Power Meatballs

  • Yield : 20
  • Prep Time : 10m
  • Cook Time : 20m
  • Ready In : 30m

The lame name is because these really are packed full of goodness. Chia, quinoa, veggies and meat, but the kids will only see meatballs. You can serve these with a lovely tomato based sauce, or a homemade ketchup, or just sprinkle some cheese on top and pop under the grill for a few minutes.

These freeze really well, you could make them and then freeze before cooking as this will keep them nice and moist when you do use them. You can also check out our freezer guide for more information.

Nutrition Note: Serving kids their favourite food in a variety of different ways helps prevent picky eaters from becoming too limited in the range of foods they will accept. Power meatballs (i.e.including nutritious ingredients and melting cheese on top) is a great option to add into the recipe repertoire if your meatballs are usually cooked and served in a tomato based sauce.

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  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 500g lamb or beef mince
  • 1 zucchini, grated
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/4 cup quinoa flakes
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp no added salt tomato paste
  • Grated cheese to top


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 180ยฐC. Line a tray with foil. Heat a tbsp of olive oil in a small frypan over medium. Add the onion and fry gently for around 3 minutes or until soft. Add the maple syrup and sautรฉ for a further 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. -

Step 2

Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl mix well with your hands. If the mixture is too wet, add some more breadcrumbs or quinoa flakes. -

Step 3

Roll tbsp size meatballs and place on the baking tray. -

Step 4

Bake in the oven for around 20 minutes or until cooked through and sizzling. Add grated cheese and melt over the top. -

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Recipe Comments

  1. posted by Gabbi on April 29, 2013

    My fussy little 2yr old angel loved these! Great recipe for family dinner – thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • posted by Allie on April 30, 2013

      Yay thats wonderful to hear ๐Ÿ™‚ Ax

  2. posted by Kate on September 9, 2013

    These are great, even the teenagers loved them. I forgot to fry the onion first, I just added the onion and maple syrup to the mix and they turned out great. I made a double batch, kept them in the fridge and the kids and DH used them in their wraps for lunch. Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. posted by Kim on September 12, 2013

    Did you cook the Quinoa first before you put it in the meat mixture? Are Quinoa flakes different from regular Quinoa grains? I have not heard of the flakes.

    • posted by Allie on September 12, 2013

      Hi Kim, quinoa flakes are similar to breadcrumbs in the way you use them for this recipe so they don’t need to be cooked first. If you can’t find any you can always cook the grain (seed) and add these instead, they may make the meatballs a little more crumbly though. Otherwise you can always use traditional multigrain or wholemeal breadcrumbs. Hope that helps, Ax

  4. posted by Melissa on September 13, 2013

    These were a huge hit with Hubby and Miss Fussypants who is 2. I didn’t have any Quinoa flakes so I used the normal quinoa (cooked) as you suggested with some breadcrumbs and they worked perfectly. These are definitely going to be a new weekly meal in our family. Thanks for the delicious and healthy recipe.

    • posted by Allie on September 14, 2013

      Thanks Melissa, lovely feedback ๐Ÿ™‚ Ax

  5. posted by Jess on November 30, 2013

    These look great! Would they freeze ok?

    • posted by Allie on November 30, 2013

      HI Jess, they freeze well, you can freeze them raw if you like to retain moisture when you decide to cook them. They are also great with pasta and the hidden veggie pasta sauce ๐Ÿ˜‰ Ax

  6. posted by Louise on February 6, 2014

    Hi Allie,
    What is the purpose of the maple syrup? Is it to add sweetness or stickyness to the mix? I would like to know if it’s optional?

    • posted by Allie on February 6, 2014

      Hi Louise, it ads sweetness to caramelise the onions but is absolutely optional. Ax

  7. posted by Jessica on April 5, 2014

    Hi Allie,
    I am struggling with a very fussy one year old, and this recipe was a hit. Thank you so much. I didn’t have any maple syrup, quinoa flakes or chia seeds in the house and they were still delicious. Thanks again

    • posted by Allie on April 7, 2014

      That’s great, Jessica. Sounds like the tasting plate style of feeding might suit your little one with a range of risotto balls, meat balls and rissoles to start ๐Ÿ™‚ All the best. Ax

  8. posted by Alex on April 21, 2014

    Hi there,
    Just wondering what I could use an alternative to maple syrup for this recipe?
    My baby is almost one so I’m not sure if I can cook with mayple syrup / honey because of the botulism thing for babies?
    Thank you

    • posted by Jess on April 22, 2014

      Hi Alex,
      Yes, it is best to avoid honey for babies under 12 months however maple syrup is OK to use. If you are still are unsure I’m sure you could simply omit the maple syrup. Hope that helps, Jx

  9. posted by Shannon on May 22, 2014

    Thank you for your wonderful recipes, I have a very fussy one year old who drives me crazy most meal times and I was running out of ideas but your recipes sound so tasty and easy. I can’t wait to give a few a try, wish me luck.

    • posted by Jess on May 22, 2014

      Wishing you the best of luck Shannon! Please let us know how you go and what your little one loves ๐Ÿ™‚ Jx

  10. posted by Suna on June 10, 2014

    Hi, I usually grind raw Quinoa seed in a coffee grinder until it is a powder to use in my babies purees… could this be used instead of the flakes? Should I cook it first or will it cook enough with the meatball as it will be powder consistancy? Thanks

    • posted by Allie on August 8, 2014

      Hi Suna, I haven’t tried that myself but I don’t see why not? Let us know how you go. Ax

  11. posted by Felicity on July 10, 2014

    Just made these for dinner. Another delicious recipe, thank you! Miss 16mths just demolished these, as did my partner and I!

  12. posted by Vanessa on September 22, 2014

    Thanks really great recipe! I didn’t have maple syrup or honey but substituted dried dates which luckily are also brown so they seemed to blend well and add some sweetness. I cut the carrot out though as Miss 3 can spot a veg a mile off, but the zucchini blended well when I peeled it (oh god the things we do!)

    • posted by Allie on September 23, 2014

      Great substitutions Vanessa, thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚ Ax

  13. posted by Rebecca swan on November 5, 2014

    Oh no, I have just made these and used uncooked quinoa. Oops. That’s all I have for dinner so going to have to eat them anyway

    • posted by Allie on November 6, 2014

      Oh dear, how did you go? Ax

      • posted by Rebecca swan on December 19, 2014

        They were delicious. About to make them again

  14. posted by Maree on January 7, 2015

    My one year old has become the fussiest eater and he absolutely loved these. Thanks for the great recipe, seeing him eat something so nutritious has made my week!

    • posted by Allie on January 7, 2015

      Wonderful news ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks for sharing.

  15. posted by Jess on January 25, 2015

    Should I freeze them raw or cooked?

    • posted by Allie on February 5, 2015

      Either is fine ๐Ÿ™‚ they will probably be more moist if you freeze them raw and then defrost in the fridge and then cook. Ax

  16. posted by Ivana on February 4, 2015

    These are amazing! Super tasty!! Even my super duper fussy 2yo ate them ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. posted by Lizzy on February 5, 2015

    Yay, a complete success with these meatballs, so easy to make and delicious!

  18. posted by Jane on July 6, 2015

    Wondering what to serve these with? Any suggestions?


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