Meatballs and Meatball Quinoa Soup

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Taking the time to roll these meatballs will give you 3 meals for each family and it can be a fun afternoon socializing with friends.

Enjoy Meatball Quinoa Soup tonight which is my take on an Italian Wedding Soup and then freeze the remaining larger meatballs for a pasta sauce or meatball subs.  If time is of short supply and you are cooking with a friend or 2 then just make one recipe of meatballs and 2 or 3 pots of soup.  For the soup you will need a burner for each guest.

Beef & Turkey Meatballs Meatball Quinoa Soup, Meatballs in your favourite sauce on pasta and Meatball Subs in a marinara sauce are 3 meal ideas. If kids are doing this recipe I would suggest only 1 recipe split between 2 or 3 families so the kids don't get overwhelmed by the rolling involved. Feel free to adjust the mixture of ground meats - all beef, all turkey or a mixture of beef and pork are also delicous.


  • 1teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1small onionfinely chopped
  • 2 garlic clovesminced
  • 1 carrot
  • 1lb lean ground beef
  • 1lb lean ground turkey(breast meat is great if you can find it)
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egglightly beaten
  • 1teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a 10 inch frying pan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute until soft approximately 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in minced garlic and cook for another minute then set pan aside to cool.
  3. In a large bowl grate the carrot.  
  4. To the bowl add ground beef, ground turkey, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, egg, salt, pepper and reserved onion mixture.
  5. With your hands mix all ingredients together until it is consistent - you might need to help kids with this step.
  6. Rolling between your 2 palms form meat mixture into small meatballs approximately 2 cm in size. Use approximately 1/3 of the mixture for these meatballs to be added to your soup.
  7. At this point you should begin your soup preparation. Once the soup is simmering you can make additional meatballs of a larger size to be used in meatball subs or pasta.  
  8. To cook meatballs you can bake them on a large baking sheet at 400 degrees for approximately 20 minutes stirring after 10 minutes.
  9. To cook meatballs in a marinara sauce, first bring the sauce to a boil, add meatballs and cover. Simmer this sauce for 45 minutes to one hour. Meatballs can be tested and should register 165 degrees in the centre.
Meatball Quinoa Soup For the Meatball Quinoa Soup Recipe you can use your own meatball recipe or just shape some ground beef into small balls for my take on an Italian Wedding Soup.


  • 2teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1medium oniondiced
  • 2 carrotsdiced
  • 2 celery stalksdiced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1carton vegetable, beef or chicken broth(946 ml)
  • 1cup passata or strained tomatoes
  • 114 oz can of navy beans
  • 1small bunch of kale, chard, spinach or beet greens
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1teaspoon kosher salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon feshly ground black pepper
  • grated parmesan cheesefor garnish


  1. Heat your dutch oven on medium heat, add oil and then onions, garlic, carrots and celery. Stir constantly and cook for approximately 7 minutes until vegetables have started to soften but not brown.
  2. Add bay leaf, broth and strained tomatoes and bring to a boil.
  3. Add your small meatballs and continue to simmer for 20 minutes until cooked through.
  4. While soup is simmering prepare your greens by removing tough stems and spines, and finely chopping leaves - the smaller the better for my kids.
  5. Add beans, greens and quinoa and simmer 15 minutes until greens and quinoa is tender.
  6. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
  7. This soup is more flavourful made ahead of time. Refrigerate and reheat before dinner.
  8. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese and serve.

Sticky Tips

Make your own bread crumbs:

Freeze the ends (that no one really wants to eat) of your whole wheat bread loaves until you have about 6 ends. Toast in the toaster and process in the food processor. Now you have whole wheat bread crumbs. Store in the freezer for use on top of your macaroni and cheese or add them into your meatballs.

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