Dig into a dish of these Delicious Chicken Quinoa Meatballs in a Veggie Sauce. Perfect over pasta or with Chips
Fancy meatballs, but find Chicken or Turkey to be a little dry? The genius addition of some quinoa in these Chicken Quinoa Meatballs in Veggie Sauce, works perfectly, make them filling too. They are so good, I even ate a bowl of these just as they are in the sauce, but you could totally serve with pasta or mashed potatoes or any other side for that matter.
Usually, when making meatballs, breadcrumbs are added to keep them super moist, but not one to want to use up too many (although you totally could do that if you want to and still be on plan), I figured quinoa would be great. I already have quite a few Quinoa Recipes on the blog, like these Apple Cheddar Quinoa bites and this Chicken, Parmesan and Zucchini Quinoa Bake.
Quinoa is a lovely tasting grain (well it is actually a seed, but most refer to it as grain), it's similar in size to couscous when dry, but once cooked goes nice and fluffy with a nutty flavour. I love it and always have a jar of it in my pantry. For these Chicken Quinoa Meatballs, I used a tricolour quinoa, but regular quinoa will work the same if you can't get hold of that variety, I just like the colours the tricoloured gives to the meatballs.
The sauce for this dish is amazing, fresh tomatoes, zucchini and garlic, you just can't go wrong with a fresh homemade sauce. If you want to use canned tomatoes, then by all means do, but you can't beat the taste of fresh tomatoes. To peel them I don't bother blanching, I use this handy serrated vegetable peeler, which peels the skin of so easily.
These Chicken Quinoa Meatballs in Veggie Sauce are perfect for those who are gluten free or dairy free.
- For the meatballs:
- 1lb/455g of extra lean ground chicken or turkey
- ¼ cup/60ml of tricolour uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- ½ cup/120ml of water
- ¼ tsp of garlic powder
- handful of fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 large egg, beaten
- salt and black pepper
- spray oil
- For the sauce:
- 300g of fresh ripe tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 zucchini, finely diced
- 1 tbs of balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbs of sukrin:1 (or other sweetener of choice) - optional
- 1 cup/240ml of chicken stock
- ½ cup/120ml of crushed tomatoes (or passata)
- spray oil
- salt and black pepper
- fresh chopped Italian Parsley
For the meatballs:
- Add the quinoa to a saucepan, add the water, bring to a boil, and then simmer until water is almost absorbed. Turn off heat, cover with lid and leave for 10 mins (steam will continue cook resulting in lovely fluffy quinoa).
- Once quinoa is ready, transfer to a large bowl to cool
- Preheat oven to 200c/400f
- Add the ground chicken to the quinoa in the bowl, along with the garlic powder, egg, freshly parsley and salt and black pepper and combine all together.
- Form into approx 12 large meatballs (can make smaller ones if you prefer)
- Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Spray over the top with spray oil and bake in the oven for 15 mins, remove and set aside.
For the sauce:
- Spray a deep frying pan with spray oil
- Add the onion and garlic and fry for approx 5 mins to soften
- Add in the fresh tomatoes and simmer until they start to break down into a sauce.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, stock, balsamic vinegar, sukrin and zucchini
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat
- Add meatballs, cover with a lid and simmer on a low heat for 20 mins.
- Taking off the lid a couple of times to spoon the sauce over the meatballs.
- Season as needed with salt and black pepper.
- Sprinkle with fresh chopped Italian Parsley
- Serve with your choice of sides.
Variation: Use ground beef, turkey or pork instead of chicken
Please see below for full nutritional info and additional details about recipe:
- Calories - scroll down to nutritional info box
- WW Points and other Slimming or Weight Loss programs - due to plans regularly changing and updating, we recommend calculating with the official tools you get as a member to those plans to ensure accuracy of values.
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Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 260Total Fat 6.8gSaturated Fat 1.9gCholesterol 49mgSodium 360mgCarbohydrates 19.3gFiber 3.4gSugar 3.4gProtein 5.3g