No one’s going to confuse these quinoa vegan meatballs with actual “meat,” and that’s a good thing. They’re substantial, but not too dense. Packed with protein, but not too fatty.
You can go traditional, and serve these with pasta noodles, but I enjoyed these vegan meatballs topped with marinara sauce and served with a big green salad. They’d also make a nice appetizer.
To help bind ingredients together, I used what’s known as a ‘flax egg.’ It’s a combination of flax seed meal (ground flax seeds) and water. When combined, they gel and help provide a structure similar to what you’d find in eggs. A commercial egg substitute such as The Vegg, Neat Egg or Ener-G Egg Replacer could also work well. But since flax seed meal has multiple uses, I usually have it in my kitchen.
Also enhancing the meatballs is non-dairy cheese. (I used Daiya mozzarella shreds). They add a rich, savory flavor. When baked, the quinoa meatballs get crispy on the outside, but the cheese makes them moist and melty on the inside.
Double it! This is one of my new favorite recipes to make in bulk and freeze. I love having homemade food on hand when I’m too busy to cook. So I froze a portion of these vegan meatballs and they reheated beautifully.
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- 1 c quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 1 T flax seed meal
- 3 T water
- 2 T olive oil (divided in 2)
- 1 c yellow onion, finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 t dried basil
- 1 t dried oregano
- 1 t paprika
- ½ t salt
- 1 t lemon zest
- 1 c Daiya mozzarella shreds, chopped (or other non-dairy cheese)
- marinara sauce for serving
- optional fresh parsley for garnish
- Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. (You should end up with about 2 cups cooked quinoa).
- In a small bowl, combine flax seed meal and water and stir to combine. Set aside.
- In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add onion and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Stir in garlic, dried basil, dried oregano, paprika and salt. Stir in cooked quinoa and mix well, cooking another minute or two. Transfer quinoa mixture to a large bowl.
- Stir in flax seed “egg,” lemon zest, and non-dairy cheese shreds and mix well.
- Form quinoa into balls about 1½ inches in diameter. Place on a lined baking sheet. You should end up with about 12. Refrigerate quinoa meatballs for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Brush quinoa meatballs with remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Bake about 20 minutes until brown.
- When serving, top with marinara sauce and fresh parsley, if you like.