Mini Ham and Cheese Quinoa Cups


Mini Ham and Cheese Quinoa Cups are poppable, gluten-free, and packed with protein. The perfect breakfast or snack!

I had this whole spiel ready about how real men do, in fact, eat quiche, as demonstrated by Ben who housed nearly a dozen Mini Ham and Cheese Quinoa Cups that resemble wee baby quiche for dinner, but then I remembered that quiche have crust and Mini Ham and Cheese Quinoa Cups do not, so in reality they’re more like mini frittatas and well, all was tragically lost.

Ok, let me explain. First of all, Mini Ham and Cheese Quinoa Cups might be my new favorite thing on the planet. I may or may not have squealed with delight when they came out of the oven. THEY ARE SO CUTE!!!!

They’re basically mini frittatas containing eggs, egg whites, cooked quinoa, shredded zucchini, cheddar cheese, and diced ham, but I can’t name ’em Mini Ham and Cheese Frittatas because Ben won’t knowingly eat frittatas. Or quiche, for that matter. Mini Ham and Cheese Quinoa Cups, though? Can’t get enough.

These perfectly poppable bites are packed with protein at 3 grams per mini cup, thanks to the quinoa and lean ham. They’re low in calories too, at less than 50 calories a piece.

Plus, they’re so versatile. Like I said, my Mini Ham and Cheese Quinoa Cups contain fresh zucchini, ham and sharp cheddar cheese, because that’s what I had in the fridge, but I can think of a million different combos that would be equally as delish. Broccoli cheddar. Sundried tomato & pesto. Mushroom & swiss. The possibilities are endless!

Plus they take no time at all to make. Simply combine all the ingredients in a bowl.


Add the cooked quinoa, and mix again.

Liberally spray a mini muffin tin with non-stick spray, fill the cups up with the mixture, and bake for about 20 minutes or until the cups are golden brown around the outside.


Almost too cute to eat! Almost. 

Mini Ham and Cheese Quinoa Cups

Makes 28 mini cups


Mini Ham and Cheese Quinoa Cups are poppable, gluten-free, and packed with protein. The perfect breakfast or snack!


  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (about 3/4 cup uncooked)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup zucchini, shredded
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup diced ham
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • salt & pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix to combine. Liberally spray a mini muffin tin with non-stick spray and spoon mixture to the top of each cup. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges of the cups are golden brown. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before removing from the mini muffin tin.
  2. To freeze: Place baked cups on a baking sheet then freeze until solid and transfer to a freezer bag. Microwave for 20-40 seconds depending on how many you're reheating.
  3. For regular-sized muffin tins: Bake for 25-30 minutes (Note: I have not tried this myself, although several readers have left comments saying this works!)


Adapted from So Very Blessed

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,

You could eat mini quinoa cups for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner – hot or cold. They’d even be great for a potluck, shower, or party. Be warned though, once you pop, it’s hard to stop! ; )

Also check out my Mini Pizza Quinoa Cups, and Mini BLT Quinoa Cups!

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  1. These look absolutely amazing!! I can’t wait to try them.

  2. Michelle 02.16.2012

    Thank you- these look great! I whenever cook quinoa I always end up making more than I need, so I love to have recipes for the leftovers!

  3. Matt 02.16.2012

    I would put some chopped up asparagus spears in place of the zucchini and finish them off with a few splashes of Frank’s red hot. Delicious

  4. These have springtime written all over them! They look delish. Yum!

  5. Love your addition of quinoa!

  6. Julia Steele 02.16.2012

    I’m always looking for things to do with quinoa too. Genius!

  7. Faith 02.16.2012

    I have been looking for other ways to use my quinoa. These look awesome. Can’t wait to try them!

  8. Kira 02.16.2012

    Can’t wait to make these!

  9. Maria 02.16.2012

    Love this idea!

  10. These are adorable!
    I can’t wait to try them out!

  11. Lauren 02.16.2012

    These are adorable and look delicious! I’m thinking these would be great on a salad.

  12. these look absolutely fab! love recipes that make tons of leftovers… especially when you can grab and go from the fridge!

  13. jenny 02.16.2012

    i can’t wait to try these. also have been looking for another way to have my quinoa! may be a new staple!

  14. These are so cute and look SO easy to make! I just tried quinoa for the first time and loved it, but haven’t used it again since then. I think it needs to make its way back into my kitchen :-) Thanks for the recipe!

  15. Those look so good. What a unique recipe. Thanks

  16. nicole 02.16.2012

    How long would you add to the cooking time if you were to make them in a regular muffin cup. I think I could control the portion size better by eating 1 large one instead of 50 million mini ones ;)

  17. Clare 02.16.2012

    I can’t wait to try these!!

  18. Dee 02.16.2012

    Seriously I have a girl crush on you. You’re recipes are freaking awesome!

    • Dee 02.16.2012

      So much so I used the wrong your. *sigh* this is what good looking food does to my brain. DUH!

  19. These look great! Isn’t it funny how if you turn the food into a cup or a bite our guys suddenly love them? cute!

  20. Candy 02.16.2012

    I’ve never had quinoa and actually just bought some and I’m going to make these for our breakfast on Sunday. They look sooo good!!

  21. This is the second post I’ve seen today with baked it! I’m all about the crunch factor when it’s baked. :)

  22. Girl you are always killing it in the kitchen!!!!

  23. Kayla 02.17.2012

    These looks amazing & they are gluten-free! A perfect snack or packed lunch option for those of us who still brown-bag it! :)

  24. Lu 02.17.2012

    Wow they look fab! I’m always looking for new ideas – I’ve never thought of using quinoa that way. You know what I’m doing this weekend….

  25. This looks like the perfect thing for me to make on Sundays for my guy to snack on all week long. Great idea!

  26. Angela 02.17.2012

    These look awesome!!!I love having food that looks just as good as it tastes. I’ve done a similar version using grits but I will defintely have to give quinoa a try!

  27. Kristin 02.17.2012

    Silly question…what kind of ham did you use? Deli meat ham?
    These look delicious!!

  28. Anna L 02.17.2012

    what a great recipe. These look delish!

  29. Nicole 02.17.2012

    I will definitely try these! Thanks for posting a gf recipe- I am always looking for new ideas on what to make :)

  30. shutupandrun 02.17.2012

    These look GREAT. Could you:
    1. freeze them?
    2. make them in a regular sized muffin pan?

  31. Sierra Kelly 02.17.2012

    These look fantastic! They actually remind me a lot of a little breakfast quiche recipe I shared a little while back on my blog. (if you make them feel free to drop the offending ‘quiche’ description when serving ;) )

    they’re super easy and make a good ‘to-go’ breakfast for the week. I will definitely be trying these little guys out in the next few weeks, quiona is such an amazing grain.


  32. friday finds | 02.17.2012

    […] Mini Ham&Cheese Quinoa Cups, Iowa Girl Eats […]

  33. Life's a Bowl 02.18.2012

    These look DELICIOUS! Just pinned the recipe and plan to make them ASAP [as in this week] :D

  34. renee 02.18.2012

    I made these this morning, and they were great! If you do make other variations, would you please post them? They are cooled and packed up in the freezer for quick breakfasts in the coming week.

  35. IndianaAnna 02.18.2012

    I just made half a batch of these using ham with leftover roasted cauliflower and asparagus I had in the fridge. Delicious! I will make these again.

  36. Susannah 02.18.2012

    These look really yummy. I am a new reader of your blog, and truly enjoy all of your posts. I really love it when you show us your meals/what you take to work, etc. Thanks! Keep up the great work!

  37. eatingRD 02.18.2012

    These look so adorable! These would be great for a brunch or to take on a road trip. Yum!

  38. Beth W. 02.19.2012

    I made these this morning and I’m going to try to freeze the rest for breakfast to bring to work.

    I used Canadian bacon because the price was better and I didn’t want to have a bunch of leftover ham. Followed the rest of the recipe. They tasted great!

  39. […] Recipe from Iowa Girl Eats Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in Uncategorized by lakesweet. Bookmark the permalink. […]

  40. […] 2/21 Mini Quinoa Cups (Also from Iowa Girl Eats. Can you tell I love Iowa Girl Eats? She posts recipes that include things I already have in my […]

  41. kate 02.20.2012

    i made these with chicken sausage instead of ham and they were so so so good. thanks for sharing!

  42. Rachel 02.20.2012

    Making them tonight! Our mixture didn’t look as liquidy as the picture, but I’m excited to see how they turn out. Can’t wait! We’ve been looking for more good stuff to make with quinoa. Your link the the quinoa mac & cheese was dynamite! (we’re eating the quinoa cups as a side to soup – rather than corn muffins)

  43. Stephanie 02.21.2012

    My family loved them! We are excited to try your soup next. We did soak the Quinoa before we cooked it, it helps aid in digestion and to absorb the nutrients.

    • Heidi 01.17.2014

      glad to know you made this recipe after soaking! I soaked some quinoa for the first time and wanted to try it out on the kids and I was wondering if it would work in this recipe:)Thanks for posting results, going to make this right now!

  44. BM 02.21.2012

    I just made this tonight and it was fabulous! I can’t wait to sub in other veggies as well. I will add it to pizza and omelets as my “recipes to use up produce”

  45. Stefanie 02.22.2012

    I actually cooked these and used shrimp instead of ham and they were awesome!!

  46. […] Ham & Cheese Quinoa Cups. I saw this recipe from Iowa Girl Eats and about fell out of my seat! This is a GREAT idea for something to make at […]

  47. Kat 02.24.2012

    These look really tasty. I have a bit if a dumb question. One of your photos shows all of your ingredients before you mix them together. I see eggs, parsley, cheese, ham, zucchini, something white. It’s the white powder I can’t make out. It looks like salt but that would a a lot of salt so I’m sure that’s not what it is. Is it powdered egg whites?

  48. Tom 02.24.2012

    Omigosh! I found this, and you, through someone else’s “Pin”. Just made them tonight and love them. Thanks.

  49. Sarah HS 02.28.2012

    I made these tonight for the fam. I made them in a regular sized muffin tin & baked them for about 25 minutes. My six-year-old is taking one in her lunch tomorrow. Success!

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