Who doesn’t love pizza bites? This plant-forward appetizer is a little bit fancy and a whole lot of fun. Expect tons of flavor and texture from a meatless ‘chorizo’ made with chopped California walnuts, pinto beans, and fragrant herbs and spices. Add zucchini and crumbled goat cheese to the mix for a Mediterranean flavor finish. These mini bagel bites make an excellent afternoon snack or game day appetizer.
To make the walnut ‘chorizo’:
- Add walnuts to a food processor and pulse until finely crumbled. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
- Add pinto beans, lime juice, paprika, oregano, cumin, chipotle powder, salt, and garlic powder to food processor and pulse until mixture resembles ground meat. Stir bean mixture with walnut pieces to combine.
- Heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a medium skillet. Add walnut ‘chorizo’ and cook for 5-7 minutes, until lightly browned, using a spatula to break up into crumbles.
To caramelize the onions:
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a clean pan and add slices of onion. Cook, stirring occasionally for 15-20 minutes, until onion is soft and golden brown.
To assemble the pizza bites:
- Preheat oven to 375ºF and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice bagels in half and place on one baking sheet. Place zucchini slices on the other baking sheet.
- Top bagels and zucchini with 1 tablespoon of marinara and spread with the back of a spoon. Add 1 tablespoon of walnut ‘chorizo’ crumbles. Sprinkle with caramelized onion and goat cheese.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Cool for 5 minutes on baking sheets. Serve pizza bites hot topped with fresh chopped basil.