I don’t think I’ve met a kid that doesn’t like meatballs and sauce. There are different ways to cook meatballs – some folks pan fry them, others cook them right in the sauce without any browning, and in this case, I oven roasted these meatballs.
Although cooking meatballs directly in sauce is the leanest way to cook them since no oil is needed and results in a nice soft meatball, I think pan frying meatballs yields a nice outer crust, more flavor and a little more texture. Oven roasting provides the best of both worlds – a bit of browning with minimal oil and a tender meatball.
Recently, I came across a recipe for quinoa meatballs on Cooking Light and also in an Food & Wine issue. Both recipes mix cooked whole quinoa in with the meatball mixture, which is a great idea, but I didn’t think my boys would go for it, so I blended the quinoa before mixing it into the meatball mix.
Topped with some sauce and cheese and melted together, these Oven Roasted Quinoa Meatballs went over well with my boys and I loved the fact that they had some extra nutrition from the quinoa.
Oven Roasted Quinoa Meatballs
- 1 1/2 cups cooked red quinoa
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup parsley
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 pound organic lean ground beef
- 3/4 pound antibiotic free ground turkey
- 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese plus more for garnish
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
- fresh parsley finely chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees; grease 9x9 baking pan with olive oil. Place quinoa, garlic, parsley and eggs in food processor and process until almost smooth. Pour into a mixing bowl and mix well with ground meats, 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Form into large meatballs, about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Place in oiled baking dish and roast for 25 minutes or until just cooked through. Drain off excess cooking liquid. Spoon marinara sauce on top and bake until sauce is hot, about 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.
Adapted from Food & Wine.
Shashi @ RunninSrilankan says
You are so right – I don’t think I’ve met a kid who didn’t like meatballs! Love this version with the added fiber and protein of quinoa snuck in – thanks for sharing this recipe Jeanette
Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) says
Love swapping in quinoa for bread crumbs!
I agree Lydia – it works great!
Christine from Cook the Story says
These sound delicious, and I love the quinoa in them!
EA-The Spicy RD says
My kids and hubby will NEVER turn down spaghetti and meatballs! These look delicious and I love your idea to blend the quinoa mixture first. Making soon!!
EA – I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like spaghetti and meatballs!
My lil man is a sucker for meatballs and sauce. I love that you snuck in some quinoa in these! Such a great idea – they sound amazing!
Kelly – these are a great way to get kids to eat quinoa 🙂
Olivia - Primavera Kitchen says
These look so good, Jeanette. I’ve gotta try this recipe because I love quinoa and also meatball. Great combination 😉
Oh my word, these meatballs look fabulous! I love this recipe, and they would be perfectly complimented with some gluten free pasta! 🙂 Yum, Hugs, Terra
I like the idea of using quinoa in meatball!! Genius!
Nami | Just One Cookbook says
So happy to get another great idea of using quinoa! Never thought of putting in the meatballs! Love getting all kinds of new way to use quinoa from you!
Jeanette | Jeanette's Healthy Living says
Thanks everyone – meatballs are always a favorite so it’s a great way to sneak in some healthy quinoa 😉
What a great idea! I recently made quinoa burgers and they were delicious so I can only imagine how great quinoa meatballs would be – wondering if you could do all quinoa instead of turkey and beef… YUM!!
Quinoa burgers sound great Jessica – you could substitute turkey/beef with some mashed beans to help hold the mixture together.
Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom says
Jeanette, I’ve been wanting to try quinoa meatballs for the longest time!!! Pinned and this dish looks sooooo good! And blending the quinoa is a fabulous idea!!!