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Meat Free Meatballs on plate

Mexican Spiced Cauliflower Quinoa Meatballs

Janice Pattie
Meat free 'meatballs' with a spicy tomato sauce
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine British
Servings 6
Calories 240 kcal


  • 1 small cauliflower
  • 190 g uncooked quinoa
  • 500 ml water
  • 100 g wholemeal breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

For the sauce

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • small onions finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic crushed
  • 1 green pepper thinly sliced
  • 2 courgettes spiralized (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp hot smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha
  • 1 400 g can good quality tinned tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp roughly chopped coriander leaves


To make the meatballs

  • Soak the quinoa overnight, then rinse until the water is clear
  • Put the quinoa into a pan with 500 ml of water and cook for about 10-15 minutes until all the water has been absorbed.
  • Cook the cauliflower florets in a little water for 5 minutes until tender.
  • Place the breadcrumbs, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, cauliflower and quinoa into the ThermoCook or other blender and pulse for 10 seconds until combined, tip into a bowl and set aside in the fridge to cool.

While the meatbals are cooling, make the sauce

  • Heat the oil to a medium heat in a large frying pan or saute pan add the onion.
  • Cook gently until the onion softens, add the garlic, spiralized courgette (if using) and green pepper and cook for another couple of minutes, then add the hot smoked paprika, tomatoes and Sriracha.
  • Cook for a further 10 minutes and check the seasoning adding salt and pepper or more Sriracha to taste.
  • Finally add the chopped coriander leaves.
  • Once cool, make the cauliflower & quinoa mixture into golf ball sized balls with your hands.
  • Replace in the fridge for a few hours to firm up
  • Heat the oven to 180C
  • Fill a roasting tin to 1/2 cm with rapeseed or vegetable oil and place in the oven for 10 minutes until smoking hot
  • Add the 'meat' balls to the hot oil and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes or until golden brown*
  • Serve the the sauce and top with the crispy meatballs and garnish with coriander leaves.


*At this point you can remove the meatballs and reheat on a dry oven tray. if you wish to serve them later


Calories: 240kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 9gFat: 5gSodium: 379mgPotassium: 795mgFiber: 7gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 445IUVitamin C: 85.1mgCalcium: 72mgIron: 4.1mg