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Recipe for Rhode Island white corn and green chile cheese muffins

White corn and green chile muffins

Some people really don't get the point of savory muffins. After all, most of the time, something shaped like a muffin is sweet, but savory muffins make a nice change from something more loaf-like: an attractive presentation, and built-in portion control. Unless, of course, you have more than one, which you just might be tempted to do when you taste these white corn and green chile cheese muffins. It took me a couple of tries to get the recipe just right. I wanted to use Rhode Island jonnycake meal, a fluffy, fine-ground white cornmeal that we use to make our local specialty, but you can substitute yellow cornmeal if that's easier to find in your part of the world. These muffins paired perfectly with grilled skirt steak marinated in chipotle barbecue sauce made by fellow Rhode Island blogger Just One Donna.

White corn and green chile muffins1

Rhode Island white corn and green chile cheese muffins

From the pantry, you'll need: all-purpose flour, cornmeal, baking powder, green chiles, grated or shredded cheese, unsalted butter, egg, baking spray, kosher salt, fresh black pepper.

Adapted from a recipe in Cooking Light Quick Baking. Makes 12 muffins.


Baking spray
1-3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white jonnycake meal or fine-ground yellow or white cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese or store-bought 4-cheese Mexican reduced-fat cheese, divided
3 Tbsp chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1-1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
4 tsp canned chopped green chiles
1 large egg


Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a muffin pan with baking spray and set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine all-purpose flour, jonnycake meal, baking powder, salt, baking soda and black pepper. Pulse 3-4 times. Add 3/4 of the cheese, and all of the butter, and pulse 5-6 times, just until the butter is the size of peas and the mixture looks like coarse meal. Do not overprocess.

Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl. In a 2-cup glass measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, chiles and egg, until the egg is incorporated into the buttermilk. Make a well in the center of the flour in the bowl, and pour the liquid into the flour. With a rubber spatula, stir together just until the flour is moistened. Again, do not overbeat.

Use an ice cream scoop with a release (called a "disher") to divide the batter evenly in the muffin tin. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the muffins. Bake on the upper middle rack in the oven for 19 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool in the muffin tin for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins to a cooling rack. Serve warm, or cool them completely and wrap in aluminum foil to reheat later.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Polenta, squash and cheese loaf
Lemon-currant biscotti
Baked polenta with braised wild mushrooms
West Bay jonnycakes
Blue corn muffins

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Portuguese white cornmeal bread, from One Perfect Bite
Pecan cornmeal butter cake, from Smitten Kitchen
Honey cranberry cornmeal quick bread, from Joy the Baker
Cheesy chili cornbread, from Never Enough Thyme
Sour milk cornbread, from Ezra Pound Cake

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


Yum! They'd go great with chili.

The recipe has a typo for the amount of buttermilk needed. It appears as 1-4/ cups which lead me to believe it only needed 1/4 cup. I figured that you meant for it to callfor 1 1/4 cups. Great tasting muffins!

Jenn, yes they would! Hope you try it.

Patty, thanks, I've fixed the typo (you were right -- 1-1/4 cups). I'm so grateful to readers who help me catch an error!

These look like the perfect muffin!

These look fantastic! If I were home I would make them immediately. How compelling the photo is!

Oh, Lydia, those look great! They'd be easy to convert to gluten free (and even dairy free), too.

Have to tell you that I made the garlic ice cream. It's not a winner ... yet. I added one ingredient that didn't work at all, so I'll keep working on it because it really does have potential. The failed ice cream will become the base for a creamy soup later on, so all is not lost. ;-)


Oh, I definitely get savory muffins.

I like savory muffins much more than sweet ones and especially when there's cheese!

Lydia, I'm definitely making these. I have some of the jonnycake meal in the pantry and all the other ingredients except for buttermilk. I wonder if I could use plain yogurt? I think I'll give it a try. Thanks for mentioning my chipotle bbq sauce. We made a bbq chicken pizza with it tonight that was delicious!

I'll take savory any day of the week, and I will eat more than one ...

Maris, these are quick and easy, and go really well with barbecue.

Susan, I love to find new ways to use Rhode Island's white cornmeal. It worked well in these muffins.

Shirley, thanks for the update on garlic ice cream -- I'm not rushing to try it! But you're right, almost anything can be turned into a great soup.

Pam, I knew you would.

Kalyn, same here. Put cheese in it (and, for me, something spicy like chiles) and I'm there.

Donna, yogurt should work, though I don't know if you'll have to adjust the amount. Thanks for being the first taste-tester; version 1.0 wasn't great, but I've got the recipe down now.

TW, I'll always take savory over sweet. And cheese over all.

I just want you to know that thanks to you I have a full-blown cornmeal addiction and stock both yellow and white in my pantry now. The johnny cakes put me over the top. and now... savory muffins... WITH CHEESE.
I am leaving work right now to make these!

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