by Olena

Turkey Quinoa Meatballs with Sweet Onion

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Olena Osipov
5 from 5 votes

Turkey Quinoa Meatballs with Sweet Onion

We just returned from Whistler on Sunday. And straight to hockey try outs 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 I feel better almost instantly.

Plate of Turkey Quinoa Meatballs

This is when I realized I just have to make it to the store by 4PM for some free range ground turkey and make mom’s easy turkey meatballs. The side and salad part are easy.

Honestly thank goodness for my cleaning lady. We both were cleaning and tiding up for 5 hours yesterday. At 3:30 PM I was leaving squeaky clean house. I am in a horrible mood when things are not clean. So, by 4 PM I was good. I even did a workout in the morning.

Sweet Onion Turkey Quinoa Meatballs on a plate with salad

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 in dutch oven

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.

Sweet Onion Turkey Quinoa Meatballs served for dinner

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.

And here is more healthy meatball inspiration: slow cooker porcupine meatballs in clear sauce, Mexican turkey meatballs, easy turkey meatballs and even meatless meatballs with Parmesan (no one will know).

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 5 votes
Print Save Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 28 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 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 | Potassium: 645mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 117IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 2mg
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      olena osipov in the studio

      Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

      My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

      14 comments on “Turkey Quinoa Meatballs with Sweet Onion

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      1. 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!

      2. 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.

      3. 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.

      4. 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.

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