Beef, Quinoa and Mushroom Meatballs

  • Servings : 12
  • Prep Time : 10m
  • Cook Time : 15m
  • Ready In : 25m

Beef, Quinoa and Mushroom Meatballs

Most school kids prefer to have variety in their lunchbox day to day. While sandwiches are an easy option, these delicious beef meatballs provide a range of essential nutrients kids need to grow and learn. Plus they’re easy and quick to eat – just what kids want so they can get up and play sooner.

Nutrition note: This iron and low GI carbohydrate rich addition to your child’s lunchbox keeps energy levels and concentration high, encouraging learning and good behaviour in the classroom.

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  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or rice bran oil to fry


Step 1

To cook the quinoa, rinse the quinoa thoroughly. In a medium saucepan bring the water and quinoa to the boil. Cover, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the saucepan to sit for a further 4 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and then allow to cool. -

Step 2

Using a food processor combine the beef, onion, garlic and mushrooms. Pulse until thoroughly combined and scoop into a bowl. -

Step 3

Stir through the egg, cooked quinoa and mustard. Use your hands to thoroughly mix the ingredients together. Shape into small teaspoon sized balls and set aside. -

Step 4

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the balls in batches and turn to brown all over. Once cooked through, remove from the pan and freeze separately. -

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Recipe Comments

  1. posted by PA on February 7, 2015

    Made these tonight for Mr 13 months. He loved them. I did hide a few more veggies in them than the recipe called for though.
    I have frozen the left over mix uncooked in little balls so all I have to do is take them out of the freezer. Next time I will try baking them though as I did burn them slowly.
    Love your recipes and this site….. Thanks for yet another great recipe.

  2. posted by Brooke on February 23, 2015

    Delicious! I baked these on a tray lined with baking paper and sprayed the with olive oil. 200.c for 25 minutes, turned after 15 minutes.

  3. posted by Kirsten on April 2, 2015

    I don’t know what I did wrong! The mixture was way too wet to make into meatballs, even with some extra breadcrumbs added. Have made other things from this site and they have been lovely…no idea what happened this time…

  4. posted by Kirstie on May 2, 2015

    Has anyone tried this without mushrooms? We are low FODMAP and mushrooms are a no-go for myself or my son. What could I use instead? thanks!

    • posted by katharine on June 8, 2015

      Hi Kirstie, we’re also a low-FODMAP family. I often substitute eggplant or zucchini for mushroom – I find they have similar textures but are low-FODMAP. I haven’t tried it for this recipe though. Good luck!

      • posted by Kirstie on June 15, 2015

        Hi Katharine! Thanks for the reply, I will give zucchini a try and let you know how they turn out! 🙂

  5. posted by ebony on June 10, 2015

    These were a big hit with my 11 month old son. He couldn’t eat them quick enough! and I found they froze really well too.

  6. posted by Kirsty on June 16, 2015

    These are a winner with our 18 month old. We usually serve with veges and cous cous.

  7. posted by Kate on June 17, 2015

    Fantastic! I oven cooked them for about ten minutes. Hubby taste tested and was impressed (and he’s hard to please with “different” foods lol). Planning to freeze and heat them again in a few days for our bubs first birthday party. Quite sure they’ll go down a treat.

    • posted by Kate on July 14, 2015

      They defrosted perfectly and I’ve since made them again. Everyone loves them!

      • posted by Kirsty Sutton on July 30, 2015

        Did you cook before freezing?

        • posted by Allie on October 2, 2015

          You can do either. Ax

  8. posted by Brooke on August 24, 2015

    Another winner for my fussy 2 1/2 year old. I made these as finger food for my 6 month old (who loves all food so far, so fun!). I shaped the mixture around paddle pop sticks to be “sausage-on-a-stick” for Mr 2 1/2. Winner! He who does not touch mushrooms! Very pleased. 🙂
    I found the mixture to be quite wet, so I added some breadcrumbs to firm it up. 🙂

  9. posted by Gloria | Food Oh Glorious Food on September 15, 2015

    These meatballs were amazing! The whole family gobbled these down in a flash, and everyone wanted more!

    I made some minor alterations to the recipe: omitted the onion, added a finely grated zucchini (after squeezing out all the excess water), doubled the mushrooms (they were finely grated as well), and added a teaspoon of Italian herbs. I threw everything, except for the quinoa, into a bowl and mixed it all up with my hands, and then folded the cooked quinoa through the meat mixture. I cooked these in a 200C oven for 20 minutes – this was the worst part of the whole cooking process because the meatballs smelled SOOOO good and it was near impossible to not salivate at the delicious aromas!

    4.75yo Big One is usually really fussy, and he wants these meatballs again tomorrow night for dinner. 18mo Small One kept making “mmmmmm mmmmm mmmmmm” noises as he chowed down on his meatballs. J Daddy was surprised by how much veggies I managed to sneak in! Definitely making these fantastic morsels of yumminess again!


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