Easy Protein-Packed Meatballs

When the weather outside is frightful…its nice to be able to stay in and cook!

My mom shared this simple meatball recipe during our Saturday morning phone call, and I felt completely inspired.  I ran to the grocery store to pick up the meat and parsley, and spent less than an hour making the recipe. It is loaded with good-for-you protein (quinoa and lean beef). The fresh parsley is a must, as it brings that delightful peppery kick and pretty green flourish.

You could, of course, make this more labor intensive by making your own marinara sauce. But this version was absurdly easy, which is sometimes all I’m looking for in a recipe. I plan to put a few in the fridge to eat over the next day or two, and then freeze the rest in individual servings to be enjoyed on a weeknight when I’m weary and longing for Italian food. They are hearty enough to enjoy alone, but you could also make a nice little bed of pasta for them, too.

Quinoa and Beef Meatballs (adapted from Food & Wine)
Makes 12 delicious meatballs

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (I used sirloin)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano cheese (Sincere apologies to my foodie friends – I used Kraft cheese in the green bottle)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 24-ounce jar of marinara sauce (I used Barilla)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400° and grease a large baking dish with olive oil or cooking spray. In a large bowl, using your hands (disposable gloves are a must here), gently mix all of the ingredients except the marinara sauce. Form the ground-beef mixture into twelve meatballs.
  2. Arrange the meatballs in the baking dish and roast for 20 minutes, until just cooked through. Spoon the marinara sauce on top and bake until the sauce is hot, about 10 minutes. Garnish with extra grated cheese and serve.


photo 2 (3)


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