Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and a breeze to whip up—these chickpea nuggets are the ultimate tasty plant-based snack or savory side dish. They’re unbelievably easy to make, packed with nutrition, and loved by kids and adults alike!
These crispy quinoa bites are also a fresh way to add protein to your diet, since quinoa is a a fantastic source of protein. With just a few ingredients and three straightforward steps, you can make a homemade snack that’s both yummy and good for you. Think of them as a more mature version of tater tots—with a lot more going for them than just taste!
Quinoa nuggets are fantastic—crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and a breeze to whip up. Packed with the goodness of quinoa, they’re a flavorful and nutritious twist to your snacking routine. Not quite convinced? Here are even more reasons why these tasty quinoa snacks are so awesome:
Because this recipe has such few ingredients, each one of them has an important part to play. For maximum enjoyment, devour the finished nuggets right away while warm and toasty. If you have to wait, you can always pop them in the oven or air-fryer to crisp back up.
Quinoa: Can you believe that you can choose from red, black, white, or tri-color/rainbow quinoa? White is the least bitter, red has the chewiest texture, and black has the most nutrition, but they all taste delicious. The most important thing to remember is to rinse your quinoa well before cooking. You’ll want to release as much of the saponins (the shell that protects them from pests and type of fungus) as you can for a less bitter aftertaste.
Onion: Chopped onion adds such a great flavor to the quinoa. Scallions, red onion, shallots, or leeks would work well, too.
Chives: If the flavor of chives is not your favorite, how about using garlic or parsley instead? Remember to chop finely for best results.
Flour: All-purpose flour helps to give a crispy and crunchy texture to the nuggets. If you’ve run out of flour or are sensitive to gluten, feel free to use cornstarch instead. Use a quarter cup of cornstarch in place of the half cup of flour. If you’d rather use gluten-free flour, choose a type that is 1-to-1 and use the same amount.
Lemon Juice: This ingredient adds not only moisture to the mixture but also a little acidic zing. An unflavored vinegar can also be used (or even lime juice) in a pinch.
Cooking up a batch of vegan quinoa nuggets is simple and fun to do. As soon as you roll up the balls, you’re more than halfway there! They’re a great snack or mini-meal to prep ahead of time. When you’re ready to enjoy, all you need to do is fry them up! Here’s how you do it:
Step 1: Mix together the quinoa, onion, chives, flour, salt, and red chili pepper flakes. Moisten with the water and lemon juice.
Step 2: Make 1-inch balls out of the quinoa mixture, squeezing firmly so that the balls form a dough. Put the finished balls into the freezer for 5 minutes. (You can also chill them in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.)
Finally, Step 3: Cook the nuggets a few at a time in an oil-coated pan over medium-high heat. Free free to press on each one to flatten them a little. It helps to oil the spatula to prevent sticking. Fry the nuggets for 5 minutes until the bottom of each nugget is golden and then flip. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes more.
Not sure how to make quinoa? Here’s an easy recipe to follow that’s pretty much foolproof:
Rinse ⅔ cup of dry quinoa in cold water using a fine-mesh strainer. Add the quinoa and 1⅓ cups of water to a medium pot with a lid. Bring to a boil, uncovered, over high heat. Cover with the lid and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes.
Allow to cool completely before using in this quinoa recipe.
These yummy quinoa bites are so much fun to eat! Sure, you can simply eat them plain right off a plate, but that’s pretty boring. Here are a few tasty and tempting ideas for bumping up your bites a notch!
Definitely! If the quinoa is frozen and needs to be heated up first, just remember to let it cool before trying to form the balls. They’ll stay together much easier if the ingredients are chilled.
Simply place any remaining quinoa nuggets into a sealed container and store in the fridge for around 3-5 days. You can also add them to a freezer-safe bag or container for at least 3 months and up to 5-6 months in the freezer. To reheat, you can air-fry them for a few minutes or bake them in the oven for about 8 minutes at 400 degrees F.
Make sure to drain any excess liquid after cooking and let it sit for at least a few minutes before serving. If you have a fine-mesh sieve, add the finished cooked quinoa and press down on it gently to remove extra moisture.
There’s no problem making these tasty little nuggets gluten-free. All you need to do is substitute gluten-free, all-purpose flour for the regular flour in the recipe. If you use a 1-to-1 version, such as King Arthur or Bob’s Red Mill, it should be a super easy swap.