Asian Turkey Quinoa Meatballs are packed with flavor and simple to make! The meatballs are covered with a sweet and sticky Asian glaze that will leave you coming back for seconds. These quinoa meatballs are an easy dinner or make a great appetizer. Serve over rice, quinoa or eat alone!
I used to fear making meatballs. I think they honestly just sounded hard to make and I don't like touching raw meat with my hands. Anyways, I ended up making these meatballs and realized I was wrong! They are much easier than I though and I found the perfect kitchen tools which require no touching of the raw meat!
Reasons to Add Quinoa to Meatballs:
There's multiple reasons to add quinoa to your meatballs:
- Adding quinoa to meatballs is a great way to use up leftover quinoa
- Quinoa helps bind the meatballs together
- Stretch your meat by adding quinoa
- Quinoa adds in some extra health benefits to the meatballs
Interested in learning more about quinoa? This post talks all about quinoa!
Ingredients needed for Asian Quinoa Meatballs
Ground Turkey: Use 93% lean/7% fat ground turkey for a healthier version of the meatballs. Another alternative to ground turkey is ground pork, ground chicken or ground beef.
Cooked Quinoa: Cook your quinoa according to the directions on the package. Any type of quinoa is fine, however red quinoa does hold together better.
Egg: The purpose of the egg is to hold the meatball together. This is very important-don't skip this ingredient!
Onion Powder- Onion powder can be substituted for fresh onions if desired!
Garlic Powder-Substitute with minced garlic if desired!
Soy Sauce-Soy sauce adds a touch of Asian Flavor. Use tamari if wanting to keep these meatballs gluten free. Use a low sodium soy sauce to limit the salt content of this recipe.
Salt & Pepper-these spices are optional. The soy sauces adds a lot of sodium, so I would recommend using the salt sparingly.
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How to make perfectly shaped quinoa meatballs
Meatballs can be difficult to shape and make into the same size. After a lot of experimenting, here are several tips to make round, evenly sized meatballs:
- To create meatballs that are the exact same size, use a cookie dough scooper when scooping meatball mixture onto pan. I recommend using this scoop, which creates the perfect sized meatballs.
- Meatballs are easier to shape when they are very cold. Only scoop a chilled meatball mixture into balls.
- Scoop and roll your meatballs, refrigerate for 20 minutes (or freeze for 10 minutes) and then roll again into a ball shape. This helps to create a perfect ball! If you don't want to touch the raw meat--skip this step!
How to Serve the Asian Quinoa Meatballs
- Serve meatballs over white sticky rice
- Serve over quinoa
- Meatballs go great alone!
- Don't want to make the Asian Glaze? Cover with a Honey based BBQ sauce, such as KC Masterpiece.
Can I Freeze the Turkey Quinoa Meatballs?
These meatballs do great in the freezer! If freezing cooked meatballs, store in an airtight container or freezer zip lock bag. Eat within a couple months.
The meatballs can also be frozen prior to cooking. This is perfect for someone who only wants to cook a small batch at a time. Store raw meatballs in airtight container. Defrost meatballs prior to cooking.
How to make the Asian Glaze
Making the Asian Glaze is so easy! It can be prepared and cooked while the meatballs are cooking in the oven!
Combine 2 tablespoon water and 1-2 teaspoon cornstarch in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside. The cornstarch is mixed with water to prevent it from creating large clumps when added to the soy sauce mixture later on in the recipe. Tip: start with 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and add more if mixture is not thick enough.
Combine the soy sauce, 2 tablespoon water, rice vinegar, honey, garlic powder, ginger and siracha in a medium sauce pan. You are welcome to substitute fresh garlic and fresh ginger if preferred!
Cook the mixture over medium heat. Stir every 30 seconds to prevent the mixture from burning. Once the mixture is simmering, turn to low heat.
Add the cornstarch/water mixture. Stir constantly for 2-3 minutes, until mixture is thickened. If mixture is not thick enough, add more cornstarch (mix the cornstarch with a small amount of water first, or it will clump together!)
Other Favorite Recipes
Asian Quinoa Turkey Meatballs
- 1 pound ground turkey 93% lean/7% fat
- ½ cup cooked quinoa
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce (or tamari for gluten free version)
- salt optional
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon low sodium soy sauce (or tamari if gluten free)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 4 tablespoon water, separated (2 tablespoon for sauce, 2 tablespoon to mix cornstarch in)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 tablespoon siracha
- 1-2 teaspoon corn starch
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Combine egg, onion powder, garlic powder, soy sauce, salt and pepper in a medium sized mixing bowl. Mix until combined.
- Add ground turkey and quinoa to the egg mixture. Mix until combined.
- Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray until lightly greased. Drop meatballs onto sheet(about 1 inch wide). Roll into ball shape.
- Cook 18-20 minutes or until done.
Asian Glaze Directions
- In small bowl, mix corn starch with 1 tablespoon of water (this prevents the cornstarch from clumping together). Set aside for later use.
- Combine soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, 2 tablespoon water, siracha, garlic powder and ginger in a medium sauce pan.
- Heat over medium low heat, stirring every 30 seconds. Heat until mixture begins to simmer, then turn to low.
- Add cornstarch mixture to soy sauce mixture. Heat over low heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Pour over meatballs. Enjoy!