Chicken Quinoa Meatballs – Healthy Low Fat Low Carb Recipe

I’m always looking for a great recipe to make ahead and keep in the fridge or freezer.  Bonus points for anything that can multitask – such as a main dish, a side dish or even something I can add to a salad. I love these meatballs because they’re lean, packed with protein and vegetables and are incredibly tasty.  They work well when I need a snack on the go or when I want something hearty but not heavy.  

I like the quinoa for extra protein and fiber; the flavor is great on its own and very tasty with the tomato sauce.  I recommend pairing this with either a pasta alternative, such as spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles or a quinoa pasta for a main dish.  You can also wrap these in lettuce leaves and add your favorite fillings for a bread-free meatball sub sandwich.

Chicken Quinoa Meatballs

Chicken Quinoa Meatballs

This recipe makes approximately 24 meatballs.

Ingredients

    • 1 lb extra lean ground chicken
    • 3/4 cup cooked quinoa (follow the instructions on the package to make sure this is well cooked)
    • ½ medium onion, finely chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • ½ cup grated zucchini
    • ¼ cup chopped parsley (you can chop a bit more if you want to use it for a garnish)
    • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
    • 1 tsp ground oregano
    • ½ tsp ground pepper
    • ½ tsp salt (optional)
    • 1 large egg, beaten

      Optional – if you want to serve this as a pasta type dish, I recommend adding the tomato sauce and serving with a pasta alternative, to cut down on unnecessary carbohydrates.

    • 2 cups of low sodium, sugar-free tomato sauce
    • 1 pound spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles, or quinoa pasta

Instructions

Chicken Quinoa Meatballs on oven tray

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Use cooking spray to coat a large baking sheet.

3. In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, cooked quinoa, chopped onion, minced garlic, grated zucchini, chopped parsley, red pepper flakes, oregano, (optional) salt, ground pepper, and egg.

4. Mix well, until ingredients are evenly distributed. Using a tablespoon or melon baller, scoop a 1 tablespoon portion of the chicken mixture into your hand, form meatballs by rolling between your palms. Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them apart evenly.

5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm to the touch and cooked through.

Meatballs can be eaten right away, added to the pasta recipe below, refrigerated or frozen for future use.
Pasta options.

6. (Optional) While the meatballs are cooking, prepare the pasta alternative

7. (Optional) Heat the tomato sauce in a large saucepan over medium heat. Turn down heat to simmer, while waiting for meatballs to cook.

8. Transfer the meatballs to the tomato sauce and gently stir to coat the meatballs.

9. Serve over spaghetti squash, zucchini noodles or whole-grain pasta!

      Recipe adapted from

Cookin’ Canuck

Nutrients per serving

(for approximately 4 meatballs, sauce not included):
Servings: 6 • Calories: 166 • Fat: 9g • Carbohydrates: 6 g • Fibre: 1g • Protein: 16 g • Sugar: 1 g • Sodium: 286 mg • Cholesterol: 84 mg

Since eating well-balanced, healthy meals is a lifestyle, not a diet, it’s important to find foods you love to eat, that taste great and are nutritious, low in fats and sugars and are packed with protein and vegetables. Contact me today to create a nutrition and exercise plan that will get you into the best shape of your life.

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