You’ve got about 1/2 cup of cooked chicken left over from last night’s dinner. What are you going to do with it?

Sure you could mix it up with some other goodies to make chicken salad for the next day’s lunch, whip up some chicken and stars for your toddler, or even make a batch of summer rolls, but why not try making something totally new which you can serve for lunch just as easily as you can for dinner?

I try hard to keep things fresh and offer my little ones new recipes as often as possible, but they’re just like every other kid out there. Left to their own devices it would likely be mac and cheese every night — butter, cheese, pasta and bread reign supreme for them. But by switching up my menu day-to-day, Kenya and Chloe learn to expand their culinary comfort zones and frequently surprise themselves by discovering a new favorite. I find it so inspiring to watch a kid discovers on her own that she enjoys a new food or in fact loves the one you’ve repeatedly been trying to get her to eat for months…even years. Even these savory muffins packed with mexican spices, sweet corn and a touch of cheese and all in one small package, were a surprise to the kids. But as soon as I offered them one with a squeeze of ketchup to dip in they were psyched.

So the next time you have some leftover chicken and are tired of the same old recipes, try something new like these Mexican Muffins and you just might find a new favorite too!


Mexican Muffins

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Course: Dinner, Snack
Servings: 2
Author: Catherine McCord
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes



  • Heat oven to 375°F.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the first 7 ingredients.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, tomato paste, honey, cheese, and corn.
  • Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined.
  • Gently fold in the chicken.
  • Pour batter into a well-greased muffin tin.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly brown.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.
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About the Author

Catherine is a mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. I create simple, healthy recipes the whole family will love.


  1. I used this recipe as a starting point for the things I had on hand. They turned out delicious! My husband ate them as a pre-workout meal. I used salsa instead of tomato paste. And I used 1/3 c masa harina and 1/3 c sourdough starter in place of the flours and left out the milk because of the wet starter. I also left out the corn and honey and was a bit heavier handed on the spices since they were for adults. Some diced jalapenos or sauteed onions or bell peppers would have been great in them, too. The salsa was a nice touch.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. How many standard sized muffins does this recipient make? I tried it out and there wasn’t enough batter to fill a 12 cup muffin pan.

  3. I have all the ingredients on hand except whole wheat flour. Will these turn out okay if I use all purpose flour for the whole recipe?

  4. I always send lunch with an ice pack to keep everything at a safe temperature until lunch time!

  5. Hello! I was going to make these muffins that I found in your cookbook, however I stumped as to the safest way to send them in a lunchbox to school since they contain meat. Chilled with an ice pack? Warmed in a thermos? Thanks for the advice!

  6. I like to pull them out of the freezer the night before, and you can heat them in microwave or in a toasted oven for a few minutes!

  7. What if I want to refrigerate them? Just a few seconds in the microwave to heat up? Eat cold? Would they thaw from the freezer by lunchtime for a packed lunch?

  8. I made these this evening. My 2 1/2 didn’t like it too much but my 18-month ate it. I had the late night munchies and ate the last of it!

  9. Just made these and mistakenly added 1/2 tsp of garlic powder instead of 1/4, but I’m glad to report the flavor was perfect. I’ll definitely add the right amount next time, but I ran out of baking powder and couldn’t start over tonight. Great and fun recipe.

    I wonder if they could also be maze w peas and carrots, instead of just corn. 🙂

  10. […] get him to eat fruits or veggies unless it’s cooked in something. Like tonight, we made these and he ate as much as I did. He even ate the […]

  11. the batter came out extremely thick, like when you make chocolate chip cookies. Is that correct?

  12. For the same situation in the future, you can make tomato paste by just simmering tomato sauce for about 7min.

  13. You could use tomato sauce (or tomato puree) instead so that you still get a similar flavor! Use 1/2 tablespoon since it is thinner than paste. You could also simmer tomato sauce for about 5 minutes to thicken it and get it closer to the consistency of tomato paste!

  14. I wanted to try these today for my all of sudden picky 17 month old. Is there anything I can sub for tom. paste, since I don’t have any on hand? Ketchup?

  15. I just made these for my 18 month old, and he LOVES them! I just subbed the chicken for black beans (he is obsessed) and it’s a big hit!

  16. Had to give these a try since we’re Mexican food fanatics and all about muffins too. Decided to add 1/2 cup of grated zucchini and 2 tablespoons of a thinner consistency (not chunky) mild salsa to ensure they were extra moist – Awesome! Great flavor and my 3 year old ate and entire muffin without protest!

  17. Just made with 2 hardboiled eggs instead of chicken (we’re veggie)–turned out great. Hoping my little one scarfs them down with the gusto I just did:)

  18. Wonderful idea, but unfortunately neither of my boys liked them. On the bright side, both my husband and I thought they were quite good.

  19. Yes! I freeze them after baking. I have some in the freezer right now. Maybe I’ll take a few out for lunch…

  20. These look great! They are in the oven now 😀 My 15 month old (and my husband) thanks you for all your great recipes!!

  21. I made these as 8 mini muffins and cooked them for about 13 minutes. They turned out fantastic and were a big hit at our play date today. The house also smelled fantastic when they were baking!

  22. You say this recipe serves 4 — would this work just the same in a mini-muffin pan or a regular muffin pan?

  23. You could replace the corn with something else that is sturdy. Like peas or zucchini. Make sure to chop the substitute to about the size of a corn kernel!

  24. These look like something perfect to get my toddler to eat some meat! And very happy your newly designed website allows your recipes to be saved to my Paprika app!

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