My mother has a story about the first time she fell in love with a muffin. It happened in a small local deli in Montecito, California, a town just next to the much more famous Santa Barbara.

Legend has it that she stopped with her high school friends, grabbed the first chocolate-looking baked good she saw, and … love at first bite.

She still talks about those muffins and has us stop in and grab one or two or three every time we are in town to visit her Southern California family.

My favorite muffin doesn’t resemble the chocolate muffin of my mom’s dreams at all! It is a savory mélange of some of my favorite flavors: garlic, ricotta and zucchini. OK, so maybe not zucchini, but this is a great recipe to add more veggies to your diet in a most delicious way!

I’m sure that very soon these savory treats will become a favorite for your family as well!

Savory Muffins

Stand mixer with paddle attachment
6-cup standard muffin pan
Cheese cloth
Sheet pan covered with foil
Large mixing bowl

13 tablespoons of unsalted butter, chopped up and softened
3 extra-large eggs
1 ¼ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
3 teaspoons salt
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium zucchini, coarsely grated, plus 1 thinly sliced zucchini
1 ½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
⅞ cup fresh ricotta, drained, plus extra to serve


  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Grease muffin pan with nonstick spray.
  2. Put garlic on your sheet pan and drizzle with oil. Enclose the garlic in a foil packet and roast for 30 minutes or until tender. While garlic is roasting, you can make your muffin batter (step 3). Remove from oven after 30 minutes and let the cloves cool completely, then squeeze out the garlic from its outer layer onto a plate. Reduce the heat in your oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Making the batter: Put your butter in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat the butter until it is smooth and a light color. Fold in your eggs and beat until everything is well combined. Add in buttermilk, flour and 2 teaspoons salt until everything is mixed well.
  4. Place the grated zucchini in your cheese cloth and squeeze to extract all the excess liquid (there should be quite a bit!). Pour out the dry zucchini into a bowl with the roasted garlic, oregano, cumin and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir all ingredients to combine well. Fold in the zucchini into the muffin mixture. Using a spoon, gently fold in your ricotta.
  5. Divide the batter into the muffin pan and top each muffin with sliced zucchini. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool slightly. Garnish muffins with extra ricotta.