These Pumpkin Protein Muffins are easy to make, fluffy, delicious and packed with protein from lentils and eggs! The perfect healthy breakfast or snack that is kid-approved.
Why you need to make these pumpkin muffins
Muffins are delicious. There is no way around that! But many recipes floating around on Pinterest are made with tons of added sugar and not much protein. Not an ideal way to start the day off, in my book! Whenever I add a muffin recipe to the pages of TNN, I try to make them special and the healthiest, most delicious muffin you can cook up.
So why are these Pumpkin Protein Muffins special? And so dang good? Here are a few reasons to add these pumpkin muffins to your morning line-up:
- They’re loaded with protein! Lentils are not your typical muffin ingredient, I know..but I have had oodles of success adding them to blender muffins as a way to up the protein. Nope, you can’t taste the lentils, but they are in there next to all kinds of other good-for-you ingredients to help fuel you up and keep you going until your next meal.
- No refined sugar! I skipped the refined sugar in these muffins and lightly sweetened them with some maple syrup or honey instead.
- Flavorful. Full of pumpkin and warm fall spices, these muffins are so delicious.
- They’re easy to make! Whiz up the wet ingredients + lentils in the blender. Mix with the dry ingredients and into the oven they go! They are in the oven with less than 10 minutes of work and ready after about 20 minutes of baking.
- A great part of meal prep. These muffins are a great thing to stock in your fridge or freezer. They store great in the fridge for 4-5 days or make for a great freezer staple for months to come.
- Super adaptable! We all have different needs, preferences, or styles when it comes to our food. These muffins can be changed in a bunch of different ways to fit your needs. Check out the Suggested Adaptations section below for how to make these Pumpkin Protein Muffins work for you!
This recipe is
Dairy-free, refined sugar-free, made with whole grains, freezer friendly, protein packed, veggie-loaded, and can easily be made gluten free and egg free.
How to cook lentils for these protein muffins
I like to buy and cook my lentils from dry because they are cheaper and pretty low fuss to cook.
- To cook lentils for these protein muffins on the stove top, cover the lentils with water in a pot and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat and let the lentils simmer for about 20 minutes. Drain and let them cool a bit before adding to the recipe.
- To cook lentils for this recipe in the Instant Pot, combine 1/3 cup dry lentils with 1 1/2 cups water. Cook on HIGH pressure for 9 minutes (it will take about 5-6 minutes for your IP to reach pressure). Quick release the pressure once cook time is up. Drain and let the lentils cool a bit before adding to the recipe.
- To cook lentils for this pumpkin muffin recipe in your slow cooker or crockpot, combine the 1/3 cup dry lentils with 2-3 cups of water and cook on LOW for 4 hours or on HIGH for 2 hours (depending on slow cooker). Drain and let cool before adding to the recipe.
- Skip the dry lentils and buy precooked lentils! I find them in the fridge or freezer section of many health focused grocery stores! Just be sure they aren’t seasoned with anything or that will impact the flavor of these muffins.
- No pumpkin? You can use butternut squash puree or cooked and mashed sweet potato in this protein muffin recipe instead of pumpkin, if needed.
- Make them egg free by using 2 “flax eggs” in place of the eggs in this recipe.
- Need gluten free? Replace the white whole wheat flour with a cup-for-cup gluten free flour blend.
- No white whole wheat flour? You can make your own by mixing half all-purpose flour + half whole wheat flour. You can also use all whole wheat flour if needed, but the muffins might be a bit denser and have a slightly different flavor.
- Add a mix-in or topping. Chocolate chips, dried cranberries, raisins or chopped nuts would all be delicious additions to these Pumpkin Protein Muffins.
Tips for the best pumpkin muffins
- Don’t over mix. Seriously. Mixing the wet + dry ingredients together until just combined is key to fluffy muffins! Over mixing will often result in flat, dense muffins….and that is just a bummer.
- Let the muffins cool for at least 10 minutes. Muffins continue to bake even after they are removed from the oven and will firm up as they sit. Hot muffins also might stick to their muffin tin liners or muffin tin. So let them cool a bit…even if a hot pumpkin muffin is pure magic!
- Use parchment paper muffin liners. I love this brand and find they are the best for easy peeling muffin liners. Another great (no waste) option is silicone muffin liners.
- Fill muffin compartments 3/4 of the way full.
- Use pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin puree is JUST blended pumpkin, while pumpkin pie filling is pumpkin + sugar + spices.
How to store these protein muffins
I highly suggest storing these pumpkin muffins in an airtight container in your refrigerator. Because they are so moist, storing them in the refrigerator will keep them fresher longer and prevent molding.
Or, you can freeze these muffins. They freeze really well, so they are great for stocking up your freezer. I like to store them in a large freezer bag or freezer-safe large container.
To defrost, I like to take them out of the freezer and leave them on the counter to thaw overnight. Or if you want one NOW, you can warm a muffin in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds.
Other veggie-loaded muffin recipes to bake up!
- Vegan Carrot Muffins (with lentils)
- Veggie-Loaded Chocolate Protein Muffins
- Oatmeal Green Smoothie Muffins
- Cinnamon Zucchini Banana Muffins
- Butternut Squash Banana Blender Muffins
Loving this pumpkin muffin recipe and now you’re hungry for more?
Fluffy & Filling Pumpkin Protein Muffins
- Muffin tin
- 1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling
- 1 cup cooked and cooled green lentils about 1/3 cup dry. See above for cooking suggestions
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup avocado oil or coconut oil
- 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat your oven to 350℉ and line a 12-hole muffin tin with liners. Set aside.
- In your blender, combine pumpkin puree, cooked lentils, eggs, oil, maple syrup/honey, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar. Blend until mixture is smooth and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin spice. Mix.
- Pour the contents of the blender into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combine. DO NOT over mix. Over mixing can lead to dense, flat muffins.
- Portion batter into prepared muffin tin.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Let cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Enjoy and let cool completely before storing any leftovers in an air-tight container in fridge or freezer.
The nutritional information is provided as an estimate only and may vary based on the product type, servings and other factors. If you are following a diet, please consult with a professional nutritionist or your doctor. Stay healthy!