Beef and Quinoa Meatballs

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Meatballs are a kind of weird thing to like but I love them. You can make a sandwich out of them, eat them with spaghetti or if you’re like me, sometimes they’re good all of their own! You don’t hear much about meatballs these days but I’m thinking they’re going to have a resurgence some day just like burgers, cauliflower and fro-yo have. In three years when someone dubs meatballs the food of summer, don’t say I didn’t tell you so!!!

These meatballs check all the boxes.  Packed with good protein from the beef and quinoa (say what!?) and nutritious with grated carrot and zucchini packed inside, they are better for you than the average meatball. Also, they are equally as tasty as they are healthy because of a little bit of soy sauce, ketchup and some garlic. You may even want to add more garlic, as I did. I doubled it because 1 tbsp is never enough garlic for me.

I was so excited about these little guys, I just ate them plain with a little dipping sauce. My boyfriend made a meatball hoagie but the possibilities are endless. You could even use the recipe to make a meatloaf if you prefer.

Recipe via Whole Foods

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 3/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup grated carrot
  • 1/4 cup grated zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten


To cook quinoa bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a small pot. Pour in ½ cup quinoa, cover and simmer until water is absorbed, 10-15 minutes. Place paper towel on top of pot and put lid back on. Let sit for off heat for 5 minutes then fluff with a fork. Makes about 1 1/2 cups. Use 3/4 cup in this recipe, and reserve the remaining for another use.

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients until well combined. Shape into 16 balls and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Roast until cooked through and golden brown, 15 to 17 minutes. Serve hot.


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