Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Vegetarian quinoa and mushroom meatballs
( Polpette vegetariane di funghi e quinoa )

Our original home cooking

Meatballs made with mushrooms and quinoa are a vegetarian dish for autumn, without meat, despite appearances. In the distribution of meals in the week, which I plan together with my husband, there are two days dedicated to vegetarian recipes to reduce the amount of meat and so calories and fat. Try this recipe, it is very good and everyone in your family will like it as long as you do not have children under 12 years. In fact, I remind you that they can not eat mushrooms and chili too is not recommended.

difficulty: easy

time: 40 minutes

calories: 282 (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 6

  • 250g (8.8 ounces) white quinoa
  • 450g (1 pound) assorted mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
  • 250g (8.8 ounces) leek
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 little chili, dried or fresh
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 100g (3.5 ounces) plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • Peanut oil for frying
  • Salt
easy recipe
preparation: 30 minutes
plus cooling time
cooking: 10 minutes
total: 40 minutes
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: 282 (kcal) 15 % - 1180 (kJ)
Protein: 9.7 (g) 20 % GDA
Total fat: 9.1 (g) 13 % GDA
Total carbohydrate: 40.7 (g) 16 % GDA
Sugars: 4.6 (g) 6 % GDA

Download free PDF version (56 download).

Vegetarian quinoa and mushroom meatball recipe

Preparation and cooking

  • - Cook mushrooms.
    Slice leek finely and place it in a non-stick frying pan together with bay leaf, chili and olive oil.
    Let all fry slightly, on a very low heat, stirring often.
    Add mushrooms and increase heat to facilitate the elimination of their liquid.
    Stir and let all flavor.
    Dilute tomato paste in a tablespoon of hot water and add it to mushrooms.
    Reduce heat and continue cooking.
    You have to calculate the time according to the quality of mushrooms. In any case, cooking is rapid.
    Switch off the gas, remove the bay leaf and add chives and parsley.
    Season with salt and stir.
  • - Prepare quinoa according to package instructions.
    Generally, I use a quality that does not require preliminary washing to eliminate its saponin and needs only ten minutes of cooking in salt water. Then I let it rest, some minutes.
  • - Now, you have to mix mushrooms and quinoa.
    Stir very well and let your mixture rest, about 30 minutes.
  • - Beat egg together with a pinch of salt.
    Prepare little meatballs with your hands, always moistened.
    Dip them into beaten egg and then plain breadcrumbs, one at a time.
  • - The cooking.
    You can choose to cook your meatballs in the oven at 180°C (350°F), once placed in a pan lined with parchment paper and sprinkled with olive oil.
    Or you can fry your quinoa and mushroom meatballs in plenty of peanut oil few at a time.

Just before serving

  • - Serve this kind of vegetarian meatballs still hot.
    Remember to transfer them on absorbent kitchen paper to remove the fat in excess, if fried.
    If you bake them, you could sprinkle some olive oil on their surface once removed from the oven.



  • - You can use fresh mushrooms (buy 1.1 pounds to have the right quantity) or frozen ones provided they are rich in flavor. On the contrary, you could add dried mushrooms too.
  • - Add 1 to 2 garlic cloves, if you are garlic lover.
  • - Add 1 or more tablespoons grated Parmigiano, if you like it.

Menu planning

  • - Accompany these vegetarian meatballs with the seasonal green salad you prefer.
  • - It is a fall recipe if made with fresh mushrooms and an all year round recipe if made with frozen mushrooms.
  • - Sometimes, I prepare these quinoa meatballs for my aperitivo with friends.

Useful links for this recipe

Healthy eating

  • - You can read calories, fats, sugars and proteins of quinoa meatballs in the nutrition facts but I made the calculation without taking into account frying.
    If you want to fry your meatballs, you have to add other 100 to 150 calories per 100g (3 1/2 ounces) of your meatballs, once fried.
  • - Fiber per serving: 6.8 grams