So I decided I should finally update my ever popular Pizza Quinoa Casserole. As awesome as it is served in a larger single or double serving it is much more fun served in bite size! I’ve seen pizza quinoa bites around for ages now so I decided to try out my recipe in bite form. And since they turned out awesome, I thought I’d share 🙂
I also upped the veggies slightly by throwing in some fresh spinach. I’ve been trying to use spinach more and more since the kids don’t always want smoothies and it’s so easy to put into things like this. My daughter did notice though and was ready to pick it out until I explained what it was and that it was supposed to be there 🙂
Speaking of extra veggies, look who I caught…
I couldn’t resist sharing such a cute little hand 🙂 And speaking of the little one, I actually used a baby spoon to get these out of the mini muffin tray. I just got this one and I’m determined not to scratch it like I did with my other one. These did not stick at all to my new sheet(but the cheese did to my other one so be careful!) but the baby spoon still made it easier to get them out.
So if you haven’t tried pizza quinoa bites, you really should! They are super yummy and they’re even good reheated(although they lack that yummy quinoa crunchiness when their first baked). Plus, what kid doesn’t like something bite sized? You can always include them in the process too. Chop up their favorite pizza toppings and let them sprinkle a small amount on each of the bites before topping with cheese. If you’re including your little one they can always sprinkle on their favorite toppings before the bites go in the oven for the first time so that nothing is too hot yet.
Mini Pizza Quinoa Bites
- 1 C uncooked quinoa cooked in 2 C water or about 3 1/2 C cooked quinoa
- 4 large handfuls fresh spinach roughly chopped
- 1 6 oz can tomato paste
- 3-4 large cloves garlic finely minced, grated or pressed
- 1/2 small onion finely chopped
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp fennel seed
- 1 tsp marjoram
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- dash black pepper
- 1/2-3/4 C mozzarella cheese omit or replace with nutritional yeast for a vegan version
- 1-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast optional
- pepperoni (omit for vegan)
- green or other colored peppers
- Rinse quinoa well and combine with water in a small pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, cover and turn down to low and simmer for 15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed, the quinoa is tender and completely cooked. Add the chopped fresh spinach and return the lid. Remove from the pot from heat and leave covered for 5 minutes while assembling other ingredients.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2 mini muffin tins by greasing lightly and set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the tomato paste with the garlic and onion, water and olive oil. Mix well. Add all the seasonings including salt and pepper. Mix well again before adding the quinoa and spinach. Once the mixture is completely mixed, taste for seasonings and add more salt as needed. Then divide evenly among 48 mini muffins and press down. Place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, add your favorite toppings, sprinkle with cheese if desired and place back in the oven for 5-10 minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbly.