Did any of you eat pizza pockets or pizza bites as a kid? I never did, but I always wanted to. Sadly, I remember watching Saturday morning cartoons, jealous of the kids in the commercials that got to eat them. They always looked so yummy! Gooey, cheesy little pockets of pizza perfection. Oh, how I wanted to open up my lunch box and see them in there! (Clearly I was not always a healthy eater.)
Now when I see those pizza snacks on the shelves in a grocery store, they look disgusting to me….no offense. I was totally one of those kids that always asked my mom for them, but now that I am a “grown up” I can’t imagine eating them. They are packed with preservatives, fat, calories, and tons of sugar and sodium. Next time you are at the store, take my advice and keep walking past the pizza bites and make these lighter, healthier Quinoa Pizza Muffins. They have all the flavors you love about pizza, but with less calories and fat. Packed with protein and fiber, these little muffins are perfect for lunch, dinner, snacks and parties. Kid and adult approved!
Living without gluten and dairy can be difficult at times. Especially times when I am craving pizza. Luckily, I happened to make a big batch of quinoa lastnight. I love to make large quantities of things like quinoa, rice, and cucumber salad for the week. I can just pull it out at dinner and have a side dish already made. It makes my life as a new mom that much easier to navigate. Keeping stress to a minimum is super important!
Since I already had some quinoa already made, I decided to create these pizza muffins to help feed my craving for pizza. We all now how a craving never seems to go away until you finally give in. Instead of giving in to a unhealthy deep dish, why not try a new healthy version. It may surprise you how delicious it is! Start by, combining 2 cups of cooked quinoa, with 1 cup mozzarella cheese in a large bowl (I used dairy free, but my husband used regular). Next, chop 1/2 cup of pepperoni into smaller pieces and add to bowl (I used a vegan pepperoni and my husband used turkey pepperoni, feel free to use what you like). Stir in 1 tsp Italian seasoning, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp minced garlic, and a dash of salt & pepper. Chop 1/2 cup of fresh basil and add to bowl. Lastly, mix in 2 eggs and 2 Tbsp of gluten free flour. Make sure to combine all the ingredients well. Scoop the pizza mixture into 12 prepared muffin tins, packing them down. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. When the muffins are done baking, remove from oven and let cool. Serve with a side of your favorite marinara sauce for dipping.
The last thing you will be thinking when eating these pizza muffins is how guilty you feel. There is no reason! They are light, fluffy and a great alternative to the usual bites in the frozen food section. I love being able to eat foods that I am craving and not feel bad about it!
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese (I used vegan cheese)
- 1/2 cup preferred type of pepperoni (turkey, vegan, etc)
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 2 Tbsp gluten free flour
- 2 eggs
- dash of salt/pepper
- In a large bowl combine 2 cups cooked quinoa, with 1 cup mozzarella cheese.
- Chop 1/2 cup of pepperoni into smaller pieces and add to bowl.
- Stir in 1 tsp Italian seasoning, 1 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp minced garlic, and a dash of salt & pepper.
- Chop 1/2 cup of fresh basil and add to bowl.
- Mix in 2 eggs and 2 Tbsp of gluten free flour.
- Combine all the ingredients well.
- Scoop mixture into 12 prepared muffin tins. Make sure to pack the mixture into each tin.
- Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.