Squash and feta cheese—don’t knock it till you try it. The combination of butternut squash, feta, spinach, sunflower seeds and Parmesan might seem daunting, but the flavors of these muffins actually balance quite well. The ingredients are also relatively healthy, so you don’t get the usual post-muffin guilt from excess sugar. Best of all, while these guys are perfect additions to a Thanksgiving feast, they are also great year-round and even for breakfast. So go ahead, wow your Thanksgiving guests—or just yourself—with these one-of-a-kind goods.
Adapted from recipe here.
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour (max.)
Servings: 16 muffins
3 cups 1/2 inch cubed butternut squash (or pumpkin)
Salt and pepper
Just under 2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk (preferably whole, 2% works okay)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup sunflower kernels
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2/3 cup crumbled feta
1 cup spinach, chopped
Optional: 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Liberally grease one cupcake pan. Have a loaf or second cupcake pan on hand because batter will slightly exceed a single-dozen muffins tin.
2. On a baking sheet, lightly salt, pepper and drizzle olive oil on the cubed squash. Bake until soft, about 20-25 minutes or if using frozen squash, according to package directions. Set aside to cool.
3. Whisk flour, baking powder, ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper together in a large bowl.
4. Whisk eggs, milk, olive oil and mustard in a separate medium-sized bowl.
5. Stir kernels, Parmesan and ½ cup of feta (not all of it!) into the medium bowl with the wet ingredients.
6. Fold ¾ of the squash and all of the spinach and parsley into the wet mixture.
7. Then, fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just incorporated.
8. Fill the muffin tin with batter, but not to the brim in each cup. Top with remaining squash and feta.
9. Bake 15-20 minutes, until muffins are set and golden. Let the muffins cool for a few minutes in the pan, then turn them out onto a cooling rack.
And there you have it—a festive addition to your Thanksgiving table that will be an enjoyable surprise to Pilgrims and family members alike!
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