope if changing their diet is gone. My fussiest eater decided he was not eating anything green when he was 14 ever again….well, that lasted for 3 long years before the hmmmm, blockages….got to him and when I suggested eating a few greens would be preferable to laxatives then he relented and a few days later commented that “it actually does help”…………….you can imagine my reaction?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Lol!!!! I almost feel sorry for your son, Amanda! 🙂
          But it’s true, it’s very difficult to get kids to eat vegetables when they haven’t been brought up on them from an early age. We were brought up on plenty of fruit and veg, but even then, I didn’t really appreciate veg until I was over the age of about 18!!


  5. Yes. I know kids and veges aren’t a happy marriage but mine loved healthy things fruit and veg till they got to high school. Now they are older they do enjoy them. The fussy eater eats the veges now but doesn’t relish them as much as pizza and pasta.


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