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Vegetarian Meatball Recipe

These vegetarian meatless meatballs are made up of a mixture of quinoa, walnuts, veggies, and herbs for a protein packed meal that is sure to become a new staple in your house.

Course Main
Cuisine Vegetarian


  • 1 cup red quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 16 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup coarse breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp vinegar based hot sauce
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Place the quinoa and 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender. Set aside and let cool completely.

  3. Meanwhile, toast the fennel seeds in a medium skillet over medium heat, tossing often, for 3 to 4 minutes or until starting to brown. Transfer to a cutting board and gently roll a knife over the seeds to chop (they tend to fly around if you cut fast so be gentle while you chop them). Set aside.

  4. Use the same medium skillet to heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and carrots and saute until translucent and softened, about 5 minutes. Add in minced garlic, salt, pepper, chopped fennel seeds, smoked paprika and cook for another 30 seconds.

  5. Add drained chickpeas and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes or until the chickpeas start to soften. Splash in the white wine vinegar to deglaze the pan and then remove from heat. Use a potato smasher to roughly mash the chickpea mixture and transfer to a large mixing bowl.

  6. Fold the cooled quinoa into the chickpea mixture and then fold in the bread crumbs, chopped walnuts, parsley, and hot sauce. Taste and season with more salt if needed.

  7. Whisk the eggs together in a small bowl and pour over the quinoa mixture. Fold the eggs into the mixture until fully incorporated.

  8. Using clean hands and a 1/4 cup meansuring cup, scoop out 1/4 cup of the mixture and press it between your hands to compress and shape it into a ball. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the mixture.

  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the center of the meatballs have cooked through.

  10. Serve warm with your favorite pasta sauce, savory glaze, or gravy.