Cheddar quinoa bites

Things learned this weekend…

Top 40 music becomes much more fun after 3 vodka cranberries and 2 beers.

Coworkers become much more fun after 3 vodka cranberries and 2 beers. (I kid, I kid, they’re always great)

I’ve reached some emotional peak in my life where I now cry at father/daughter dances.

Duck fat fries at a wedding? Best idea ever.

Especially after 3 vodka cranberries and 2 beers.

Navigating a directionally challenged husband home at midnight after 3 vodka cranberries and 2 beers is amusing.

Cheesy quinoa bites make excellent hangover food the next day.

Besides the fact that I pronounced it as “kin-o-wah” for the first year of our relationship, I’m pretty much in love with quinoa. It masks itself like a carby grain but you can eat it and not have to worry about what your added protein is going to be because it is one! I’m positive if I was a vegetarian I’d live off the stuff.

Add cheddar, Mexican spices, corn kernels that pop in your mouth from freshness and a spicy yogurt dipping sauce and our relationship goes from love to something slightly inappropriate.

Kind of like me on the dance floor Saturday night.

4.5 from 4 reviews

Cheddar quinoa bites
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cheesy cheddar and corn quinoa bites with a spicy yogurt dip.
Recipe type: side dish, quinoa
Serves: 12 bites
Quinoa bites
  • ½ cup uncooked red quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup cheddar, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • ⅓ cup corn kernels (fresh or thawed from frozen)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper
Dipping sauce
  • ¼ cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
Quinoa bites
  1. Rinse quinoa then combine with water in a small sauce pan.
  2. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer until water is absorbed (about 20 minutes).
  3. While quinoa cooks, combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.
  5. Add quinoa to the bowl when finished cooking and combine all ingredients with clean hands.
  6. Form mixture into golf ball sized balls (this will be messy but they should come together enough to form balls. If not, add a bit more breadcrumbs) and place on baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes.
  8. If any of the balls have cracked while cooking, reshape them while still hot then let cool to harden.
Dipping sauce
  1. Combine yogurt and sriracha in small bowl and stir together.

Adapted from Tablespoon via Bev Cooks

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  1. 1

    Check these out! So glad you made them. Now I want like 50.

  2. 2

    HAHAHAHAHA everything is just a little better after 3 vodka cranberries and a couple of beers.

  3. 3

    This looks great, can’t wait to try it. I’ve got some quinoa that’s been lonely lately.

  4. 4
    Ashley - baker by nature says:

    Sounds like you had an awesome weekend! I’m so glad you keep coming up with amazing quinoa recipes – it’s my favorite right now!
    Btw – I made a watermelon slushie saturday inspired by you – it was the highlight of that hot afternoon!

  5. 5

    Those look delicious! Need to go pick up some more quinoa so I can try this!

  6. 6

    Haha…I think there’s very little in life that *isn’t* better after a few drinks.

    These look great!

  7. 8

    Best drink to get easily tipsy or beyond. And everything is truly more enjoyable and funny after several.

  8. 9

    These sound awesome!!!

  9. 10

    Sounds like a great weekend!

    The quinoa bites look delish!! Another recipe I just have to make! I just starting using quinoa and I love it! I make a big batch of it on Sunday’s and use it in my yogurt jar for breakfast!

    Have a lovely week!

  10. 11

    Anything cheese is a good idea after imbibing the night before…I would know, I drank a bottle of champagne for dinner last night. Need to go find the ingredients for these little boogers…stat.

  11. 12

    That’s better than I did. I pronounced it “qwih-no-ah.” So. There’s that.

  12. 15

    A healthy hangover food?!? I’m in!

  13. 16

    Those sound delicious! Can you send me a box? :)

  14. 17

    I’ve been inspired by a lot of quinoa recipes lately – it’s truly the “it” recipe as of late! This recipe is certainly eyecatching! I think I’m going to remake something similiar, Gina!

  15. 18

    Duck fat fries and a wedding where the open bar was apparently very open…gotta love that.

    And these bites…so creative!

  16. 19

    I knew you couldn’t stay away from balls for too long! haha jk :) the wedding sounds like fun, but the aftermath of driving home and navigating someone just already makes me angry! i hate navigating people, i’m already horrible at directions lol

  17. 20

    I totally pronounced quinoa like that too. Whoops.

  18. 21

    Can there be too many ways to eat quinoa? I think not! I would totally just eat theses with a salad for dinner. Although I may eat too many of the bites defeating the whole idea of the salad.

  19. 22

    A vodka cranberry weekend is a great weekend. Your ceddar quinoa bites look addicting! Stick 3 vodka crans in me, and I’d be popping them like potato chips. Awesome recipe as always :)

  20. 23

    Yes to everything!

  21. 24

    Wow such a great idea to make quinoa into little balls. Awesome!

  22. 25

    That’s a mighty tasty way to use quinoa.

  23. 26

    Mmm, love these! Little balls of feel-goodness :)

  24. 27

    Of course you would make this into balls. Of course. :)
    I was just about to rummage through your site to look for a quinoa recipe b/c I’ve got a box in the pantry and the kids are gone this week so I figure its a good time to use it up and have it actually get eaten as opposed to started at and asked “umm what’s that?” :)

    • 28
      Running to the Kitchen says:

      In my defense, the balls were Bev’s idea not mine! Although, I see no reason to defend ball making decisions ;)

      • 29

        absolutely not. ball making decisions should never have to be defended. They should conversely, always be celebrated. Pretty excited for that ball that I saw on instagram earlier today…that definitely looks like it needs a celebration!

  25. 30

    I’ll take some of these. And won’t even need the 3 vodka cranberries and 2 beers. Not that I wouldn’t mind some of that too, though. :)

  26. 31

    Oooh, I really want to try these. Pinned!

  27. 32

    Very creative and healthy dish here. I like the switch to quinoa as well as to make into little balls.. This looks tasty! Looking forward to seeing more on the series, it is off to a great start. Enjoy the day! :-)

  28. 33

    OH, this whole post made me laugh, I want to hang out with you :) And eat your food also :)

  29. 35

    I have to try these.

  30. 36

    These are so creative! They end up crunchy?

    • 37
      Running to the Kitchen says:

      Kind of on the outside and still soft/cheesy on the inside. I’ve been heating the leftovers in the toaster oven and they get crunchier that way :)

  31. 38

    These look so amazing, I love the color. I totally need to make a gluten-free, dairy-free version of these, they’d be great on top of all of the local greens we got this week in our CSA. Thanks for the great recipe and the idea, I will let you know if I am successful with a gf, v – version :)

  32. 39

    I needed this recipe last Sunday….everyone gets more fun after a wine festival too :)

  33. 40
    Christy H says:

    Quinoa is my new favorite food this year! The first time I tried it, I just made it plain and didn’t really like it. But now I’ve made a couple different versions of cakes with it and I’m in love! I’m always looking for more variations, Thanks!

  34. 41

    Yeah I would totes eat these. healthy, portable and delicious! Plus, cherry is my favorite fruit!

  35. 42

    I definitely could have used these after the wedding I was at on Saturday night too. Healthy hangover food is probably a must :)

  36. 43

    I’m always looking for new ways to use quinoa! So this recipe is perfect!

  37. 44

    Making these this week! I am making a Mexican Quinoa Salad tonight, and with the leftover, I am making this!

  38. 45

    So I’m in the middle of making these now for a party thats happening tomorrow evening…i they will be chilled then thrown in a cooler for the drive, into the oven and hopefully come out good enough to eat. Looking at this recipe, it seems like there will only be about 10-15 balls? The party will have 30+ people…I think that a second batch will be mandatory.

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