Appetizers/ Kid-Friendly Recipes/ Most Popular Recipes

Baked Vegetable Bird’s Nests

 

Baked Vegetable Bird’s Nests are loaded with zucchini, carrots, onion and baby spinach. The carrots and zucchini are julienned and then combined with sliced onion and baby spinach to form these cute little vegetable bird’s nests, then baked until golden and crispy.  Tasty vegetable filled bird’s nests are not only very appealing and colorful, they’re ideal to serve as a festive appetizer!

The other day, one of our loyal followers contacted me to ask me if I could replicate Trader Joe’s Vegetable Birds Nests to make them healthier.  I said of course!  I never had them before, so I picked up a box from TJ’s freezer section and took them home to see what they were all about.

Trader Joe’s Vegetable Bird’s Nests are very tasty, loaded with mostly onions with a few shredded carrots and touch of kale.

I decided to make my own version of these vegetable bird’s nests. First, I added more vegetables to balance out the flavors, zucchini was added along with some baby spinach.

Next, I had to figure out how to bind these nests, and after 2 attempts and 2 flops, I called my sister Liz for advise and some tips. She recommended I mix the vegetables with egg whites, but I realized that wasn’t enough and needed to combine the eggs with something else. Parmesan cheese, flour and panko bread crumbs was added to do the trick, they worked very nicely.

 

 

I have to tell you, the outcome was fantastic, moist on the inside with crunchy edges on the outside. Another bonus to these vegetable birds nests, they’re baked not fried.  Since I made them without any butter or oil, they weren’t greasy either.

They definitely burst with flavor!  You can actually taste the zucchini, the carrots and even the onion, but neither are over powering.  They’re festive enough to serve at a party as appetizers or serve as a elegant vegetable side dish for a dinner party.

I bet the kids will enjoy them too!

To julienne the vegetables is a fun thing to do, especially if you own a hand spiralizer. Shaping the vegetables into little bird’s nests is relative easy and not as difficult as you may think.

Just grab some veggies strands with a fork and swirl to form a little bird’s nest. No need to make them perfect.

You can make them a day in advance and reheat in the oven for a few minutes before the guests arrive.  I even had some leftover and ate them for lunch the next day, and they were still delicious!

You can enjoy these veggie filled nests alone or serve them with your favorite dipping sauce.  Try a sweet soy sauce or sweet chili sauce for dipping to create a tempura-style eating experience!

Here’s a tip: If you make these vegetable bird’s nests a little larger in size, you can pop an egg in the center of them and bake them, turning them into a complete meal. Name it- “an egg in a bird’s nest” – and call it a day! A perfect idea for meatless Monday’s or even meatless Friday’s during lent.

Enjoy and have a nice weekend!

Baked Vegetable Bird’s Nests 

  • 2 medium-size carrots – peeled
  • 1 medium-size zucchini
  • 1/2 of a medium onion
  • 1/4 cup baby spinach
  • 1 whole egg, plus 1 egg white- lightly beaten
  • 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • organic olive oil cooking spray

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray a large baking sheet with cooking oil and set aside.

2.  Julienne both the carrots and zucchini in a large bowl with a hand spiralizer. Then thinly slice the onion and baby spinach and toss into the same bowl, along with the eggs, Parmesan cheese, flour, panko bread crumbs, salt and pepper.

3.  Toss all the ingredients together using 2 large forks (or use your hands) until well combined. Using 2 forks, scoop a small amount and transfer onto the baking sheet.  Try to swirl and shape the vegetables into a small bird’s nest. Try to give each one some depth, adding more on top to avoid them looking flat, like pancakes.

4.  Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom and crispy around the edges.  Keep in mind, if you under cook them, the nests will fall apart. Remove from oven and transfer to a serving plate.  Serve them warm with dipping sauce near by.

Yields: 8 to 12 bird’s nests (depending on their size)

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16 Comments

  • Reply
    Jane T
    March 10, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    Thank you so much Anna & Liz. I will be whipping these up this weekend. Appreciate the extra veggies in your version. Maybe Trader Joe's should hire you!

  • Reply
    annaliz
    March 10, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    Thank you for your kind words Jane! You made me laugh! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
    Have a good weekend!

  • Reply
    Sandra
    March 10, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    These look wonderful and very delicious and they make me think of Easter! All they need for that is a little quail's egg in the middle! I love that they're baked too!

    • Reply
      annaliz
      March 10, 2017 at 7:23 pm

      Thank you Sandra ! They really turned out better than I imagined, and yes- even better because they're baked! A win- win!!

  • Reply
    Tricia Buice
    March 10, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    These are just the cuties, coolest things ever! That would encourage even the vege-haters to eat vegetables! So pretty and smart – have a wonderful weekend ladies!

    • Reply
      annaliz
      March 10, 2017 at 7:25 pm

      Thank you Tricia! We agree and hope that these will also inspire kids to eat them as well! Have a great weekend!

  • Reply
    Sandra
    March 10, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    Hi again! Sorry, I hadn't read the recipe to the end where you talk about adding an egg! I do have a vegetable spiralizer and just love it! Today I had a small amount of pasta spaghetti mixed with a larger amount of spiralized vegetables and topped with a tomato sauce and grated cheese. Gorgeous!

    • Reply
      annaliz
      March 10, 2017 at 7:29 pm

      OHhh that sounds so good! Now I am craving for that. It's so much fun to make dishes using our spiralizer. Tha nks again and have a wonderful weekend!

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    March 10, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    They are beautiful! I love nest shapes in the spring 🙂

    • Reply
      annaliz
      March 11, 2017 at 1:13 am

      Thank you Sue! Have a great weekend!

  • Reply
    Amy
    March 11, 2017 at 6:36 am

    These are so pretty and festive. What a great way to enjoy veggies and have fun! 😉

    • Reply
      annaliz
      March 11, 2017 at 11:54 pm

      Thank you Amy! I think your kids will love them! Hope you'll try my recipe!
      Have a great weekend!

  • Reply
    Jane T
    March 11, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    Anna, These are a winner! Made them today and they came out great; my husband and I both like them more than TJs. Love your suggestion to add a fried or poached egg for a complete meal. Move over Trader Joe's! Thank you so much for your successful efforts.

    • Reply
      annaliz
      March 12, 2017 at 12:04 am

      SO glad !! And Thank you because you inspired me to try and duplicate them Jane! I love a challenge every so often. …And so thrilled to hear your husband enjoyed them too!! Haha, you make me laugh about "move over TJ's " – 🙂 you are so sweet! Have a great weekend! Warmly, Anna

  • Reply
    Cheri Savory Spoon
    March 13, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    These look so much better and healthier than Trader Joes, love that you added extra veggies and your idea to add an egg is brilliant. Happy Monday!

    • Reply
      annaliz
      March 14, 2017 at 3:12 am

      Thank you Cheri! But I can't take credit for adding the egg- that was Liz! Have a great week!

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