Little baked pumpkin and quinoa pots

RECIPE: Little baked pumpkin & quinoa pots

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Give your little ones a warming, filling and protein-rich meal that looks after their growing bodies with this baked quinoa recipe.

Quinoa is a gluten-free, pseudo-grain and is the only plant protein that has all the essential amino acids in it to make it a complete protein. No combining needed! 

Protein is an important part of the growth phase in children. The amino acids found in protein get absorbed and distributed during digestion to help the body and brain repair and regenerate after a long day of learning, playing and growing, setting your little ones up for another good day. 

This recipe is made with ingredients that are a source of calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin A and beta-carotene which help support healthy bones and immune system.  

It can be hard to find recipes that are both healthy and hit the spot for children but this one will do the trick. It’s like their favourite baked pasta with all the extra benefits that the wholesome, nutritious ingredients give it. 

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vegetarian, gluten-free option


  • 4 cups cooked red or black quinoa (about 1 cup uncooked)
  • 4 cups butternut pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1.5cm cubes
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and cut into eight chunks
  • 2 whole cloves garlic, skin left on
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme or rosemary leaves, finely chopped and divided
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Salt and pepper
  • 250g full cream ricotta
  • 2 large eggs, lightly whisked
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs or a couple of pieces of stale bread, crumbled (use gluten-free if required)
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds, crushed

How to make

  • Heat your oven to 180 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper. Toss the cubed pumpkin in honey, thyme or rosemary, one tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper then spread it out onto the prepared baking tray. Add the chunks of onion as well as the whole garlic cloves to the tray and then place the tray in the oven to roast for 20 minutes. Once done, remove the tray and leave the oven on
  • While the pumpkin is roasting, place the cooked quinoa in a large mixing bowl, add the ricotta and then mix gently until well combined. When the pumpkin, onion and garlic are done, add them to the bowl (squeeze the inside of the garlic out and discard the skin) along with the whisked eggs and fold the mixture together to evenly disperse everything. Season the mixture gently with salt and pepper
  • Combine the parmesan, breadcrumbs, the other tablespoon of thyme or rosemary, crushed pumpkin seeds and one tablespoon of olive oil (if all your topping ingredients are whole, pulse them in your blender or food processor to easily create your crumb)
  • Divide the pumpkin and quinoa mixture between four greased baking pots or one large baking dish and top with the crumb mixture
  • Place in the oven to bake for 15 minutes (pots) or 25 minutes (dish) until the top is golden and the centre is cooked through. When done, remove from the oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes before enjoying!

Roberta's tips

  • Store any uneaten quinoa in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days
  • You can find pre-cooked quinoa in most supermarkets which you can add directly to this recipe. Otherwise, you will need to cook your quinoa as per the directions on the packet prior to preparing the rest of this recipe

Download the recipe

Roberta of Naturo Medico is a Naturopathic Practitioner who specialises in preventative care and women’s health. From her Melbourne-based clinic, Roberta sees women of all ages wanting to meet their own health goals and assists them on their path with personalised treatments specific to their needs.

Alongside practice, Roberta shares healthful and nutrient-rich recipes with her readers who inspire her to continue educating on what health and wellbeing means and how it can be achieved.

Follow @naturomedico on Instagram for more healthy eating inspiration