Quick Quinoa Meatballs

  • Yield 24-26 pieces

These meatballs work well as a tooth-picked appetizer or snack, served with salt-free ketchup or mustard for dipping.



1/2 cup washed white quinoa
1 pound ground pork
1/2 cup diced shallot (about 2 medium shallots)
4 cloves garlic, smashed in a garlic press
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Put the quinoa and 1 cup water into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once you have strong bubble action, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the water is absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes. Check occasionally and stir to make sure no quinoa is burning at the bottom of the pan. Take the saucepan off the heat, transfer the quinoa to a medium mixing bowl, and allow it to cool for 10 minutes.
  3. While the quinoa is cooling, add all of the remaining ingredients to the bowl. Using your hands or a spoon, mix until all the ingredients are evenly distributed and well combined.
  4. Shape the meat mixture into balls that are a little smaller than a golf ball. Place them in even rows on the lined baking sheets. Place the sheet in the oven and cook the meatballs until they’re slightly browned and crispy on top, 12 to 15 minutes. If you have a meat thermometer, the safe internal temperature for pork is 165°F.
  5. Serve as suggested or find your own way to enjoy these little meat bites.


Sodium count: Quinoa: 0 to 10mg per 1 cup per serving depending on brand; Ground pork: 63mg per 1⁄4 pound; Eggs: 71mg per large egg


Reprinted with permission from the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, from Sodium Girl’s Limitless Low-Sodium Cookbook by Jessica Goldman Foung. Copyright 2013.



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