Ready for a healthy twist on meatballs? These salmon meatballs with quinoa are high in protein, gluten-free, and make a great appetizer or light dinner!
We all know the traditional, delicious, extra-greasy meatballs made from ground beef or pork you find at an Italian restaurant. Maybe you’ve even tried some lighter meatballs made from ground turkey, chicken, or bison.
But have you ever tried salmon meatballs with quinoa? Get ready to see this dish in a whole new light!
This recipe is a great way to use up leftover salmon. You can even used canned salmon if you have any sitting in your pantry.
Topped with a cucumber and yogurt sauce, these make for a super tasty appetizer or light meal!
How to make salmon meatballs with quinoa
The steps for this recipe are very straight-forward. Cook the salmon, mix together the ingredients, then form into meatballs and bake!
Here are the step-by-step details:
Step 1: Add the water and white wine to a large skillet and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Step 2: Add the salmon fillet, skin side down, and cover. Cook 5 to 10 minutes until the salmon is barely opaque in the center, then remove from heat and set aside until the fish is cool enough to handle.
Step 3: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 400°F.
Step 4: Flake the salmon into a large bowl, removing the skin as you go.
Step 5: Add the quinoa, shallot, parsley, garlic, red pepper, eggs, salt, and pepper. Mix gently to combine the ingredients without breaking up the salmon bits too much.
Step 6: Form the mixture into 1½ inch balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
Step 7: Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until cooked through.
How easy was that? Now your delicious low-carb, high-fat, and gluten-free meatballs are ready to enjoy!
If you’re in a hurry, there are a few ways you can shorten the time it takes to make this recipe.
First, the process will be much faster if you start with leftover cooked salmon or canned salmon. In that case, you can skip the cooking steps and go right into forming the meatballs.
The recipe also calls for cooked quinoa. I usually prepare a large batch a day or two in advance so I have it ready for this recipe and as an easy side for other meals.
If you’re cooking the quinoa with this recipe, you want it to be fully cooled before you add it to the other meatball ingredients. Once it’s finished cooking, just spread it out on a baking sheet and place it in the freezer for 5 minutes. This will cool the quinoa quickly.
How to serve salmon and quinoa meatballs
While these meatballs are tasty enough to eat on their own, I love to serve them with cucumber raita, an easy dipping sauce made from cucumber, garlic, mint leaves, and plain Greek yogurt.
If you don’t have time to make a sauce, you can also just serve them with plain Greek yogurt or sour cream for dipping!
Want to make a full meal out of them? These meatballs are delicious over a leafy salad with lemon vinaigrette. Feel free to add any other toppings you like — some feta and chopped cucumber would be perfect!
If you can afford the carbs, you could also serve the meatballs over some angel hair pasta tossed in a light Alfredo sauce. How tasty!
I like to make a big batch of salmon and quinoa meatballs so I’ll have leftovers to enjoy throughout the week. They make such a great lunch on-the-go!
Leftovers can be stored covered in the refrigerator and should be eaten within 3 days to ensure maximum freshness.
Other delicious salmon recipes
Do you ever get tired of salmon? I certainly don’t. And this fish is a nutrient powerhouse, so I say the more salmon recipes, the better! Here are a few more of my favorites that I think you’ll enjoy:
- Southwest-Spiced Salmon Chowder
- Salmon Tacos with Kale, Collards, and Lemon-Tomato Vinaigrette
- Broiled Salmon with Onion Marmalade over Greens
When you’ve tried this dish, please don’t forget to let me know how you liked it and rate the recipe in the comments below!
Salmon Meatballs with Quinoa (Gluten-free)
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup white wine or vegetable stock
- 12 ounces salmon fillet
- ½ cup quinoa (cooked and cooled)
- 1 large shallot (minced)
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped)
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- ⅓ cup red bell pepper (minced)
- 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Add the water and white wine to a large skillet and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- Add the salmon fillet, skin side down, and cover. Cook 5 to 10 minutes until the salmon is barely opaque in the center, then remove from heat and set aside until the fish is cool enough to handle.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Flake the salmon into a large bowl, removing the skin as you go.
- Add the quinoa, shallot, parsley, garlic, red pepper, eggs, salt, and pepper. Mix gently to combine the ingredients without breaking up the salmon bits too much.
- Form the mixture into 1½ inch balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
- Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until cooked through.