Thermobexta’s Cheesy Quinoa Vegetarian Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

Vego meatballsThese vegetarian meatballs are very versatile – they are great warm or cold (perfect for lunch boxes, if your school isn’t nut free) and so flavoursome that they are delicious served either with or without the sauce.  Serve on top of zoodles, roasted spaghetti squash or pasta, or accompanied by steamed veg or salad.  Or you could wrap them in lettuce leaves or pita bread with salads, sauce and mayo.  It may look like there are a lot of ingredients, but don’t let that put you off – most of them are staples you will have on hand.

Vegetarian Meatballs
(Makes approximately 48)
130g raw almonds
30g dried sliced shiitake mushrooms
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
4 cloves garlic, peeled
20g extra virgin olive oil
1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed well (or 240g cooked kidney beans)
300g cooked quinoa (see note under recipe on how to cook quinoa in your Thermomix)
200g feta cheese, broken into chunks
60g tomato paste
50g arrowroot flour (or tapioca flour)
3 eggs
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce (this brand* is vegetarian)
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp salt

Tomato Sauce
1 onion
5 cloves garlic, peeled
20g EVOO
300g zucchini, cut into chunks
150g red capsicum, flesh only
150g mushrooms
40g sun-dried tomatoes
800g canned tomatoes
180g tomato paste

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 3 trays with baking paper.

2. To make the meatballs, place almonds in mixer bowl. Mill for 15 seconds/speed 8/MC on. Remove from bowl, set aside.

3. Place shiitake mushrooms in mixer bowl. Blitz for 30 seconds/speed 8/MC on.

4. Add onion and garlic. Chop for 8 seconds/speed 5/MC on. Scrape down sides of bowl.

5. Add oil and 100g water. Saute for 5 minutes/steaming temperature/speed 1/MC off.

6. Add kidney beans, quinoa, feta, tomato paste, arrowroot, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, parsley, fennel, salt and the almond meal you milled earlier. Combine for 20 seconds/reverse/speed 5/MC on.

7. Refrigerate mixture for 30 minutes to firm up. You can skip this step and dollop spoonfuls of mixture onto your lined trays, they will just be slightly flatter. If you refrigerate, when the 30 minutes is up, remove mixture from fridge and shape into balls, using wet hands, placing balls on the trays as you go.

8. Bake for 20 minutes.  While they are baking, make the tomato sauce.

9. To make the tomato sauce, place onion, garlic and oil in mixer bowl. Chop for 5 seconds/speed 5/MC on. Scrape down sides of bowl. Saute for 5 minutes/steaming temperature/speed 1/MC on.

10. Add zucchini, capsicum, mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes. Chop for 20 seconds/speed 5/MC on, pausing half way to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

11. Add tomatoes and tomato paste. Combine for 10 seconds/speed 5/MC on, using the spatula to incorporate, if needed.

12. Cook for 15 minutes/100/speed 2/MC on.

13. Blitz for 30 seconds/speed 7/MC on.

14. Serve meatballs covered generously with tomato sauce. I have eaten these on top of baked spaghetti squash, also on top of lightly sauteed zoodles. If you prefer, you can skip the tomato sauce altogether – the meatballs are flavoursome enough to eat without it.

To cook quinoa for this in your Thermomix, place 100g soaked or well rinsed quinoa into the internal steaming basket, along with 1.2L water in the bowl.  Cook for 18 minutes, 100, speed 4.


13 thoughts on “Thermobexta’s Cheesy Quinoa Vegetarian Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

  1. OMG these have gone straight to our staple list Bec! One of those dishes that gets better the second time round too… We had some spare coconut cream left to use up (about 100mL) and threw it in the reheated sauce. Splashed over some vego meatballs and sweet potato zoodles and this was divine! You rock


  2. These are so so good Bec!!! thanks so much.. great for the baby to munch on and enjoyed in school lunch boxes the next day.. delicious!!!!


  3. Oh my goodness these were awesome. I had four starving twenty one year old boys for dinner and they couldn’t eat them quickly enough. This will be a firm favourite in our house. Thanks so much for this recipe!!


  4. Bec, you’re an absolute GENIUS! This recipe makes my mouth so happy. I think my whole body smiled with each bite of these Vege meatballs. My partner announced that these were “OMFG GOOD”. So yum.

    I used crumbled firm tofu to make it dairy free. I made 42 decent sized vegeballs and I reckon that the sauce makes enough for ten serves!

    If you’re interested in calories, I worked out that the recipe as it is works out at 81 cal each ball (for 42 balls) and the sauce (10 servings) is 72 cal each serve.



  5. Another note from me to add that I had to leave the mixture overnight in the fridge as something came up and I couldn’t make them that night. I made into balls and cooked them the next day around lunchtime and they were terrific. Don’t stress if you can’t make them into balls straight away.

    Liked by 1 person

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