Zucchini Parmesan Muffins with Fresh Mozzarella and Ham Fillings

I started getting complaints from my kiddo because of the recent cease of baking. Well, there’s still no time for baked sweets, but I thought these muffins, although savory, could rehabilitate me. I served them warm with a green salad and a chicken effortlessly grilled whole on a beer can. Turned out a pretty decent lunch.

Makes 12 (6 filled with cheese, 6 – with ham)


  • 1 cup fine stone-ground cornmeal + some coarse or medium-ground cornmeal for sprinkling the molds
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper (use less if serving to toddlers)
  • 1 ½ oz finely grated Parmesan (about 1 cup)
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil + more for brushing the molds
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup coarsely grated zucchini (about 1 medium)
  • Generous ¼ cup finely chopped chives (or/and parsley, or about a tablespoon of finely chopped fresh thyme, rosemary – whatever you have on hand)
  • About 1 ½ oz fresh mozzarella, cut into 6 cubes (or use feta instead)
  • About 2 oz ham, cut into 6 cubes


Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 375F. Brush 12 regular-size muffin molds generously with olive oil, sprinkle with the coarse cornmeal (I prefer not to use liners here, I just love a crunchy crust of these muffins).

In a bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, pepper, and parmesan.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together the yogurt, extra-virgin olive oil, and eggs. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Stir in the grated zucchini and chives.

Spoon about 1 heaping tbsp of batter into each mold. Insert the cheese and ham cubes in the center, spoon another heaping tbsp of batter over the filling, spreading to cover the filling completely.
Bake the cupcakes for about 20 minutes, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean (well, make sure it wasn’t inserted into the filling). Cool the cupcakes for 5 minutes on a cooling rack, then unmold and serve warm.

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60 Responses to “Zucchini Parmesan Muffins with Fresh Mozzarella and Ham Fillings”

  1. They are so cute sitting in their wicker basket – I could really use a savoury muffin for my lunch today :)

  2. Ohhhh, dear! These look incredible!!

  3. Ohhhhh my, those are mouthwatering!!!

  4. These look so yummy! And healthy too, I’ve never thought to put parmesan into muffins but I think I’ll have to change that!

  5. omg! that looks incredibly georgeous!

  6. Mmm! My mouth is definitely watering! I haven’t done much savory baking but I’ve definitely been meaning to and these are at the top of my list. Thanks!

  7. Those look delicious! I never think of savory muffins.

  8. These look heavenly! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Think I can use whole wheat flour?

  10. Greek Girl from Queens on June 24th, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    These look gorgeous, and I’m sure they taste amazing, too. One question I have for you, about the cornmeal. Have you ever tried this recipe without using the cornmeal? If you have, how did it turn out? The reason I ask is…well…I tried the recipe out today (I couldn’t resist, as the photos were gorgeous as well), but none of my local shops had any cornmeal (not even the healthfood shop), and I didn’t have any on hand in the house, so….

    As tasty as the muffins were, the texture was kind of … emmmm… rubbery or dense. Which surprised me because I just assumed that if I left out an ingredient, as opposed to adding in too much of an ingredient, it would be lighter, not heavier.

    I’m not sure what I’ve done wrong, but the texture is definitely not right. Any help or advice would be very appreciated, as I want to make these taste as beautiful as I know they want to be.

  11. Thank you, guys, for your lovely comments!

    Katherine, sure you can use whole wheat flour instead of cornmeal, if you prefer.

    Greek Girl from Queens, you shouldn’t have just omitted the cornmeal. By doing so, the correct dry/wet ingredients ratio was shifted which resulted in this texture. If the cornmeal is unavailable, you can use all 2 cups of all-purpose flour instead or 1 cup all-purpose + 1 cup whole wheat flour (a bit healthier version). And don’t overmix the batter.

  12. What a mouth-watering recipe!

  13. oh my..I love the ham filling!

  14. Oh! What a great idea, have the muffins with cheese or ham…they look gorgeous :-)

  15. Vera, these look so tempting :-)

  16. Oh wow, these sound absolutely delicious and great breakfast or a light lunch treat. Love the pictures with all the yummilicious stuff sticking out from the crumbs.

  17. I tend to see zucchini hidden in recipes. Hide it in chocolate cake, hide it in spaghetti sauce. I think it’s great that it isn’t hidden in these tasty looking savory muffins. Great idea!

  18. These sound awesome! I’ve totally bookmarked them and will be making them soon.

  19. I love the idea of cheese-filled zucchini muffins! Now why haven’t I ever thought of that? Genius!

  20. Hello, I knew your blog today and I loved!
    I’m fascinated with your talent for cooking and photography ..:)What model camera do you use?
    Could you indicate good books about photos for me? I love photography!

  21. effortless… I disagree: I love your savoury muffins!

  22. Mine usually complain that I bake too much! And these would serve the same purpose, somethng savory instead of sweet while letting mom bake! They look scrumptious!

  23. These look great – I’ve been looking for something to bake that doesn’t look too time-consuming, and this will be a great break from the sweet stuff. :) It’s going on my to-do list!

  24. Surely you must be back in the good books with your kiddo with these amazing muffins! They look so delicous!

  25. Great looking muffins! Bet they’d be perfect for brunch too.

  26. These look wonderful. I very rarely bake savoury muffins but I love them so I really should bake them more often. I ahve some courgettes growing in the garden so will have to give these a try.

  27. I tried this recipe today and it’s absolutely fabulous! Your recipes are amazing! Greetings from Croatia!

  28. I tried these yesterday and again today where I work (I’m a baker at a casino/hotel in Las Vegas) and they are AMAZING!!! Everyone loves them so far and wishes I had doubled the recipe! I’m goint to make them again tomorrow for a bbq with some friends. Makes me think of ways to do different variations! Thanks for the great recipe! Oh, and the second time I made them, I only brushed the pan with evoo, no cornmeal, and myself and the Chef liked them better that way :)

  29. What a hardy muffin. We make something similar but a casserole with zucchini and cheeses.. I love the muffins, great for lunches and picnics. :)

  30. it looks terrific!! I love cooking savoury muffins to serve them as appetizers. Your recipe’ll become a must cook!

  31. These look great. And they have a healthy side to them. My daughters are always asking for something different that isn’t bad for them. I have found one right here.

  32. Thank you for your lovely recipe for the Stuffed baguette. I’ve made it for the first time and it came out with flying colors…got rave reviews

  33. I have to eat a gluten free diet and have an abundance of zucchini. I substituted the flour with yucca starch and they came out great!

  34. Those look great! I love savory muffins!!

  35. Absolutely amazing… how stunning they look Vera!

  36. Hi Vera I just happened to stumble upon your blog and its beautiful. All of your food look so yummy and the photography is brilliant. I cant’t wait to try some of your recipes.

  37. The muffins look delicious. And your lunch sounds just wonderful :)

  38. This is a recipe I will most definitely try. I looks very tasty!

  39. Hi Vera,

    I’ve been away for far too long. Now I’ve returned and these savory muffins have me drooling! I’m going to make them to accompany the turkey chili we’re having for dinner tonight!

    How’s the puppy training going? Oh, how I remember those days (and sleepless nights). The good news is, that it doesn’t last forever.

    I hope you’re well and back to regular blogging soon. :)


  40. I can easily see myself in a nice country house having these muffins with a glass of wine for lunch. :)

  41. I love savory muffins and these are a must-try. Especially since I need to use up that zucchini from the garden :o) I hope you’re doing well and back to blogging soon. We miss you! :o)

  42. I cannot stand zucchini – childhood trauma – but these look amazing. And the filling looks like a fantastic addition – I may have to try this!

  43. I have just made these using polenta in replacement of the cornmeal and they are amazing! I also used mini bocconcini balls instead as they are conveniently sized!

  44. Wow-These look fantastic! I will be giving them a go!


  45. Hmm, those look delicious! I have some muffin recipes that are more geared towards a typical breakfast meal, but I love the thought of a lunch type muffin.

    I can just taste the ham and mozzarella. Yum.

    Thanks for sharing!

  46. Where are you ?

  47. I prefer sweet also but a good savory muffin or two on the run will get me through the morning. These sound great.
    You seemed to enjoy the table setting posts I did the last 2 years. Although I didn’t do a table this time I have began this years posts today and for a few days. Peek if you are interested again. There were some nice ideas.

  48. He descubierto tu blog y me quedo en tu cocina. Me han encantado estos panecillos salados. Besos.

  49. I am gonna have to try these — without the ham. I’m a vegetarian, but the rest of the ingredients in this thing look PHENOMENAL. Thanks for sharing!

  50. These look fantastic and your photo is just beautiful!

  51. You have a beautiful website. I am planning to make these. I would use margerine, not butter, and decrease the salt-to lower the fat. Do you see any problem with that substitution?

  52. Hey Vera! We all miss you so much! When are you going to come back?

  53. what a great perfect it’s look delicious i will make them soon. thank you very much

  54. Kiss from spain!

  55. Thanks for this awesome share! Can’t wait for this cheesy piece of heaven=)

  56. These muffins look great! Sometimes baked savouries are just as good!

  57. Great looking muffins, love your pictures on your blog.

  58. This sounds delightful, and I would love this for breakfast! :)

  59. I tried out this recipe today and it was divine! Thanks for the corn coating tip for the extra crunch. I also made half of the batch with one grated parsnip, which turned out wonderfully, the parsnip somehow disappeared in the muffin and left this gorgeous hint of sweetness. Great for the kids, my picky eater loved it. Will try the recipe with mre veggies, sweet potatoes, diced peppers, carrots, possibilities seem endless.

  60. Bojana,

    I am so glad you liked them. Thank you for the feedback!

    I like to vary veggies myself, it’s a nice way to sneak them to kids :)

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