These vegan cheesy broccoli quinoa bites with sriracha aioli are hearty, flavorful, and totally snack-worthy. They make a crowd-pleasing appetizer and are also a hit with little ones, too (skip the aioli).
These snack-able bites were inspired by the quinoa hash browns I shared a few weeks ago. After those turned out to be a hit in our house, I thought it would be fun to expand upon the original.
This cheesy broccoli version relies on similar ingredients and methods with the additions of chopped broccoli, nutritional yeast (for cheesiness), and smoked paprika for a little smokiness and warmth.
Also, there's no need to shape this version into patties. Simply use a cookie scoop to compact the "dough" and then drop each mound onto a lined baking sheet. Easy.
And did I mention delicious? These are a new favorite recipe of mine. Like classic broccoli bites only so much better, both in terms of taste and healthfulness. They're packed with fiber, healthy fats, omega-3, and protein.
To make these zesty vegan broccoli bites, you'll start by pre-cooking the quinoa and broccoli. Both of which cook up in about 10 minutes flat.
While the quinoa and broccoli cook, whisk together a bit of flaxseed meal, olive oil, and water. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes, or until it thickens. This will serve as an egg-like binder to hold the bites together.
Once the quinoa and broccoli are ready, add them to the flaxseed mixture along with a bit of almond flour (or meal), nutritional yeast, lemon juice, smoked paprika, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper.
Give everything a good stir until it looks like this...
The "dough" will be quite damp, and a cookie scoop or small ice cream scoop is a necessity for this reason.
Use a cookie scoop to gather and compress 1 ½-tablespoon mounds of the dough, and then drop each on a lined baking pan.
Once you've formed the dough into mounds, transfer the baking pan to the oven and bake the bites, untouched, for about 25 minutes.
The bottoms should be deep golden brown and crisp and the tops should be a rich golden color.
While the broccoli bites bake, whip up a super simple sriracha aioli by whisking together a bit of vegan mayonnaise and sriracha (or chili garlic sauce—my personal preference).
Serve the bites warm from the oven with the aioli.
Vegan Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Bites with Sriracha Aioli
Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Bites
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups filtered water, divided
- 2 cups frozen broccoli florets
- 3 tablespoons flaxseed meal
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup almond meal or almond flour*
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 ¼ to 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt, to taste
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ⅓ cup vegan mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons Sriracha or chile garlic sauce or to taste
For the Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Bites
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper.
- Thoroughly rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve or colander. Then, bring 1 ¾ cups of the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the quinoa, return to a boil, and cook over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes, uncovered, or until the quinoa has absorbed most of the water, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, fluff with a fork, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Steam or cook the broccoli until tender. Strain off any excess water and finely chop. Set aside.
- While the quinoa and broccoli cook, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the remaining ¼ cup filtered water, the flaxseed meal, and the olive oil. Let stand for 10 minutes to thicken.
- Transfer the cooked quinoa to the mixing bowl with the flaxseed mixture. Stir in the broccoli, almond meal, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, paprika, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper until incorporated.
- Use a 1 ½-tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop out and compact mounds of the quinoa mixture. You want to really compress and compact them into the scoop. Drop each mound onto the baking tray. You should have about 30 mounds.
- Bake the patties for 24 to 26 minutes, or until deep golden brown and crisp on the bottoms and golden on top.
For the Sriracha Aioli
- In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and Sriracha until smooth. Chill until ready to serve.
- Serve the bites warm from the oven alongside the aioli.