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Quinoa Pizza Bites

5 from 11 votes

Melty, cheesy, savory homemade quinoa pizza bites. This easy recipe is such a popular appetizer or healthy snack!

Healthy Appetizer Recipe Pizza Bites

Pizza night will never be the same.

Bring a batch of these homemade quinoa pizza bites, and you are pretty much guaranteed to be the hit of any party or family dinner.

The healthy pizza appetizer is simple to make and can be vegan, gluten free, egg free, sugar free, flourless, nut free, soy free, and dairy free.

Also try out this Cauliflower Casserole

Quinoa Pizza Bite Recipe

Vegetarians and non vegetarians both love the addictively delicious pizza balls, so you know they must be good.

And the bites are easily portable, meaning they’re great for potlucks or game day events. Or serve them as a healthy after school snack.

Kids can’t get enough of the bold pizza flavor and melty cheese filling, while parents appreciate the fiber, protein, iron, and Vitamin C packed into each and every bite.

Quinoa Pizza Balls

Pizza Bite Ingredients

The recipe calls for the following eight ingredients: quinoa, beans, tomato paste, dried basil, sweetener, salt, garlic, and onion powder.

Use your favorite brand of shredded mozzarella for the cheese filling. Vegan cheese works too; that’s actually vegan cheese in the photos. The cheese is not required and they’re still yummy if you want to leave it out.

I haven’t tried it yet but would love to know if the recipe also works with rice instead of quinoa. Please be sure to report back if you try!

Melty, addictive quinoa appetizers that are delicious and good for you! @choccoveredkt
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Quinoa Pizza Bites

Melty, cheesy, savory homemade quinoa pizza bites are a popular appetizer or healthy snack recipe.
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 8 – 10 bites
5 from 11 votes


  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (here's How to cook quinoa)
  • 1 cup canned or cooked pinto beans
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sweetener of choice
  • optional shredded mozzarella cheese (vegan brands work too!)


  • Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a baking sheet well, then set aside. In a medium bowl, mash the beans completely. Stir in all remaining ingredients. Taste, then add a little more sweetener only if needed. (Mine didn’t need it.) Roll into balls, then break off a piece of the cheese—if using—and push it into the middle before sealing the ball back up. Place the balls onto the baking tray and cook 30 minutes. For a crispy outer shell, feel free to broil a minute at the end.
    View Nutrition Facts


Readers are also in love with this Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce.

Have you made this recipe?

Tag @chocolatecoveredkatie on Instagram

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Published on September 7, 2022

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  1. becauseHeloves! says

    Oh wow! These are like the healthy vegan version of those frozen pizza bites I used to eat so much! Hooray!

    • Saraquill says

      Pizza makes a fantastic breakfast. you just have to make sure it’s heated in the toaster oven, so it’s both warm and crispy.

      • EVA says

        Ah! Thanks for catching my one-mindedness. I forget that people enjoy the leftover chop suey or mashed potatoes and gravy for breakfast. I’m not a savory breakfast person, so I completely went blind and assumed everyone enjoyed sweets when they woke up. MY BAD. CARRY ON.

  2. Alia says

    This looks delicious! I am definitely going to give them a go…but I know what you mean, I like to modify and tweak recipes to my liking too 😉

  3. Lena says

    When I saw the email for this recipe, I accidentally read it as “chocolate pizza bites” and got oddly excited. Or maybe not so oddly, since I recently ate chocolate pizza at a restaurant… and have been wanting to make my own version ever since… just saying…. 🙂

    • CookieMonster says

      Ha ha – Glad I’m not the only one. I looked at the pic and saw something buttery, gooey and filled with marshmallow!!

  4. Hollie says

    I never would have thought to do anything like this. I’m not doing anything for the Super Bowl this year…I wish the Panthers were in but alas they aren’t.

  5. Elle says

    Katie, these are FABULOUS! Having my kids go towards Gluten Free has been a challenge, and I know my son will Love these! He’s been asking for pizza a lot!

    Thanks so much!!! 😀

  6. Katie says

    What an interesting appetizer! They look delicious! Eating gluten-free means I don’t get to enjoy pizza as often (or I guess as easily) as I did before, so these would be a good way to satisfy a pizza craving!!

  7. Nancy@SeasonsOfJoy says

    Yes, please! Protein and all kinds of good stuff in it and it tastes like pizza? Cannot wait to try these! Probably WILL for Superbowl, too! Thanks so much! I never would have come up with this!

  8. Ellen says

    Yes! Pizza-y! Very important. Not being a football fan, I will be doing my usual improv shows on Sunday, but I don’t think I need the game as an excuse for pizza themed foods;)

  9. Kelli @ healthierbytheweek says

    I love this idea! This week my goal is to get the daily recommended amount of fiber per day (see blog for more details) and with the super bowl coming this week I have to plan ahead for sure! quinoa is a great source for fiber, can’t wait to try these this week!

  10. Melissa @ Nourish By Melissa says

    When I saw these I expected some long complicated ingredient list and recipe but they are so simple! I think I’ll try them tonight 🙂 Pizza in ball form….can’t go wrong!

  11. B says

    I made these as soon as I got home from work! And they are amazing! Such a great alternative to those mozzarella sticks and pizza rolls in one. I could have eaten the quinoa mix by itself! I used cannellini beans because I was out of pinto at home, but maybe they taste more Italian that way. I also doubled the garlic and added cayenne because I like my food spicy. Thanks so much for this recipe!

  12. Emilie says

    Oh my gosh these look unbelievably fantastic! I can’t wait to try them. I’m doing a Super Bowl potluck at my house this year, and I know there will be a mix of vegan and non-vegan dishes. I’m really trying to educate my family and friends on how delicious and fulfilling vegan food can be (in a totally non-pushy and polite way, hopefully), and I was a little stuck on what to do for Super Bowl. The best I had so far was guacamole and vegan chili. Do you (or anyone else) have any other ideas? Also, would you mind terribly if I reposted this on my own blog (or at least tossed in a link to this)? Thanks for the great idea!

  13. Michelle says

    These look so good I want to make them tomorrow! I just don’t have pinto beans. Do you think chick peas, black beans, brown rice, or lentils could work?

  14. Saraquill says

    The optional cheese reminds me, is there a link someone could point me to for making vegan cheese? I know how to make a cheesy sauce to go with macaroni, but that’s it. It’s easier for me to go homemade than to experiment with store bought brands.

  15. Jessica says

    Is the nutritional value based on eating 10 of them to make 420 calories or 42 calories for 10? lol i’m so sorry its late and I clearly can’t comprehend!

    • Michelle says

      It’s 42 calories per bite based on 10, so if you get 10 bites out of the recipe then each one will have 42 calories. It would be 420 calories for all 10.

  16. Lisa @bitesforbabies says

    Did you realize you just made “arancini?!” lol! I made quinoa arancini a while back…I’m not unfamiliar with making arancini but always wanted to try it with quinoa…#1 because I eat gf, and #2 because I love quinoa! Well, I had my ENTIRE ITALIAN family (i.e., in ITALY) scarfing these down! Success! Your recipe is a bit different but regardless, I KNOW these taste AWESOME! Great pics! Btw, here’s the link my recipe:

  17. laura says

    awesome! I love that this recipe is GF and will definitely be making at some point. I’m a Canuck and I feel like people in Canada watch the Super Bowl as an excuse to pig out on bad foods. I don’t have any plans but generally it’s not enjoyable because everything is deep fried!

  18. Hannah Elizabeth says

    I don’t care if pizza-y is a word or not, but it was begging to be made into one! 🙂

    Oh, yum, both of your options for Super Bowl dessert recipes sounds *SO* good!!!! Are you planning on posting them? Please, please, please….? *puppy dog eyes* 🙂

  19. Kristen says

    I love this idea for quinoa, I am in the middle of making them right now… in love with the flavor but mine don’t seem to roll… so I plopped them on the sheet in hope they would bake… they are in the oven right now… what do you think could have went wrong?

  20. Michelle says

    I made these today and they were absolutely amazing!! Just varied it a little:

    Instead of pinto beans I used kidney beans.
    I multiplied it by 1.5 so that I used the whole can of beans.
    I got 21 balls out of it, and analyzed my nutrition, but somehow got 100 calories per ball 🙁
    I added just a bit of marinara to it.

    My picky water husband couldn’t get enough! Yummy!

        • Michelle says

          You’re right! I went back and realized that that is exactly what happened! By the way, I absolutely love your blog and all of your recipes. I have never tried so many recipes from one site before. I love how you show people how delicious vegan food can be. I am sure you inspire a lot of people to go veg 🙂

  21. Melissa says

    Hi Katie! I’ve tried to find a way to do this privately, but you’re a fortress! 😀 Just wanted to make sure that I had your blessing to totally plug this fantastic site on my own blog (which I won’t plug on yours!) Please email me privately for the link and you can take a look at it. If any issues, I will be happy to comply. (Totally just giving you props on the page though as I use your site to keep my clean-eating sweet tooth happy). Keep up the great work! Love this site!

  22. Robin says

    Hi Katie! I want to thank you for helping all of us out here on Doug Kaufmann’s anti-fungal diet. Your recipes are inspirational and especially helpful in this case because of our limited use of ingredients. I have a question about coconut butter. I have been desperately trying to find coconut milk without guar gum and other preservatives in all the health food stores in my area to no avail:-( It is one of the anti fungal diets friendly foods, I have been so excited to try to make ice cream and whipped cream. You can imagine my disappointment:-( I found Artisana coconut butter and was pleasantly surprised to see that you can make coconut milk from it so I got excited and gave the company a call to ask about whipping it or using it to make ice cream. Guess what they suggested? That I contact you! What a compliment huh? I’m not surprised but just had to share that with you! They said that if anyone would know or could figure out how to make it happen it would be you. Pretty awesome coming straight from the manufacturer! So my question would be is it is possible to make whipped cream, ice cream or other recipes that call for coconut milk from coconut butter? Again, thanks for everything you do because it is truly a gift and I just wanted you to know how much you are helping the people who are out here struggling to get well. God bless you and your kitchen! Robin

    • cathy taylor says

      there is also a lady with a site all about coconut oil, she might be able to help…I think lol

  23. Kristin says

    Couldn’t make balls out of mine. Followed the recipe exactly and ended up with a soup! Not asking for advice to fix it, and I love a lot of the recipes Katie gives, but I’m not sure what was wrong with this one (at least for me).

  24. Kelli says

    These were amazing! I am not vegan so I did use regular mozzarella and it worked perfectly! My daughter hates when I serve quinoa at dinner but, she loved these!! I’ve actually made several items from your blog and they’ve all been amazing!!! Thank you 🙂

  25. cathy taylor says

    let’s face it, I am lazy, so when I had put a can of pinto beans into cooked quinoa in the rice cooker, and then found this recipe, a light bulb went off. So I added the recipe’s spices, vegan mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce, (as I had no paste,) to the mixture in the cooker. I just ate a “bowl”. Next time I will have toast too. yummy Katie, ty!!!

  26. Becca says

    Made these today for the Super Bowl! One of my favorite recipes of yours…everyone loved them (and I did too!) I couldn’t believe how satisfying they were! Thanks for another amazing recipe, Katie. 🙂

  27. Esther says

    I just made these for dinner tonight and they were so delicious!! I used regular mild cheddar cheese for most of them and Daiya Jack for some as my brother is allergic to dairy. I also used Great Northern beans because I didn’t have any pinto beans. I will certainly be making these again, all 6 of my family members loved these! Thank you so much for another healthy meal idea, Katie!

  28. Tress Rabne says

    I’ve read all of the comments, and it seems no one has the same question as I do: in your ingredients list, is it “1 cup of quinoa, cooked”, or “1 cup of cooked quinoa”. When I make 1 cup of raw quinoa it becomes larger than the 1 cup. Do I use just one of those cooked cups, or do I use all of it? Thanks.

  29. Katey says

    So people. Don’t sub kidney beans or oregano. I didn’t have pintos or basil so I did….They do not compare to the flavors that come with marrying basil and pinto! My heart, it aches.

  30. Fiona says

    Hi. I’m very keen to make these. Wondering if it will work if I make the balls ready the night before, keep them in the fridge and pop in the oven when ready for them? Can you foresee any issues if I did this or will it be a disaster? Cheers.

  31. zuzana says

    I just tried it..and they didnt hold together at all.. :/ they look more like pancakes. any suggestions? i added flower as a last hope but it ruined the taste and still they still didnt hold together…

  32. Shirin says

    Love your recipes Katie 🙂 Just wondering if you’re aware that some of your advertising is showing up down the bottom of your recipes in the format of your links to other recipes on your site…but the recipes are like buffalo chicken lasagne and BLT pasta salad, clearly not vegan. When I click it and it goes to another site. Maybe this isn’t your advertising, maybe I have really sneaky adware but it just seems strange that you’d have links to meaty dishes and they deceive you cos they look like they link to more of your recipes!!

  33. Jody says

    I’ve been eyeing this recipe for weeks until I finally made them this evening. I mixed Daiya shredded cheese instead because mama’s lazy. I thoroughly enjoyed these and practically ate most of it. I doubled up on the ingredients so I have more mixture to make for tomorrow. Thanks!

  34. Alandra says

    Just made…def taste the tomato sauce and pinto beans. Not sure if I would make again but glad I did. Thanks for the recipe.

  35. Kristy Creamer says

    Another hit by the skinnyminichocolatecoveredKatie! I did two things different, and really only slightly different. I used my stick blender on everything but the quinoa and cheese. Then mixed in the quinoa, that came out perfectly for the first time, I MUST ADD! Followed our Katie’s instructions found elsewhere on the site. I used daiya provolone and broke the slice in to pieces for the simple fact that it was what I had in the fridge. They reheat well, 1 minute 30 seconds in the microwave. I will definitely be making these again, and again and again. Only difference I think I will make is simple. Smaller. I wanted so badly to be able to pick it up! It kind of smooshed in my hand. Also, doubling the recipe. I NEED more than one meal out of these. I work evening, so anything I can make ahead that reheats well, is a bonus in my book! As always, Thanks Katie! Do you have a blog you follow for the necessary meals that do not contain chocolate? Trying to reduce the amount of meat in my diet as much as possible. This will definitely help!

  36. Miranda says

    I have a batch of these in the oven right now! The smell reminds me of the pizza that was made at the local skating rink, when I was a kid. So good! Two things I did differently: I used cooked brown rice instead of quinoa so I increased the amount by a 1/2 cup, I also used shredded cheese instead of block; more difficult but if you’re patient it works out nicely! Can’t wait to try these.

    • Miranda says

      Just popped these out of the oven. They look, feel and taste beautiful; sturdy too. The only thing that I would do differently next time is use the block cheese; shreds caused a few to buckle and split, oozing cheese. I don’t mind though because I am one of those weirdos who loves burnt cheese bits. Letting these cool down a bit to room temp for tea time!

  37. Rebecca says

    Love these! As a new mother with no help whatsoever, it’s really hard to make sure the fridge is always stocked with food. This recipe was soooo easy and quick to make, but best of all, the hubby loves it and didn’t know he was eating something healthy. And the fun part was licking my hands like a little kid after I was done rolling everything! I’ve been studying your recipes so I could make them whenever bub gives me a chance to cook.

  38. Kathy says

    Are the pinto beans needed for holding it together? Or just for flavor? The reason I ask is because my daughters are both allergic to legumes. If it’s just for flavor, I will def try making without the beans. But, if it needs the beans to keep it together, I’ll have to try something else. Thanks!

  39. Katie says

    Serving size is 1 or 10? I was confused reading the nutrition label. Made these and they were SOOOOO good!!!! 🙂

  40. Kerri says

    Although I love the idea, the batter was WAYYY to soft, and would NOT shape into balls at all!!! What do you think happened?

    • Unofficial CCK Helper says

      Read previous comments. This was resolved: You need to cook the quinoa longer prior to using so it is drier.

  41. Tess Willard says

    These look really good and would make great appetizers. My Dad is gluten free which has changed our menu at home. It is surprising how good gluten free food can be. One of the foods we have discovered is quinoa and I love it!! It is healthy and filling. I feel healthier when I eat it compared to pasta. One of our favorite quinoa recipes is tabouli ( Tabouli is normally made with cracked wheat. We just substitute the quinoa for the wheat and add lots more lemon and garlic and it is the best tabouli ever.

  42. SV says

    Love!! Made these today, and my husband – who is a pizza freak – inhaled them. I followed the recipe exactly, except I used regular mozzarella (I’m vegetarian but not vegan). For those who had trouble with the consistency, my ‘batter’ was really soft too but you have to persevere when shaping them into balls, as it does work eventually. Just do it gently and don’t roll them in your palms cause then they just smoosh in your hands. I just patted them here and there to shape them, stuffed a cube of cheese in each one and patted some more. They crisped up so nicely in the oven. Thank you!!

  43. Melissa says


    How well do these freeze? I’m looking for recipes to make for my baby and want to be able to freeze for future meals.


  44. Karen Tumblin says

    I substituted garbanzo beans for the pinto beans. This is an amazing dish. My husband and I were thinking of variations we could put in here. This was delicious!!!! I love it.

  45. madlene says

    hi! I want to try these this week but I have a problem with pinto beans 😀 so I was wondering if i could use smthing instead of them 🙂

  46. Robyn says

    I just made these for my toddler twin boys and they were a hit! I wasn’t sure if I should drain the beans so I did…would they be better not rinsed? Also I used Daiya shreds and just mixed them in with everything, worked great! Thanks!!

  47. Laurie says

    Lord have mercy, these sound soooo good. I’m going to make these very soon. I appreciate these recipes.

  48. Erin says

    i made these with kidney beans because it were the only beans i had at hand and they turned out pretty good. will surely do them again

  49. Gloria says

    I made these last night. Fantastic! Loved them. I used black beans as that’s what I had on hand. I also added a bit of parmesan cheese in the bean/quinoa mixture. I’ll definitely be making them again. Thanks Katie …. love all your recipes!

  50. Lydia says

    Do you think these could be made a day or two ahead and refrigerated before baking? Or maybe freeze before baking? I want to make them ahead to bring to a get-together this weekend but I’m not sure how they’ll hold up if made in advance.

  51. Emily says

    Whoa. I just put these in the oven and they were MESSY! Super sticky and definitely not in perfect little balls. But I hope that they come out solid… if they don’t, no big deal, because I’ve been licking my fingers and eating fresh mozz this whole time and I can’t complain. I’d eat it with a spoon.

  52. Krysta says

    I apologize if someone already asked (or I just missed it in the post): what brand of tomato paste do you use? Do you have a favorite canned tomato brand?


  53. Jessica says

    I just made these and OMG, they are soooooo good! I used garbanzo beans instead of pinto beans and these little babies tasted amazing! I got 14 out of mine! Thank you for sharing this recipe Katie!

    • Lily says

      Thanks for saying this. I’ve made them twice with pinto beans and love them, but I just saw the recipe on facebook and want to make them again, but I only have garbanzo beans right now. I’m going to try it!

  54. Charlotte says

    I have been on a CCK bender lately! I just can’t stop making these recipes, and I have yet to be disappointed. This one came out INCREDIBLE–I can’t stop eating them! Instead of straight pinto beans, I used canned fat-free refried beans and scaled back the salt a bit and it worked great and saved me a bit of elbow grease. As I am not fully vegan (YET!) I also added some grated parmesan to the mix, which made it even more pizza-y and scrumptious. I bet nutritional yeast would work well too. I also added some red pepper flakes and hot smoked paprika for a bit of kick, and stuffed the balls with low-fat swiss and cheddar cheeses. I will definitely be making these again and again!

  55. Maria says

    These look sooooooo good! But I have just one question, would a tomato free sauce work okay in replace of the paste? My boyfriend is allergic to tomatoes (and plenty of other things may I add).
    Speaking of which, I’d love to see you tackle a “nomato” sauce alternative if you could! Your food is always super tasty.

  56. Bethany Jones says

    These are DIVINE! In the same way it’s hard not to eat your cookie dough before it’s baked, it’s hard not to chow down on these pizza bites before they’re baked. So delicious! Thank you!!

  57. kathleen says

    I just got my hands on a surplus of quinuoa and wanted to experiment so I made this and it is divine! I’ve made it twice in three days- it is that good. The first time I made it and formed the balls with a bit of cheese but it was too sweet and the cheese didn’t add as much flavor as i wanted. So the next time i made it, i omitted the additional sugar and threw all the ingredients into the same pan that the quinuoa had just finished cooking in. So fast and really, really delicious!

  58. Aryasmum says

    I made them, but my mixture was really soft. Maybe because I used a food processor for mashing the beans. They taste pretty good though!!

    • Lily says

      Just cook your quinoa longer next time. The first time I made them they were a little soft, so I used drier cooked quinoa the next time and they were perfect!

  59. melissa says

    Made these for dinner tonight. I used treeline cashew cheese in the middle( not melty but delicious) . These turned out great! Will definitely make again. Thanks for the recipe!

  60. Dana says

    I love finding great recipes in the archives… BUT, people might not be reading the comments anymore… Does anyone know if these freeze well? I need to make something ahead of time and then cook it later. I was planning on freezing the little balls to pop in the oven after a 7 hour drive. Experience? Anyone?

  61. Savannah R says

    These look amazing! I’m interested in making them en mass to use up some beans I have, but am curious to know if folks here have had success with storing them in the freezer and reheating them, and if so, how they suggest reheating them?
    At present, I’m thinking the oven would be the best option after a partial thaw on the counter or in the microwave in order to get a good texture, as opposed to microwaving them entirely.I guess I’ll comment again next week once I’ve made them and tested out the reheating process to report my personal experience.
    Thoughts? Experiences?

  62. Sara says

    These are delicious! Tried them out on my roommate’s friends a few weeks back. They were going for these over the regular pizza! I added extra basil and parsley when I made them. Word of advice – use string cheese! I tried with shredded and it was super messy and hard to get the cheese in place. Not impossible, but I imagine it would be a million times easier with string cheese.

  63. Sophie says

    5 stars
    These are great: kid-friendly and a good way to get extra protein into a vegetarian or vegan meal. I make them with dried oregano because I prefer it to basil, and as a resident of the U.K. I find it easier to get hold of cannellini than pinto beans, but they work just fine.

    Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  64. Gwen Frita says

    5 stars
    Made a version of this for dinner tonight. Didn’t have tomato paste so I cooked quinoa in a veggie broth & strained tomato sauce in place of water. & used pinto beans cooked from dry. I wanted a larger volume to I doubled the recipe. I also wanted to add a veggie so I finely diced steamed broccoli, dried it out with a towel, seasoned and tossed with cheddar cheese. Because of this the filling was a lot and I ended up shaping them like a gordita or chubby pupusa. They were delicious but a bit dry, probably because I had to cook them longer. I will try this again following the recipe closer except I will use canned re-fried beans instead to make it a bit more easy/fast.

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