Beef and quinoa meatballs

Quinoa – an overhyped superfood or the real deal? I still remain a massive fan as it has twice the protein content of rice or barley and provides all 9 essential amino acids. Chia seeds are also another favourite of mine as they expand up the 9x their original size upon encountering water, which helps to keep you fuller for longer.

So when I came across this beef and quinoa meatball recipe by Jo Pratt I was in love. I’ve slightly adapted it to include fresh tomatoes. But it’s real easy to make, is protein rich and full of slow realising carb-energy.

You’ll need… 

  • 250g lean minced beef
  • 250g cooked and cooled quinoa
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp black olive tapenade
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 chilli
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 jar of passata
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 large handful of basil
  • salt and peper


Combine the beef, quinoa, chia seeds, garlic, tapenade, egg, paprika and chilli in a large bowl.

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Roll the mixture into balls and chill for half a hour. This should make around 12 – 15

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Using 1 tbsp of olive oil, gently fry the meatballs until they are golden brown.

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In a separate pan, heat the remaining oil and soften the onions. Chop or blend the tomatoes.

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Add these the chopped tomatoes alongside the passata and tomato puree to the onions and heat through.

Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce and simmer for 10 minutes to ensure that they are cooked all the way through.

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And voila! Serve with pasta.

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