These Zucchini Pizza Bites are packed with tons of zucchini with parmesan cheese and eggs for protein! They’re perfect for lunch, dinner or a healthy afternoon snack! Freezer friendly too!
It’s back to school season and if you’re like me, you need all the healthy and filling lunch ideas you can get! These Zucchini Pizza Bites are great because they can be enjoyed in a packed lunch, as an easy dinner or a healthy after school snack!
Zucchini was never a favorite vegetable of mine growing up, it has a lot of water in it and is rather tasteless when uncooked. But, in the past few years I’ve discovered that it’s actually really delicious when sautéed until almost caramelized with a little salt. Traditional Zucchini Pizza Bites consist of a big slice of zucchini with tomato sauce and cheese on it, but my version is way more kid friendly!
ZUCCHINI PIZZA BITE RECIPE INGREDIENTS
Zucchini – You’ll need about 4 cups of zucchini for this recipe.
Parmesan cheese – I bought a block of parmesan cheese and used the fine side of the grater to grate it. I found that finely grated parmesan mixed in nicely with the other ingredients.
Eggs – I used the eggs as a binder for this recipe and they also add some nice protein. I have not tried this recipe with a vegan egg substitute but it probably would work. They might just not to stick together quite as well.
Breadcrumbs – Any kind of bread crumbs or Panko will work. You could also probably use almond meal or crushed nuts if you are grain free.
Seasoning – I used granulated garlic, dried herbs, salt and pepper.
HOW TO MAKE ZUCCHINI PIZZA BITES
These Zucchini Pizza Bites only have a few ingredients and they’re so easy to make.
You start by grating your zucchini and then squeezing the water out of it. Squeezing the water out is a really important step because zucchini has lots of water in it. If you don’t squeeze it out then your pizza bites will be really soggy and not hold together well.
After you sauté the zucchini until cooked through, you add it to a large bowl with the remaining ingredients and mix until combined. The eggs help bind everything together so unfortunately I don’t think this recipe can be made without them.
Then, you scoop the mixture into little balls and bake until cooked through. They’re small so they don’t take long at all to cook and can be served warm or cold. To get the whole pizza experience you dip them in some warm marinara sauce and they’re delicous!
RECIPE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I make these vegan? I personally have not made them vegan before, but they would probably work out if you used a vegan egg sub and vegan cheese. They might not hold together as well though.
Can I make these gluten free? Yes! Just sub gluten free bread crumbs.
Can I use yellow squash instead of zucchini? Sure!
Can I add additional veggies in? Yes, just don’t add too many that the mixture is off.
Can I freeze these zucchini pizza bites? Yes, you can freeze in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
How long do they last in the refrigerator? I would say about 4-5 days in an airtight container.
Do they need to be heated up? No, you can enjoy them cold, room temperature or you can heat them up in the oven or microwave.
Have another question that I didn’t answer? Ask me below in the comments and I’ll get back to you ASAP!
Why Kids Will Love These Zucchini Pizza Bites
They taste like pizza! The parmesan cheese and bread crumbs give them a really great pizza flavor and then you dip them in the marinara sauce for the whole pizza experience
They’re easy to eat. They hold together really well, they’re not messy and can be enjoyed in just a few bites.
Even though there is only a few ingredients they have tons of flavor, but at the same time are mild enough for picky eaters.
Why Parents Will Love Them
Zucchini has a very subtle taste so although they’re packed with 4 cups of zucchini, your kids probably won’t even be able to tell you’re feeding them vegetables!
Aside from the zucchini, they’re also packed with cheese and eggs which adds lots of protein so these pizza bites will keep your kids feeling full for longer.
They’re great for meal prep! You can make a batch at the beginning of the week and pack them in your kid’s lunches or re-heat them in the oven for an afternoon snack.
They’re freezer friendly. Leave off the cheese on the top when baking them and then you can freeze them in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
CHECK OUT EXACTLY HOW I MAKE THESE EASY ZUCCHINI PIZZA BITES BELOW!
These Zucchini Pizza Bites are packed with zucchini, eggs and parmesan cheese. They’re great for snacks, appetizers and even lunch!
4 cups grated zucchini
1 teaspoon avocado oil
1 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese, divided
2 large eggs
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt, heaping
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Marinara sauce for dipping
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large sheetpan with a non-stick liner or parchment paper. Grate zucchini on the large side of a box grater and then place grated zucchini in a clean dish towel. Squeeze out as much water as you can.
Heat a large pan over medium heat and add oil, zucchini and a pinch of salt. Cook zucchini until soft, 7-10 minutes. Add zucchini to a large bowl and let cool for a few minutes.
Next, add in 1 cup parmesan cheese, eggs, bread crumbs, and seasonings. Mix until combined and then use a one tablespoon scoop to scoop the mixture into balls on the baking sheet. Use your fingers to press the mxiture down into a small disk and top with more parmesan cheese.
Bake zucchini pizza bites until cheese is melted and they are cooked through, 12-15 minutes. Enjoy warm or cold with a side of marinara sauce.
Pizza bites can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 4-5 days and frozen in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
We vegetarians often run into the trap of turning into a “carbatarian” – someone who mostly eats foods high in (refined) carbohydrates. This often happens when we replace meat with the “wrong” stuff.
Simply put: too much white bread, pasta, rice and heavily processed foods like breakfast cereals, frozen pizzas and other snacks.
But fret no more!
Whether you’re on a weight-loss journey or building muscle programme, these well-tested recipes will help you achieve your goal. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, we’ve covered it all!
Before we dive into the recipes let’s quickly answer how much protein we actually need and what vegetarian foods provide a proper amount of protein.
How much protein do we need?
The RDA, recommended daily allowance, is at a minimum of 0.36g of protein per pound of body weight (0.8g per kg bodyweight).
By percentage that would be roughly 10% of your daily caloric income. Note that is the minimum requirement for a non-active sedentary person to avoid a protein deficiency and get sick as a result. That means a full-on couch potato would just get by on that daily intake.
But how much protein does an active person need?
Of course this depends on your goals. But in general you can safely say if you want to build muscle you need more protein than that basic daily recommended allowance.
A higher protein intake is also likely to be beneficial for weight loss.
So, if you’re an active person, who does sports regularly, a healthy recommendation would be between 0.75g-1g of protein per lb of bodyweight per day (about 1.6-2.2 grams of protein per kg bodyweight).
By percentage that would be roughly 20-30% of your daily caloric income.
This is based on studies that have investigated the rates of something called muscle protein synthesis (essentially, new muscle being created) and how it differs depending on protein intake.
How much protein per vegetarian meal is realistic?
For most people, reasonably sized healthy meals have around 600kcal, give or take 200kcal.
If we want to hit protein requirements and aim to eat a wide variety of foods (not just cheese and processed meat replacements), here are the protein amounts we believe a vegetarian meal should at least have to be considered “high protein”:
NOTE: high-protein vegetarian meals can easily go up to 35g+ protein per 600kcal, if using cheese, eggs and processed meat replacements.
We purposefully took lower numbers per meal as a benchmark, because it allows for a wider variety of foods while still hitting protein goals even for sporty people.
And let’s be honest, to make protein account for 20%+ of your daily caloric intake, you have to make compromises as a vegetarian.
This means either a heavy focus on eggs, cheese, soy, seitan and other meat replacements or including protein shakes in your diet.
Make sure to check out our free meal plans, where all the calculations are done for you:
Bonus: Swap Greek yogurt for “skyr”, if you have it available in your location for an extra protein boost.
This yogurt dish is relatively low in calories at roughly 303 kcal per serving. That’s enough to make a filling breakfast and still leave you plenty of calories left for the rest of your meals, if you are on a weight loss diet.
This tempeh sandwich is THE new vegan sandwich. Mega tasty and super nutritional, it sets the new bar for all sandwich lovers out there. Whole grain sandwich bread is a great option to increase protein a little more.
Not sure whether lentils really work in a pancake batter? We’ve tried and tested this recipe and can say these pancakes are not only delicious, but this is also a clever way to increase the amount of protein per serving.
Red lentils belong to the legumes with the highest amount of protein. They’re also super quick to cook making them one of the “most efficient” plant based protein sources out there. Luckily, this soup is a staple in the Turkish cuisine, not because of its high protein content, but because of its good taste.
Bonus: works as a side, but excellent as a main dish for a quick lunch
With feta, spinach, and chickpeas, this salad features a few of the best high protein ingredients the vegetarian diet has to offer. But not only that, the dressing is the secret star of this recipe. I was hooked for months!
This ramen soup comes with a proper amount of vegetarian protein (egg, tofu, edamame, sesame seeds). What I really like about it though is the versatile spicy Thai style broth. Try it out with any veggie combo you like! Delicious.
The real star of this recipe is the honey mustard dressing! It’s such a good fit for the red onion, red bell pepper and lentils. Make this dish vegan by using maple syrup instead of honey. Wanna add some carbs? I love adding some simple microwaved potatoes as a side!
Bonus: new, fresh, tangy, works as a side dish or main meal
With beets and oranges as main ingredients this dish is best eaten in autumn and winter. Chickpeas and sunflower seeds contribute as a protein source. But hey, a salad is only as good as its dressing and this parsley dressing kicks ass, if I may say so!
Vegan stuffed peppers featuring tempeh, nutritional yeast and quinoa, three vegan sources high in protein. Quinoa is particularly cool, because it’s one of the few vegan foods that contain all nine essential amino acids!
Cut the broccoli into big florets and slice the red onion in half and then each half into four pieces lengthwise. Thinly slice the chilli pepper if using.
In the food processor add the cashews with 5 tbsp of water, basil, garlic, juice from ½ lime, ½ tsp salt, black pepper, and process until you have a pesto like texture (not fully smooth). Taste and add more salt per taste. If necessary add a little extra water too.
1 chili pepper,2 tbsp cashews,2 handful basil, fresh,2 clove garlic,½ lime,1 tsp salt,¼ tsp black pepper
In a baking sheet place the lentils and thinly sliced chilli pepper if using. On top add the red onion, broccoli florets and halloumi.
Drizzle the pesto seasoning on top of the veggies and sprinkle remaining ½ tsp of salt + black pepper per taste. Brush the broccoli florets and halloumi with the olive oil.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the broccoli florets are tender. Turn on the grill or broiler of the oven at the highest temperature and bake for 3-5 minutes, until the veggies are golden brown.
Top with chopped fresh parsley or dill and serve immediately. Serve with a side of ciabatta bread.
63 High Protein Vegetarian Recipes: Focused on Fitness
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Alright, that’s it for this post!
If you’re still on the recipe hunt, check out even more high protein recipes over here.
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