We have a family dinner winner!
I’m ridiculously excited about these meatballs. We had them for dinner last week a million different ways (on top of pasta, on top of zucchini noodles, as a side with our Hanukkah latkes) and we never got tired of them, which is saying a lot because I’m one of those people who has a hard time finishing leftovers because I get bored.
But then these meatballs happened, and I think I could probably eat them every day for the rest of my life. Tender, juicy, and just a little bit cheesy, they are packed with quinoa and gluten-free.
A healthy meatball my whole family will eat? I think I’m in ♥
The other amazing thing about these meatballs (the first thing being the fact that my three-year-old will actually eat them) is that you can make them in about 30 minutes from start to finish. Just mix all the ingredients, shape them into balls, and pop them into the oven. No pan-frying, no special sauce to make.
The quinoa takes the place traditionally held by bread crumbs in this recipe, but it’s not just an afterthought. Its nutty flavor shines through, so you taste it just as much as you taste the chicken. There’s also a little hint of lemon zest, garlic, and parmesan.
Three feels like a hearty, red-sauce restaurant-style serving, but it’s really only a modest amount of meat.
Would you believe this bowl is actually mostly veggies and gluten-free grains? In a word, YAY. ↓↓↓
New Year’s is just around the corner, and I’m making some changes here on my blog. Next year I hope to offer you a lot more simple and healthy weeknight dinner recipes, like these easy baked chicken meatballs with quinoa. Until now, I’ve stuck to vegetarian fare (with the exception of this soup, and a dab of anchovy paste here), but in 2016 I’m going to branch out a little bit.
I’m excited, are you excited?
- 1 pound ground chicken (preferably organic)
- 1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, quinoa, parmesan, egg, garlic, parsley, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. With clean hands, gently work the mixture together until it is well combined. Shape into 12 balls (each about the size of a golf ball) and transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, mix together the tomato paste and olive oil. Brush over the tops of the meatballs. Bake until they are tender-firm to the touch and just beginning to brown, about 20 minutes.