Quinoa Meatballs!


Who doesn’t like a good meatball?  Well I’ve always been a big fan of them– on top of my spaghetti, in my meatball subs, and even in my movies (“Wedding Singer”).  They are just so good!  I’ve tested a bunch of vegan and gluten-free meatball recipes, but for a while, I wasn’t a fan of any of them.  One day, though, I serendipitously came up with an idea for a new meatball while I was making veggie burgers. I thought to myself, ‘hey- this mixture would make a mean meatball’.  The next day, I made the veggie patty recipe again, and instead of forming patties, I formed them into meatballs.  They were perfect!  I love their sturdy texture, they hold up in my sauce quite nicely, they taste good and they are also packed with lots of protein, fiber and warming foods.  With a good marinara, these meatballs are a winner! (Also, you can use this mixture to make burger patties, too!)

Quinoa Meatballs

Time: 45 minutes

Servings about 40 meatballs




2 cups water

1 cup quinoa

3 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 onion, finely chopped

1/4 red pepper, finely chopped

3/4 poblano chile pepper, deseeded and destemmed, finely chopped (can sub with 4 jalapenos)

3 cups spinach, finely chopped

2 stalks of celery, finely minced

2 small carrots, peeled and minced

1.5 tsp celtic or Himalayan sea salt

1 tbsp of cumin

1/4 tsp + cayenne pepper

1 cup oat flour



1. Cook, drain and cool quinoa in filtered water.  Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the ingredients.

2. In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, add the onion, garlic, bell pepper, pasilla pepper, celery, and carrot and cook until onions are translucent.  You do not need any oil to sauté this mixture since the water from the onions and other veggies will seep out and will help cook the rest of the vegetables.

3. Add the salt, pepper, cumin, spinach and quinoa. Stir well and cook for an additional 3 minutes.  Remove the pan from heat and add the oat flour.  Stir well until everything starts to bind together and the mixture cools.  If it doesn’t bind together right away, add filtered water, a tablespoon at a time, at most 3-4 tablespoons.

4. Disclaimer: I recommend using gloves, or just have a slice of lime handy afterward because the hot peppers can burn your hands. Rubbing your hands with lime can help alleviate any burning.

Using your hands, form the mixture into meatballs, using 2 Tbsp of the mixture per meatball.


5. Heat a large pan over medium heat (I recommend cooking on a non-stick pan) with 1 tablespoon of oil or use non-stick cooking spray (I use coconut cooking spray) to prevent sticking to the pan.  Brown all sides of the meatball.  Alternatively, brown them in shallow bath of oil on medium heat and remove when browned.  Drain on a paper towel.

6. Add the meatballs into your cooked marinara sauce, top your pasta with meatballs, or stuff your sandwich with meatballs.

Makes 40 meatballs.

Note: This mixture can also be used to make burger patties! I usually make a few patties to freeze or to enjoy the next day. :)


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4 Thoughts on “Quinoa Meatballs!

  1. Lynne on April 6, 2014 at 8:17 am said:

    Made your quinoa meatballs for supper last night. Everybody – vegan and nonvegan loved them. I added red chilies, cilantro, and ginger – because I served them with stir fried rice and an asian salad with sesame dressing. I see this recipe as a wonderful base. I plan to use basil when I want to serve them with Italian style tomato sauce and pasta. For Indian flavours I would use green chilies, cilantro, ginger, turmeric, garam masala. Thank you so much. I’ve been gluten free for about a year, but have just started on my vegan journey. And you web site, makes me excited!
    Also, just want to mention that I made your favourite pancake/waffle recipe for a group of 10 year olds on Saturday morning and they loved them. I used a ripe banana, instead of the apple sauce and it worked well.

  2. Hi Lynne!

    Thank you so much for your feedback! I’m so happy to hear that you, along with the people in your life, enjoyed the meatballs! Love all your ideas for meatball variations…Mmmmm! I’m also so glad the group of 10 year olds “loved” the waffles! It’s great to know that a ripe banana works in the batter, in place of apple sauce!

    Welcome to the vegan lifestyle! Thank you for including me in your vegan journey– I’m so happy to be a part of your transition! My upcoming app and e-book will be released in hopefully a month or a month-and-a-half, or sooner. I have 40+ new recipes that I will be featuring. Hopefully you will try them out!

    Thanks again for making my night! I love hearing good news! :) Have a wonderful evening, morning, or afternoon, wherever you are in the world!

    All The Best,


  3. Would you be able to use buckwheat/rice flour instead of oat?

  4. Hi Grace!

    Yes, you should be able to use buckwheat flour. My apologies for my delayed reply!

    All the Best,


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