Easy to Make Quinoa and Chickpea Meatballs

November 13, 2019
These quinoa and chickpea meatballs make a nutricious and light dish that's perfect for vegetarians.

In this article, you can learn how to easily make this delicious quinoa and chickpea meatball recipe. It’s the perfect dish for lunch or dinner. It’s also a great option for your diet since they are low-calorie and nutritious. Try them today!

Ingredients for quinoa and chickpea meatballs

Quinoa and chickpea meatballs are made with very healthy ingredients. As this publication in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, explains, quinoa is a great source of protein, lipids, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Chickpeas are also a very nutritious choice. According to an article in Nutrients magazine, chickpeas contain dietary fiber, polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, and iron. They also have bioactive compounds like isoflavones, phytic acid, sterols, tannins, and carotenoids.

You can make 6 normal-sized meatballs with the amounts below, but you can always change the ingredients to your specific needs.

Meatballs Ingredients

  • 1 cup of chickpeas (180 g)
  • 1 cup of quinoa (200 g)
  • ½ cup of breadcrumbs (75 g)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce (15 ml)
  • 2 teaspoons of cilantro (10 g)
  • 1 red pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of salt (2 g)
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper (2 g)

Dip Ingredients

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cup of vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil (30 ml)
  • 1 large carrot


A bowl of quinoa.

  • The first start by soaking the chickpeas in warm water for several hours, so they soften and become easier to work with.
  • Then, cook them in a pot of boiling water for about 60 minutes. During this time, you can start preparing the vegetables and quinoa.
  • First, boil the quinoa in a pot with a good amount of water. The quinoa will be ready in about 5 minutes.
  • However, you can figure out if it’s ready by checking if the quinoa grains have some whitish rings. When ready, take it off the heat so that it cools down slightly.
  • Cut the red pepper and cilantro into very small pieces and set aside. When the chickpeas are ready, put them in the blender along with the garlic and blend until you get a homogeneous paste.
  • Pour this sauce in a separate bowl and mix it with the quinoa and pepper. Slowly add the cilantro, soy sauce, and breadcrumbs, then knead everything together.
  • Once done, refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Check out this article too: Why You Should Wash Your Face with Quinoa

Making the dipping sauce

An interesting option for the dip that works well these quinoa and chickpea meatballs is making them with the ingredients listed above.

  • To make the sauce, blend the tomato, garlic clove, onion, and carrot. Add a cup of vegetable broth to this mixture.
  • Then, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and pour the sauce. Let the sauce simmer and reduce in size for about 10 minutes.
    Tomato Sauce Dip
  • This way, the flavor will intensify and the sauce will have a thicker texture.
  • Once the time has passed, take the meatball mixture out of the refrigerator and roll some balls. Then, place them over the sauce.
  • Let them cook together for about 3 to 5 minutes, checking to see if they are done from time to time.

Read this article too: Antioxidant and Anticarcinogen Homemade Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce and coconut variation

A second option for the meatball sauce is preparing it with tomatoes and coconut milk.


  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 cup of coconut milk (250 ml)
  • Oregano, salt, and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon of curry (5 g)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil (15 ml)


  • Start by washing and peeling the tomatoes. Then blend them with the coconut milk and spices until you get a smooth sauce.
  • Afterward, pour the contents in a frying pan with hot olive oil and let the sauce simmer and reduce in size for about 10 minutes.
  • Once the time is up, place the meatballs in the sauce and let them cook for about 5 minutes.

Both sauces will go great with these quinoa and chickpea meatballs, each with their different flavors and nuances. You can make some white or brown rice or a green salad to garnish the meatballs. Hungry yet?

  • Vega-Gálvez, A., Miranda, M., Vergara, J., Uribe, E., Puente, L., & Martínez, E. A. (2010, December). Nutrition facts and functional potential of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa willd.), an ancient Andean grain: A review. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. https://doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.4158
  • Filho, A. M. M., Pirozi, M. R., Borges, J. T. D. S., Pinheiro Sant’Ana, H. M., Chaves, J. B. P., & Coimbra, J. S. D. R. (2017). Quinoa: Nutritional, functional, and antinutritional aspects. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition57(8), 1618–1630. https://doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2014.1001811
  • Wallace TC, Murray R, Zelman KM. The Nutritional Value and Health Benefits of Chickpeas and Hummus. Nutrients. 2016;8(12):766. Published 2016 Nov 29. doi:10.3390/nu8120766
  • Rachwa-Rosiak, D., Nebesny, E., & Budryn, G. (2015). Chickpeas—Composition, Nutritional Value, Health Benefits, Application to Bread and Snacks: A Review. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition55(8), 1135–1143. https://doi.org/10.1080/10408398.2012.687418