Recipe Review

These Cauliflower Meatballs Are a Creative Twist on a Classic

updated May 29, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Dishing Out Health)

Kitchn’s Delicious Links column highlights recipes we’re excited about from the bloggers we love. Follow along every weekday as we post our favorites.

Here’s one for all you folks out there trying to cut down on carbs and eat more plant-based meals without sacrificing flavor: Kung Pao cauliflower meatballs, a creative (and vegetarian!) twist on a classic.

If you love Chinese takeout, then you’ll be on board with this healthyish upgrade. Usually a vegetarian meatball uses beans as its base, but these opt for the vegetable of the moment — cauliflower — as a replacement. They also get their light texture from quinoa, a nutrient-packed superfood that delivers fiber and protein (any variety will work for this recipe).

To make them, you’ll combine quinoa, cauliflower, and breadcrumbs (eggs bind the ingredients together, so be advised that these aren’t vegan). After baking, you’ll smother the meatballs in a savory Kung Pao sauce, an Asian-inspired dressing made with soy sauce and chili-garlic sauce, combined with crunchy bell pepper. This is one nutritious meal that will be anything but bland.

One concern among busy families is that healthful meals inevitably take more effort to prepare. Not so with these cauliflower meatballs. They’re simple to make ahead of time, meaning you can assemble them, then pop them in freezer until you’re ready to bake and serve. All you have to do is prepare the sauce, which takes about 10 minutes to make.

The meatballs do work as a lighter dinner, which can be served over a bed of rice or leafy greens to keep it super healthy. But they’re also an easy two-bite appetizer, perfect for your next house party.

The cauliflower and quinoa combination is so versatile, however, that you can easily get creative with this recipe. Maybe try a curry sauce or a marinara sauce. Ignore what your parents told you as a kid — in this case, you should totally feel free to play with your food.

Get the recipe: Kung Pao Cauliflower Meatballs from Dishing Out Health

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

More Delicious Meatball Recipes from Kitchn