There’s something about the mozzarella stick. The crisp outer shell, fried to golden brown perfection, while simultaneously having the soft, gooey center of mozzarella cheese that pulls into velvety strings as you take a bite. Coupled with a homemade marinara sauce, this appetizer is always a crowd favorite and one that I always enjoy.
A few months ago, when I started clean eating, I knew I was going to have to accept change. Then, the super bowl came around. I’m used to massive super bowl parties, filled with trays upon trays of appetizers, great drinks, and good company (my family, I’m a bit biased). This year, I was doing the hosting my own party. My first thought, “How do I make clean eating food at a super bowl party that don’t make the guys want to leave?” I presented myself with a challenge. I was going to recreate some favorites and put a healthy twist on them. While not perfectly clean or paleo, these quinoa pizza bites were perfect, and I didn’t miss my mozzarella stick one bit. These are bite-sized, delicious, and incredibly filling. Perfect for any snack or party. Keep on reading for the full recipe!
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1/4 C yellow onion, minced
- 1 T chopped fresh basil
- 1 C cooked quinoa
- 1 1/2 t italian seasoning
- 1/2 C shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 egg
- salt and pepper to taste
- favorite marinara sauce, for dipping
Silicone mini muffin tins, or ice cube trays (click here)
(Tip: Normally I don’t suggest additional items to purchase when it comes to cooking recipes. Mainly, I’m an anti-clutter person and don’t like having to purchase a new kitchen item regularly, because, well, it’s more stuff. When it comes to this recipe, I first tested it with non-stick cooking spray and nonstick muffin pans. I found the pans incredibly difficult to clean and the bites didn’t bind together as well as I would have liked. All this to say, you really do need silicone bakeware for this recipe. I just saved you hours scrubbing pans. You can thank me later.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Step one: Rinse quinoa and cook according to package instructions. Cook and set to the side to cool.
Step two: Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl add the other ingredients. When quinoa is cool add to the bowl. Stir to combine all ingredients thoroughly.
(Tip: Have you ever wanted to mince your garlic and onion really really well, but can’t seem to get there with your knife. I use a microplane zester to do this. It’s a huge time saver and is one item I constantly use in the kitchen.)
Step three: Spoon mixture into mini muffin tins or ice cube trays. Place trays on top of cookie sheet for added stability. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool. Remove from pans. Warm up marinara sauce for dipping.