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Quinoa Pizza Bites


I always find it interesting the questions Mr. Prevention fields once people find out I’m a dietitian. It’s never, “Does she eat really healthy?” it’s more, “So does she make you eat really healthy?”.

Of course, I’m curious to know how he answers as I’m never around for these conversations at his place of work. He says that he responds with something along the lines of, “She cooks really healthy, but she doesn’t make me eat really healthy.” I think that’s a fair statement and I am definitely not the food police when it comes to Mr. P – I’d never be off duty and our marriage, without a doubt, would’ve been over before it started. The man has a love for late night eating of all things sugar-packed. I’m just glad (and very, very jealous) that his metabolism hasn’t gotten wind of this fact and he remains a very healthy weight for his generous 6 foot 2-inch frame. Life just aint fair sometimes!


For as many times as I’ve served up quinoa and for as many times as he’s liked quinoa (every time, for the record), I’m unclear as to why he still hears “quinoa” in a recipe I serve up and gives me the “Are you serious?” look of disapproval. I remind him, for the bazillionth time, that he does, in fact, like quinoa. To which I usually receive back a snide comment about how he also likes pizza…and I never make that.

In this recipe, he can have his quinoa…and pizza, too. I jumped on the opportunity to blend nutrition with pizza in this one. While the bites required a bit of finesse to loosen from the pan, this is a keeper recipe with regard to the ingredient list. As I noted below, I am going to try this in a 9 x 9 and extend the cooking time just a bit. The bites are cute, sure, but they’re so not worth the hassle. Plus, I got complaints from the man about how they crumbled a bit after bite #1 so that bite #2 offered no option for dunking in the pizza sauce….which, for the record, make these pizza bites truly pizza-like.


Furthermore, I love this recipe for the simple fact that you can add in anything and everything. My favorite pizzas include green olive, mushroom, and turkey pepperoni (apparently, I go all out with regard to sodium where pizza preferences are concerned), or the runner up in my heart, ham and pineapple. Truly, any combination in here would work beautifully.

If you can plan it that you have leftover quinoa to use in this recipe, you’re looking at a meal that has less than 10 minutes of hands-on time, and can even be prepped ahead of time. Heck, it could even be baked ahead of time and reheated for a super quick weeknight meal.

Mr. Prevention…he wasn’t complaining about quinoa when he went back for seconds and thirds of these. Mmmm mmmmm!



Quinoa Pizza Bites adapted from So Very Blessed

1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (3/4 cup dry)
2 large eggs
1/2 small onion, diced
1 cup 2% mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 oz turkey pepperoni, diced
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
2/3 cup pizza sauce, for dipping


Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a mini cupcake tin with olive oil.

Mix together all ingredients, except pizza sauce, in a medium mixing bowl. Distribute mixture into muffin tin, filling each cup to the top and press down gently to compact. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool 2-3 minutes before serving.

Yield: 24 quinoa bites.

Nutrition Information (per bite, with pizza sauce): 51 calories; 1.9 g. fat; 22 mg. cholesterol; 143 mg. sodium; 4.9 g. carbohydrate; 0.5 g. fiber; 3.6 g. protein

Result: These were great and the flavor was phenomenal. The only thing I hated was trying to get these adorable bites out of the muffin tin. If you’re sold on the bite sizes, be sure to perhaps butter your tin. A quick, but fairly generous, spray of olive oil from my Misto was not enough to release these suckers easily. I would suggest making this into a 9 x 9 and spreading the pizza sauce on top and serving that way (3-4 servings). Extend the baking time by about 10 minutes, but I think it would work great…and I do intend on trying it this way! Mr. Prevention enjoyed these and even heated them up to have leftover — a clear sign they were good and pizza-y. Enjoy!


My hockey game was canceled last night on account of the 65 degree weather…in Michigan…in December. It’s hard to get water to harden into ice under such conditions in an outdoor facility…so, I came home to a glass of wine and a chat with Donna 🙂 Hockey tonight for sure…indoors!

Be well,

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  1. Erica @ EricaDHouse.com
    December 4, 2012 / 6:34 am

    These look delicious! I *love* quinoa and have been looking for new ways to eat it. Trying to think of a good vegetarian sub for the pepperoni – maybe I’ll just cut up a bell pepper.

  2. The Candid RD
    December 4, 2012 / 7:18 am

    I’m cracking up over here, because this post reminds me so much of Nick and me. PEople actually ask ME if I force Nick to eat healthy. They assume “he must be the healthiest man in Columbus”. lol. Yeah right. Also, Nick only hears the word quinoa too. I swear he loves it, yet he claims to hate it. Wierdo. I think he tried it in something once and didn’t like it, but now he has to like it because I have used it a million times and he always gobbles it up. AND, I’m sure he would love this recipe too!

  3. Brittany
    December 4, 2012 / 9:14 am

    These look great! If I baked it in a 9×9 dish, what would you suggest the baking time to be?

    • Nicole, RD
      December 4, 2012 / 9:53 am

      Hi Brittany! I would bake an additional 10 minutes or so — 30-35 minutes total. Hope that helps!

  4. Grace @ FoodFitnessFreshAir
    December 4, 2012 / 9:15 am

    Yum! Man do I wish I was 6’2 so I could eat pizza (and quinoa pizza bites) all night long. Love this healthy version of pizza.

  5. Mary
    December 4, 2012 / 9:24 am

    Arrrghhh! I needed this yesterday! I was craving pepperoni pizza LIKE MAD! I ended up settling for mac n’ cheese with sliced turkey pepperoni thrown in, but I think this would’ve been a million times yummier. Thanks for posting this—so glad to have a healthy alternative to Pizza Hut!!

  6. Kristen (swanky dietitian)
    December 4, 2012 / 10:25 pm

    These are too adorable!!
    I love finding new ways to use quinoa. This is so clever!

  7. Pingback: Other Appetizers & Starters
  8. Kate
    December 6, 2012 / 12:05 am

    My husband is also not a healthy eater, but he does love quinoa.

  9. Ammie
    December 8, 2012 / 8:27 am

    Bookmarked! Love this idea and my husband may not even balk at eating quinoa…maybe

  10. Heidi @ Food Doodles
    December 8, 2012 / 10:31 pm

    Hah, I feel like I’m reading my life. I may cook healthy but I don’t make my hubby eat healthy and when people hear about my blog they always ask him that too! Ahh! My hubby is very thin so none of them suspect all the junk food he eats, LOL. These look SO yummy! I bet the kids would love these ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. Jana
    January 1, 2013 / 8:07 pm

    I’m on a dairy free diet, any suggestions on what to sub the cheese for?

    • Nicole, RD
      January 1, 2013 / 8:08 pm

      Hmm. I just don’t see these holding together too well without something “binding”. Maybe an additional egg or some mashed up beans?? Sorry I’m not more help!

  12. Jana
    January 1, 2013 / 8:09 pm

    I’m on a dairy free diet, any suggestions own what to sub the cheese for?

  13. heather
    January 15, 2013 / 2:56 pm

    I want to try these and my kids would love them so much better as bite size. Instead of dealing with muffin pans, is it stick enough to roll in balls and bake on a pan?


    • Nicole, RD
      January 15, 2013 / 3:04 pm

      Hi Heather! If you want to try “finger food” maybe try for fritter-shaped? I think balls might crumble a bit, but if you could smash them into fritters, I do think that would work and rather well at that!

      • heather
        January 15, 2013 / 3:43 pm

        Thanks, I will try that!

  14. patti
    February 7, 2013 / 5:06 pm

    Thank you, dear it look delecious and really good idea,right now i am trying to be wheat free.

  15. Pam
    May 14, 2013 / 3:55 am

    The first time I suggested making these to my husband, he looked rather sceptical. However, now he actually requests that I make them pretty much every second week! Thanks for this recipe, it’s become an absolute staple in our household ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Nicole, RD
      May 16, 2013 / 6:51 am

      Hi Pam! Do you make a “casserole” or the bites? If you have a trick from keeping the bites from sticking to the mini muffin tin, I’d love to hear it! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Pam
        May 16, 2013 / 7:49 am

        I’ve made it as both a casserole and the bites actually, and haven’t had a problem with the bites sticking. I’ve used a few different methods (depending on what I’ve got on hand) – butter, olive oil and also some canola oil spray. Although my “bites” tend to be made in a normal sized muffin tray instead of the mini muffins – don’t know if that makes a difference?

    • Nicole, RD
      May 16, 2013 / 6:51 am

      P.S. So glad the recipe is a hit ๐Ÿ™‚

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