Tender, shot through with crispy bacon, heavy on the eggs, moist with scads of shredded zucchini and topped with a generous cap of melted Cheddar cheese, these Spicy Bacon Cheddar Zucchini Muffins bridge the gap a quiche and a muffin. They’re terrifically easy to make, take advantage of the current glut of zucchini from gardens, and freeze like a dream, making them a wonderful make-ahead breakfast option. Because they’re egg-centric, they have a longer freezer life than a standard floury muffin. Imagine rolling out of bed on a busy school morning and having a stash of these in the deep freeze waiting for you. Breakfast in as much time as it takes to reheat in the microwave, toaster oven or oven? Yes, please!
I know they’re called ‘breakfast muffins’, but I don’t mean to dissuade you from eating them all the live long day. Spicy Bacon Cheddar Zucchini Breakfast Muffins might just as easily have been called “any time muffins”. If you pair these with a salad, they make a lovely light lunch, too. They’re eminently snackable, so they’d make a great after school snack or mid-afternoon nosh. Spicy Bacon Cheddar Zucchini Breakfast Muffins are so satisfying. They fill you up without making you feel like you swallowed a pound and a half of hockey pucks.
- I shred my zucchini on the largest holes of a box grater. I don’t want the zucchini to “disappear” in the muffins since they’re a savoury muffin. Anything smaller and it kind of “melts” into the muffins.
- Please don’t use extra virgin olive oil in the Spicy Bacon Cheddar Zucchini Breakfast Muffins. It’s too strongly flavoured and it’s really meant more for raw applications than baked ones. Use light olive oil or grapeseed oil. Light olive oil doesn’t mean low fat, it just means it’s been refined to have a higher smoke point and it’s better for baking!
- I prefer to cook my bacon to the point of being crispy before crumbling it and adding it to the Spicy Bacon Cheddar Zucchini Breakfast Muffins. It adds a textural interest to the muffin.
- Are they very spicy? Nope. Not at all. There is a full jalapeno in here, though, so the overall level of spice is going to be dependent upon the heat of the individual jalapeno. If you’re super sensitive to spice, you can replace the jalapeno pepper with a baby bell pepper.
- To avoid spill-over, only fill your muffin cups 2/3 full of muffin batter.
- There’s no need to shove the Cheddar into the muffin. Perch the piece of cheese on top of the filled muffin cups. It’ll melt as the muffin bakes and then VOILA! a lovely cap of melted cheese.
- Spicy Bacon Cheddar Zucchini Breakfast Muffins freeze BEAUTIFULLY, so feel free to double or triple the recipe. To freeze them, cool to room temperature then chill in the refrigerator. Lay them out on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer until they are frozen solid. Wrap each individually with plastic wrap then put them all in a resealable zipper type freezer bag. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. These reheat like a dream. See the recipe for reheating instructions.
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Spicy Bacon Cheddar Zucchini Breakfast Muffins
- 2 cups shredded zucchini use the large shred side of a box grater
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 6 3/4 ounces by weight
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 3 large eggs
- 1/3 cup light olive oil or grapeseed oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 pound of bacon cooked 'til crisp and coarsely chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper stem and seeds removed, finely chopped
- 4 ounces of Cheddar cheese cut into 4 slabs, then cut each slab into 4 cubes
- Place the zucchini in a colander, sprinkle the salt over the top, use your hands to toss, and let the zucchini drain for 15 to 30 minutes at room temperature. Use your hands to squeeze as much moisture from the zucchini as you can.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Prepare 16 non-stick, standard muffin liners or spray 16 silicone muffin liners or muffin cups in tins. Set aside. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, smoked paprika, and granulated garlic. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, beat the eggs, oil, and water together on HIGH until frothy and lighter coloured, about 3 minutes. Stir in the zucchini, chopped bacon, and jalapeno. Add the flour mixture all at once and use a silicone or flexible spatula to fold it in until no dry pockets remain. Fill the muffin cups 2/3 full of the mixture. Lay one cube of cheddar on top of each muffin. Bake for 22-28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes out clean and the cheese is melted on top but not browned. Let cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator or set on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Individually wrap the frozen muffins before putting them in a zipper top bag to store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To Reheat from fresh:
- Microwave for 30 to 45 seconds on HIGH. Microwaves vary in their power, so you may need to play with this time a little bit to find what works best for you.
To Reheat from frozen:
- Unwrap a frozen muffin and lay it on a microwave safe plate. Cover with plastic wrap and vent one corner. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute 20 seconds. Because microwaves vary in their power, you may need to experiment a little with this time to find what works best for you.