I found this recipe on one of my favorite blogs, How Sweet It Is. I was really intrigued by the idea of using quinoa in meatballs. It’s a great gluten-free alternative to traditional breadcrumbs (although I used a little bit of Panko in this recipe) AND you get all the extra protein, fiber and other added benefits of this superfood. You can easily make this gluten-free by substituting more quinoa for the breadcrumbs. I cooked the meatballs in the liquid of a can of tomatoes and added sauce afterwards, but you can cook them directly in your favorite red sauce. Check back later in the week for a review of the Giada de Laurentiis Pepper & Eggplant Tomato Spread I used!

Turkey quinoa meatballs

Adapted from How Sweet It Is
Makes 18-20 meatballs

1 pound ground turkey
1/3 cup cooked quinoa*
3 tbsp. unseasoned breadcrumbs (I used Panko)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 large egg, beaten
1 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
2-3 cups of marinara or other red sauce
*I happened to have some leftover quinoa, but if you’re cooking it specifically for this recipe, use just slightly less than ¼ cup dry.

Thoroughly combine all ingredients except olive oil and tomatoes in a large bowl. Roll mixture into golf ball-sized meatballs and set aside. Heat olive oil in a large pan and cook meatballs in batches over medium heat, turning them every 1-2 minutes until completely browned. Transfer meatballs to a saucepan large enough to fit them  in a single layer and add tomatoes and their liquid. Simmer over medium heat for 10-12 minutes, stirring carefully. When liquid has reduced, add sauce and continue cooking until sauce has heated through.