No time for eggs in the morning? Try these paleo and AIP-friendly baked sweet potato and shredded chicken muffins. They’re almost like meatballs and great for lunch boxes and on-the-go snacks.
I love eggs for breakfast but there are days when I simply don’t feel like making a cooked breakfast or I don’t have the time. Plus, a lot of people have to avoid eggs due to an allergy or as part of a healing protocol such as AIP.
Instead, I like to make a batch of these sweet potato and chicken muffins, as they are quick and easy to pull out of the fridge in the morning, and can also be easily packed for an on-the-go breakfast.
Okay, so they aren’t really muffins as such (the texture is certainly not the same) but since the definition of a muffin is ‘an individual-sized, baked product’ and it was pretty convenient to make these in paper casings, the name seemed appropriate.
You could also call them breakfast patties, nests, bites or whatever you like. The main thing: they are delicious!
From a nutritional point of view, you have a pretty handy ratio of protein and starchy carbs, with added vitamins and fibre. These muffins are egg-free, nut-free (great for lunch boxes), AIP and Whole30 friendly.
Making Sweet Potato Chicken Muffins
Sweet potato. You can use any starchy vegetable in this recipe such as white potato, swedes, parsnips, winter squash/pumpkin and even carrots. I think sweet potato works really well, though. I am using raw, grated sweet potato.
Chicken. You have a few options here. When I do meal prep on the weekend, I like to pre-cook a few chicken breasts or roast a whole chicken, so I have plenty of meat to use up in salads and what not. For this recipe, I simmered two chicken breasts with some garlic and bay leaf, but you can easily shred rotisserie-style chicken from the deli, dice up cooked sausage, or cook up some beef or pork mince. In terms of weight, the ratio is about 1:1 of chicken meat to sweet potato.
Texture. We’re not using any eggs or flour to bind the mixture (just some sweet potato juice) so the patties aren’t as tight as say meatballs or muffins are. They hold together enough to easily slide into your mouth and be carried around. You might have a couple of pieces fall off when you pick them out of the casings. Don’t let it deter you from making these though, you’ll be missing out on a super easy, convenient food option.
Some of my readers have made these with an egg or two in the mixture for extra binding. If you can eat eggs, then go for it!
An alternative way of cooking these is pan-frying in a thin layer of coconut oil. That way you would have sweet potato rosti and chicken fritters. I baked them because I simply didn’t want to fuss over the stove but if you have the time, I think they would be nice fried.Print
Sweet Potato & Chicken Breakfast Muffins
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 35 mins
- Total Time: 50 mins
- Yield: 13 muffins 1x
- Category: Muffins
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Healthy
- Diet: Gluten Free
For the chicken
- 2 medium chicken breasts (300 g/0.6lb)
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 celery stick, diced roughly
- 1 bay leaf (optional)
For the muffins
- 350 g / 0.7 lb sweet potato (peeled and grated)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 spring onions/scallions, finely chopped
- Coconut oil and muffin or cupcake cases/wrappers
- Preheat the oven to 190 C / 375 F (conventional) and boil a kettle of water.
- Place the chicken in a small saucepan together with garlic, salt, celery and bay leaf. Cover with boiling hot water and place over medium-low heat to simmer for 15 minutes. You can cover with a lid but allow some steam to escape so it doesn’t come to a full boil. Reduce the heat if needed.
- In the meantime, grate the sweet potato.
- Once the chicken is done, strain the meat and the garlic through a sieve into a pot. You can re-use the broth in a soup. Cool the chicken slightly, then shred into strips and chop into small pieces. Chop the cooked garlic as well.
- Combine the shredded and chopped chicken and garlic in a bowl. Add the cinnamon, salt, onions and olive oil. When adding the grated sweet potato, squeeze it tightly over the chicken mixture to allow some of the juices out.This juice will help to bind the mixture and make it easier to mould into balls.
- Using a pastry brush or your fingers, grease the bottom of the muffin/cupcake wrappers and place them on a flat baking tray/sheet pan (I ended up using 13 regular cupcake casings). Shape 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture into a small ball/patty using your hands and add it to the wrapper. Press the patty down slightly/. Continue with the rest of the mixture.
- Place the tray with the muffins in the oven, middle shelf and bake for 20 minutes. If your oven’s heat is slightly uneven, rotate the tray half way through. Once cooked, remove and allow to cool slightly. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge.
Keywords: Chicken, Sweet Potato, Savory Muffins,
I found the sweet potatoes to be a bit undercooked. And I wasn’t satiated after eating a few. I ended up eating spoons of butter as I ate. If I try this again, I will try to figure out a way to incorporate it.
I think this recipe is a good basis for something really good and will have to tweak.
Thanks, Rad. I like your suggestions about the butter, you could definitely add more fat to the mixture and if you can have eggs, then add one or two to the mixture as well.
Would the celery cook enough in the oven? Roasting a whole chicken tonight so I don’t need to cook it ….. or should I still cook the celery first?
I think you mean sweet potato, right? You don’t need to cook it ahead of time as it will cook during the actual muffin cooking time.
These have great flavor. However couldn’t get to stay together. Messy not enough binder. Water. Whatever
If you can eat eggs, then you can add one or two to the mix to keep them together. I had to compromise to keep them AIP friendly and egg-free for some of my readers but I know a few people that have made these with eggs and even added some almond meal. So, if you love the flavour but want them a little firmer, then I recommend adding the egg.
I just made these today and they were delicious! I added two eggs and some almond meal because I was afraid they would fall apart otherwise. They are so quick and easy to make when you already have some leftover chicken. I will definitely be making these again.
Thanks Emily. I think adding eggs and some almond meal will definitely hold them together better. I wanted to keep them egg-free and nut-free for those following AIP but if you can eat those foods, then it’s a great idea. Great to know they turned out well.
Is 300 grams of chicken per breast or total?
Total amount used
Would these freeze well? I’m thinking of making them for my son’s lunches for school.
I haven’t actually tried freezing them but I think they should work fine, although the texture and shape will change slightly. In the fridge, they last about 2-3 days.
LOVE this recipe! With regular sweet potatoes and leftover chicken breast, and once with chicken breakfast sausage and Japanese sweet potato. Both times I added a couple of eggs to the recipe and 2 tablespoons of psyllium for more fiber and more binding affect. Also added some lemon zest, cumin, coriander and smoked paprika. Just a little. Baked them in greased silicone muffin pans, and they popped right out. COOKED a little longer (maybe 30 min) until a fork pierced the muffins with minimal resistance. My husband preferred the ones with sausage, and I preferred the ones with just chicken breast. These will be a regular in our house! Thank you!
Sounds like you’ve found the perfect recipe template to play with. Love all those ideas and additions 🙂 Irena
Hello, I came upon this recipe by accident and it looks so good. I am wondering if a little coconut flour and ghee would work to help bind it all together. I am in the beginning of an AIP protocol and am looking for good recipes. Thank you for answering. 🙂
Yes, definitely. You could add a little coconut flour or cassava flour to them and some ghee or olive oil.