Baked Cauliflower Quinoa Meatballs (vegan)
Servings: 18 balls
air fryer (optional)
- 1 head cauliflower, florets (5-6 cups)
- 2 cups quinoa, cooked
- 2 teaspoons dry oregano
- 1 /2 teaspoon dry basil or Italian spice
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
- 1 ½ teaspoons red pepper flakes, more to taste
- S&P to taste
- ½ cup breadcrumbs (fresh or panko)
- 1-3 tablespoons flour, all purpose or gluten-free
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- ¼ cup Vegenaise
- 2 tablespoons sriracha sauce, more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon soy sauce
Preheat the oven to 400º F.Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment or a reusable baking sheet.
Toss the cauliflower florets (approximately 5-6 cups) with 1 tablespoon of oil and the spices in a large bowl or on the baking sheet. Arrange on the baking sheet in a single layer.
Bake for 10 minutes, stir and return to oven for another 8-10 minutes until tender.
Transfer baked cauliflower to a food processor and pulse several times to rice it; but don't overprocess so it's mushy. Should be the size/texture of rice.
Cauliflower Quinoa Meatball Mixture
Place riced cauliflower, cooked quinoa, breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon of flour, 2 tablespoons sriracha mayo, and chopped basil-parsley in a large bowl. Mix until well incorporated.
The mixture will be sticky and bind together when pressed. If not sticking together, add another tablespoon of flour - mix thoroughly.
Using your hands, gently squeeze to form 18-20* equal size balls. Place on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and roll the balls to lightly coat the meatballs.
Oven Baked Method
Bake for 12 minutes until golden.
Gently roll them to flip and cook for another 10 - 12 minutes.
Let them cool before transfering from baking sheet.
Air Fryer Method
Spray air fryer basket with baking spray. Set to 350º F.
Place cauliflower balls in the air fryer basket without touching each other.
Fry for 15 minutes stopping after 10 minutes to gently shake the basket to flip the cauliflower balls.
Continue to fry for another 5-7 minutes until hot and crispy. Carefully remove from air fryer.
The cauliflower balls firm up as they cool down. Serve with remaining sriracha mayo drizzle, with pasta, soup, salad or in sandwiches!
Spice Mix - swap the Italian spices and make Mexican, Greek, Asian, Thai, Indian or Buffalo spiced meatballs!
Binder - swap the sriracha mayo for 2-3 tablespoons of aquafaba (chickpea liquid) or vegan egg replacement.
Meatball Size - this recipe makes 18-20 golf ball size meatballs.
Leftovers (fridge) - leftover, cooked cauliflower quinoa balls keep well in the fridge for 2 or 3 days.
Leftovers (freezer) - place any leftover cauliflower balls in an airtight bag or container in the freezer for several months.