Gluten-Free Quinoa Meatless Meatballs {with Marinara}

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Now that I am recently self-employed I have been spending my first week of freedom melting in my house. I was tempted to go to Barre class twice in one day because it was a nicely air conditioned environment. I would have really regretted that one. I can only do so much shaking and pulsing…

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I have been trying out a few new meatless options for my vegan/vegetarian clients and honestly, it hasn’t been as tough as I had thought it would be! These meatless quinoa meatballs are quite a tasty alternative to the original meatball. They are just as filling, hold together well, and have great texture. I bet even the biggest meat lovers would swoon for these meatless ones.

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They are great served with hot marinara or can be eaten as is for a solid snack full of with complete proteins and fiber. So make your choice or have them both ways!

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These can also be made vegan by disregarding the parmesan sprinkle and subbing the egg white for a vegan binding agent (egg replacer, flaxseed & water, or just water).

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So many options, so many ways to enjoy them!

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Gluten-Free Quinoa Meatless Meatballs

Serves 2-3


1 ½ cups cooked quinoa

1 cup cooked green lentils, very tender and well drained

¼ cup diced red bell pepper

½ cup diced onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ – ¾ cup gluten free bread crumbs or whole wheat panko bread crumbs

1 tablespoon freshly chopped flat parsley leaves

1 tablespoon freshly chopped oregano

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ tsp smoked paprika

1/4 tsp salt, or to taste

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 egg white (for vegan add 2-3 teaspoons water)

2 tablespoons olive oil

Marinara sauce, optional

Grated parmesan cheese, optional



Preheat oven to 400 F.

Cook quinoa and lentils according to their packages, in separate pots as their cook-time will vary.

In a large non-stick skillet add 1 tablespoon olive oil, and with medium heat and sauté diced onions and bell pepper until tender about 4 minutes, add garlic, parsley and oregano and sauté one more minute.

When lentils and quinoa are done, be sure they are well drained and slightly cooled before handling.

In a large mixing bowl combine sautéed onion, garlic, parsley and oregano along with remaining ingredients, except the remaining oil and optional toppings. Use either a potato masher or fork and mash the ingredients until the lentils are well mashed and everything is combined. Using a cookie scoop (mine is 1 ½ Tbsp) or using your hands, shape into 1 ½ inch (meatless) quinoa meatballs and place on a cookie sheet.

Add remaining 1 tablespoons oil to a large non-stick skillet, heat to medium-low and add quinoa meatballs. Brown meatballs, turn over and brown on the other side. Cook until browned on most sides, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from skillet and place back on the cookie sheet and bake in the oven for another 8-10 minutes until fully heated through and slightly crisp!

You can eat them as is for a solid protein snack, or you can serve with hot marinara and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, if you’d like to indulge a bit!

From the Little Yellow Kitchen,



Author Information: Chrissy & Lauren, San Diego, CA

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