Zucchini cheese muffin slab

Cheese and courgette muffin slabs.

Cheese and courgette muffin slabs.

Published May 11, 2024


Tired of cleaning up loads of muffin pans? Food vlogger Nagi (recipetineats.com) has a solution.

This is a zucchini-loaded savoury cheese muffin in slab form, a handy big-batch recipe to serve lots of people without fussing with muffin tins (pain to clean!). Consider it like a zucchini slice, but more like a muffin than a frittata.

Excellent shelf life of five days, economical to make, this will easily serve15 to 20 people and is great to tuck into lunch boxes or serve for morning tea.

“Don’t be alarmed by the thickness of the batter, it gets a lot of moisture from the zucchini as it bakes,” Nagi writes. There is also a pizza version at recipetineats.com

Cheese and courgette muffin slabs.

Preparation: 20 minutes

Cooking: 40 minutes

Serves 15-20 people

What you need:

300g zucchinis (about 3, each 17cm long) 1 is for the decorative topping, the other two go in the batter. Grate 2 of the zucchinis using a box grater. Toss with the salt then set aside for 20 minutes. Grab handfuls and squeeze out excess liquid (no need to be super forceful here but make a bit of effort ‒ zucchinis are 90%+ water) I tried to skip the sweating and regretted it. The batter just got too soggy and didn’t cook through.

If you are really short on time, you can reduce it to 10 minutes sweating time but use a tea towel to wring out the excess water (you’ll get more out than using hands). You should have 2 very tightly packed cups. Set aside.

Finely slice the third zucchini however you want, to decorate the surface. I cut it in half then into long strips. Thin coins are also nice. Toss with 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of black pepper. Optional: sprinkle ¾ tsp cooking salt over the top.

200 g shredded cheese at room temperature, like cheddar or colby. It sounds weird to ask for room temperature cheese, but this batter is quite thick and if the cheese is fridge cold, it will really bring down the temp of the batter so it won’t rise as well.


410 g flour, plain/all purpose

3½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda / bi-carbonate of soda (Note 3)

½ tsp cooking salt / kosher salt


2 garlic cloves, crushed using a garlic crusher or finely grated

250 ml milk, preferably full fat, at room temp

50 g unsalted butter, melted, cooled

45 ml neutral oil (canola, vegetable, peanut)

2 large eggs (55g each), at room temperature

1 tsp white vinegar (Note 4)


Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). Lightly grease a 23 x 33cm metal pan with butter. Line with paper with overhang (so you can lift it out later).

For the batter, whisk the dry ingredients in a large bowl using a hand-held whisk. Make a well in the centre. Whisk the wet ingredients in a separate bowl until combined. Pour the wet into the dry ingredients. Mix using a wooden spoon until the flour is mostly incorporated but there's still flour visible.

Add zucchini and cheese then mix through. Some flour lumps are fine. Minimise mixing or the crumb will be tough. The batter will be thick – the zucchini will sweat more in the oven.

Scrape into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Top with the zucchini slices. Bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Sprinkle with sea salt flakes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Use the excess paper to slide the slab onto a cooling rack then remove the paper. Cool for at least another 10 minutes.

Cut into pieces (3 x 5 pieces, or 4 x 5). Nobody ever says no to a smear of butter either, especially if served warm.

Recipe Notes:

Mozzarella doesn’t have enough flavour for this recipe, so if you use this, add ½ cup shredded parmesan.

It is really best to use both baking powder and baking soda – baking soda makes the crumb a little softer. However, it is still very good using only baking powder, but use an extra 1½ tsp baking powder if you don’t use baking soda.

Vinegar gives the baking soda a kick start to make the muffin rise, similar to the effect that yoghurt, buttermilk and sour cream has in cakes etc. You can’t taste the vinegar. Plain white vinegar is best but any neutral clear vinegar will work.

The slices stay fresh for 3 to 5 days in the fridge in an airtight container, but serve at room temp or better yet, warm. Can be stored 2 days in the pantry as long as it’s not too hot in your house. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Independent on Saturday

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