If you’re looking for a great pigskin party dish, I’ve got just the thing-MEATBALLS. Everyone loves meatballs! Meatballs seem to be the first thing folks grab because one, they’re handy to eat with a toothpick or skewer, requiring only a napkin or paper plate to catch a little dipping sauce. And two, meatballs appeal to everyone’s taste buds. We often get in a major rut by serving the same store-bought version with the same-old BBQ sauce, but without much time these little morsels come together pretty darn quick and will “kick-off” the party with a “TD” (pardon the corny football metaphor).
This tasty version is inspired from a recipe I found on the Litehouse Foods website HERE. It piles on flavor and healthful components with Greek inspired ingredients. Feta cheese headlines along with red bell peppers, grated carrot, garlic, fresh parsley and oregano. Cooked quinoa adds bulk, softens the meatball and adds additional protein. Most of the time I add Italian turkey sausage for even more flavor and relatively low-fat protein. I can eat a lot of these bad boys and so can the pickiest eater at my house. These are definitely on the list of recipes I make over and over again.
I like to wrap them in butter leaf lettuce or flatbread for an easy finger-food meal. And to add moisture I combine fresh chopped cucumber with Litehouse OPA Feta Dill Greek Yogurt Salad Dressing. This stuff is amazing. I’ve blogged about it before because I love how something so delicious can be so low fat and healthy for you. I’m always on the lookout for that combination. I used the OPA Feta Dill just recently when I posted the Cucumber Tomato Salad and I used the OPA Blue Cheese version in a Steak Salad with Blue Cheese, Blueberries and Avocado recipe in a recent post.
- Greek Quinoa Beef Meatballs
- 1/2 red bell pepper, membranes removed and sliced into 1-inch strips
- 1/2 cup shredded carrot
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley leaves
- 2 Tbsp fresh oregano leaves
- 1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa (from approximately ½ cup dry)
- 1 pound extra-lean ground beef
- 1/2 pound Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
- 1 5-oz container feta cheese crumbles
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 16 Bibb or butter lettuce leaves
- 6 ounces OPA by Litehouse™ Feta Dill Greek Yogurt Salad Dressing
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Combine red bell pepper, carrot, garlic, parsley and oregano in container of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Cover and process until coarsely chopped.
- Combine chopped mixture with cooked quinoa, ground beef, turkey sausage, cheese, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Using hands or a melon-baller, shape into 32 balls and transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 to 18 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown (internal temperature should reach 165 F degrees).
- To serve as lettuce wraps, add a dollop of dressing to the center of each lettuce leaf. Top with two cooked meatballs. Repeat assembly steps for remaining wraps.
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