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Spaghetti Vegetarian Quinoa Meatballs recipe with step by step photos. Healthy Spaghetti Vegetarian Quinoa Meatballs.. so good you’ll be able to fool a red meat eater.Spaghetti Vegetarian Quinoa Meatballs (healthy-ish, gluten-free option)

Nothing is better than Spaghetti Vegetarian Quinoa Meatballs. I know all you red meat eaters just got the WTF look across your face. Okay okay, wipe that look off your face.  Allow me to rephrase.Spaghetti with Vegetarian Quinoa Meatballs

After “real” meatballs, nothing is better than Spaghetti Vegetarian Quinoa Meatballs.  How’s that?  Spaghetti with Vegetarian Quinoa Meatballs

Although I don’t eat red meat, I have nibbled at “real” meatballs on a couple occasions (@Lavo, Las Vegas) and they do undoubtedly taste better than any vegetarian/vegan meatball recipe out there. Spaghetti with Vegetarian Quinoa Meatballs

 

But since we are all here to promote good health, here’s to second-best – Spaghetti Vegetarian Quinoa Meatballs made with quinoa and mushrooms and breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese and basil and then rolled into little balls and baked off in the oven.quinoa meatballs 108

Even my “picky eater” husband who isn’t a fan of quinoa or mushrooms for that matter L-O-V-E-D these quinoa meatballs, and thus I am pretty confident most people will enjoy this dish.  quinoa meatballs 160

For this recipe, I strongly recommend buying a really “good quality” marinara sauce since the bulk of the flavor is in the sauce. My recommendation is Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce which is nothing short of perfection.  I can’t stop raving about it, and just like I, you will be transformed to Italy after just one bite.  Seriously! For all you meat lovers, you don’t need meat to go wild.  Enjoy!quinoa meatballs 209

spaghetti vegetarian quinoa meatballs are:

Meatless
Vegetarian
Flavorful
Whole-Wheat
Healthy-ish
Good Source of Protein
High Fiber
Nutritious
Gluten-Free option (use GF pasta)
quinoa meatballs 212

How to make Spaghetti Vegetarian Quinoa Meatballs recipe step by step?

Prep and Cook

1. Start by cooking the quinoa.  This is what you should have once it is done.  Fluff with a fork and set aside.
quinoa meatballs 021
2. Chop the onion, garlic, and mushrooms.
quinoa meatballs 022
3. Heat a large skillet on medium heat, once hot, add a tablespoon of EVOO, add crushed red pepper and wait till you hear a sizzle.
quinoa meatballs 028
4. Add the onion and season with salt and black pepper.  Cook until soft, just a few minutes.quinoa meatballs 031
5. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for about 30 seconds.quinoa meatballs 034
6. Add the mushrooms and season with salt.  Allow the mushrooms to cook for about 10 minutes or until browned.
quinoa meatballs 036

 

7. Once the mushrooms brown, add 3 tbsp of Marinara Sauce.
quinoa meatballs 038quinoa meatballs 040

8. Stir all the ingredients together and turn off the stove.  Save the skillet for later use.quinoa meatballs 041
9. At this time preheat the oven at 350 degrees.quinoa meatballs 052
10. Add the quinoa to a mixing bowl.
quinoa meatballs 044
11. Add the sautéed mushrooms to the quinoa.  quinoa meatballs 046
12. While the mushrooms cool, grate some parmesan cheese and chop some basil.quinoa meatballs 048
13. Add the cheese and basil to the quinoa and mushrooms.quinoa meatballs 049
14. Add the breadcrumbs and egg.
quinoa meatballs 053
15. Mix all the ingredients so everything is well incorporated.quinoa meatballs 057
16. Coat a baking tray with Sunflower Oil.  Dampen your hands and use a 1 tablespoon measurement to form little quinoa balls.
quinoa meatballs 061
17. You should have around 18.  Into the oven for 15-25 minutes, however I baked mine for 25 minutes.  Oven temperatures vary so check after 15 minutes and then every 5.quinoa meatballs 062

for the sauce & pasta

1. While the quinoa meatballs bake, you can clean up, and then heat a pot of water for the pasta, and chop up some basil.
quinoa meatballs 064quinoa meatballs 067
2. Once the patties are done, using a flat stainless steel turner “gently” scrape the quinoa meatballs off the baking tray.
quinoa meatballs 072
3. Add the quinoa patties to the original skillet you were using.  quinoa meatballs 077
4. Turn on the stove, once hot, add a teaspoon of EVOO and crushed red pepper, wait for the pepper to sizzle.

quinoa meatballs 078

5. Now add your favorite Marinara Sauce.
quinoa meatballs 082
6. Season with very little salt (if need be) and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.quinoa meatballs 086
7. Add a handful of the chopped fresh basil leaves.quinoa meatballs 091
8. Cover with a lid and simmer on low heat (dial #3).  About 7 minutes.quinoa meatballs 093
9. Follow the instructions on the box and cook the spaghetti until perfectly al dente.quinoa meatballs 089
10. Check on the sauce, this is what you should have.  Looks like real meatballs, huh?quinoa meatballs 095
11. Using tongs, add the hot spaghetti directly into the sauce.  quinoa meatballs 098
12. GENTLY TOSS so you do not break up the quinoa meatballs.  Add 1/4 cup or less of reserved pasta water if you want to thin out the sauce slightly.
quinoa meatballs 101
13. Serve immediately.  So comforting and tasty.  I was full after just 1 bowl since quinoa is packed with protein.  Love it!
quinoa meatballs 203

Enjoy!

5 from 1 vote

Spaghetti Vegetarian Quinoa Meatballs

By: Nisha
Healthy Spaghetti Vegetarian Quinoa Meatballs.. so good you'll be able to fool a red meat eater.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients 

for the quinoa meatballs

  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 tbsp Rao’s Homemade Marinara Sauce, or use your favorite marinara
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 3 tbsp fresh basil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup Italian Style Bread Crumbs

for the sauce

for the pasta

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Instructions 

Prep & Cook

  • Start by cooking the quinoa.  This is what you should have once it is done.  Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  • Chop the onion, garlic, and mushrooms.
  • Heat a large skillet on medium heat, once hot, add a tablespoon of EVOO, add crushed red pepper and wait till you hear a sizzle.
  • Add the onion and season with salt and black pepper.  Cook until soft, just a few minutes.
  • Add the garlic and thyme and cook for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the mushrooms and season with salt.  Allow the mushrooms to cook for about 10 minutes or until browned.
  • Once the mushrooms brown, add 3 tbsp of Marinara Sauce.
  • Stir all the ingredients together and turn off the stove.  Save the skillet for later use.
  • At this time preheat the oven at 350 degrees.
  • Add the quinoa to a mixing bowl.
  • Add the sautéed mushrooms to the quinoa.
  • While the mushrooms cool, grate some parmesan cheese and chop some basil.
  • Add the cheese and basil to the quinoa and mushrooms.
  • Add the breadcrumbs and egg.
  • Mix all the ingredients so everything is well incorporated.
  • Coat a baking tray with Sunflower Oil.  Dampen your hands and use a 1 tablespoon measurement to form little quinoa balls.
  • You should have around 18.  Into the oven for 15-25 minutes, however I baked mine for 25 minutes.  Oven temperatures vary so check after 15 minutes and then every 5.

for the sauce + pasta

  • While the quinoa meatballs bake, you can clean up, and then heat a pot of water for the pasta, and chop up some basil.
  • Once the patties are done, using a flat stainless steel turner “gently” scrape the quinoa meatballs off the baking tray.
  • Add the quinoa patties to the original skillet you were using.
  • Turn on the stove, once hot, add a teaspoon of EVOO and crushed red pepper, wait for the pepper to sizzle.
  • Now add your favorite Marinara Sauce.
  • Season with very little salt (if need be) and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.
  • Add a handful of the chopped fresh basil leaves.
  • Cover with a lid and simmer on low heat (dial #3).  About 7 minutes.
  • Follow the instructions on the box and cook the spaghetti until perfectly al dente.
  • Check on the sauce, this is what you should have.  Looks like real meatballs, huh?
  • Using tongs, add the hot spaghetti directly into the sauce.
  • GENTLY TOSS so you do not break up the quinoa meatballs.  Add 1/4 cup or less of reserved pasta water if you want to thin out the sauce slightly.
  • Serve immediately.  So comforting and tasty.  I was full after just 1 bowl since quinoa is packed with protein.  Love it!

Nutrition

Calories: 508kcal | Carbohydrates: 94g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 1397mg | Potassium: 1321mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 1615IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 155mg | Iron: 7mg

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
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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80 Comments

  1. This recipe was a hit at my house! Didn’t expect the meatballs to be so “meaty” 🙂 that’s a good thing. $-; to sub whole wheat linguini for spaghetti because I forgot to stir the spaghetti while it was boiling (pregnancy brain at its finest). Anyways, the sauce is phenomenal ! Literally the best and loved the spice that the crushed red pepper gave it! So glad I came across your website. I’ll be trying more recipes 🙂

    1. Thanks Candace. This makes me so happy to hear coming from someone who is pregnant. Linguini/Spaghetti, what’s the difference? 🙂
      There are some great recipes on the blog.

  2. I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of
    your site. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more
    often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme?
    Excellent work!

    1. I used a Genesis Theme and bought a child theme. I made the customizations myself. Thank you! Glad you like it.

  3. I plan to make these tonight. I’m really excited because the kids have been begging for meatballs.

  4. Thank you very much for this recipe!!! A comfort food for me.I love it! I also made them into burgers by omitting 2 ingredients.Very tasty!!!! Thank you:)

  5. I made this about 3 months ago, and ever since it has become a staple in our dinner repertoire. We love it so much that we often make it when we have friends over for dinner. Delicious!