I don't really eat a lot of pasta these days but last week I had a sudden and incurable craving for spaghetti and meatballs. I also had ginormous container of leftover quinoa and decided that I should just find a way for the two to go together. And let me just say, it totally works!! Forget bread crumbs, oatmeal or cracker crumbs. Toss a little quinoa in with your meatballs and get the bonus of that healthy little seed with all that extra protein. And the meatballs were delicious! Totally hit the spot!
I found some seasoning at Wal-Mart the other day and I knew it would be perfect. It's made by McCormick and it's call Tuscan Seasoning. That stuff was awesome with all the right flavors... these meatballs didn't need much else! You could use any Italian seasoning you have, but I think this will be my new go-to.
I put these in the slow cooker in the morning and had a bunch of errands to run throughout the day. Including a trip to Target with both kids who happened to be in rare form and just about made me looney. Thankfully when we got home all I had to do was boil a pot of noodles and heat a jar of sauce.
Then I was in pasta heaven! All shenanigans pulled by the children (mostly) forgotten! I found some quinoa pasta while we were shopping so I felt like I was pretty much guilt free too!
Enjoy these meatballs with your favorite pasta and sauce or plain or any way you can think of!
Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs with Quinoa
- 1 pound lean ground beef I used 94% lean
- ½ cup cooked quinoa
- ¼ cup grated zucchini
- ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 egg slightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning like McCormick Tuscan Blend
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Add all ingredients to mixing bowl and mix by hand until combined
- Form into meatballs and place in single layer in crock (I made mine slightly larger than golf balls and it made 9)
- Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 until meatballs are cooked through