Rosemary Quinoa Meatballs

Author - Alyssa Rimmer

Rosemary Quinoa Meatballs | Gluten-Free | Queen of Quinoa

You know how sometimes your dinners are everything that you imagined? You're having one of those nights when you're craving a specific dish, think you can recreate it gluten-free, but realize you don't have the right ingredients in your pantry. So you throw what you have in a bowl, mix it up, bake it, and hope for the best.

That happened to us last night. And the result was phenomenal.

Rosemary quinoa meatballs.

A glorious dinner, with some even leftover lunch. It was that good.

Rosemary Quinoa Meatballs | Gluten-Free | Queen of Quinoa

Let's start by saying I'm in love with spaghetti and meatballs. It's one of my favorite meals, and always reminds me of my wonderful family. My mother makes an insanely good tomato gravy, but even better meatballs. They're moist and tender, full of flavor, and pair perfectly with the deep red sauce. Red meat, parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs, everything that I don't eat.

But with these meatballs, I had to change it up. My fridge was not obliging my traditional recipe, so I spiced things up and used what I had. Turkey instead of beef, rosemary instead of parmesan cheese, and quinoa instead of breadcrumbs.

The meatballs were outrageous, in a good way of course. Full of flavor, totally juicy and utterly delicious. I chose to serve them over spaghetti squash (which saves big time in the calorie department and also adds a ton of nutrients to your meal), and with (gasp!) jarred tomato sauce. I was in a rush and ended up completely satisfied. The meal (and leftovers) were amazing.

Rosemary Quinoa Meatballs | Gluten-Free | Queen of Quinoa

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Rosemary Quinoa Meatballs

A glorious dinner, with some even leftover lunch. It was that good.

Course Entree
Cuisine American
Keyword quinoa meatballs, rosemary
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 450 kcal
Author Queen of Quinoa


  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 3/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons toasted quinoa flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 large spaghetti squash seeded
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups jarred or fresh tomato sauce, warmed
  • Freshly grated Locatelli cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Fill a baking dish with 1/2-inch of water and place the spaghetti squash flesh side down. Bake until tender, about 20 - 30 minutes.
  2. While the squash is baking, prepare the meatballs by adding all the remaining ingrediens (aside from the sauce) into a mixing bowl. Form the meat into meatballs (about 1-inch wide), and place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Place on the lower shelf of the oven and bake for 15 - 20 minutes, rotating the meatballs halfway through.
  3. Remove the meatballs and squash from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Scrape the squash out of the skin with two forks and serve into bowls. Top with tomato sauce and meatballs, sprinkled with fresh grated cheese.

Recipe Notes

gluten-free | dairy-free | sugar-free

Nutrition Facts
Rosemary Quinoa Meatballs
Amount Per Serving
Calories 450 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 111mg37%
Sodium 293mg13%
Potassium 1030mg29%
Carbohydrates 61g20%
Fiber 9g38%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 35g70%
Vitamin A 1590IU32%
Vitamin C 12.3mg15%
Calcium 196mg20%
Iron 4.8mg27%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Baking with Quinoa by Alyssa Rimmer | Queen of Quinoa

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  1. I was led to this recipe from a Meatless Monday’s Pinterest post. Very disappointed that it includes turkey! Sounds yummy but I’m looking for meat substitutes for meatballs and was hoping quinoa could be used. Any suggestions?

  2. Hi, i just read a recipe saying to soak the quinoa then boil it… Do you have to soak it before you put it in meatballs? …didn’t even know this stuff existed last wk

    • Hi there! I never soak my quinoa before boiling it, so I don’t think that’s a necessary step. It will make it cook less, but other than that I don’t really see the point 🙂 Let me know how it goes! xo

  3. I just made these tonight. They are AWESOME!! I had them with spaghetti squash and some homemade tomato/basil sauce that I had in the freezer. I love the rosemary flavor and will try other herbs and spices the next time. Thanks for this recipe! I would never have thought about using quinoa in my meatballs!

  4. I keep seeing recipes using spaghetti squash instead of noodles. How different does that taste? I think I need to try it out. Also, I love the idea of using quinoa in meatballs. I just used quinoa in chili the other day and loved it.

  5. These look so amazing!! I am craving pasta (and meatballs) this week. Pasta is totally my comfort food, as much as I ADORE spaghetti squash and know it’s better for me, it is always so hard to choose that over regular pasta 🙂

    • Thanks Beth! I totally feel ya on the pasta situation. It’s hard to go the healthy route sometimes – especially when it comes to a hearty Italian pasta. Pasta is and always will be my comfort food. And there’s definitely nothing wrong with that 🙂

  6. what a coincidence!! i made spaghetti & meatballs last night too! it must be this cold weather (and our italian upbringing). do you have snow in VT? i miss you dahling!

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