Recipe: Ham and Cheddar Lunch Box Muffins

Recipe: Ham and Cheddar Lunch Box Muffins

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Kelli Foster
Aug 7, 2017
(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

Take the major players from your favorite sandwich, turn them into a savory muffin, and suddenly your lunch routine is instantly more exciting. Inspired by the classic combo of ham and cheese, these hearty, savory muffins are mixed with a touch of cornmeal for some extra heft and texture, and loaded with thick-cut chunks of ham, sharp cheddar cheese, and a pinch of chives. Sounds good, right?

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

Replace the Classic Sandwich with Savory Muffins

Make a batch of these muffins on Sunday, and you've got lunch for at least a week. While sandwiches don't hold up well when made too far in advance, their muffins counterparts are a different story. This grab-and-go lunch is just one more example of how big-batch cooking makes meal planning a whole lot easier. They're super portable, and will last in the fridge for days and in the freezer for months to come. One muffin is about as satisfying as a basic sandwich — although on days you might be extra hungry, consider packing two.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

Ham and Cheddar Lunch Box Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, divided
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
8 ounces thick-cut deli ham (1/2-inch thick), diced
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives, divided
Freshly ground black pepper

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 375°F. Line a standard 12-well muffin pan with papers liners or coat the wells with cooking spray.

Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, garlic powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk the buttermilk, eggs, and 5 tablespoons of the butter in a medium bowl until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until just combined. Some lumps are fine. Fold in the cheese, all but 1/2 cup of the ham, and 2 tablespoons of the chives.

Spoon the batter into the muffin wells, filling each about 3/4 full. Top the muffins with the reserved ham, sprinkle with the remaining chives, and sprinkle with pepper. Top each muffin with 1/2 teaspoon of the remaining melted butter.

Bake until the tops just begin to brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool the muffins in the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Recipe Notes

  • Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for 3 months. Eat cold or reheat in the toaster oven for a few minutes before serving.
(Image credit: Maria Siriano)
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