by Olena

Turkey Quinoa Meatballs with Sweet Onion

Olena's image
Olena Osipov
5 from 3 votes

This post contains affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy.

Delicious gluten-free, high-protein turkey quinoa meatballs served up with a sweet onion gravy – a delicious addition to any meal!

We can’t go a week in this house without some form of meatballs; Thai meatballs, Mexican meatballs, porcupine meatballs, plain turkey meatballs, or even meatball soup!

Turkey Quinoa Meatballs with Sweet Onion

This week, I’m really in the mood for simple, hearty, comforting food and I have a ton of turkey to use up, so I’m making ground turkey meatloaf, turkey and broccoli pasta, and these turkey quinoa meatballs … It’s a good thing my family loves turkey! I might even make some turkey tacos… we’ll see!

We just returned from Whistler on Sunday. And straight to hockey tryouts so my head is spinning again. The trip was good but I took 0 pictures. Maybe 2 with my phone. Btw, you can see our last year’s trip which was exactly the same this year. We did a lot of pool time, hiking on the most gorgeous mountains and even water rafting. It was all great but I was exhausted.

I think I am ready for school. I am tired from kids. And at this point in life the only vacation that I consider a vacation is an all inclusive resort. Which I am going to visit very soon and until my kids start driving.

Onions in skillet

On Monday I woke up less than thrilled about Monday. House was a mess, piles of laundry, crazy kids and a ton of work deadlines.

A few years ago I learnt that a night of good sleep takes care of half of the problems. Another day of facing the reality and getting things done seals the deal. So, I just had to survive until Monday night. I also learnt that if I sit on a couch and come up with a plan of attack while sipping tea and eating healthy banana muffins, I feel better almost instantly.

Plate of Turkey Quinoa Meatballs

So, my mom always made these long shape meatballs with lots of onions. First of all, I like that these quinoa turkey meatballs are not with tomato sauce. Just for a change. Secondly, they are super easy. The flavour comes from a lot of browned onions and in my case enhanced by onion powder.

Sweet Onion Turkey Quinoa Meatballs on a plate with salad

I used regular yellow onions but I assume sweet onions would be even better. What I really like about this recipe is the fact who doesn’t have onions on hand?! I also am sure my mom used breadcrumbs to help hold meatballs together. I used dry uncooked quinoa. Served the same purpose and produced healthy gluten free turkey meatballs. Not that I consider gluten free means healthy. There is “and” between those 2 words.

Plus, it’s another great way to use quinoa (which I love). Next week I havegarlic butter shrimp and quinoa with asparagus on the list and I really want to make a one-pot chicken quinoa dish soon, with some chicken I need to defrost and use.. so much to do!

Sweet Onion Turkey Quinoa Meatballs in dutch oven

I served meatballs with hulled barley. One of my readers suggested I try it. I finally found it. It is barley that still has its husk on thus retains protein and fiber. It cooks like for an hour but is way more nutritious than pearled barley. We all loved it. I still think this was not the barley I grew up on. I think it was pearled barley.

Thanks to summer light nights I was able to snap a photo of our dinner table. I immediately thought of fall and winter darkness just around the corner. Why does summer fly by so fast?! Good thing is I checked off buying new dinnerware off my bucket list. Now it is not embarrassing to photograph it haha.

Sweet Onion Turkey Quinoa Meatballs served for dinner

More Healthy Turkey Recipes

Turkey Quinoa Meatballs with Sweet Onion

Turkey Quinoa Meatballs with Sweet Onion

Sweet Onion Turkey Quinoa Meatballs is a healthy and easy meatballs recipe with lean ground turkey, uncooked quinoa and lots of caramelized onions.
5 from 3 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American Ukrainian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 28 minutes
Total Time: 38 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 298kcal
Author: Olena Osipov



  • Preheat dutch oven or deep skillet on medium heat and swirl 1 tbsp of oil to coat. Add onions, stir and cover. Cook for 8 minutes stirring every few minutes. Transfer into a bowl.
  • While onions are cooking, prepare meatball mixture by combining in a large bowl turkey, eggs, quinoa, 1 tbsp onion powder, salt and pepper. Mix well and form large meatballs, round or kebab shape. Swirl remaining 1 tbsp of oil and brown meatballs on different sides in batches. Transfer to a plate.
  • Add hot water, soy sauce and remaining 1 tbsp onion powder to the dutch oven and whisk. Bring to a boil and submerge meatballs into the sauce. Spread cooked onions on top. Cover and cook on low for 20-30 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with cooked quinoa, brown rice, hulled barley (I did) and/or salad.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

    Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely, and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in a refrigerator overnight. Reheat in a microwave or in the oven at 375 F for 10 minutes.


      Serving: 3meatballs with sauce | Calories: 298kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 138mg | Sodium: 676mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g

      Recipes and images are a copyright of It is against the law to republish recipes without permission. Nutritional info is approximate.

      Join today and start saving your favorite recipes

      16 comments on “Turkey Quinoa Meatballs with Sweet Onion

      Our “happiness" software automatically deletes any rude or inappropriate comments, so we can keep on happily cooking delicious recipes for you.

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published.

      Recipe Rating

      This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

      1. My husband is on a low sodium diet. Do you have suggestions to reduce the sodium ? Are there any substitutions you can direct me to? This recipe sounds delicious! We love sautéed onions.

      2. 5 stars
        This was the recipe that originally brought me to your site months ago (I’ve made your other recipes since and they have been delicious) but I hadn’t gotten around to this one until yesterday and let me tell you, it was worth the wait! Wow. What a great meal. Thank you and keep up the great work!

      3. Definitely saving this recipe. I love that I can get good onion flavor in this but can still have something for my husband to eat that doesn’t have actual onions in it, since they upset his stomach. He can just push the cooked onions to the side for my step-daughter and I to have.

      4. 5 stars
        I made these last night. I had to curse myself after realizing I had completely blanked on adding the eggs to the meat mixture…and they still turned out amazingly! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

        1. Really?! Good to know. I was scared to omit the egg because turkey meat is watery and delicate. Thought the meatballs would fall apart. I guess quinoa and browning them helps. Glad you enjoyed.

      5. I am loving your recipes here. I will definitely mark this one too. Never heard of hulled barley before either. I had some in a bag from the store that this Mennonite family run. Just like i bought beans there in bulk form too, dried.

      The information on this website is for educational purposes only. It has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease. You assume full responsibility and liability for your own actions.

      This page may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy. is a participant of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. If you make a purchase, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps keep iFOODreal recipes free. Thanks for your support!