These cheesy little carrot and cheddar bites are the perfect finger food for a vegetarian party buffet - or just a mid-afternoon snack!
Sometimes it's nice to cook something fancy, to make you feel super grown up and posh. Other times... party food is where it's at. Eating like a toddler at a birthday party can be so satisfying - a few of these carrot and cheddar bites dipped in ketchup makes the best snack.
Bonus points if you serve them on a cocktail stick with a stripy paper napkin.
Cheesy carrot bites
These carrot and cheddar bites are brilliant. Little bites that are crispy on the outside, and soft and cheesy in the middle - the perfect combination.
The carrot gives them a slight sweetness, and having a veggie in there makes you feel a little better about eating party food - but they still remain a fun, cheesy treat.
They're easy to make, utterly delicious, and very toddler-friendly!
As always, the recipe for these cheesy bites is incredibly straightforward. Just mix some breadcrumbs, grated carrot, and grated cheese in a large bowl.
You can add whatever additional flavourings you fancy. I added a bit of my beloved smoked paprika (I will post a recipe without it one day, I promise), but you could use whatever ground spices you like - a bit of chilli powder if you'd like some heat, some garam masala to add an Indian vibe, dried herbs... whatever you fancy.
Then, just crack in a couple of eggs to help hold everything together.
Baked carrot bites
Form the cheesy carrot mixture into little balls, and lay them out on a baking tray.
The balls are baked in the oven, so that's the entirety of the hands-on work done. They really are quick to prepare - grating the cheese and carrot is the job that takes the longest, and even that only takes a couple of minutes!
Just pop the carrot balls in the oven until they're golden brown and crispy, and you're all done!
How should I serve these carrot and cheddar bites?
These carrot and cheddar bites would be perfect served up as finger food at a party - either for kids, or grown ups (just like a good outfit, you can dress them up or down!).
Alternatively, if you don't have any parties coming up, they're great nibbled on their own as a snack. I think they're best eaten warm, but they're totally yummy eaten cold too.
We actually had ours for dinner, served on top of a big salad (and I don't just mean a pile of lettuce - I'm talking lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, pickled onions, feta cheese, creamy Caesar dressing... the works). I just plonked a few carrot bites right on top of each bowl - they were just the thing to turn a simple salad into a really irresistible dinner.
Other vegetarian party food ideas
One item on a buffet table isn't much of a party, so here are a few more vegetarian party food ideas to serve alongside your carrot and cheese bites:
- vegetable sticks and some kind of vegetarian dip or hummus
- vegetarian samosas
- beetroot nuggets or any other kind of breaded veggie
- lentil sausage rolls
- bruschetta or crostini
- slices of vegetarian tart or quiche
- veggie-based salads
- pasta salad / potato salad
- bowls of crisps (chips)
- bowls of spicy nuts
- crackers or breadsticks
Stick all of that on a table next to your cheesy carrot bites, and you've got yourself an amazing vegetarian buffet!
Carrot and Cheddar Bites
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- 100 g bread (~ 2 medium slices)
- 1 large carrot, grated (~ 185g / ~ 6 ½ oz)
- 100 g cheddar cheese, grated (~ 1 cup when grated)
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Black pepper
- 2 eggs
- Oil, for greasing the tray
- Use a food processor to blitz the bread into breadcrumbs (or just crumble it finely if you don't have a food processor).
- Add the breadcrumbs to a mixing bowl, along with the grated carrot and grated cheese. Mix to combine.
- Add the remaining ingredients (apart from the oil), and mix thoroughly.
- Use clean hands to shape the mixture into balls - I ended up with 15 balls in total. Place them on a well oiled baking tray, and bake at 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F) for around 30 minutes, or until crispy and slightly browned.
Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on your exact ingredients. Please calculate your own nutritional values if you require accuracy for health reasons.