Lunchbox Pizza Muffins
MAKES 12 MUFFINS · VEGETARIAN, GF
By Pamela Salzman
Sometimes I’ll make soup or a salad for lunch or dinner and my kids are looking for an extra something to go with it. These pizza muffins have all the flavor of pizza, but are made with wholesome ingredients, including whole-grain flour and fresh tomato sauce, as well as minimal amounts of cheese. The best part is that they are portable and perfect for lunchboxes or picnics.
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, white whole wheat flour, or whole spelt flour (not GF), or King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour + 1 ½ teaspoons
- xanthan gum
- 1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons unrefined cold pressed extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup buttermilk (see page 24 for substitutions)
- 1 ¼ cups marinara sauce
- 1 tablespoon pure Grade A or B maple syrup
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese, plus more for topping
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with unbleached parchment liners or reusable silicone liners.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and oregano in a medium-size bowl to combine.
3. In a large bowl beat the eggs and add the olive oil, buttermilk, marinara sauce, and maple syrup, and stir. Add the cheeses and stir to combine. Slowly stir in the dry mixture until just combined. Do not overbeat.
4. Using a large ice-cream scoop fill each muffin cup. Top each with 1 teaspoon of sauce and sprinkle with pecorino cheese.
5. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then transfer to a wire rack to completely cool.
Note: You can top each muffin like a pizza with your favorite toppings, such as nitrate-free pepperoni, sautéed spinach, chopped fresh basil, or chopped olives. Or you can stir these toppings into the batter before baking.
ASK PAMELA: How do I freeze and defrost muffins? Allow the muffins to cool completely before wrapping and freezing. If you will use them within 2 weeks, place them in glass containers or freezer bags. If you’d like them to last up to 3 months without freezer burn, wrap each one individually in aluminum foil and place them in a resealable freezer bag. Don’t forget to label what is in the bag and the date! Thaw frozen muffins at room temperature for about an hour.
Excerpted from Kitchen Matters: More than 100 Recipes and Tips to Transform the Way You Cook and Eat—Wholesome, Nourishing, Unforgettable by Pamela Salzman. Copyright © 2017. Available from Da Capo Lifelong Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc.