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Quinoa Broccoli Nuggets

We love healthy vegetarian recipes that can be prepped ahead of time!

These quinoa broccoli nuggets are perfect for meatless meals. Cooked quinoa is combined with pureed broccoli, onions and garlic. Breadcrumbs are mixed in along with onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

A plate of broccoli quinoa nuggets with ranch dressing on the side. Bowl of frozen broccoli and bowl of quinoa are behind the plate.

Easy Meatless Meal

  • Meatless nuggets are an easy way to save money on groceries. This recipe is similar to our chickpea nuggets which use oats and chickpeas as the base.
  • You can make a double batch and freeze half for later. These nuggets freeze really well!
  • Quinoa is such a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of recipes. Make a big batch the day before to use in meal prep including these nuggets, our broccoli egg breakfast muffins and even in desserts like our chocolate quinoa bliss balls.
  • Serve as a healthy appetizer for kids, alongside a salad for lunch or as a main dish with dipping sauce.
  • Making your own nuggets will save you money and taste so much better. Skipping meat once or twice a week is a great way to save on the grocery bill.
Recipe ingredients on a table including bowl of frozen broccoli, bowl of breadcrumbs, bowl of cooked quinoa, chopped onion, spices, and minced garlic.

Recipe Ingredients

QUINOA: While many people think that quinoa is a grain, it’s actually a seed from the rhubarb family. This recipe uses 2 cups of cooked quinoa. If you’ve never cooked quinoa before, there’s an easy trick for how to make quinoa that isn’t mushy.

VEGGIES: Frozen broccoli, chopped onion and garlic cloves are first sauteed, then pureed with water. This produces a creamy liquid that is added to the quinoa.

SPICES: For flavor, simple spices like onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper are mixed in.

BREADCRUMBS: Basic breadcrumbs are used for the quinoa base and for the outer coating of nuggets. This adds a nice texture and crunch. Feel free to swap with panko-style breadcrumbs or gluten-free breadcrumbs for this recipe.

Four images showing steps to make the recipe. First is frying pan with chopped cooked onion, garlic and broccoli florets. Second is looking down at pureed broccoli mixture in blender. Third is green quinoa broccoli mixture in a white bowl with spatula. Fourth is a plate of green balls, bowl of green quinoa mixture and a cookie scoop.

How To Make Quinoa Broccoli Nuggets

These nuggets have a lovely green hue.

  1. Cook the quinoa according to the package or use our quinoa instructions here.
  2. Sautee onion and garlic in a frying pan. Add in the broccoli and cook until heated.
  3. Puree broccoli onion mixture in a blender according to full recipe instructions below.
  4. Mix quinoa, broccoli puree, breadcrumbs and spices together.
  5. Roll mixture into balls, then roll into breadcrumbs.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, then broil until the tops are golden brown.
A plate of nuggets with a small bowl with ranch dressing. Bowls of frozen broccoli and cooked quinoa are beside the plate.

Recipe Tips

  • Cook the quinoa in advance to save time. Use our simple tips on how to make fluffy quinoa that isn’t mushy. Quinoa can also be cooked in a rice cooker with a 1:2 ratio (1 cup quinoa, 2 cups water).
  • Fresh or frozen broccoli will work for this recipe. You could also use peas, green beans or spinach for that same green color.
  • Breadcrumbs can be swapped for a gluten-free version or panko crumbs. In our chickpea nuggets, we use rolled oats which could also be an option to try instead.
  • Serve nuggets with dipping sauce. We loved these with ranch dressing! Try them with easy favorites like ketchup, barbecue sauce, honey mustard, hot sauce or salsa.
  • These nuggets taste great when added to a salad like our strawberry spinach salad.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge up to 4-5 days. These can easily be reheated in the microwave or oven. These nuggets also freeze really well! Add them to a freezer bag and freeze up to 3 months.
A hand dipping one nugget into small bowl with ranch dipping sauce, and pile of nuggets on surrounding white plate. Small bowl of quinoa is in background.

More Meatless Meals That Are Budget Friendly

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Quinoa Broccoli Nuggets

These quinoa broccoli nuggets are perfect for meatless meals. Cooked quinoa is combined with pureed broccoli, onions and garlic. Breadcrumbs are mixed in along with onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Print Pin Recipe
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes
Servings: 28 nuggets

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Cook 1 cup of dried quinoa according to package instructions (see my fluffy quinoa recipe here). Once cooked, set aside.
    Two images of a white pot with cooked quinoa and a spoon.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Add a bit of cooking oil to a frying pan over medium high heat. Saute the onions and garlic until they turn translucent, about 1-2 minutes. Add in the broccoli and cook another 1-2 minutes, until thawed and heated through.
    Two images of a frying pan: first with cooked onion, second with cooked broccoli added in and a grey spatula.
  • Add the broccoli mixture to the blender with water and blend until smooth.
    Two images looking into a blender: first is cooked onion and broccoli. Second is blended broccoli and onion.
  • Pour the blended broccoli mixture into a bowl along with cooked quinoa, ½ cup breadcrumbs, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix everything together.
    Two images of a white bowl. First with pureed broccoli, quinoa, spices and breadcrumbs. Second with green mixture and spatula.
  • Use a cookie scoop or measuring spoon to scoop and roll into balls.
    A white plate with rolled green balls, a cookie scoop and a bowl of quinoa broccoli mixture beside it.
  • Roll each ball in more breadcrumbs. Flatten each ball slightly between the palms of your hands.
    Two images, first is a white bowl with breadcrumbs and one nugget. Second is green nuggets on a white plate.
  • Place nuggets on to a greased baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping each nugget halfway through.
    Turn the oven to broil and place the rack in the upper position. Broil for 3-6 minutes until tops are golden brown. (Keep an eye on them during this step so that they don't burn).
    Remove from oven, let cool 5 minutes. Serve with dipping sauce and enjoy!
    Two images of a baking sheet: first is uncooked nuggets in rows. Second is cooked nuggets with golden brown tops in rows.

Recipe Notes:

  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge up to 4-5 days. These can easily be reheated in the microwave or oven. These nuggets also freeze really well! Add them to a freezer bag and freeze up to 3 months.
  • Nutrition information is for one nugget. 
  • Cook the quinoa in advance to save time. Use our simple tips on how to make fluffy quinoa that isn’t mushy. Quinoa can also be cooked in a rice cooker with a 1:2 ratio (1 cup quinoa, 2 cups water).
  • Fresh or frozen broccoli will work for this recipe. You could also use peas, green beans or spinach for that same green color.
  • Breadcrumbs can be swapped for a gluten-free version or panko crumbs. In our chickpea nuggets, we use rolled oats which could also be an option to try instead.
  • Serve nuggets with dipping sauce. We loved these with ranch dressing! Try them with easy favorites like ketchup, barbecue sauce, honey mustard, hot sauce or salsa.
Nutrition
Sodium: 73mg | Calcium: 14mg | Vitamin C: 5mg | Vitamin A: 31IU | Sugar: 1g | Fiber: 1g | Potassium: 58mg | Calories: 36kcal | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Fat: 1g | Protein: 1g | Carbohydrates: 7g | Iron: 1mg

Please note these nutritional values provided above are just an estimate. Actual numbers will vary based on brands and ingredients you choose, and your preferred portion sizes.

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