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, but they’re also ideal to serve as a festive appetizer!
A few years ago, 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 Trader Joe’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 and with only a few shredded carrots and a touch of kale. So I decided to make my own version of these vegetable bird’s nests.
First, I added more vegetables to balance out the flavors, adding more zucchini along with some baby spinach.
Next, I had to figure out how to bind these vegetable bird’s nests, and after 2 attempts and 2 flops, I called my sister Liz for advice 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 were added to do the trick, they worked very nicely.
I have to tell you, my version of Baked Vegetable Bird’s Nests turned out fantastic!
Moist on the inside with crunchy edges on the outside, and another bonus to these baked vegetable birds’ nests is that they’re baked and not fried!
Since I made them without any butter or oil, I found them not to be greasy either.
They definitely burst with flavor!
You can actually taste the zucchini, the carrots, and even the onion, but neither is overpowering. They’re festive enough to serve at a party as appetizers or serve as an elegant vegetable side dish for a dinner party.
A great idea to make these little bird nests for Easter dinner!
I bet the kids will enjoy them too!
Ingredients Needed for Baked Vegetable Bird’s Nests:
organic olive oil cooking spray
vegetables: carrots, zucchini, onion, and baby spinach
dairy: eggs and grated Parmesan cheese
How to Make Baked Vegetable Bird’s Nests?
To julienne, the vegetables are a fun thing to do, especially if you own a hand spiralizer. Shaping the vegetables into little bird’s nests is relatively easy and not as difficult as you may think.
Next, you will need to thinly slice some onion to add to the mixture. Not too much onion. Don’t want to overpower the flavor.
Then mix the vegetables with the rest of the ingredients, grated cheese, panko bread crumbs, eggs, some flour and salt, and pepper. Use 2 forks to mix until well combined.
Just grab some veggie strands with a fork and swirl to form a little bird’s nest. Add a little more on top if you need to, to give the appearance of a bird’s nest.
No need to make them perfect. They will hold their shape while baking.
Can I Make Them in Advance?
You can make these nests a day in advance and reheat them in the oven for a few minutes before the guests arrive. I even had some leftovers and ate them for lunch the next day, and they were still delicious!
You can enjoy these Baked Vegetable Bird’s 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 GREAT TIP!
If you make these baked vegetable bird’s nests a little larger in size, you can pop a raw egg in the center and bake them, turning them into a complete meal. And, even name it- “an egg in a bird’s nest” – and call it a day! A perfect idea for meatless Mondays or even meatless Fridays during Lent.
* Here is a simple recipe for a Dipping Sauce: (Thanks to Wendi!)
- 2 Tbsp. soy or tamari sauce
- 2 Tbsp. water
- 1/2 Tbsp. rice or white vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
- few drops of sesame oil
- finely sliced scallions for garnish.
Blend all the ingredients in a small bowl and serve.
Go ahead and PIN it and please SHARE!!
Additional Festive Appetizers…
- Try our Spinach and Kale Bites, and Parmesan Pastry Pups – these too are copycat recipes from Trader Joe’s freezer section.
- Also, try Roasted Asparagus with Prosciutto and Cheese. YUM!
- And for festive colorful butter, try our Tri-Color Butter Terrine, it may be just the perfect thing!
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a large baking sheet with cooking oil and set aside.
- 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.
- 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 it 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. Each fork-full leads to about a 3-inch diameter in size.
- Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom and crispy around the edges. Keep in mind, that if you undercook them, the nests will fall apart. Remove from the oven and use a spatula to transfer to a serving plate. Serve them warm with dipping sauce nearby.
- Yields: 8 to 12 bird's nests (depending on their size)
Hey friends! Are you cooking with us? If you make these delicious baked vegetable bird’s nests, let us know and leave a comment and a star rating below!
We’d love to see what you cook! 🙂
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Thanks for stopping by!
xo Anna and Liz
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