Quinoa is dismissed by many people because they think it tastes like bitter cardboard. However, quinoa is rich with necessary proteins, fiber and other minerals, making it a “superfood” that everyone should include into their diets. For those of you who don’t think quinoa is a godsend like I do, just know that it’s all in the way it’s prepared and very few people know how to cook quinoa correctly.

I started using quinoa in my meatloaf when I was diagnosed with a gluten allergy and couldn’t use breadcrumbs anymore. The first time I tried to make this recipe, I was just as skeptical as you probably are now. I assumed it would taste awful but, to tell you the truth, but I couldn’t taste the difference.

This is neither a vegetarian nor a vegan recipe, so for all of you meat-lovers out there, this one’s for you. This is an old family recipe (with a few minor substitutions) that serves six, but my family of seven can usually get at least one night’s worth of leftovers out of this meal.

Quinoa Meatloaf

Servings: 6

1 pound ground beef

1/2 cup cooked quinoa

2 eggs

1/8 tablespoon ground black pepper

One 14-ounce jar of marinara sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

While waiting for the oven to warm up, I suggest cooking the quinoa. The best way to do this, according to Bon Appetit, is to first rinse the quinoa very well in order to remove the bitter outer layer.  Then boil one cup of water for every one-half cup of quinoa. After the water comes to a boil, turn the heat down to low and let the quinoa simmer for about 15 minutes. It holds a lot of water, so make sure you drain it out very well after it is done cooking.

In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients together except the marinara sauce.

Add one cup of marinara sauce and mix well.

Press the mixture into an ungreased 8 x 4-inch loaf pan.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes.

Pour the remaining marinara sauce over the meatloaf and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meat is well browned and firm.

Once the meatloaf is done cooking, wait 10 minutes before serving.

I highly recommend serving this dish with some form of potato, whether it be mashed, baked, twice baked or boiled, and with a green vegetable such as spinach or green beans.

About The Author

--Sophomore | Vine Editor -- Nursing : Irish Studies

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