Chicken Halloumi & Quinoa Balls

2013-06-18
  • Yield : 20 - 30 balls
  • Prep Time : 10m
  • Cook Time : 15m
  • Ready In : 25m

Chicken Halloumi & Quinoa Balls

Harry is only a few days off turning two and his dinners are fast becoming and extension of what we are eating, usually in the form of a deconstructed meal on a tasting plate. I was making some chicken and halloumi balls for us and wanted to try and make them a little healthier by packing in some more goodness. The quinoa is a perfect addition to these meatballs and the herbs and lemon give them a real zesty flavour. You can serve these on their own, or with a simple tomato sauce and some pasta – yum.

Nutrition Note: Halloumi cheese is very high in salt so be careful when using it in recipes for your children. Different brands contain varying amounts of sodium (salt) so remember to read labels, compare products and choose the product that is lowest in sodium.  With the products we used each meatball contains approximately 45 mg sodium. For younger babies you could try using ricotta as a lower sodium alternative to halloumi.

Note: The Adequate Intake (AI) for sodium for 7-12 months is 170 mg, for 1-3 year olds it is 200-400 mg/day and for 4-7 year olds it is 300-600 mg/day.

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Ingredients

  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 100g haloumi (choose the lowest in salt)
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 500g chicken breast or mince
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 3/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup multigrain breadcrumbs (or quinoa flakes)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Method

Step 1

In a food processor combine the onion, haloumi, lemon zest and juice - process until finely chopped. Then add the chicken and sage and process until well combined. -

Step 2

Remove the processed mixture and place into a bowl. Stir through the cooked quinoa, breadcrumbs and egg. -

Step 3

Roll the mixture into small teaspoon sized meatballs. (You can flash freeze these raw at this point). -

Step 4

Heat the olive oil in a frypan over medium heat. Add the meatballs in batches and continue turning until all sides are golden brown and the chicken is cooked through. -

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Recipe Comments

  1. posted by Lucy on August 19, 2013

    Allie & Jess,
    Just made these for dinner- divine!
    Had no sage, so used thyme, was fine.
    Everyone loved them.
    Thanks girls. X

      Reply
    • posted by Allie on August 20, 2013

      Thanks Luce, I like the idea of thyme, might give it a go. Ax

        Reply
  2. posted by Emma on August 20, 2013

    Hello, these look delicious! Can I ask if quinoa flakes are just uncooked quinoa grains? Also is this what you would use to coat the balls? I think this has been skipped from the instructions.
    Thanks

      Reply
    • posted by Allie on August 20, 2013

      Hi Emma, thank you. Quinoa flakes look similar to oats, they should be stocked right next to the quinoa seeds (grain) in the supermarket. If you are using the flakes you just need to replace the breadcrumbs in the recipe with them. These don’t have a coating, you can serve them with a nice tomato based sauce and pasta though for something different. Ax

        Reply
  3. posted by BRIANA WADE on October 9, 2013

    My fussy 12mth old loved these and so did I. Thankyou!!

      Reply
    • posted by Allie on October 9, 2013

      Wonderful news, thanks for sharing, Briana. Ax

        Reply
  4. posted by Emma on November 22, 2013

    Just made these for dinner. They were absolutely divine and were thoroughly enjoyed by my 2 & 3 year old….as well as hubby!

    I baked mine in the oven though, as I don’t have the patience to shallow fry in batches. They turned out perfectly!

    Thanks for a great recipe!

      Reply
    • posted by Allie on November 22, 2013

      Hi Emma, what a wonderful comment, thank you. So good to hear they worked just as well in the oven, I might have to add this to the recipe. Ax

        Reply
    • posted by Fiona Kelly on March 5, 2014

      Hi I was just wondering at what temperature and for how long you cooked them in the oven for

        Reply
  5. posted by Jean on January 12, 2014

    If using quinoa flakes do they have to be cooked before adding to the other ingredients? Thanks!

      Reply
    • posted by Allie on January 12, 2014

      Hi Jean. Quinoa flakes can be used like you would breadcrumbs – so no need to cook before adding. Ax

        Reply
  6. posted by Jean on January 13, 2014

    Great, thanks for your reply!

      Reply
  7. posted by Julie on January 20, 2014

    Any ideas on how to make these without meat? They sound yummy but my husband doesn’t eat any meat except fish.

      Reply
  8. posted by Jenny on February 24, 2014

    Hi,
    How would these go freezing after cooked?
    Thanks :)

      Reply
    • posted by Allie on February 24, 2014

      Hi Jenny, these would be find to freeze after cooking although they will be drier than if you freeze them raw. I hope that helps, Ax

        Reply
  9. posted by Anna on February 26, 2014

    Hi, just wondering if these can be done without egg as my LO has a reaction to eggs so we try to avoid. Thanks.

      Reply
    • posted by Allie on March 28, 2014

      Hi Anna, they may not hold quite as well but should still be fine.
      A few egg replacement ideas depending on the recipe…
      Bananas (1 ripe banana=1 egg)
      Apple puree (1 tbsp=1 egg)
      Egg replacer powder
      Mix 1 tablespoon ground flax seed with 3 tablespoons hot water and leave to soak for a few minutes.
      Mix 1 tablespoon chia seeds with 3 tablespoons hot water and leave to soak for a few minutes.

        Reply
  10. posted by Andy on February 26, 2014

    Made these with thyme today yummo! Had no eggs but it held together perfectly. Kids loved them with a spoon of natural yoghurt to dip in. Adults loved them too

      Reply
  11. posted by Belinda on February 27, 2014

    how long would you cook them in the oven for? I always seem to burn things when I try to fry them.

      Reply
  12. posted by Nicole on March 1, 2014

    Hi there. These would be fine to fry in an Airfryer?

      Reply
    • posted by Allie on March 28, 2014

      Sorry I am not sure as I haven’t used one myself? Let us know how you go :) Ax

        Reply
  13. posted by Belinda on March 2, 2014

    I’m looking for finger food options for my dd’s first birthday party. Do you think once cooked and cooled properly in the fridge these could be served cold?

      Reply
  14. posted by Lauren on March 23, 2014

    I made these for dinner last night and they were devoured by the whole family. My 3 year old and 18 month old loved them, as did my husband and I! Somehow I made 60 balls, so I have frozen half of them raw and will do the pasta and sauce suggestion for this fortnights meal plan! Thank you for the delicious recipes, I love this website!

      Reply
    • posted by Allie on March 28, 2014

      You’re welcome, thanks for letting us know! Ax

        Reply
  15. posted by Tracey L on June 5, 2014

    I have just made a double batch of these for my fortnightly big cook up and I had to cook one and have a taste…..delicious!!! I also used Thyme which worked perfectly and I also added a little carrot as well, that had to be used up. I can’t wait to cook these for my 3 year old, I think she will love them. Thanks for a great recipe and love your website, it’s brilliant!!

      Reply
    • posted by Jess on June 5, 2014

      Hi Tracey,
      Thank you! They are a favourite in this house too :) Enjoy, Jx

        Reply
  16. posted by Kate on July 4, 2014

    I just made these and did a bit of altering. I used baby quinoa (it was all I could find!), corn flake crumbs as I had no bread crumbs but also added grated carrot and zucchini. As an egg replacer I user 1/4 cup Greek yoghurt which worked perfect – to make dairy free I’d use chia seeds next time for family. Just wondering what the halloumi could be substituted for to make dairy free?

      Reply

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