A pork meatball that uses quinoa instead of the typical egg and breadcrumb mixture to hold it together. Delicious and packed with extra protein, these are swimming in the most delicious teriyaki sauce that is made in your blender! Served with rice and broccoli, this is a complete meal you’ll want to eat again and again! Free of: gluten, dairy, egg, soy, peanut and tree nuts; top 8 free.
This is my new favorite meal! And, that’s saying a lot for a person who doesn’t normally like to touch raw meat!
I love everything about this recipe–the flavorful meat bombs (also known as meatballs) are so wonderful on their own, and then there’s that sweet and sticky teriyaki sauce that blankets the meatballs. Throw in some rice and some freshly steamed broccoli (making sure to drizzle a heavy amount of the teriyaki sauce on those too) and this is so rich and so, SO good.
I love to use the Regular Jimmy Dean sausage (not sponsored!) because it already has spices, which leaves little ingredients left for me to worry about.
This is also a great stove-top meal so that you don’t have to make the meatballs in your oven and make your house even hotter in this intense August heat.
While I’ve done quinoa rice for my Asian Quinoa Meatballs, I wasn’t sure if it’d work in this recipe. So, I crossed my fingers and got to work. And thankfully it did! If you think about it, wet breadcrumbs feel a lot like quinoa, except the quinoa is smaller. It’s a great binder if you can’t use wheat/gluten or eggs.
I’ve made this twice already, and it will for SURE be in regular rotation. Another perk is that with my small eaters, there is usually enough left over for lunch the next day–winning!
And, in allergy news, in case you haven’t heard–Daniel Tiger is now going to have a food allergy. I am super stoked and posted about it on my social media already (do you follow me?). I think that is super-freaking-tastic! How kind of PBS Kids to have Daniel have this medical condition to help other food allergies kids feel included. Both my boys love Daniel, and I think it will really help them feel included to see one of their favorite characters have the same thing as them. And, it’s just plain smart of PBS Kids. Food allergies are on the rise, they aren’t going anywhere (no cure yet!), and one in thirteen kids has one. So, genius marketing, plus super thoughtful of them to think to include food allergy kiddos.
So, today I’m pretty happy. Happy for another delicious, allergy-friendly dinner, and happy that my kids get a food allergy mainstream character.
I really have been on a positive kick lately, and really–life is good folks. It has its hard moments, but truly–life is so good!
Enjoy these meatballs and have a wonderful day.
- 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce*
- 2 1/4 cups water
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 pound ground pork sausage (I use Jimmy Dean)
- 1/3 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2/3 cup chicken broth
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (be sure to find a gluten-free one!)
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- Sliced green onions, for garnish
- Steamed broccoli
- Rice for servings
- In a small saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. Add the quinoa and lower it to a simmer and cover for ten minutes, or until the broth is absorbed. Allow to cool enough so that you can handle it.
- While the quinoa is cooling, pour the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, cornstarch, honey vinegar, ginger and garlic powder into your blender. Blend well until everything is combined.
- In a large bowl combine the quinoa, sausage, pepper, Worcestershire and garlic powder. Use your hands and mix until everything is combined well. Form them into meatballs. I prefer to use a cookie scooper so that they're all uniform in size.
- In a large non-stick skillet pour the olive oil and heat until it's rippling hot around medium heat. Carefully add the meatballs (try not to have them touch). Brown them on all sides, using a pair of tongs to turn them. The meatballs don't have to be cooked through completely, just get a nice brown.
- Pour the sauce from your blender onto the meatballs. Turn the meatballs to coat them in that sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook 10-15 minutes until the meatballs are done. You'll want to turn the meatballs once or twice to ensure they stay coated in the sauce.
- I've never found this--but if the cornstarch from your sauce starts to get too thick you can add a Tablespoon of water at a time to thin it back out. You may also want to gently stir it while it cooks to help it not congeal in one spot.
- While the meatballs simmer, steam some broccoli.
- When the meatballs are done, serve them over rice with a side of broccoli. There will be plenty of extra sauce to pour over the meatballs if you want more, plus a nice drizzle over the broccoli.
- Garnish with green onions.
*Normally I find regular and low-sodium soy sauce interchangeable--but trust me, you'll want low sodium soy sauce for this recipe because of the sausage otherwise it will be too salty.
Adapted from: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe