Quinoa Zucchini Vegetarian “Meatballs”

Hey everyone! I hope you all are staying healthy these days. Since we are spending more time at home, it is the perfect time to try new recipes. Check out this recipe for these Quinoa Zucchini Vegetarian Meatballs. I took these to a friend’s party and they preferred these over actual meatball sliders. That’s how delicious they are!

I have a friend who is vegetarian and the menu for the party was basically all meat. I didn’t want her to starve! So I had some leftover quinoa in the fridge and I decided to use that as the base for these vegetarian meatballs. These did not last long at all.

These meatballs are soy free and contain 11 grams of protein. I love these as sliders but they absolutely can be eaten over pasta, zucchini noodles, or on top of a pizza. YUM! I have made these with both almond flour and breadcrumbs and both work well. If you have a gluten intolerance or sensitivity, go the almond flour route. You can also use gluten free oats. 

Benefits of cooking with zucchini

Zucchini is in season year round making it a great choice for adding veggies to meals. Zucchini adds moisture to foods and is used in breads, muffins and cakes! I have used zucchini in smoothies as well, check out one zucchini recipe here.

Is zucchini good for you?

Yes! Zucchini contains lutein which is a carotenoid (antioxidant) that has been shown to be possibly effective in treating age related visual conditions. Zucchini is also a good source of magnesium, manganese and vitamin C. Magnesium is important for bone structure and is effective for treating acid reflux and constipation.  Manganese plays a role in metabolism and glucose regulation, and Vitamin C is important for immune function. 

Is quinoa really that healthy?

Yes! Quinoa is one of my favorite things to cook with. Although it is technically a seed, it is considered a whole grain. It is recommended that 50% of our grains be whole. Quinoa, like many grains, also contains protein. Per 1/2 cup serving, it has about 4g of protein. Quinoa is great when trying to eat more plant based because of this. Quinoa is also a good source of iron, magnesium and folate.

Try it out and let me know what you think!

Quinoa Zucchini Vegetarian Meatballs

Meatless meatballs made with quinoa and zucchini.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: sliders, vegetarian, vegetarian meatballs, vegetarian sliders
Servings: 4
Calories: 230kcal
Author: destinationmoderation

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 4 ounce zucchini weight once drained
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 jar pasta sauce optional
  • 12 slider buns optional
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese optional
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil optional
  • chopped parsley optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Prepare the zucchini by shredding it using the large slots of a box grater. Place zucchini shreds in either paper towels or a clean dish rag and squeeze out water. Weight after water has been removed should be around 4 ounces.
  • In large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, drained zucchini, parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, rosemary, basil, garlic, onion powder and eggs. Mix thoroughly.
  • Spray baking sheet with oil. Using a spoon or scoop, scoop 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) sized portions of mixture and roll into a ball and place on sheet. Recipe should make 12 meatballs. Bake meatballs for 20-25 minutes.
  • Remove meatballs from oven and serve as desired. If making meatball sliders, toss in marinara sauce and place meatballs onto slider buns. Top with mozzarella cheese and replace top layer of buns. Brush top with olive oil and parsley and bake 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Notes

Cook quinoa in vegetable broth for best flavor.
1 medium sized zucchini should make ~ 4 ounces 
Nutrition facts based on 3 meatballs per serving

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