If you're searching for a grab-and-go breakfast that's full of all the delicious things you would put in on omelet on a leisurely weekend morning, look no further than these breakfast muffins. Loaded with breakfast sausage, wilted baby spinach, tart apple, and sharp cheddar cheese, these savory muffins smell like a freshly baked quiche and make sure you get in some protein, fruit, and even greens for breakfast.
The sausage and spinach for these muffins need to be cooked first, so do the sautéeing before you even turn on the oven or measure out the other ingredients, then you can multitask and take care of those things while the sausage cools down. And while paper muffin liners usually make cleanup easy, I don't recommend them for this recipe; just generously greasing the tins means the muffins will pop out easily with a nice, tasty golden-brown outside.
A batch of these muffins in your refrigerator or freezer means that you won't be tempted to grab an expensive, sugary muffin at the coffee shop on the way to work.
Loaded Savory Breakfast Muffins
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
8 ounces uncooked breakfast sausage, casings removed
3 cups baby spinach (about 3 ounces)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)
2/3 cup small-dice apple
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
Heat the oil in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 375°F. Coat the wells of a standard 12-well muffin pan generously with cooking spray; set aside. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and set aside. Melt the butter and place in a medium bowl to cool to room temperature.
Add the buttermilk and eggs to the butter and whisk until combined. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture and mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until just combined; some lumps are fine. Add the sausage mixture, sprinkle with the cheese and apple, and fold until just combined. Divide the batter among the muffin wells; they will be very full. Sprinkle with the chives.
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. Place the pan on a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes. Run a thin knife around each muffin to loosen, then transfer to the rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for 3 months. Reheat cold or thawed muffins in a 300°F oven for about 10 minutes before serving if desired.