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Quinoa ‘Meatballs’

50 minutes 4 Servings

Delicious, healthy and tasty meat-free meatballs in a rich tomato sauce. Served on a bed of basmati rice it makes an excellent healthy dinner.

  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes *
  • large pinch dried chilli flakes *
  • 240g basmati rice *
  • x3 roasted red peppers, thickly sliced
  • 2 tbsp capers *
  • handful pitted olives, chopped*
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar *
  • a handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped (optional)


  •  75g quinoa*
  • drizzle of olive oil*
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • x3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika *
  • 400g cooked black beans (200g dried beans, soaked & cooked) *
  • 1 egg 
  • 30g dried breadcrumbs* 

All ingredients with an * can be found at Scoop Wholefoods

  • To make the meatballs, cook the quinoa in a large pan of boiling water until just cooked, then drain really well and cool. Drizzle the base of a deep, non-stick frying pan with oil then cook the onion with a splash of water and a pinch of salt for 5 minutes until the water has evaporated and the onion has softened. Add the garlic and paprika, and cook for few more minutes, then cool.
  • Tip the quinoa, onion mixture, beans, egg and breadcrumbs into a food processor with a little seasoning and whizz until smooth-ish.  Use clean, wet hands to form into 20 balls, each about the size of a walnut, put onto a tray and chill for 15 minutes.

  • Heat more oil in the frying pan and cook the meatballs, in batches, until browned all over, then scoop out onto a plate. Tip the tomatoes into the pan with 200ml of water, the chilli flakes and sugar, and use a masher to crush into small pieces. Season and simmer for 20 minutes until reduced.

  • Cook the rice in a large pan of lightly salted boiling water, then drain well.

  • Add the meatballs into the sauce along with the peppers, capers and olives. Simmer, stirring, for 10 minutes until the meatballs are piping hot. Add the vinegar, plus a splash of water if it is getting a little dry.

  • Divide the rice between bowls and top with the meatballs and sauce. Sprinkle over the parsley, if using, to serve.

    Recipe taken from Olive Magazine