Quinoa Meatballs with Yogurt Pomegranate Sauce

Lucy Selvaggio-Diaz


Recipe created for the South American Challenge #2 - Quinoa, Grain of the Gods, for our 1st annual Culinary Quest.



★★★★★ 2 votes

2 Hr
30 Min
Pan Fry


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  • 16 oz
    plain yogurt
  • 1
    cucumber, seeds scraped out and finely chopped
  • 1 pinch
  • 1 1/2 c
    pomegranate juice
  • 2 Tbsp
    pomegranate seeds, optional for garnish
  • ·
    mint leaves, optional for garnish

  • 1/2 c
    quinoa, washed
  • 1 c
  • 1 lb
    ground beef
  • 1 small
    onion, chopped
  • 1/3 c
    chopped parsley
  • 3/4 tsp
    ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp
    crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp
    ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp
  • ·
    oil for browning meatballs

How to Make Quinoa Meatballs with Yogurt Pomegranate Sauce


  1. Place the yogurt in a clean tea towel, gather up the edges, suspend over a bowl, and allow liquid to drain for about 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. Use another clean tea towel and place the chopped cucumber in it. Squeeze all the liquid out that you can and discard.
  3. Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until liquid is absorbed. Stir occasionally to be sure quinoa does not stick to the bottom and burn. Let cool 10 minutes.
  4. In a food processor, pulse onions and parsley so that they are finely chopped. Add in the remainder of the meatball ingredients, except the oil. Add in the cooked quinoa and gently pulse just to combine. Do not overprocess.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Form about 42 meatballs out of a level tablespoon. Heat oil in a skillet, over medium heat, and brown meatballs on all sides in batches. If the oil starts to smoke, reduce heat a bit.
  6. Transfer meatballs to a sheet pan and roast to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. This will take about 10 to 15 minutes.
  7. In a small saucepan, boil pomegranate juice until it reduces to about 3 tablespoons of syrup, about 10 minutes. Cover and keep warm.
  8. In a bowl, combine the drained yogurt, squeezed cucumber, and salt. Drizzle with the pomegranate reduction and lightly swirl to make pretty. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, if using, or add mint leaves. Serve with meatballs.

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About Quinoa Meatballs with Yogurt Pomegranate Sauce

Course/Dish: Meat Appetizers
Main Ingredient: Beef
Regional Style: Middle Eastern
Dietary Needs: Diabetic
Other Tag: Healthy

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