Spinach and Kale Bites
Looking for a delicious appetizer? Spinach and Kale Bites are little vegetable balls loaded with spinach, kale, and Parmesan cheese. Then they are 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 picky eaters.
I saw these little spinach and kale bites in the freezer section at Trader Joe’s and since I got hooked on Kale for the first time a few years ago, 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 in 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.
Questions and Answers…
Can I Make Spinach and Kale Bites in Advance?
- These are easy enough to make a day in advance for a party, and throw in the oven when guests arrive.
- They’re amazingly light and festive, definitely worthy of a fancy dinner or a holiday party.
- Terrific to serve at football parties too.
Can I Freeze Them?
- You can make these spinach and kale bits and freeze them before you bake them.
- They will keep frozen for up to one month.
- You can bake them and then freeze them and then reheat them before serving. That has worked for them too.
Can We Make These Bites Vegan or Dairy-free?
- Yes, you can. There are so many options these days for you to swap out certain ingredients and make this vegan or dairy-free.
- Here’s a Tip from one of our comments below: “You can make ‘parmesan’ by combining 3/4 cup cashews, 1/4 tsp. garlic powder, 3/4 tsp. sea salt & 3 Tbsp. of nutritional yeast then blitz in a food processor.”
- “I’m not sure how this will differ in taste from those with parmesan but these were so so yummy.”
Additional Delicious Appetizers!
You can also try our mini rice balls as another fun appetizer, and our cold spinach dip for an easy make-ahead spinach dip!
For GLUTEN-FREE? Try our Gluten-Free Stuffed Mushrooms and our Deviled Eggs Italian Style!
Plus, you might enjoy our favorite post for Baked Vegetable Bird’s Nests, also a copycat recipe from Trader Joe’s.
NOTES and TIPS for Spinach and Kale Bites…
- 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 (at Trader Joe’s) and about $5 for 10 bites.
- Plus, 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, and 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 will need (with links to amazon):
- panko bread crumbs
- salt and pepper
- organic cayenne pepper
- organic olive oil cooking spray
- BAKING SHEET
How to Make these Spinach and Kale Bites? (*full recipe card below!)
- First, we need to simply give some flavor to the spinach and kale, sautéing both in a skillet.
2. Next, we transfer the mixture to a food processor and pulse it a few times to chop. Transfer to a mixing bowl, and mix it with a few more ingredients.
3. When working with this recipe, use 2 bowls or dishes, and pour some panko bread crumbs into one.
4. Then 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).
5. Next, gently roll the ball into panko bread crumbs to coat evenly.
6. Then bake them for about 20 to 25 minutes and serve!
And if you LOVE these spinach and kale bites, then try our Spinach and Kale Quiche– it is scrumptiously delicious.
Plus, try our Healthy Spinach Smoothie Recipe – it’s great for kids too!
…Thanks for Pinning!
WATCH: How to make Spinach & Kale Bites? (1-minute Video)
More Tasty Ideas!
- No-Bake Carrot Cake Bites
- Spinach and Cheese Squares
- Baked Artichoke and Spinach Dip (Houston’s Copycat)
- Easy Kale and Spinach Pesto Sauce
- Spinach and Kale Quiche
- Spinach and Parmesan Quiche
- Spinach Ravioli with White Cream Asparagus Sauce
- Easy Knorr Spinach Dip
Spinach and Kale Bites
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.
- 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
- 2/3 cup panko bread crumbs, plus extra for coating
- 1/2 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, 2/3 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 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).
- Gently roll the ball into panko bread crumbs to coat evenly.
- Lightly spray the baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the spinach and kale bites onto the baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 35 minutes. Serve warm.
- Yields: 20 bites
Yield:20 Bites (about 10 servings)
Serving Size:1 serving ( 2 bites )
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 125Total Fat: 8.4gCarbohydrates: 7.9gFiber: 1.3gSugar: .9gProtein: 6g
You provide the weight for the spinach, but any idea of the kale amount? 2 cups can vary for me depending on how small I chop it, or the way I pack it into a cup. I also plan to make and freeze, then bake. Do you think that I should roll them in panko prior to baking so that it does not get soggy in the freezer?
Hello Dselmal!! When I made these bites years ago, I only measured the kale by packing it into a measuring cup. But if I had to guess, I would say it was about 1/2 of a 6-ounce package, which is about 3-ounces (this is only a guess!).
Also, if you check my Notes and Tips section, you can prepare them, roll in panko, freeze them, pop them into the oven, and bake them. Or you can bake them first, then freeze them and pop them into a warm oven to reheat for a few minutes.
I hope this helps! Have a great week! 🙂
thanks for the amount info regarding Kale! That does help.
Never had the TJ’s version but I’ve been getting a lot of french kale, curly kale, baby spinach, and black spinach and had no idea what to do with it all – this recipe has been a godsend. It seems to really handle any greens I throw at it. My roommates love it and it’s a favorite in my household! Hits the perfect balance of healthy but decadent. I do skip the cayenne and add a little fresh garlic. Any thank you so much!
Hi Caitlyn! Welcome to our blog, it’s so nice to meet you! Thank you for trying our favorite recipe, we make them often too. Thanks so much for your lovely comment, we truly appreciate it. Have a great day! 🙂
I like you recipe very much and must try today. Thank You
Thank you very much! ENJOY!
These were super easy and a great way to use the kale and spinach from my garden. I added some additional onion powder as well as garlic powder and coated with Italian Panko crumbs. Made 1 batch to eat now and over 8 dozen and froze them for future appetizer needs!!!
Hello Lari! Thank you so much for making our Spinach and Kale Bites! And welcome to our blog, it’s so nice to meet you! Please come back again and try more recipes, we’d love to hear from you again. Have a great Father’s Day!
This recipe was delicious! Was so happy to make these after being disappointed that TJs discontinued. Thank you! I think next next I might try adding some grated Parmesan cheese into the panko break coating mixture for added flavor!
Hi Kathryn! So happy to hear you found what you were looking for! And welcome to our blog! It’s so nice to meet you. 🙂
Yes I was very disappointed when T.J. discontinued these because my picky grandson loved them (and me too!) I am so glad to have found this copy cat recipe. T.J. also stopped selling the delicious portabella turnover bites which we served every Christmas. than goodness I still had the box and copied the ingredients. I now make these on my own too.! Much appreciated !
So glad to hear Wendy!! … and Happy New Year!! Hope you see you return for more delicious ideas and recipes here at 2 sisters recipes! Have a great weekend! 🙂
Thanks for sharing. My toddler loved it! I used crushed up cheese crackers instead of panko and it worked out well.
Wow – That’s sounds delicious too! Thanks Maliha for the tip! Have a great week! 🙂
Trader joe’s has officially discontinued their spinach & kale bites!!
I made yours and my 16 month old inhaled them. Thanks for sharing the recipe, it’s delish.
One note- It might have been because it was my first time making them, but they definitely took me closer to 30-40 minutes instead of 15 minutes.
Oh no! I wonder why they discontinued them. Anyway, so happy you enjoyed these bites. FYI I even turned this recipe into a glorious spinach and kale quiche! I hope you’ll get a chance to try that recipe!
And yes, I will edit the time to make them, I wrote 15 minutes for the baking time only, so I will go in and change it- thanks!
These were delicious! TJ’s spinach and kale bites are a family favorite. My toddler can eat a whole box, which I love, and as working parents, they’re easy and nutritious. But you’re right, these are less expensive and I’ve also noticed that our TJ’s boots these from their frozen section during a big holiday or something like the Super Bowl. So this weekend I decided to try making a big batch and I’m so happy I did! I may try adding more cheese and some garlic next time, but these were even crispier than the TJ’s ones and full of flavor. Thanks!
So happy to hear that you enjoyed these bites!! And a special thanks for leaving a comment and letting me know! I will be posting another spinach and kale recipe so please check back this week! Have a great weekend!
Are these good not warm as a finger food at a picnic?
Yes, absolutely. You can serve these spinach bites at room temperature.
Yes, absolutely you can serve these spinach bites at room temperature.
Hi, I would like to make these with frozen kale and frozen spinach. Do you know how much I would add of each? I’m assuming 5 oz of spinach (as in the recipe), but should I do the same amount for the kale (about an ounce less)? Thanks!
I would use the same amount of frozen kale. Remember, when you defrost to squeeze out excess water. It should be fine. The cheese is what covers the taste of kale, so it should be ok.
So yummy and so easy to make! And the big test was the Hubby loved them! (Great way for him to eat more veggies). Thank you so much I will pin this.
Thanks so much! And Thank you for pinning!!
I like Parmesan and spinach even on their own, now your yummy recipe blends them together in bite size. Thank you very much for your idea, I'll try it right away.
I loved these and they were a big hit at the party. I just made one change which is rather than add the spinach and kale at the same time, I put in just the kale, covered and simmered till kale was tender, then added the spinach and wilted it.
Actually two changes, cause I also seasoned it at that point (rather than tasting it with the raw egg!)
So glad hear the outcome was great! Your method of doing it sounds good! So happy your guests enjoyed them. Have a great weekend!
And thank you for leaving a comment – your tips will encourage other cooks to try different methods of making these healthy bites! 🙂
I did the same — chopping and steaming the kale first, as it requires more cooking time than spinach does. Also added a bit more parmesan. Took these to a St. Patrick’s Day party and they were devoured! I’ve been making a different Spinach Ball appetizer for years, but that’s now going out the window because this one is FAAAAAR better!
Hi Michele! You are SO Sweet to tell us your outcome! Thank you so much. We are delighted to hear you enjoyed our recipe for these spinach and kale bites! They are our favorite, and we make them all time. Keep on cooking and baking… and have a happy and healthy weekend!!
Thanks for the recipe!
Do I need to defrost the bites before baking?
Hi Anonymous! No, you don't have to defrost the bites before baking. They bake easily as long as you preheat your oven. Enjoy!
Hermosos y exquisitos bombones de espinacas son geniales,abrazos
Hi Lori's niece! So glad you enjoy these bites! Thank you for taking the time to leave a sweet comment, we really appreciate it. Thank you again… and have a great weekend.
Xo Anna an Liz
I've been a big fan of these TJ bites, so is my daughter. My Aunt Lori sent me your recipe and I made them tonight — honestly, these are FAR BETTER than TJ's in my opinion. I had always felt theirs were a bit too salty too. And the flavor of yours is a better balance. THANK YOU!!!!
Has anyone been able to work out a rough nutritional breakdown of these or know where I could work that out myself ? (I know mine may be different as I had to veganise them, but a rough idea wouldn't hurt)
Hi Gina! We have a post called "How to get calorie count with our recipes" and you can find it under our Recipe Index down the right side bar – it will give you the nutritional breakdown you are looking for.
I didn't have any parmesan cheese on hand so I used smoked Gouda and added a bit of garlic to the onions. It turned out FANTASTIC. I also prepped these the night before and put them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and stuck them in the fridge. When I was ready to bake them I set it out for 20 minutes before baking them. It took a few minutes extra in the oven but they came out perfectly crispy and delicious. Everyone asked for the recipe. Thanks!
Hi Randa! Thank you! We love Gouda and garlic too, adding them in was a great idea! Thanks so much for leaving a lovely compliment and for stopping by! 🙂
Can you omit the spinach and only use kale?
Hi Leo, you probably could but the flavors will be different. I copied the ones we bought at Trader Joes since we loved the idea of having both greens incorporated into these little bites. But it doesn't hurt to try! Go for it and let us know how they turn out.
Do you think these could be made dairy – free? My toddler could use more green veggies, but he has a milk protein intolerance. The butter I'd probably sub in coconut oil and a little salt, but I'm not sure about the parmesan. Thanks!
You can sustitute butter with Earth Balance buttery spread ( it's dairy free) I also looked up on line and there is a Soymage vegan Parmesan cheese you could try. Also you can try any vegan gourmet cheddar cheese as an alternative in place of the Parmesan, they sell at whole foods or online " Follow Your Heart" brand. And the "Go Veggie" brand has a Parmesan grated topping ( lactose free) which might work very nicely. I hope these are helpful suggestions. Please let us know which one works for you.
Warmly, Anna and Liz
Hi, just as a future note for anyone else that needs non-dairy cheese (or are vegan…I veganised these), you can make 'parmesan' by combining 3/4 cup cashews, 1/4tsp garlic powder, 3/4 tsp sea salt & 3 tbsp of nutritional yeast then blitz in a food processor, I'm not sure how this will differ in taste from those with parmesan but these were so so yummy (I also cut out the egg and reckon they could probably do with the addition of some other medium to bind them a little better…oats perhaps?) regardless, they tasted so delicious.
Ps. The 'Parmesan' cheat is courtesy of the minimalist baker, I hope you don't mind me mentioning her (I didn't want to take credit)
Thank you, Gina! This is exactly what I was scouring the comments section for!
Yes, Gina gave a wonderful tip on how to make these spinach and kale bites vegan. A big thanks to Gina from us too!
Yes, Gina gave us a great tip how to make “parmesan cheese vegan! A big thank you to Gina from us again!
Hi Gina! Thank you for the tips! Anyone who is vegan will benefit from your tips. Thanks again! 🙂
These are really tasty – I just made a batch – first time I have eaten kale and trying something new each week this year. So easy to do. I used red onion for the first bit and seemed to be tasty so a good back up 🙂
So glad to hear that and thank you for the tip about using red onion! It helps to know what can be added or substituted. Thanks again!
THANK YOU!!! I am SO grateful for this post. I am literally obsessed with Trader Joe's spinach and kale bites but they are so expensive. I knew there *had* to be someone who duped the recipe. I make two huge trays of these for a dinner party this holiday season and they were a HUGE hit. Everyone loved them including the children who are normally picky eaters. Two giant baking sheets of these were gone by the end of the night. These are exactly like the Trader Joe's bites but they are fresh and preservative free. I can't thank you enough.
Hello Anonymous and thank you for you comment! We ' re glad to hear you love them as much as we do. Enjoy!
I followed the recipe exactly and the kale was still a little fibrous. Not bad, just a little toothy. I froze half the batch and baked them a few days later at 375* for 20 minutes and they were perfectly cooked and the kale was soft. Apparently freezing kale will soften it the same way as massaging it with oil and salt works for a salad.
The recipe is a perfect replication of Trader Joe's product and I really appreciate it. I'm thinking I'd like to add a little garlic powder to the mix so if anyone has an idea of how much, I'd appreciate any suggestions.
HI Anonymous! Thank you for trying our recipe, and yes you can certainly add garlic powder, I would suggest to use 1/8 teaspoon and will add more deliciousness! Enjoy!
the photograph is really seducing my taste buds…
i guess my lil nieces would love this kind of savoury khealty green veggies snack once i've made it for them
Hi! It's so nice to see you again! Thank you for the lovely comment!
I assembled the bites the day prior to heating/serving. They seemed a bit wet/soggy from being in the fridge so I did roll them in Panko prior to baking to give them a bit of a crunch. That seemed to do the trick. If you have the time, I suggest not making them ahead of time.
However, they tasted great and got a favorable response! thanks
Thank you for the tip! We appreciate the fact that you took the time to give us your feedback. It's means a lot to us. Thanks again. Looking forward to hearing from you again. Warmly, Anna and Liz
do you think I can make/assemble these a day before, pop them in the fridge, and then bake/cook the following day?
Hi ! Absolutely! Yes we have made them one day before and then baked them before guests arrived. Please let us know how they turned out for you – we love to get feedback. Thanks for trying our recipe!'
Anna and Liz
I made these for a potluck, and everyone loved them. I only had unsalted butter, and thought they could have used a little more salt. Next time, I will try the recipe using gluten-free bread crumbs.
Hi Madeline!! So glad to hear that!! Thank you for letting us know. It's so nice to meet you, and welcome to out blog! We hope you continue to enjoy our recipes. Have a great weekend!
xxoo Anna and Liz
THANK YOU!!!!!! Omgoodness these are so good I couldn't even get them on a plate! The whole family just stood around the pan and ate. them. all. My kids are 5 and 3 by the way! I did add chunks of mozzarella too and that added a little extra special treat inside. FANTASTIC recipe that will be in my arsenal as long as I can stand up to cook!! SO SO thankful!!
Hello and thank you for the lovely comment! So glad your family loved these little bites!
The addition of the mozzarella is a great idea, thanks for the tip! Enjoy!
I'm just making my first batch and would like to freeze them…not sure whether to cook them first and then freeze, or freeze and then cook. comments???
First, we are terribly sorry for not seeing your comment earlier,( we have been terribly hacked and have not resolved the problem yet) anyway, if we had to guess, we believe that you can freeze them before baking them. If you bake them first, then freeze- they may turn out dry the second time they go into the oven. But, that is only our guess! Regardless, we hope they turned out well for you, and please let us know otherwise. Thanks again.
Warmly, Anna and Liz
Don't know how it turned out for anonymous, but I froze and then cooked several days later and worked great!! 🙂
Thank you Rachel! So glad to hear that it worked. We love to hear how things work out after they have been frozen, thanks again for the tip! Our readers will thank you as well! Warmly, Anna and Liz
These are incredible, much better than what they sell at TJ! My family and friends are all asking for the recipe.
Oh Thank you ! So glad to hear you love them! Happy New Year!!
Oh thank you Sue!! So glad you like these!
These sound wonderful! I have begun to enjoy kale too and love that it's so nutritious. I'm going to be pinning this one to my appetizer board! Thank you.
Thank you so much for this recipe – my family and I loved this and saved so much money making it at home. (and I made a double batch so I could freeze some) Yum!!!
So glad to hear you love this recipe and Thank you for leaving a comment! It means a lot to us. My family loves these little bites so much we now make them often. Have a great weekend! 🙂
Warmly, Anna and Liz
Im going to try thm right now but instead of panko. I'll use almond meal. Grain free. Can't wait, i can eat a $5.00 box from tj's in abput 15 minutes.
Hi Anonymous! We would love to know how they turn out with the almond meal, please let us know. Thanks for the lovely comment!
I had the Trader Joe's version last night and I loved them! I am so obsessed with them but they are expensive. I stumbled upon this blog doing a google search hoping someone recreated the recipe. I can't wait to try this at home!
HI Anonymous! So glad to hear you found our site! Welcome! These bites turned out better than Trader Joe's ( but don't tell them I said that), hope you will enjoy them as much as we do.
I can see making these in a patty form and eating them like burgers.
What a fabulous meal with a brimming plate of late season, dry-farmed Early Girl Tomatoes…
HEAVEN and Yum.
Cannot thank you enough … spinach and kale can be found in our markets year-round.
Hi Anonymous! You bet, that's a great idea to make these into vegetarian burgers. I think I will try it. Thanks.
Hey Jackie! Thanks, I think your kids will go bonkers for these. Enjoy!
How did I miss these? Kale and spinach rolled up together. Perfection! What a perfect and healthy afternoon snack! xoxo, Jackie
Thank you ! Would love to give it a try!
Yum!! I have never tried kale before, but these cute bites make me want to try some!
Well now I know i won't ever be buying those TJ's bites to sample! not now that I can make them myself that is. These are the perfect appetizer bites!