Meatball, Tomato & Quinoa Traybake

My housemate made a lasagne recently with capers in the tomato sauce and it was just phenomenal so I’ve borrowed that inspiration and run with this recipe!

Traybakes are made for a batch cook or as a quick dinner option. The oven does the most work whilst you get on with more pressing matters. The tomato sauce could also be prepared well in advance or frozen in batches. Use the tomato sauce for any type of a pasta dish, for lasagnes or any chilli-style dishes.

Any type of mince can be used in this recipe, a mix of beef, pork and lamb would be delish. If using just lamb swap the woody herbs for something more lighter like mint. A mix of meat and lentils can also be used, similar to my koftas recipe. Or keep them fully veggie with just lentils in the balls.

Instead of quinoa, swap in rice, bulgur wheat, barley, lentils, potatoes or use cooked pasta. If using potatoes or cooked pasta don’t add the last 400ml of water.

For more great batch cook recipes try my Ginger & Mint Yellow Curry, Smoky Chorizo & Fish Stew or my Bulgur Wheat, Sprout & Beetroot Traybake.

Serves 5, makes 15 meatballs.

  • 2 red onions, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • oil
  • 2 tbsp capers, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh herbs – rosemary, oregano, thyme, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 x 400g peeled plum tomatoes
  • 500g beef mince, at room temperature
  • 30g oats or pinhead oatmeal
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tbsp parmesan, grated
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 200g uncooked quinoa grain
  • 1 x 400g tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 courgette, sliced into rounds
  1. For the sauce: place the onion and garlic with 1 tsp oil in a saucepan and cook until soft through.
  2. Add the capers and herbs and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and tomatoes with 400ml of water (simply fill the tomato tin with water that will help dislodge any tomato residue and add to the saucepan). Use the side of a spoon to roughly break down the tomatoes.
  3. Bring the saucepan to a gentle boil and return to a simmer for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
  4. For the meatballs: place the mince, oats, spices, parmesan in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Use your hands or a fork to work the ingredients together well. Whisk the egg before stirring through the mix.
  5. Dampen your hands with a little water and roll tablespoonfuls of the mixture into 15 even meatball shapes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F and spread the quinoa on the base of a large rectangular baking tray. Add the kidney beans on top followed by the meatballs.
  7. Pour the tomato sauce over the entire tray contents and nestle the courgette slices amongst the meatballs. Add another 400mls of water to the tray.
  8. Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes or until the quinoa and meatballs are cooked through.
  9. To serve: crumble some feta on top with more fresh herbs.
Meatballs, Tomato & Quinoa Traybake; Delalicious; Sinead Delahunty
Happy cooking,
Sinéad
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