Red Quinoa ‘Meatballs’ with Marinara Sauce

Red Quinoa ‘Meatballs’ with Marinara Sauce
Tasty vegetarian ‘meatballs’ made with red quinoa and kidney beans, served in a marinara sauce with lots of parmesan. Perfect served alongside a rocket salad or with some pappardelle pasta.
Serves 2-3
Quinoa meatballs
  • 400g tin of kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 cup red quinoa (cooked and cooled)
  • 1 small brown onion (finely diced)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ ½ tsp chili flakes
  • 3 Tbsp pine nuts
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp tamari
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
Marinara sauce
  • 400g tin of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parmesan cheese or vegan parmesan
  • Chili flakes


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees fan bake.
  2. Add the kidney beans to a baking tray and pop in the oven for 20 minutes until they have split, feel dry and are starting to crisp up.
  3. In the meantime, heat a little olive oil in a small pan, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes or so until starting to soften. Add the oregano, chili, garlic and pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper and cook for another few minutes until the pine nuts start to turn golden brown.
  4. Once the kidney beans have cooked, add them to a food processor with the onion mixture, cooked and cooled quinoa, tomato paste, and tamari.
  5. Blend until the mixture has combined but still has a nice texture to it. You don’t want it to be a puree but you want it to be tacky enough so you can easily roll into balls.
  6. Use an ice cream scoop or large tablespoon to spoon out the mixture and roll into balls.
  7. Add them to a baking tray with some olive oil drizzled on the base of the tray and a drizzle of olive oil on top of the ‘meatballs’. Pop in the oven to cook for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
  8. While the meatballs are cooking. Prepare the marinara sauce, add a little olive oil to a small pan or saucepan. Add the tinned tomatoes, garlic, tomato paste, coconut sugar and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes or so until reduced to a thick tomato sauce.
  9. Add the meatballs to the sauce, garnish with some parmesan cheese or vegan parmesan.
Red Quinoa ‘Meatballs’ with Marinara Sauce

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