Skip to Content

Quinoa & Kale Meatballs {Vegan, Gluten-Free}


Sometimes a food blogger feels compelled to post a recipe, even if she does not quite know what else to say, besides “ta-da!”

I planned the last week of meals carefully; not so tonight. By the time the light had gone, the evening was underway and my supper ideas were scarce. I headed to the refrigerator, peered in, and found an assortment of odds and ends, including some leftover cooked quinoa, half a bell pepper, some kale, a handful of baby carrots, and a few zucchini.

What to do with that? Something relatively quick, without an additional trip to the store. I pulled out the aforementioned quinoa and vegetables and set to work.

Something meaty, but without meat, suddenly seemed just the thing, What about quinoa meatballs? I gathered a few more bits & pieces from the pantry, and, with Nick playing in another room with Kevin, the kitchen felt transformed to a haven of plain dealing, the tile floor, smooth counters, and utensils a guarantee of good things. All at once, my off-the-cuff dinner switched from exertion to ease.

In under an hour, dinner was served and glasses of wine (and one sippy cup of milk) poured. There was no fanfare, no exclamations of joy from Kevin or Nick, nor accompanying pride from me. But we cleaned our plates. Ta-da! Happy eats, everybody!

I like to use my cookie scoop to make the meatballs; it keeps the meatballs uniform in size (for even cooking) and eliminates a considerable amount of time and mess.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Quinoa & Kale Meatballs {Vegan, Gluten-Free}

  • Author: Camilla
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 24 medium meatballs 1x


No meat “meatballs” that are loaded with great flavor and nutrition! Quinoa, white beans and nutritional yeast makes these balls very high in protein.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped orange or red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup peeled chopped carrot
  • 3 cups stemmed, chopped kale
  • 1 pound white or brown mushrooms, trimmed, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian herb seasoning
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini (white) beans, rinsed and drained
  • 11/4 cups cooked quinoa (can be hot or cold)
  • 1/3 cup almond meal or almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, bell pepper and carrot; cook and stir for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, kale nd Italian seasoning; cook and stir for 5 to 6 minutes Cool slightly.
  3. In a food processor, pulse the mushroom mixture, using on/off pulses, until beans are just broken down and mixture is chopped (do not puree). Transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Add the quinoa, almond flour and nutritional yeast; stir to combine.
  5. Shape mixture into meatballs (I used a medium-size cookie scoop) spacing evenly apart on prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown. Serve with your favorite pasta, vegetable noodles, or any way you like!


Storage: The cooled meatballs can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days, or the freezer for up to 6 months.

  • Category: Entree


  • Serving Size: 4 meatballs
  • Calories: 195
  • Sugar: 3.5 g
  • Sodium: 243 mg
  • Fat: 7.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 26.4 g
  • Fiber: 6.3 g
  • Protein: 10.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg



Strawberry Lemon & Greek Yogurt Fool
roasted potato asparagus salad in a serving bowl
Roasted Potato & Asparagus Salad {Vegan}
Leave a Comment
Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Friday 4th of April 2008

Mercy, you're killing me with the cupcake scenario :). I am sure your class loved them! I wish I could have been a fly on the wall while the filling of tins,removal of cakes from said tins, and frosting was occurring--did Paul help? Hee hee, I imagine you were flaming mad :)!


Friday 4th of April 2008

Hey Karen and Jenny,

Thank you both so much!


Friday 4th of April 2008

This meal looks like something I'd love to make (and eat). I just started eating quinoa and really love it! Keep those creative juices flowing and thanks for sharing - you are one talented girl!


Thursday 3rd of April 2008

Well, *I* would have lavished praise on your meal! It looks yummy. To keep my comment food related, let me tell you what I'm doing in class today. We're reading an early eighteenth-century writer, Eliza Haywood, who writes on love & lust. So, the selection for today was called "the Tea Table" -- and I brought all my tea accoutrements for us to have a cup of tea (there are only 10 in the class).

The problem is (as K would say), I wanted to make some sort of nibble, and everything seemed too complicated (or I didn't have the ingredients). So, I thought -- how easy are cupcakes? And, hey! I have these cute little muffin tins. . . 97 stupid, time-consuming, teeny cupcakes later (ICED, no less!), I feel like a total idiot. And the students are probably going to think it's childish & all kindergarten-y. ARRGH!


Thursday 3rd of April 2008

The same thing happens at my house quite often. Some nights, I just don't feel motivated or have the time to get an extravagant dinner on the table, so I just start pulling things out of the fridge to see what I come up with. Your dinner looks good to me, glad your family cleaned their plates!!

Darn, I'll have to watch my tivo'd Top Chef tomorrow night, it's getting late. Love that show!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.