BBQ Turkey Meatballs with Cheddar Corn Quinoa

Ever find yourself stuck in a dinner rut? For some reason, when I find myself getting bored with our dinner routines, we end up with a week where at least 3 if the meals are new and untested. This meal came from one of those weeks. We are always looking for ways to incorporate leaner meats into our diet and quinoa is a favorite side around here, so it was destined to be a hit. These meatballs are NO JOKE. Full of flavor and BBQ awesomeness, the toddler even enjoyed these immensely. Healthy, delicious, easy, AND kid-friendly? Sign me up! Mark and I did agree that the dressing could have done without the apple cider vinegar, so we’ll try it without next time.

For the meatballs:
1 lb ground turkey
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 scallion, minced
1 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dry mustard
3/4 tsp course salt
Pinch of cayenne
2 tsp brown sugar
5 tbsp bbq sauce, divided
For the quinoa:
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Course salt
Black pepper
1 can sweet corn
3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 scallion, minced
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment. I whipped up the dressing first, but of course you don’t have to. In a small bowl, combine your olive oil, crushed red peppers, garlic, and apple cider vinegar.
*Mark and I agreed this would be good without the apple cider vinegar… Maybe even better.
Let’s make some meatballs! Throw 2 tbsp of BBQ sauce and then the rest of the meatball ingredients into a medium bowl.

Mix it all up, then use your hands to give it all a good mushin’. Use a dough scoop or 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop meatballs onto prepared baking sheet.

Now, I got ahead of myself here and coated my meatballs with the remaining 3 tbsp of sauce before baking. The original recipe says to bake the meatballs a bit first, then coat, then bake some more. I think mine turned out pretty well, but you can try it either way you’d like. Soooo, I coated the meatballs and threw ’em in the oven for about 15 minutes.

While those are cooking, make your quinoa. We’re using the broth in place of water to cook the quinoa- which I recommend doing all the time, especially when the quinoa is the side dish. The flavor is just so much nicer! Anywho. Prepare quinoa as package directions state, subbing broth for water. Once your quinoa is cooked, mix in the corn, scallion, cilantro, and cheese…

And add the dressing.

Mix it all together. Serve meatballs over quinoa. Super easy, huh? Enjoy! 😄

Recipe slightly adapted from Pink Parsley


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