Spinach and Kale Bites ~ Little vegetable balls loaded with spinach, kale and Parmesan cheese then lightly coated with panko breadcrumbs and baked until crispy and tender. These little bites burst with spinach and Parmesan cheese flavor! The taste of kale is completely hidden in this little appetizer, making them the ideal snack for the picky eaters.
I saw these little spinach and kale bites in the freezer section at Trader Joes and since I got hooked on Kale for the first time this summer, making scrumptious kale drinks like kale smoothies, I bought a box and tried them for the first time. They were very tasty, but a little too salty and a bit expensive.
So I decided to make them myself and duplicate the recipe as close as possible, only I decided to roll them panko breadcrumbs for some crunch. The outcome was really terrific, crunchy on the outside and super moist on the inside. The Parmesan cheese definitely adds depth of flavor to them.
These are easy enough to make a day in advance for a party, and throw them in the oven when guests arrive. They’re amazingly light and festive, definitely worthy for a fancy dinner or a holiday party. Terrific to serve at football parties too. You can also try our mini rice balls as another fun appetizer.
If you omit the panko breadcrumbs from this recipe, you’ll have gluten-free spinach and kale bites.
These bites can be expensive to buy frozen (about $5 for 10 bites). And, most frozen foods are packed with high levels of sodium as well as some other unknown ingredients. When you make them yourself, they’re definitely fresher and more cost effective.
I love them because they’re baked not fried, loaded with antioxidants and vitamins A, C, and K, plus I’m giving my family a healthier snack instead of junk food.
Some ingredients you may need:
Here’s a TIP:
When working with this recipe, use 2 bowls or dishes, pour some panko bread crumbs into one. Take a teaspoon full of the spinach and kale mixture into your hand. Make a small ball with your hands (larger than a quarter, smaller than a golf ball).
Then gently roll ball into panko bread crumbs to coat evenly. Then bake them for 15 minutes and serve!
- 1 small yellow onion- chopped
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. salted butter
- 6 ounce package fresh baby spinach (the equivalent to 5 oz. of frozen)
- 2 cups packed with fresh kale, rinsed
- 1 large scallion (green onion)
- 1 egg
- ⅔ cup panko bread crumbs, plus extra for coating
- ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- dash of organic cayenne pepper
- organic olive oil cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a frying pan, heat and melt butter with olive oil. Add yellow onion and sauté until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add spinach and kale and cook until they wilt, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Place cooked contents into a food processor along with one chopped scallion and pulse for several seconds. Transfer mixture to a medium size mixing bowl.
- Add one egg, ⅔ cup of panko bread crumbs, and Parmesan cheese. Mix with a spoon until well combined. Add salt and black pepper to taste and a dash of cayenne pepper.
- In a second smaller bowl or dish, pour some panko bread crumbs. Take a teaspoon full the spinach and kale mixture into your hand. Make a small ball with your hands (larger than a quarter, smaller than a golf ball).
- Gently roll ball into panko bread crumbs to coat evenly.
- Lightly spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the spinach and kale bites onto baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Serve warm.
- Yields: 20 bites
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