Basil Quinoa Meatball Marinara Sandwiches

Basil Quinoa Meatball Marinara Sandwiches

Basil Quinoa Meatball Marinara Sandwiches – your favorite Italian flavors combine with warm melty havarti cheese – this is the perfect comfort food sandwich!


Another new week is here, and we are celebrating quinoa this Meatless Monday.

I made a new ‘meat’ ball from quinoa, TVP and huge handfuls of basil.

These are light and soft with a crunch on the baked exterior, and they hold together well with minimal effort. The garlic and basil flavors are bold in both taste and scent – your kitchen will smell wonderful with these in the oven.

Basil Quinoa Meatball Marinara Sandwiches

I also made quinoa flour!

I used it in another attempt at gluten free buns. They turned out better than the first, so I’m getting there. I hope to share them soon, after making them a few more times.

In the meantime, grab your favorite meat ball cheesy marinara vehicle and a bunch of basil and make these.

Basil Quinoa Meatball Marinara Sandwiches

basil quinoa ‘meat’ balls

egg, dairy and gluten free, vegan

makes 16 meat balls (1 to 1 1/2 inches each)

1 tablespoon flax seed, freshly ground
3 tablespoons warm water
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, divided
1/3 cup TVP, rehydrated
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 red onion, finely diced
large handful fresh basil, minced fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
sea salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup gluten free flour, divided (garbanzo/fava flour)

to rehydrate TVP: place TVP in bowl and cover with hot water, set aside for 5-10 minutes – TVP will expand and soften.

Grind flax seed in blender, coffee grinder. Place 1 tablespoon in a bowl, add 3 tablespoons water and stir. Place in refrigerator to set into gel.

In food processor, combine rehydrated TVP, 1/2 cup quinoa, nutritional yeast, onion, basil and garlic, pulse until smooth. Transfer to mixing bowl, add remaining quinoa, 2 tablespoons flour, flax gel, salt and pepper, combine completely. Using remaining flour (flour hands and have a plate of flour to work with), form 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls. Place on prepared (parchment / silpat) baking sheet.

Bake @ 325 for 20 minutes, turn and bake another 10 minutes.

Tuck meatballs into gluten free buns topped with havarti cheese sauce and marinara, garnished with crisp lettuce and onion rings. 

Vegan Meatball Sandwich


More quinoa creations:

seven layer dip with noocho cheese


cheesy roasted hasselback tomatoes


cherry ginger coconut quinoa


baby portobello stroganoff


crispy sweet potato enchiladas


quinoa bean burgers with basil aioli


mango and onion quinoa salad


carrot-ginger quinoa in pepper jacks



Happy Meatless Monday!




    • Kristina Sloggett says

      I have been meaning to blend cooked quinoa into a burger for some time, and just figured the TVP would work as well – I liked it!

    • Kristina Sloggett says

      I have your chickless nuggets recipe bookmarked, but I haven’t even opened it yet! 😉 (I just know I WILL be making them…) how is this like yours, the quinoa? the processing? I really can’t wait to try them now! I am LOVING the TVP, and it is all your fault.

      buns will be shared, hopefully soon!

  1. says

    These sound great–and I think I actually have all the necessary ingredients too! Do you think these guys would freeze well for future emergency sandwiches?

    • Kristina Sloggett says

      I haven’t tried freezing them yet, but I bet they would be just fine in the freezer! Good idea, I may make a double batch next time just to do that!

    • Kristina Sloggett says

      awesome, you guys will love these! these sandwich rolls were larger than I normally make, and each sandwich had 4 meatballs. ENJOY!

    • Kristina Sloggett says

      once you start using quinoa it quickly became my favorite, now I make a large pot each week to use for lunches and snacks… I love quinoa and it’s versatility!

  2. says

    Oh my yumminess!! I have a 10-pound bag of quinoa in my pantry… yeah it’s pretty big, and I had big plans for it… time to start using it! I am going to try these sandwiches for suuuuuure!

    • Kristina Sloggett says

      once you open that bag of quinoa, it may go quick! I make a large pot of quinoa each week, for lunches and snacks. Enjoy!

  3. says

    Oh YUM to these balls! :) I love meatballs- any kind, anywhere. And all of the recipes you linked to on here look delicious… looks like I need to do some list-making.
    Did you make quinoa flour by just grinding it up in the blender? That’s what I do for chickpea flour (with chickpeas, of course…). I just use the dry blade on my Vitamix.

  4. says

    TVP, quinoa and basil? I need to make these. And check out that sweet potato enchilada recipe while I’m at it, ’cause that sounds pretty fabulous too. Thank goodness I bought a bulk bag of quinoa the last time I was at Costco…

    • Kristina Sloggett says

      yes Yes YES you need to make both!! that sweet potato enchilada is one of my favorites, and these meatballs? mmm yes.

  5. Abbie says

    That sandwich looks yummy, especially after being on the run all day and not having a chance to eat a respectable meal. Do you have any suggestions for how to make the cheese sauce if there isn’t any daiya cheese in a 90-mile radius? And, I would love to use some quinoa from the giant bag I purchased months ago!

  6. Julie says

    Is there a way to replace the TVP? How would you replace the tempeh in your apricot bar recipe? I am allergic to soy.

    Your recipes are an amazing find for me. We have various food allergy in my family and they are a good starting point for some new recipes. I have to alter some but I cannot wait to try them!

    Thank you,

    • Kristina Sloggett says

      hi Julie!

      I have a basil quinoa burger that could easily be made into meatballs, here is that recipe: quinoa basil bean burgers with basil aioli it uses beans instead of TVP.

      as far as the apricot bar recipe goes, you could simply omit the tempeh and use apricots, or a combination of apricots with cashews if you wanted some texture.

      as I plan my next couple of months here, I would love to know if you have any specific recipes you’d like to see! welcome, and thank you for reading.

      happy new year, cheers! Kristina

  7. Ember says

    I just made these while adding smashed black beans and italian seasoned bread crumbs (cannot use tvp) so delicious and I have not stuck them in the oven yet. :)

    • Kristina Sloggett says

      oh, good! I hope you liked them even more after they baked! 😉 I have already had several people make these and LOVE them! cheers to you!

    • Kristina Sloggett says

      haa HAAA HAAA… yes, I have heard this nonsense too 😉 every now and then is just fine, and your next portion should be used in THEEEEESE.


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