Cheesy Quinoa Veggie Bites

4.5 from 32 votes
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Easy and crispy Cheesy Veggie Quinoa Bites make a delicious, healthy snack or side dish, or serve them as simple gluten free appetizers. Only four ingredients and you can use any leftover or frozen veggies you have on hand. A perfect finger food recipe for toddlers and kids packed with plenty of vegetables, whole grains, and protein, plus lots of cheese!

A small blue dish of quinoa veggie bites with visible bits of broccoli and carrots.

Cheesy Veggie Quinoa Bites – a Vegetarian Snack for Kids

 

One thing I know is that it can be hard to find quinoa recipes for kids. I know that my boys aren’t huge fans of it plain. But one day I was staring at a fridge with containers of leftover quinoa and vegetables with two hungry little boys by my side. I had to become a quinoa ninja.

After adding plenty of cheese (like my cheesy quinoa side dish) and turning them into crispy finger food (like Baked Cauliflower Tots), Cheesy Veggie Quinoa Bites were born. And you can be sure they gobbled up these veggie bites.

I had to stop them from polishing off the whole batch just so I could grab some photos. Heck, I had to stop myself too! Now we will often enjoy them as an easy vegetarian lunch recipe, or a side dish or snack.

Cheesy Veggie Quinoa Bites in a small bowl on top of yellow and white napkins on a wooden tabletop.

Ingredients in Quinoa Bites

It doesn’t take much more than stirring together a few ingredients and packing it into a mini muffin tin before popping them into the oven. Here’s a quick overview, but the full amounts and details are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Quinoa. Cooked and cooled. You can definitely use leftovers.
  • Cheddar cheese. I prefer a good, sharp cheddar, but you can use your favorite.
  • Vegetables. Cooked and chopped. Use any leftovers or thawed frozen veggies.
  • Egg. Just one for binding. You can also try one of these egg substitutes.
  • Salt.
Bowls of cooked quinoa and vegetables and shredded cheese, plus a teaspoon of salt and an egg on a marble countertop.

How to Make Quinoa Bites

Make sure your oven is preheated to 350°F, and your veggies and quinoa are cooked and cooled. Then spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray. Make sure your quinoa is cooked and cooled, and that your veggies are cooked as well. Now let’s get started.

Make the mixture. Combine all of the ingredients together in a bowl and stir until everything is evenly distributed.

Fill the pan. Divide the mixture between the wells in the mini muffin pan and pack it in firmly. I like to use a small cookie scoop.

Bake the bites. Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.

Cool and serve. Let the cheesy quinoa bites cool for at least a few minutes. Then run the tip of a butter knife or a small offset spatula around the edge and pop them out of the pan. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Fully baked cheesy quinoa bites in a mini muffin pan.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

Any leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three or four days. You can even make a double batch and freeze them. If you freeze them on a pan and then transfer them to a plastic freezer storage bag, you can easily pull out just a few at a time as you need them. Just thaw them in the refrigerator before reheating.

These quinoa bites are actually good cold or at room temperature. You can also pop them in the microwave for a minute or two until they are hot. But I actually like putting them in the oven or air fryer at 350°F for 5-10 minutes because they get even more crispy.

A pile of cheesy veggie quinoa bites on a small rectangular turquoise dish on a white napkin.

Frequently Asked Questions

What vegetables can you use in these veggie bites?

In the photos, I used a mixture of steamed broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower. I have also used leftover roasted cauliflower and roasted broccoli. For the video, it was thawed frozen peas and carrots, but any thawed mixed veggies will work. Oftentimes I will add a thawed veggie blend of peas, carrots, corn, and green beans.

You can even get a little fancier and make Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Quinoa Bites. It’s totally your choice, so use whatever you have on hand, or whatever you are trying to sneak past your kids. I won’t tell. It’ll be our little secret!

How much dry quinoa do you need to make 1 cup of cooked quinoa?

Quinoa typically triples in volume when you cook it. So if you want to make exactly 1 cup of cooked quinoa, you will want to cook 1/3 cup dry quinoa in 2/3 cups of water or other liquid.

However, I recommend making a bigger batch because you can keep it in the fridge for up to a week and use it in a number of other recipes. I have an entire article about cooking quinoa, including five different methods to prepare it on the stove, or in the crockpot, Instant Pot, microwave, and rice cooker.

A dish of cheesy quinoa bites on top of blue and white cloth napkins on a wood table.

Serving Suggestions

While these certainly do make great snacks or appetizers, they are great to serve as a side dish with kid-friendly meals like these:

Dipping Sauces

My kids, like most, love to dip their finger foods. Try serving quinoa bites with one of these dips or sauces:

Quinoa bites with pieces of broccoli, carrots, and other vegetables on a rectangular turquoise plate on top of some cloth napkins.

Things You’ll Need

PADDLE GRATER: These are convenient to shred the cheese right into the bowl without any extra dirty dishes.

MINI MUFFIN TIN: The perfect size for these little finger food bites. I do recommend a nonstick one.

SMALL COOKIE SCOOP: Makes portioning the quinoa mixture into the pan super easy.

SMALL OFFSET SPATULA: To pop the quinoa bites out of the pan.

A dish of cheesy quinoa bites on top of blue and white cloth napkins on a wood table.
4.5 from 32 votes

Cheesy Veggie Quinoa Bites

Easy and crispy Cheesy Veggie Quinoa Bites make a delicious, healthy snack or side dish, or serve them as simple gluten free appetizers. Only four ingredients and you can use any leftover or frozen veggies you have on hand. A perfect finger food recipe for toddlers and kids packed with plenty of vegetables, whole grains, and protein, plus lots of cheese!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa , cooled
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese , shredded (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup vegetables , chopped and cooked {steamed, roasted, etc}
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray or oil.
  • Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.
  • Divide the mixture evenly between the cups of the mini muffin tin, and press down to pack it in firmly.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.
  • If you do not finish them, store leftovers in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Facts
Cheesy Veggie Quinoa Bites
Amount Per Serving
Calories 143 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Cholesterol 47mg16%
Sodium 337mg14%
Potassium 145mg4%
Carbohydrates 10g3%
Fiber 2g8%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 1770IU35%
Vitamin C 3.1mg4%
Calcium 153mg15%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimers: Please discuss your individual dietary needs (i.e. gluten free) with a physician. Even when not specified, be sure to verify all ingredients are gluten free, if needed, by reading labels on all packaging and/or confirming with the manufacturer this varies by brand and can change at any time. Nutrition information shown is an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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60 Comments
  1. Erin M

    5 stars
    OMG i am so happy i stumbled upon this recipe yesterday! this is my new favorite snack! i have been dealing with digestive issues for the past few weeks so i have been looking for low FODMAP foods to eat, and this recipe is absolutely perfect! i used broccoli, corn, carrots and red bell pepper, and along with the sharp cheddar i added some bits of mozzarella on top! i have a desk job and sometimes it is hard to sneak away for my lunch break, so i was also looking for recipes of easy, healthy snacks/foods to eat throughout the day. thank you so much! 🙂

  2. Smita

    What do i use to replace eggs? I am a vegetarian and do not eat eggs. However i love your recipe and would love to make for my child.

  3. Maria

    I just love your recipes!! I have a hard time at this time in my life to be able to cook healthy… to cook period!😢but your recipes are great and not difficult to prepare and is much appreciated!! I am changing my eating to exclude meat and you are a big help, thank you 🙏

  4. Nora

    4 stars
    These are super tasty! I used vegan cheese (about 1/2 cup) and nutritional yeast to make these dairy free, and it seemed to work great. But man, even in a non-stick muffin pan sprayed with non-stick spray, these were stubborn to get out of the pan. I think I’ll try a tiny cookie scoop on a baking sheet next time.

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      Thanks for your feedback, Nora. I’m sorry you had trouble with them sticking to the pan, though. Hopefully they’ll come out well for you baking them on a cookie sheet instead. If you do make them that way, a sheet of parchment paper should help prevent them from sticking.

  5. Annie

    4 stars
    These are delicious! Do you need to refrigerate them? And if putting in a lunch, would they get soggy if I reheated them and put in a Thermos?

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      I’m happy to hear that you like the quinoa bites recipe, Annie. Yes, they should be refrigerated. I can’t answer your question about how they would hold up in a thermos, as I’ve never tried it. I can tell you that they’ll reheat better in an oven than they will in a microwave. Hope that helps!

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      I’m SO happy to hear that the quinoa bites were a hit with your family, Stephanie. Thank you for your comment and for rating the recipe!

  6. Dr. Cowan's Garden

    5 stars
    Thanks for the delicious recipe, Brianne. You are right these cheesy veggie quinoa bites make delicious, healthy afternoon snacks and breakfast.

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      Flora, I would fill the muffin tins 3/4 full and try adding 3-4 minutes of bake time. After that, poke one of the muffins with a toothpick to see if the batter is cooked or not. Please let me know how they turn out!

  7. Dee T

    4 stars
    I am gluten, sugar, corn and soy free so this recipe really called my name! I made a batch on Saturday, today is Monday and they are half gone. I will change up the next time I make them though. I think the artichoke made them bitter. I will put another veggie instead, maybe red pepper and I will add another egg too as I feel they didn’t stay together quite enough for me. All in all a great idea to add the quinoa. Thanks so much for the idea! And I will be checking out many of your other recipes as well.

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      Thank you for your comment, Dee. I’m sorry that the muffins weren’t as wonderful as you would have liked them to be, but it sounds like you’ve got great ideas for switching things up the next time you make them!

  8. Love this recipe..have used it many times now. They pack for work lunches and reheat in the microwave. I usually make a batch for the week of grab and go breakfast, lunch or snacks and even make as an appetizer( i try to make them more bite size.)

  9. Marcy

    We love these! I added some crumbled bacon to one batch for my husband. I love them in their healthier bacon free form!
    Thank you!!!

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      I’m glad you enjoyed the quinoa bites, Marcy, but your addition of bacon to them sounds delicious!

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      Michelle, if you cool the quinoa bites completely before freezing them and make sure to wrap them very well with plastic wrap and an outer layer of aluminum foil or inside of a freezer bag, I think they would reheat well.

  10. Gina

    First of all, these were amazing, thank you! Three questions: 1) how would these do if you froze them? 2) any advice to stop them from sticking to muffin tin? 3) have you ever tried this not in muffin tins? Just in maybe a 9×13 foil tray?

    1. Oh great, so glad you enjoyed them! I haven’t frozen them, but I think they would freeze well. Plenty of cooking spray. I have one muffin pan that never sticks, and one that, no matter what I make, always sticks. I haven’t tried in a tray. You wouldn’t get the crispy edges, but one idea is to use a little scoop and put little “tots” on a cookie sheet. I’ll have to try that!

    1. There are a number of egg substitute products (I think one is called Ener-G), and some people use ground flax seed mixed with water. Not sure how it would work with this recipe. I think trying that or even omitting it might be fine. It’ll taste good, they may just be a little softer and more fragile.

  11. Amy

    5 stars
    My 9 month old LOVES these! It’s a great way to mix things up and travel so easily to daycare. Thank you for sharing!

  12. Haha, I feel like some of the best dishes ever come from throwing a bunch of leftovers together! For some reason I never think to combine quinoa and cheese together but I’m loving these cheesy quinoa bites!! This is such a great idea!

4.47 from 32 votes (22 ratings without comment)

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