Potluck Fare: The Almighty Meatball!

I am in a wine book club.  We get together every 6 weeks or so to drink wine talk books…and eat.  Last week was my turn to host the Christmas Potluck.


After ensuring we would have enough wine to drink sample, I prepared a crockpot full of yummy Italian meatballs.  As there are several book club members that are Gluten Free, I opted for making my own meatballs over purchasing the pre-made variety available at Loblaws, Costco or M&M’s.

After browsing around on the web looking at a variety of recipes, I settled on this yummy recipe I found on the blog How Sweet It Is.  And then I changed it …

Healthy Crockpot Mini Turkey Beef Quinoa Meatballs

  • 2 lbs Extra Lean Ground Beef
  • 2/3 cup cooked quinoa
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed from a jar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 jars of your choice of Gluten Free Classico Pasta Sauce … my choices were…
    • 1 jar Roasted Garlic & Onion
    • 1 jar Vodka (you understand why right?)

In a large bowl combine beef, quinoa, garlic, egg, olive oil, cheese, basil, oregano, salt and pepper.  Mix thoroughly and quickly, just to combine, don’t overmix.  Roll into golfball sized meatballs and place on a baking sheet.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.  Add meatballs in groups, browning the tops and bottoms – about 2 minutes each side.  To flip the meatballs, gently toss with a spoon, or shake the pan back and forth – like they do on those cooking shows.  Once browned, add to the crock pot.   The browning is an important step as it seals in the juices and keeps the meatballs tender.

Once all the meatballs are in the crockpot, cover with the sauce of your choice.  If you are mixing sauces (as I did), it’s a good idea to mix them together before adding them to the crockpot.  Cook on high for 4 hours.

NOTE:  I refrigerated the meatballs after browning and cooked them the next day.  You could also freeze them.


The concensus from the wine book club gals was 16 thumbs up!  I will make these again, and again, and again!


Donna ThumbnailHappy Potlucking …. Donna







Mary Anne Border

Mary Anne says:“These look great Donna! I especially like that you can make the meatballs ahead of time, you can use store bought sauce, and that they cook in a crockpot so I can enjoy the party:)”


Lisa BorderLisa says: “Yum, yum, yum, I love meatballs and as Mary Anne says the perfect thing so that you can enjoy the party too.”

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Debbie @Dewdrop Gables - December 10, 2013 - 1:46 pm

What a perfect dish to have for a party, and they sound delicious! Your wine, er sorry, book club sounds like a lot of fun!
Debbie :)

Everything Mom and Baby - December 11, 2013 - 9:14 am

This looks awesome. My son loves meatballs. I like that quinoa is added as well for extra healthy protein.
Gotta love wine clubs…I mean book clubs 😉 All great choices of “sauce”!

Kathryn - December 11, 2013 - 10:57 pm

Mmmm, I love me some meatballs. My mom always makes a pot that we snack on while we wait for dinner to be ready.
Yours look amazing!!

Heather - December 12, 2013 - 11:19 am

wine *cough cough* I mean book clubs are the best! These look awesome. I might have to make them for my club!

Inspire Me Heather - December 12, 2013 - 4:10 pm

That recipe looks great – cheers!

Dani @ lifeovereasy - December 12, 2013 - 11:09 pm

Who doesn’t love meatballs! This recipe looks like a hit.

Anne@DesignDreams - December 13, 2013 - 8:32 am

that looks so yummy! wish I wasn’t allergic to

Donna - December 22, 2013 - 12:58 pm

That’s too bad Anne :( poor you!

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