When my son was first trying food it was important to me that he learn to love the food in its most natural and whole form. I would cook it only as needed, especially foods that were difficult to eat or a potential choking hazard (think: carrots), but for the most part I wouldn’t really season it and would leave it to him to decide whether it would make the cut this week. Sometimes he would fall in love with something instantly, like sweet potatoes or steamed eggplant (whoda thunk!!), but sometimes it took 3 or 5 or even 8 tries to get him to like something.
Because I’m not into forcing him to eat something he hates, I always tried to have a “fail safe” I could fall back on if my veggie of choice that week was a loser. Enter these Quinoa Nacho Bites! I’ve made these in so many different ways and they’re always well loved. Here I’ve made these with the exact same ingredients I used to top our Super Bowl Nachos and they were a huge hit!
Quinoa Nacho Bites (makes about 12 mini)
1 cup cooked quinoa
¼ cup cooked ground beef and onions
¼ cup beans I smashed slightly between my fingers (I chose kidney but I could see pinto being great here)
¼ cup quartered grape tomatoes
¼ cup sautéed vegetables (we did peppers and red onions but you can choose whatever you have on hand. Eggplant would be nice in here)
¼ cup shredded cheese (I chose cheddar)
2 tbsp Panko breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 375°. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well combined. scoop into mini muffin tins, press down slightly and bake for about 20 minutes (until the tops and edges are golden brown).
Serve with avocado crema, Siggi’s (or your favorite greek) yogurt, and some mild pico de gallo.
I used a mini silicone baking tray but have made them in normal muffin tins and then just quartered them before serving. You can also add a bit more Panko and a tablespoon or two of flour, roll them into balls and bake them like that. I’ve made these Quinoa Nacho Bites as Greek bites (feta, sautéed veggies, spinach, olives), Pizza bites (mozzarella, marinara sauce, sautéed diced carrots and onions), and I’ve used them to hide veggies he just never came around to (broccoli and cheese bites).
Besides the versatility of this dish, I love that you can multiply the quantities and freeze them for a quick snack or meal at home or on the go. I love how easy they make transporting a full meal on the go! Clearly there’s nothing I don’t love about this dish and I promise if you make them they’ll be a hit in your house too!