I had the pleasure of joining the crew on The Social again! If you missed it, you can catch the clip and recipes below. This segment was all about leftover breads and cooked grains.

Meatballs are always easier to make and mold when you have something binding the meat, egg and seasonings together. Traditionally this has been breadcrumbs but leftover grains such as quinoa, rice, or barley can be used as well. The addition of these grains also bulks up whatever ground protein you are using so you get more balls for your buck.

Here I have some turkey and leftover quinoa meatballs that are not only great simmered in a sauce but also baked in the oven and served overtop simple salad greens. You could substitute turkey with any ground meat or combination of them..

Turkey and Quinoa Meatballs


  • 3/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 onion, grated
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried savory
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder or chili flakes (optional)
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1–2 tablespoons oil, divided, for cooking


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the cooled cooked quinoa, onion, egg, mustard, Parmesan, oregano, savory, garlic powder, thyme, and chili powder until combined.
  3. Add the ground turkey, salt and pepper, and mix together until combined. Portion the meat into meatballs, about 1/8 cup in size, or flatten them into sliders. Set them aside on a baking sheet.
  4. Preheat an ovenproof heavy-bottomed skillet or large cast-iron pan over high heat. Add one tablespoon of oil. In batches, cook the meatballs on all sides until browned, about six minutes. Avoid overcrowding the pan. Add more oil if necessary.
  5. Transfer the pan to the oven. If you don’t have an ovenproof skillet, transfer the meatballs to a lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until internal temperature is 165°F.


  1. Turkey with any ground meat or combination of them.
  2. Parmesan with any grated or shredded cheese you’ve got on hand, or nutritional yeast

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