I have a bad habit of buying groceries I don’t need each week at the grocery store. Not that I buy a bunch of cereal and candy bars and chips, but I’ll oftentimes buy bread when we already have a loaf at home or I’ll get pasta without knowing we have a couple boxes in the pantry. In this case, and for the past couple weeks, I have been buying grass-fed beef that is on sale even though we already have 2-3 lbs in the freezer. It’s an annoying habit that I need to break, but the extra food always gets used in the form of countless sandwiches, pasta bakes, and in this case, Grass Fed Beef and Quinoa Meatballs.
If you’re wondering why there is quinoa in these meatballs, the main answer is “money.” Meat is expensive, and quinoa is slightly more affordable and packs a good amount of protein. Rather than use breadcrumbs in this recipe I decided to switch it up and use quinoa. It worked great and kept a couple extra bucks in my pocket.
Beyond being affordable, this recipe is also a healthy and easy week night meal. There are only 8 ingredients and it takes just about 30 minutes to make.
I did not need much help for this Grass Fed Beef and Quinoa Meatballs recipe, but I did use some simple bowls, a reliable pan, my go-to chef’s knife and sweet tongs. Quick and easy Amazon links to those resources can be found below:
The first step to this recipe is cooking the quinoa. Unlike these Rustic Oven-Baked Zucchini Cakes, you cannot get away with uncooked quinoa in this case. While your quinoa is cooking, I suggest you get to chopping the garlic and shallot to save some time. Once all of that is prepped, it’s time to start slinging meatballs.
Once the quinoa is cooled and the shallot and garlic are chopped, make sure everything gets combined thoroughly in a large bowl. Nothing is worse that getting a big cluster of garlic or shallot while biting into a juicy meatball…
Once everything is mixed, use your hands to roll out about 14 meatballs. No more and no less!
Put a pan over medium heat and coat it with olive oil. After you have warmed up the pan, place the meatballs in the pan one at a time. You’ll want to cook them for about 10 minutes, and try to flip them to other sides every 2-3 minutes so that the outside of the meatballs gets cooked and caramelized.
I realize that meatballs do not “sides,” but just do your best to make sure they get browned.
After the meatballs have been browning for about 10 minutes, turn the heat down and add your marinara sauce of choice. I went with a store bought option this time, but there are plenty of solid marinara recipes floating out there on the web. Let the meatballs simmer for about another 10 minutes in the marinara sauce.
After the meatballs are done cooking, plate them and enjoy! You can also save them and eat them throughout the week as they do heat up nicely.
Perhaps, you could also place them unnecessarily in a baking dish and take a picture of them.
The grass fed aspect of these Grass Fed Beef and Quinoa Meatballs make them more “healthy” even though they are technically red meat. Red meat gets a bad rap, and I understand some folks have to avoid it for health reasons, but there are essential nutrients in red meat like iron and B Vitamins that can make it a healthily part of a balanced diet. Sounds like a bad fad diet tagline, but it’s true.
If you go the grass-fed route it’s even better as it is believed to be a better quality meat with omega-3 fats.
This recipe will yield about 14 meatballs, all about 1/10 of a lb (they each contain 1/14 lb of meat, but the quinoa and other ingredients add some weight there). Per one meatball, here is the nutrition:
- Calories: 105
- Total Fat: 6.7 g
- Total Carbs: 4.2 g
- Protein: 7.4 g
- Total Sugar: 1.1 g
I usually eat 2-3 per serving, which would be 210 – 315 calories, 13 – 20 g of fat, and 15 – 22 g of protein. The fat may look a little high, but just remember is the necessary and healthy omega-3 fat.
Let’s get economical with these Grass Fed Beef and Quinoa Meatballs:
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa – $1.20
- 1 lb grass-fed beef – $7.99
- 1 shallot, finely chopped – $0.50
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped – $0.20
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning – $0.42
- 1 egg, lightly beaten – $0.25
- 1 tbsp olive oil – 0.23
- 1 cup marinara sauce – 0.99
- Salt and pepper
The grand total is $12.18. That breaks down to just under $1 per meatball. I ate about 2 or 3 for a serving, which would be $1.74 – $2.61 total. That is a great deal for some high quality, grass fed beef!