I’m just going to go ahead and say it — this recipe is a winner!
Now that Abby is able to feed herself, I decided to come up with a super nutritious finger food that I can keep in the freezer and thaw whenever I need an easy meal for her. She loves quinoa, but I have to feed it to her because of her poor utensil skills. And when I’m feeding Abby, I’m not able to feed myself.
So . . .
I came up with these veggie-filled quinoa pizza bites, and Abby LOVES them!
In addition to the quinoa, these pizza bites contain carrot, onion, mushrooms, and broccoli! Abby refuses to eat broccoli and mushrooms, yet she loves these — WIN!
I consider these quinoa pizza bites to be an entree, but I do add some fruit or another vegetable to complete the meal. This recipe makes about 18 pizza bites, yet Abby can only eat three per sitting. This means there will be plenty of leftovers to put into the fridge or freezer for later (or, you know, to eat for yourself)!
I topped my pizza bites with extra pizza sauce and a few shreds of Daiya vegan mozzarella to make them look like little pizzas, but you can omit these if you like. There is pizza sauce stirred into the quinoa-veggie mixture, so the bites taste like pizza without adding extra sauce to the top.
I also added fresh oregano to the food processor to make these bites taste even more like pizza. And when these babies are cooking, you might even be fooled by the smell into thinking there’s actually pizza in your oven!
- 2 cups cooked quinoa (optional: grate carrot into pot before cooking)
- 3-4 crimini or button mushrooms, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- ¼ cup chopped broccoli florets
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Salt & pepper, to taste (use sparingly if for small children)
- 1-2 t. fresh oregano or basil leaves (optional, but recommended)
- ¾ cup pizza sauce (read labels & buy lowest sodium) or tomato sauce, plus more for topping
- 3 T. GF flour (for binding)
- Optional: nondairy cheese shreds (I prefer Daiya brand mozzarella)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a muffin tin with grapeseed or olive oil spray.
- In about ¼ inch of water in a medium saucepan, cook the mushrooms, onion, broccoli, and garlic over medium heat until soft. If the pan starts to look dry, add another splash of water to prevent burning.
- Without pouring much of the cooking water, transfer the vegetables into a food processor. Season with salt, pepper, and the fresh herbs. Pulse until veggies are basically pureed (see photo).
- In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, veggie puree, and ¾ cups pizza sauce. Taste for seasoning and add the flour. Stir well to combine.
- Add about 1 heaping Tablespoon of the mixture into each well of the muffin tin and use the bottom of the spoon to roughly smooth out the tops.
- Place muffin tin in the oven and bake 12 minutes, remove from the oven and add a small circle of pizza sauce and a pinch of nondairy cheese, then return tin to the oven for about 2 mins to melt the cheese.
- Allow the pizza bites to cool at least 10-15 mins. The longer you let them cool, the more they will set and the easier it will be to get them out of the tin. To remove them, run a knife around the edges of each bite and use a fork to gently press in one side and lift up. The bites should come out easily. If you try to remove one and it doesn't hold together at all, there may be too much liquid in your quinoa-veggie mixture. Just return your pizza bites to the oven for a few more minutes and let them cool again. They should look dry with slightly golden edges.
- Serve immediately, or pop into the fridge or freezer for later.
I came up with these beautiful little quinoa pizza bites with toddlers in mind, but I’m considering making them for my husband. He loves pizza, but we hardly ever eat it together. I often catch him singing the Pizza Bagel Bites commercial song from the 90’s. It’s a little sad.
Perhaps these delicious pizza bites will satisfy his craving for pizza!
OK, I’m officially hungry now.
Seriously, even if you don’t have kids, these are fantastic! They would be great snacks to serve during a football game or for dinner with a simple green salad.
They freeze and reheat well, so you can keep them in your freezer for when you’re desperate for a snack or meal for your kids.
Simply put, these quinoa pizza bites are worth trying!