Ahhh; quinoa.  How I love thee.

I love your soft, fluffy texture.

I love cooking up a batch on Sunday night and picking on your leftovers with my little fingers before tossing it into salads, soups and desserts for the week ahead.

(p.s. I’ve got a TON of amazing Quinoa recipes in my NEW Cookbook Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body).

I love how every time I cook you up, you remind me of a cozy family dinner when I was a kid.  After being on lockdown at the dinner table with Brussels sprouts and a crock pot meal – quinoa never looked so good or tasted so good, for that matter.

Sigh. I love you quinoa.  And so do my clients- they can’t get enough lately.

Actually they’ve been eating so much of it that they asked me for some other ways to prepare it.

Well, have no fear Amie is here.

And wait until you see how cute these little bites are that I’ve created.

If you, too love this darling qunioa seed then I know you’ll love this recipe with tiny flecks of basil, onion and chives.  It’s the perfect touch that makes this recipe the best I’ve had in a long, long time.

There’s just something special about it that I can’t put my finger on….

Maybe because it’s a fun lil’ finger food that you’ll love to dip right into a fresh tomato sauce.

Or maybe it’s just because I love quinoa.

One bite of these and you’ll be batting your eyelashes while smiling ear to ear.  And you’ll probably wanna make ’em again next week…because they’re a bit too good to be true.

I added dairy-free cheese to this recipe but you can use regular cheese if you prefer.  The amount of cherry tomatoes depends on their ripeness. Right now, if your tomatoes are as ruby red n’ juicy and sweet as mine- you probably only need about 7-8 of those little guys.  But you’ll have to be the judge!

I used regular muffin tins to make this recipe an entree but you are welcome to use mini muffin tins if you’d like to create bite sized appetizers as they’d be awfully cute for a summer BBQ, wouldn’t they?

There’s nothing better, folks, than the smell of savory quinoa bites baking in the oven.  Well, I take that back. The only better thing is actually eating these bites.

Obviously.

Perfect for Memorial Day Cookouts.

Just don’t forget your sunglasses and sunscreen.


4.5 from 10 reviews
Crispy Quinoa Bites
 
Prep
Cook
Total
 
Gluten-Free and Vegetarian
Author:
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • ---Quinoa Bites
  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa
  • ½ cup uncooked black rice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup Vidalia onions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup dairy-free, vegan shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup grape tomatoes, diced
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 chives, finely chopped, for garnish
  • 2 cups of homemade tomato sauce, for serving
  • ---Sun Dried-Tomato Sauce
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, diced and seeded
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth, plus more if needed for a thinner sauce
  • ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 large heirloom tomato, diced
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Medjool date, pitted and finely diced
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Large pinch chili powder
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • pinch ground paprika
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. For the Quinoa Bites:
  2. Cook quinoa and rice according to package directions. Prepare muffin pan with nonstick baking spray.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa and rice with remaining ingredients, except chives and pasta sauce; mix well to combine.
  5. Transfer quinoa and rice mixture to prepared muffin pan. Using a tablespoon, fill each muffin cup to the top, then using a spatula, press down on the mixture to create a flat surface.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce (below). Remove from oven; set aside to cool for 15 minutes. Using a teaspoon, gently remove rice and quinoa snacks from the muffin cups.
  7. Transfer to a serving platter; serve with a sprinkle of fresh chives and a side of tomato sauce for dipping.
  8. For the Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce:
  9. In a large pot over medium heat, combine all sauce ingredients and cook until all veggies are very tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth. Return to the pot, heat until warm throughout and serve with the warm quinoa bites.

 

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129 comments

  1. These sound fabulous but they are NOT vegan. Eggs are listed as the third ingredient. Any idea for a vegan adjustment to this recipe?

    1. Thanks Lisa; great to hear from you. This recipe is vegetarian not vegan due to the use of eggs but I have received many requests to make it vegan for clients and readers. I would use 1/4 cup soy milk mixed with 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice or 1 Tbsp. ground flax seeds mixed with 1/4 cup water. Hope this helps; let me know how they turn out and thank you again for your comment!

    2. Hi Lisa, I cook for a vegan “in my House” all the time…I use “ENER G’s” Egg Replacer (it’s a potato startch) in all recipes calling for eggs. It’s become a staple in my house… ENJOY..

    1. Thanks Rose! I would use 1/4 cup soy milk mixed with 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice or 1 Tbsp. ground flax seeds mixed with 1/4 cup water. Hope this helps; let me know how they turn out when you bake them in their vegan version and have a fabulous day!

  2. Amie!! I’ve been looking for alternatives to pb & j for my veggie daughter’s lunch. These are PERFECT….and not just for her lunch either. I cannot wait to make these. Thanks for another great recipe! <3

    1. SO great to hear Alison; thank you and I hope you enjoy them. They are so cute and bite sized; such a perfect snack or meal option with veggies! Thanks again and enjoy your afternoon.

    1. Thanks Elizabeth; you are correct as this recipe is vegetarian and not vegan due to the use of eggs but I have received many requests to make it vegan for my clients who are either allergic to eggs or are vegan. I would develop the recipe using 1/4 cup soy milk mixed with 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice or 1 Tbsp. ground flax seeds mixed with 1/4 cup water instead of the egg. Have a great day and thank you again for your comment!

  3. Amie – this look and sound utterly delightful! As you can imagine, anything with quinoa brings a smile to my face and I can’t wait to make them. I’m happy to hear your clients are loving quinoa as well. It’s my favorite food on the planet!

    Keep ’em coming! I can’t get enough 🙂

    xo Alyssa

    1. Thank you Alyssa; So great to hear from you darling!!! I’m a huge fan of your Quinoa Queen deliciousness so I hope you enjoy this lil’ quinoa recipe too! Have a great day. ooxox Enjoy…

  4. AMIIE,

    THIS SOUNDS DELICIOUS I MAKE QUINOA ON A REGULAR BASIS BUT SOMETIMES RUN OUT OF IDEAS. CAN’T WAIT TO MAKE THESE, THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN

  5. Amie~ These look AMAZING! So creative and the photos are fantastic. I will definitely be trying these soon…definitely need to find some cute little muffin pans. It is wonderful finding new ways to prepare quinoa. Thanks!

  6. These look great! Like little muffins 🙂

    I recently found Coconut milk yogurt here (after reading so much about non-dairy types) – but I was surprised at all the ingredients listed on it 🙁 I’ll stick to the plain stuff with 2 ingredients!

      1. Is it really necessary to really obsess over ingredients though? I use cow’s yogurt, but I don’t really analyze ingredients to an extreme degree.

        1. Thanks Lori; if it makes you feel good and doesn’t bother your stomach then go for it! I too like Greek plain yogurt from cow’s milk as that is the only dairy I can digest. My clients enjoy the dairy-free cheeses and yogurts but I don’t obsess over them if they don’t bother you. Enjoy!

          1. Jill? Is my screen reading things wrong.
            I’m reading “Anie” and “Lori”. Weird.

            Thanks Amie.

          2. AMIE,

            SINCE YOU POSTED THIS RECEIPE I HAVE MADE THE BITES 4 TIMES AND EACH TIME EVERYONE LOVES THEM AND ASKS FOR MORE. THEY ARE SO GOOD EVEN THE NEXT DAY THEY ARE BETTER I TOOK THEM TO A POOL PARTY AND THEY WERE A GREAT HIT. NOW I HAVE SOMETHING EASY TO MAKE AND TAKE TO SOMEONE’S HOME AND I KNOW I CAN EAT GLUTEN FREE AND BE SAFE. THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN.

          3. Awe; you are so thoughtful! Thank you Beverly; hope you are having a great weekend, darling! Enjoy and once again fabulous to hear from you! xoxo

    1. Thanks Val; hope you enjoy them. I used black rice because it’s what I had on hand but brown rice would be great, as well! Enjoy darling.

  7. AMIE

    I AM READY TO MAKE THESE NOW I AM USING MULTI COLOR QUINOA AND WILL LET YOU KNOW HOW THEY TURN OUT. THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN

  8. AMIE,

    WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW I MADE THE QUINOA BITES, THEY ARE THE BEST I ALSO MADE A TOMATO SAUCE WITH FRESH TOMATOS AND BASIL FOR THE DIPPING I PLAN ON MAKING THESE OVER THE MEMORIAL WEEKEND AND BRING THEM TO OUR SWIM CLUB FOR OUR PARTY. THANK YOU AGAIN FOR SHARING ALL YOUR IDEAS WITH US I ENJOY ALL THE BLOGS.

  9. These look great & I’m planning to make them this weekend. When I make quinoa, I usually make several cups at once, and use the leftovers for different things. Does 1/2 cup uncooked = 1 cup cooked?

    1. Thanks Helene; 1/2 cup of uncooked quinoa should make about 1 1/2 – 2 cups of cooked quinoa. Hope you enjoy this recipe!

  10. I made this for a family get together this weekend. Substituted four ounces of pear sauce for the two eggs as the vegan substitute. Instead of the tomatoes, put in fresh chopped blackberries. In addition to the quinoa and black rice, added in wheat berries. Finally, baked the dish in a low ceramic flan / quiche type dish. Turned out wonderful. Thanks so much for the inspiration.

    1. That sounds amazing; SO happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe and hope you are having a wonderful holiday weekend!

    2. CA, Did you go ahead and use the vegan cheese? Just curious. You seem to have made several substitutions and wondered if you used the cheese that the recipe called for.

      Thanks.
      ka

  11. I served these to my guests last weekend and they all loved it. Great recipe. I might try it with quinoa only next time. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Hi Amie, I am just about to make these! Thanks for sharing!
    I am wondering if these can be put in the freezer? If not, how long will they last in the fridge? (I am thinking of making a batch and taking one to work throughout the week)

    1. Thanks so much Gosia; hope you enjoy them. I don’t think they’ll taste as good if frozen, however I would suggest keeping them in the fridge for 1-2 days as they may start to get soggy after that depending on your fridge. You can wait to stuff the mushrooms and keep the rice mixture separate for a few days until you are ready to eat the mushrooms and then stuff them.
      Enjoy and have a great weekend!

    1. Thank you Lisa; hope you enjoy them. I greatly appreciate your kind words and hope to hear from you again soon! xo

  13. Hi Amie, Any suggestions for removing the cheese? Does it act as a binder in the recipe or just for flavor? For flavor, I might be able to use tofu based ricotta (which is amazing) but not sure if it will bind as well. Thoughts?

    1. Thanks Danielle; I would try a vegan (tofu based ricotta) or you could try a vegan cream cheese- that could work well too. Also, a silken tofu may do the job! Let me know what works for you and hope you enjoy them.
      Have a wonderful day!

    1. Thanks Kate; hope you enjoy it! I usually take Pomi (boxed tomato sauce) which the only ingredients are “tomatoes” and no added salt or anything. I mix them with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, herbs de provence and a bit of fresh basil for a homemade tomato sauce. Hope that helps; have a great night!

  14. Okay, so I’m late to this game…but the wonders of search bars led me to this deliciousness. Can’t figure out why they didn’t come out nice and muffin shaped in my big muffin tin, but they did in my mini tin (maybe I should have baked longer? I think I did 25 mins).
    Either way – this is an amazing recipe. It would have been fine just as a casserole in a square pan. Thank you for sharing!

  15. The directions aren’t quite clear about how many muffin tins to prepare and put these in; does this really serve 24 as it states at the top of the recipe? Thanks!

  16. could i use brown rice or perhaps wheat berries in place of the black rice? i have never tried black rice and I don’t have it, so would it work if I sub something else?

  17. These look yummy but I have not seen black rice. It is the same as wild rice? Could I use brown rice? I anxious to try them.

  18. I made these for dinner last night and they were fantastic! I served them as the main course, with roasted brussel sprouts and marinara. My kids asked for seconds. My husband took them for lunch today and said they were the best left overs he has ever had! Thank you for a great recipe!

  19. Absolutely fabulous recipe, Amie; well done! I didn’t have black rice in the pantry, so I used wild rice. Got raves from the family!

  20. I might be blind but where is the nutritional facts for it? Looking specifically for fat, carbs, fibre and protein. Thanks

    1. Aleisha,
      I don’t have the nutritional facts for this recipe. I didn’t start doing nutritional information until this Fall. You can plug in the information online and get the nutrition facts. Thanks and enjoy!

  21. Sounds great, but my question is for you think I could make it in a baking pan? Either metal or Pyrex I mean. TIA, Shelley

  22. I’m going to try making it in a pan, I’ll let you know how it turns out. Here’s hoping!
    Thanks for the idea!
    Shelley

  23. I just made these today and they are delicious! I made some substitutions/additions to suit my likes, but that’s what’s great about this recipe.
    I didn’t use any rice, but did add zucchini, red pepper and cayenne pepper instead of chili.

  24. Just made these and they are fabulous! The only problem I had is they fell apart taking them out of the tins? Should I add another egg next time or let them cool longer?

    1. Thanks Jessica; you can try 2 eggs or use more baking spray perhaps before you add them to the muffin tins! Letting them cool longer is a great idea, as well.

  25. I am going on a bike ride with a group of people and I have been trying to find a light and healthy side dish. I am going to try this dish. It is for college kids so wish me luck!!!

  26. I made this recipe tonight! I used non-vegan cheese instead, and also made 12 larger ‘muffins’ as that was the size of pan I had. They turned out FANTASTIC! I am a vegetarian student, on a tight budget (both time and money) and this was really a great meal to make.
    Thank you so much for sharing, so glad I stumbled across your blog while googling “baking with quinoa”
    -L

  27. How did you get 24 muffin even partially filled?? Did you double the recipe? I didn’t even get 12 filled to the top before pressing down. Mine are in the oven now and I can’t wait to take the first bite!

  28. This look amazing. Can they be frozen to eat at a later date? Also should they be served warm or cold. Can’t wait to make them. Thanks for posting.

  29. Thanks for this wonderful recipe. Can i just use a flax egg and omit the vegan mozzarella cheese? Do you think the bites will still hold together? Thanks

  30. The pics look AAHHHHmazing! Quinoa is delicious. I`ll definitely try these. Great for breakfast on the go… Just freeze, and then defrost in the morning. Crispy quinoa bites and a good cup pf coffee… Sounds like heaven. I`m pinning your recipe!! 🙂

  31. This looks so fantastic! My two year old son has developed a gluten sensitivity recently and I’m looking for traveling snacks for our upcoming 7 hour plane ride. Are these intended to be eaten warm or would they do well (and taste delicious) sitting in a cooler for the trip?

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