Asian Quinoa Meatballs

Healthy, nutritious and packed with so much flavor. Perfect as an appetizer or a light dinner!

Β Asian Quinoa Meatballs - Healthy, nutritious and packed with so much flavor. Perfect as an appetizer or a light dinner!

Meatballs don’t get as much credit as they should. They’re incredibly versatile, they’re fun to eat, and they can either work as an appetizer or a main dish. Plus, it’s literally a ball of meat!

Asian Quinoa Meatballs - Healthy, nutritious and packed with so much flavor. Perfect as an appetizer or a light dinner!

But for those cutting back on some heavy calories from all that meatball goodness, I have the perfectly lightened up version with quinoa.

Asian Quinoa Meatballs - Healthy, nutritious and packed with so much flavor. Perfect as an appetizer or a light dinner!

The quinoa here is a great substitute for some of the meat, and provides an excellent source of protein too – all the while keeping it light on your pants.

Asian Quinoa Meatballs - Healthy, nutritious and packed with so much flavor. Perfect as an appetizer or a light dinner!

Best of all, not only are these meatballs lightened up but they’re also baked to absolute tender perfection.

Asian Quinoa Meatballs - Healthy, nutritious and packed with so much flavor. Perfect as an appetizer or a light dinner!

The sauce is also packed with tons of flavor – you can even set some aside and toss it on some rice or even a side of quinoa. You’ll be glad you did.

Asian Quinoa Meatballs - Healthy, nutritious and packed with so much flavor. Perfect as an appetizer or a light dinner!

And if you’re anything like us, you’ll double the batch and serve these on game day, and save the rest for a light dinner the very next night!

Asian Quinoa Meatballs

Healthy, nutritious and packed with so much flavor. Perfect as an appetizer or a light dinner!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 3/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha, or more, to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds

For the sauce

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha, or more, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9×13 baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, quinoa, garlic, onions, egg, soy sauce, sesame oil, Sriracha, salt and pepper, to taste. Using a wooden spoon or clean hands, stir until well combined. Roll the mixture into 1 1/4-to-1 1/2-inch meatballs, forming about 18-20 meatballs.
  3. Place meatballs onto the prepared baking dish and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until all sides are browned and meatballs are cooked through.
  4. To make the sauce, whisk together soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, sugar, sesame oil, Sriracha and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over medium high heat.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water. Stir into soy sauce mixture until thickened, about 2 minutes.
  6. Serve meatballs immediately with sauce, garnished with green onion and sesame seeds.

Adapted from Handle the Heat

Why It’s A Smart Choice

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 meatball
Servings Per Container 20 meatballs

Amount Per Serving
Calories 56.9 Calories from Fat 24.3
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2.7g 4%
Saturated Fat 0.7g 4%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 29.4mg 10%
Sodium 257.5mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 2.7g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0.3g 1%
Sugars 0.8g
Protein 5.2g 10%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Turkey is a low-fat alternative to ground beef. Substituting turkey for beef results in cutting down on 1/3 of the calories!

Nutritional information provided by Jessica Penner, RD at Smart Nutrition.