This recipe is on the savory and salty side of the palate, rather than the traditional characteristic sweetness you would expect from lemon muffins. This is a delicious wake-up goody to perk up your mornings, the perfect accompaniment to a cup of your favorite brew.

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  • Preparation Time

    10 minutes
  • Cooking Time

    20 minutes
  • Difficulty Rating

  • Serves



  1. 1 cup / 230 g full-fat organic and/or grass-fed cottage cheese
  2. 1 cup / 114 g almond flour or meal (finely ground almonds)
  3. 1 cup / 120 g brown rice flour
  4. 1 tsp / 5 g baking powder, aluminum-free
  5. ½ tsp / 2½ g dried basil
  6. ½ tsp / 2½ g salt or substitute
  7. 1 tsp / 5 g baking soda
  8. ¼ cup / 60 ml lemon juice
  9. Zest from 1 lemon
  10. ¼ cup / 60 ml water


  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F / 200°C degrees.
  2. Spray a mini-muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. In a bowl, beat the cottage cheese with the ground almonds, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and basil.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat together the water and lemon juice with a sprinkling of salt.
  5. Combine the liquid mixture with the dry ingredients and lemon zest. Mix to blend well.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the mini-muffin, just over 2 tablespoons or 60 ml in each cup (each should be nearly full).
  7. Place the muffin pan over the center rack of the preheated oven. Bake for about 15 minutes.
  8. Transfer the muffin tray onto a cooling, rack and let stand for about 10 minutes before taking out the muffins to serve.
Serving size: 2 mini-muffins Exchanges per Serving: ¾ Carb, ⅔ Protein

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Comments 111

  1. I made these exactly per the recipe. They are delicious with a nice teaspoon of jelly on top. Otherwise–pretty bad! I have been on this diet for a month now. I lost 8 pounds which is what I would have lost just cutting back on portions for a month. Most of the food combinations are not something I would want to live with for the rest of my life. You have taught me to shop organic, cage free, GMO free. I have been OK with incorporating much more fresh fish in my diet as well. That being said, I have found that eating one home-made Kolace or drinking 2 beers immediately adds a pound back to my weight. I had hoped to take off 20 pounds total and I am stalled at the 8# loss. And I am getting very tired of your meals. I must look for another eating plan that gets the rest of my weight off. Sorry!

  2. I just tried my first one and I did like it. Love it?? NO, but it is filling and not unpleasant, it was a little chewy and I liked that. I followed the recipe, cooking time etc. exactly and no, they did not look like the picture but they were light in color and a little lumpy looking. I will make this again.

  3. These are not completely done with 15 min. @ a 400 F oven. But they do taste good, similar to corn bread muffins. However they are too dense after mixing. I think the next time I will try adding 1/2 cup whole milk. After returning the muffin pan to the oven I baked another 10 min. hoping the inside centers will be done when cooled. I did not find them a savory taste as much as just a good muffin type snack or breakfast bun.

    • I. Found the same results – I mistakenly bought dry curd cottage cheese, so the mix was uber dry – I added a 1/2 cup water – maybe milk would have been better. Also, after 15 minutes – the muffins still raw in the middle! I upped the heat to convection and cooked than for another 10 minutes. Even though they smell incredible – the taste is bland!

  4. Used the cooking time suggested by VickiHand they came out great! I also did the 1/2 amount of basil. They remind me a bit of cornbread (which I love, but never get to eat) and my husband loved them as well! I also made my own brown rice flour (just put it in the Nutri Bullet and used the grinding blade and it was done in seconds) as it’s expensive to buy and I’ve had trouble even finding it since the first and only time I bought it.

  5. Just made these…considering i made my own brown rice flour they were light and turned out well. Dont think the picture above are these mufgins so didnt expect them to look like that. They are not yummy, but i found them edible and filled me up. Ive a sweet tooth so if these will help me feel fuller for longer and curb my cravings then it’s all good. They are nutty and savoury like a sort of bread. Made 6 in a large muffin tin so not daunting to have to eat 12 of these…hope they freexe well…

  6. I made these last night. They worked quite well with 1/2 of the basil (some spices hit me as too strong), and the juice and zest of 3 small lemons (all that are available in this area right now). Came out with a slight lemon flavor, very, very slight basil taste. Very tasty! Based on the comments below, I cooked the first pan of 12 mini muffins at 400 for 25 min, and the second pan at 30 min at 350. Both pans came out very good–I had one from each batch last night to test them. Very satisfied!

  7. The muffins tasted like dirt. The flavor was awful. I was looking forward to a non-sweet muffin and, in general, have started moving away from sweet things. I took the muffins to my sisters, as she is wheat free. Both she and my niece thought they were terrible too. They looked nothing like the picture, and I noticed that others reported that the dough had a cookie dough consistency.

  8. I followed this recipe to a “T.” And it is garbage. The ingredients are very expensive. I had my husband taste it, without my comments to ensure I didn’t bias his opinion. He said it was terrible. I just joined yesterday. So far this does not bode well.

  9. I just made these with some mods but they worked well and I will make again.
    I used 1/2 ricotta and1/2 cottage cheese,
    1 egg, (=60ml), 30ml olive oil, 30 ml water and and used about 120ml lemon juice. also used heaped teaspoon baking powder. I sifted the flours twice. I used the pampered chef 24 mini pan. I have a photo if I could upload it I would.

  10. Just tried this recipe. YUM! I am really enjoying them but:
    I replaced the almond and brown rice flour with whole wheat, and added 1/4 c oil .
    Ran into some trouble with that. I had to double the liquid and bake them for 30 minutes @ 350 degrees. Otherwise they will have the consistency of an undercooked brownie. Be sure to let stand for 10 minutes before cutting into them or eating. I am sure the flour made the difference.
    The result was delicious! They had the consistency of a rustic whole wheat bread.
    Do not expect a sweet doughnut shop muffin. This makes a great side dish replacing baking powder biscuits or corn muffins. I would like to try adding some minced onion next time.

  11. If you are expecting a traditional muffin – this is not that. But they are yummy in their own right. My brain just needs to get past the expectation that they will be sweet, which they are not. Yummy yes, sweet no. Not bitter either though… I’m loving as afternoon snack with veggies and almond milk (another thing, my brain had to adjust to – thinking it will be sweet, when it’s not).
    Bob’s Red Mill (brand) on Amazon has Brown Rice Flour, Almond Flour/Meal. I used the Basil that comes in a tube in the produce section. Also I needed to use up some Ricotta, so swapped out 1/2 the cottage cheese – the rest of the recipe I followed completely. I Beat some air into them, to leaven them a bit more.
    I will make these again and again. Probably try to freeze them too.

  12. I just made these muffins… I wish I had read the comments first. These things are the worst. I followed the recipe, and like MaryLou comments, I saw basil and thought that’s an unusual ingredient. I don’t even like the way the smell while baking. Trash Please. !!!!!

  13. I made these this morning for next week with a modification or two. I used orange zest and orange juice (didn’t have a lemon) and added a Mediterranean spice mix. I tasted the batter before I started to bake and added some additional orange zest and put a small amount on each muffin.

    These are definitely not a sweet muffin but with the beef and potato soup for lunch this was a nice little extra.

  14. Hi, kricci. It is working for many people, just not those posting concerns. It has been tested several times in our test kitchen. Note that using different flours can affect baking products – one Clubmember used almond instead of grain flour, which makes the base heavier.

  15. My muffins exploded in the oven, making a huge mess and then were completely hollow under the tops which browned nicely. I will definitely be taking this recipe off of my menu. The only thing I changed in the recipe was almond flour instead of brown rice flour.

  16. I made these this week. Just tried them last night, as they were on my menu. What a disappointment. Even when I read “dried basil” in the ingredients, I thought “What!?” I sure wish I had left it out, and added some stevia or sugar cane instead. Even my husband does not like them. If the dogs don’t like them, then they will be going in the trash. And I even doubled the recipe….what a waste 🙁

  17. Hi, Moonstone. The eggs were removed to make this recipe more widely accessible to various dietary preferences. Yes, you can add them back in, but again, we do recommend high-quality eggs such as omega-3 and pastured.

  18. Just a thought as far as i am aware almond flour is just ground up almonds, so I believe you could substitute almond flour. May not matter to any of you, but I had almond flour at home, and didn’t realize I was just making almond flour until i saw it.

  19. I had no trouble with this recipe at all! Use an electric mixer to beat the flour/cheese mixture, then again with the lemon juice/water. I squeezed a couple lemons for my juice and the mini muffins are lemony and cheesy!

  20. ok I just made this recipe , what a let down, I followed the recipe exactly , no substituton and they were raw in the middle, I left them in longer and they are golden dark brown, they dont look like the picture at all. I read some reviews and some had the same experience! I am now going to throw them out, I a postive note I made the butternut mung soup it is very tasty!

  21. Reading these posts has been a little off-putting but I decided to try them in the spirit of the programme. I was not expecting the usual glorious gooey explosion of sweetness and was determined to review with as much positivity as I could, honestly.

    I made the following substitutions and additions: I used coconut water rather than h2o, and tarragon instead of basil. I added 2 tsp of Africa for a very understated sweetness.
    Half of the lemon juice was lime juice but I used lemon zest. All other ingredients were true to the original recipe.
    I blended the ingredients by hand which left lumps of squishy cottage cheese which I think gave interest to the texture.

    The timing for cooking was spot on and for a psychological cake hit it did the trick nicely! I can think of worse ways to get a unit of protein in the mornings and I will be making these again.

  22. This was my first recipe chosen from the Trim Down Club and I am shocked. Lumpy like oatmeal after baking and no lemon taste. Muffins don’t look anything like the picture. I think this recipe is inedible. Did I do something wrong. The recipe calls for brown rice flour and I used gluten free.

  23. I too followed the recipe closely, and baked them for 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven, and they baked perfectly. I wish I could say the same for the taste. I used home grown lemons, and did not taste any lemon at all. Also, I found them kinda bland and a little bit bitter.

    I’ve made a lot of gluten free muffins, so am familiar with the unusual tastes they can produce, and have enjoyed them enormously. I wish I could say the same for the Lemon Cottage Cheese Muffins.

  24. Hi, joej1128cP3344. Rice flour is available in most supermarkets (try the gluten-free or baking section) including CostCo and WalMart, and definitely in health-oriented stores, including large chains such as Whole Foods Market.

  25. Hi, LisaG. The raw consistency should indeed by like cookie dough. A couple of possibilities regarding the outcome: high altitude, white or “glutinous” rice flour, or placement in the oven vis-à-vis air flow (I do want to clarify that brown rice flour was intended here, and I have made the change in the recipe). Given that the previous version of the recipe was considered to be too dry, I am cautiously suggesting that you add more rice flour after you verify what type your are using. Thanks for the heads up.

  26. I just made this recipe following it closely. First, the consistency of the mixture was like cookie dough. I wasn’t sure if that was correct. The recipe says to bake for 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven. In 15 minutes the muffins were still a mass of goo inside. I baked these for 45 minutes and they are still gooey inside. Can someone please tell me what the consistency should be and what I could do differently?

  27. OMGoodness… I know I shouldn’t have but I did.
    I modified this reciepe and it turned out yummy!
    For all of you who thought this recipe should be bird food, please try this:
    I followed EVERYTHING except for substituting Gluten Free Biscuit and Baking mix (by Red Mill) for the Rice flour, and I used Almond Meal flour also by Red Mill. I used Myers lemons naturally sweeter lemon (correct amount) but substituted 1/8 H2o and 1/8 of fresh squeezed OJ for the the rest of the liquid. I then added a well rounded scoop of natural no sugar added apple sauce for moisture.
    Then finally adding a approximately one Tbl spoon of diced dried cranberries and one Tbl spoon of finely sliced almond slivers. These biscuits are moist and full bodied. Only one with grapefruit slices, and coffee for breakfast. Yum yum and I only added less than 100 cal if that.
    I hope this helps those of you who strayed away from the savory flavor verses a sweeter biscuit.
    Enjoy Joanne

  28. Hi, Sharay. The program does not use calories, and so they have not yet been calculated for the recipes. When you select the recipes in the Menu Planner, they are fit into your daily plan, which is based on your nutritional needs.

  29. ..WOW…..Do Not use muffin paper cups…..the muffins stuck like crazy glue to the papers…1/2 the muffin was left on the paper cups….I did not have lemon juice so I took a previous comment and use OJ and dried cranberries….I thought they were quite tasty.. I am getting all my recepies redy to start my plan Monday am….Watching what I eat and eating healthy over the weekend.

  30. Hi, Nancy. The 1/6-1/12 of a carb refers to how much of a carb exchange a serving provides, to guide how you can fit this into your daily menu. As you can see, the amount is so small, that unless you have brittle diabetes and/or are taking insulin and/or plan to eat a whole tray of these muffins in one sitting, no worries about carbs here!

  31. This is my first time making this lemon cottage cheese muffins. I use a gluten free flour mix that already has the baking soda and baking power. The muffins turned out pretty good and very moist.. In my opinion it has a little to much basil. My husband dipped the muffin in my yogurt that I was eating . Wow, the two together is pretty good. This was a snack: the muffin, yogurt and a apple.

  32. I have baked for a long time, I make banana bread with the over ripe banans you may not use…I was taught never to put salt in to baking when you use baking powder or baking soda. they have alot of sodium and the salt you add is extra sodium. try it.

  33. hi here again don’t understand 1cup/240gm is a cup 8ounces would help us in the uk if ingredients was in lbs ounces or kilos and grams hope you can look into this because i don’t think iam the only one thank

  34. I liked the orginal receipe. although dry they were very filling. I used spicy italian seasoning instead of basil for intense flavor and chopped onion for texture. They are a great snack to have on hand. I will try with baking soda but lost orginal. How many eggs for that option?

  35. Much better outcome with updated recipe! I do like the savory, texture aspect without the sweetness (which just would trigger my cravings anyways)! The texture was moist and flavour reminded me more of a hardy dinner roll. Thanks Ossie for the recipe revisions!

  36. I am going to give these a try. I babysit 3 days a week in their home and see all kinds of tempting goodies. Hopefully these will make me feel like I am getting something naughty and not be tempted to eat the cookies, cakes, chips, pudding,etc.

  37. Didn’t have lemon juice so I used orange and added dried cranberries. Mmmmmm.
    I’m going to put lemon juice on my shopping list and try them that way the next time.
    I used regular flour too. Baby steps. 🙂

  38. can I use ground walnuts instead of almonds allergic, thank you after reading this post I am not sure if i want to make thes. However all the other recipies I have made on this plan have been great. I do have to remember that the recipies are for 4 or more people and I need to only eat one portion. I have not missed up yet. I am however gaining weight not losing. May it will work its way out we will see I am really enjoying the food

  39. Just baked these muffins. After reading the comments I decided it wouldn’t hurt to change the recipe some. Didn’t have any rice flour so I took regular white flour; almond meal instead of ground almonds. I skipped the basil and took 1 tsp cinnamon instead (heard that’s a natural anti-biotic…in these times of having colds).
    It smelled good in the kitchen after I took them out of the oven and we all just love them!

  40. Note that this recipe is not intended to be sweet, but rather on the salty side. The basil and lemon juice provide the flavor (the lemon wedges are optional decoration).
    The eggs have been eliminated and replaced by baking soda.
    If you are allergic to almonds, then use a hypoallergenic flour such as quinoa.

  41. I was looking forward to these—I followed the recipe and even ground up almonds..I wish I had waited till smedley posted… I tried to convince myself this was worthy but instead of throwing them out I left the whole batch for the deer…the big bucks at first seemed to play with them like hockey pucks… in the morning the “muffins” were gone! some critters were feeling full all the next day I am sure!!!

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