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Scrumptious Indian Vegetarian Meatballs made with paneer, quinoa, and mixed vegetables. Prepare sauce and spaghetti and you’ll have Indian Spaghetti & Meatballs.
Indian Vegetarian Meatballs - Paneer Quinoa Meatballs (GF option)

Indian Vegetarian Meatballs is a twist on the traditional Spaghetti and Meatballs. So how did I do it?
Indian Vegetarian Meatballs - Paneer Quinoa Meatballs (GF option)

Steps to make Indian Vegetarian Meatballs

  • Prepare the quinoa
  • Saute the veggie mixture
  • Blend paneer and veggie mixture
  • Form Paneer Vegetarian Meatballs
  • Bake the Vegetarian Meatballs
  • Prepare the Spaghetti and Sauce
  • Add the baked meatballs to the sauce
  • Serve with Spaghetti

I know it seems like a lot of steps, but the end result will be worth it. This dish is a labor of love and perfect for the weekend.
Indian Vegetarian Meatballs - Paneer Quinoa Meatballs (GF option)

Can I make Paneer Quinoa Vegetarian Meatballs Gluten-Free?

YES! The entire dish is gluten-free with the exception of the pasta. You can easily find gluten-free spaghetti and use that instead of whole-wheat.

Can I make Vegetarian Meatballs Vegan?

No! Paneer is an Indian cheese that lends a creamy addition to this dish. Substituting paneer for tofu would not work in this recipe since paneer is essentially a cheese. Additionally, there is milk in this recipe, however you can substitute cashew nut milk if you wish.

For a vegan and healthier option, you can make Spaghetti Vegetarian Quinoa Meatballs and replace the cheese with vegan cheese.
Indian Vegetarian Meatballs - Paneer Quinoa Meatballs (GF option)

Indian Vegetarian Meatballs with Spaghetti is:

Mouthwatering
Flavorsome
Vegetarian
Whole-Wheat
Spicy
Gluten-Free option (use GF spaghetti)
Indian Vegetarian Meatballs - Paneer Quinoa Meatballs (GF option)

How to make Indian Vegetarian Meatballs recipe step by step?

Prepare the Quinoa in Instant Pot

1. Uncooked quinoa with equal parts of water. Cook for 1 minute in the Instant Pot. This is what you should have.

Prepare the Veggie Mixture for Meatballs

1. Chop ginger, garlic, green chilies, and onion. Set aside 2 cloves, fennel seeds, and frozen mixed vegetables rinsed under warm water, and then drained.
2. Heat up an enameled dutch castiron. Once hot, add oil. Add cloves and fennel. Saute for about 30 seconds. Add ginger, garlic, and green chilies. Saute for 30 seconds.
3. Add onion. Cook for 3-4 minutes until golden brown.
4. Add rinsed & drained mixed vegetables. Saute for 2 minutes.
5. Add tomato paste and all the spices.. coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala, and salt.
6. Stir and add 1/4 cup of cooked quinoa. Stir. Turn off the stove. Let veggie mixture cool.

Prepare the Indian Vegetarian Meatballs

1. Pulse paneer in a food processor.
2. This is what you should have.

3. Add cooled veggie mixture from above.
4. Add fresh cilantro and cardamom powder.
5. Pulse until all the ingredients are well combined.
6. Add chickpea flour (besan) so the dough doesn’t fall apart.

7. Take a mini-scoop and scoop the mixture.
8. Place onto wet hands and form round meatballs.
9. This is what you should have. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

10. Spray a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes, flip meatballs halfway.
11. This is what you should have.

Prepare the Pasta & Sauce

1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.

2. Here are the spices you’ll need along with ginger, garlic, and onions.
3. Heat the same enameled dutch oven on medium heat, once hot, add oil, followed by bay leaf and all the spices – green cardamom, cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon stick, and cumin seeds. Saute for 30 seconds.
4. Add ginger and garlic. Saute for 30 seconds.
5. Add onions and saute for about 4 minutes.
6. Now add the spices – turmeric powder, coriander powder, and red chili powder. Season with salt as needed. Stir for 30 seconds.
7. Immediately add water to cook the spices and avoid burning.

8. Add crushed tomatoes. Stir.
9. Cover and cook on a low simmer for 15 minutes.

10. Add milk.
11. Then add garam masala.
12. Add fresh cilantro. Stir.
13. Lastly, add vegetarian meatballs. Let the meatballs sit in the sauce for about 10 minutes before serving. Turn off the stove.

Enjoy with Spaghetti!
Paneer Vegetarian Meatballs

5 from 1 vote

Indian Vegetarian Meatballs

By: Nisha
Scrumptious Indian Vegetarian Meatballs made with paneer, quinoa, and mixed vegetables. Prepare sauce and spaghetti and you've got Indian Vegetarian Spaghetti & Meatballs.
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients 

for Quinoa in Instant Pot

  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp uncooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp water

for Veggie Mixture

  • 1 1/2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/2 fennel
  • 2 green chilies
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups mixed veggies
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup cooked quinoa

for Indian Vegetarian Meatballs

  • 200 grams paneer, pulsed
  • add cooked veggie mixture
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 2 tbsp chickpea flour, besan

for the Sauce

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 green cardamom
  • 3 black peppercorns
  • 1/2 inch stick ginger
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 medium onion. chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder, or cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup whole milk, add more milk if you prefer creamier
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro

for Spaghetti

  • 3/4 pound whole-wheat spaghetti, cook until al dente
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Instructions 

Prepare the Quinoa in Instant Pot

  • Uncooked quinoa with equal parts of water. Cook for 1 minute in the Instant Pot. This is what you should have.

Prepare the Veggie Mixture for Meatballs

  • Chop ginger, garlic, green chilies, and onion. Set aside 2 cloves, fennel seeds, and frozen mixed vegetables rinsed under warm water, and then drained.
  • Heat up an enameled dutch castiron. Once hot, add oil. Add cloves and fennel. Saute for about 30 seconds. Add ginger, garlic, and green chilies. Saute for 30 seconds.
  • Add onion. Cook for 3-4 minutes until golden brown.
  • Add rinsed & drained mixed vegetables. Saute for 2 minutes.
  • Add tomato paste and all the spices.. coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala, and salt.
  • Stir and add 1/4 cup of cooked quinoa. Stir. Turn off the stove. Let veggie mixture cool.

Prepare the Indian Vegetarian Meatballs

  • Pulse paneer in a food processor.
  • This is what you should have.
  • Add cooked veggie mixture from above.
  • Add fresh cilantro and cardamom powder.
  • Pulse until all the ingredients are well combined.
  • Add chickpea flour (besan) so the dough doesn’t fall apart.
  • Take a mini-scoop and scoop the mixture.
  • Place onto wet hands and form round meatballs.
  • This is what you should have. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Spray a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes, flip meatballs halfway.
  • This is what you should have.

Prepare Pasta & Sauce

  • Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.
  • Here are the spices you’ll need along with ginger, garlic, and onions.
  • Heat the same enameled dutch oven on medium heat, once hot, add oil, followed by bay leaf and all the spices – green cardamom, cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon stick, and cumin seeds. Saute for 30 seconds.
  • Add ginger and garlic. Saute for 30 seconds.
  • Add onions and saute for about 4 minutes.
  • Now add the spices – turmeric powder, coriander powder, and red chili powder. Season with salt as needed. Stir for 30 seconds.
  • Immediately add water to cook the spices and avoid burning.
  • Add crushed tomatoes. Stir.
  • Cover and cook on a low simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add milk.
  • Then add garam masala.
  • Add fresh cilantro. Stir.
  • Lastly, add vegetarian meatballs. Let the meatballs sit in the sauce for about 10 minutes before serving. Turn off the stove.

Nutrition

Calories: 802kcal | Carbohydrates: 119g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 802mg | Potassium: 1470mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 4522IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 500mg | Iron: 9mg

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, Indian-Inspired
Tried this recipe?Mention @honeywhatscooking or tag #honeywhatscooking!

Hi, I'm Nisha!

I'm a foodie who is passionate about healthy-ish living and mindful eating. You'll find a bit of everything here. I use mostly organic real ingredients and incorporate seasonal produce in my cooking. I believe food is medicine. Join me on this soul-searching journey as I share my love for good food, and I hope I inspire you to eat better somewhere along the way.


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