Baked Quinoa-Pork Meatballs

September 7, 2018


Author Notes: Instead of breadcrumbs, these meatballs call in cooked quinoa. It brings a fluffier, bouncier texture, nutty flavor, and nubby crust. We loved serving these with spaghetti and tomato sauce, but they’d be just as great atop a grain bowl or big salad. Emma Laperruque

Food52 Review: Read more here: For Even Better Meatballs, Lose the BreadcrumbsThe Editors

Makes: 26 (2 tablespoon–sized) meatballs
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 30 min

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, well-rinsed
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 cup minced or grated yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup finely grated pecorino
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, preferably toasted
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Combine the quinoa and 1 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for 15 or so minutes until the water has absorbed and the quinoa is tender. When it’s done, dump onto a plate and spread out to cool completely. (You can stick it in the fridge or freezer if you’re in a rush.)
  2. When the quinoa is no longer warm, combine that and the rest of the ingredients in a big bowl. You can use your hands or a spoon to combine. Just make sure you don’t overwork the mixture, lest you’ll end up with tough meatballs.
  3. Heat the oven to 400° F. Line a sheet pan with parchment or a silicone mat.
  4. Form the pork mixture into 2-tablespoon sized balls. Line up on the sheet pan. If they seem crowded (which will cause steaming versus browning), divide between two lined sheet pans.
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes until browned and cooked through.

More Great Recipes:
Meatball|American|Italian|Pork|Quinoa|Sheet Pan|Bake|Dinner

Reviews (6) Questions (0)

6 Reviews

Rosalind P. September 21, 2018
i need to keep my meatballs kosher, so will use beef, chicken or turkey (and the added oil/mayo hint is great for the white meat problem). And will have to leave out the parmesan, of course. Could add brewer's yeast for a similar umami flavoring. Hope it works.
 
Rosalind P. September 21, 2018
oops. meant pecorin0<br />
 
susan K. September 21, 2018
What would you think about ground turkey in this recipe for non-red meat eaters?
 
Author Comment
Emma L. September 21, 2018
Hi Susan—great Q! I didn't test a ground turkey (or chicken) alternative, but it should work just fine. If it's possible for you to find some ground dark meat (e.g., thighs), that would be best since it'll have a higher fat content. If you can only find ground white meat, you could add 1 to 2 tablespoons (or more) of olive oil or mayo to the mixture. The easiest way to test if you'd want more oil or mayo is: Cook one meatball in the oven (or even a skillet on the stove), then adjust the fat as needed. If you try, let me know how it goes!
 
Sean B. September 12, 2018
Emma, I'm stoked to try these! What a cool variation.
 
Author Comment
Emma L. September 12, 2018
Yay—thanks, Sean!