Caprese Quinoa Bake with Herbed Mini Turkey Meatballs


This summer Italian main dish works great for hosting a crowd, and I recently served it at a “pre-4th of July” dinner party…and considering there were no leftovers, I believe it was well received. Tomorrow, I will be posting a full recap with tons of patriotic recipes and tips that I hope you find useful for the upcoming holiday weekend. For now you can read up and view more photos from my shindig by visiting to learn more about my “modern patriotic” feature in their article, “Entertaining With: Courtland Crosswell McBroom”.

Caprese Quinoa Bake with Herbed Mini Turkey Meatballs


  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 jar marinara
  • 3 medium sized tomatoes
  • 1 container cherry tomatoes
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1 bunch basil
  • 2 rosemary springs, stemmed
  • 1 container – mozzarella (I used skim and it worked great)
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • quick cook quinoa
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • baking sheet
  • large casserole baking dish – purchase my Vietri Incanto one by clicking here

Step 1: prepare and cook the mini meatballs

  • turn on your oven broiler to 500
  • chop 1/2 cup parsley, 1 cup basil, and add this with the rosemary to a cuisine art with 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • add a little salt and pepper and pulse
  • then combine the mixture with the meat in a mixing bowl and begin to form into small golf ball sized mini meatballs and place on a cooking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray – bake for 10 minutes flipping occasionally… let them cool then set aside in a bowl





Step 2: cook the quinoa

  • add two cups rinsed quinoa and four cups water to a large pot on high heat
  • bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat to a simmer
  • cook covered 10-15 minutes until the water is absorbed and it fluffs easily with a fork
  • set aside in a large bowl and sprinkle with freshly chopped basil



Step 3: create the sauce, assemble & bake

  • preheat oven to 350
  • slice one container cherry tomatoes in half and add to a medium sauce pan on the stove with the jar of marinara, half of the bag or shredded block of mozzarella and the half and half milk
  • heat until warm and thoroughly combined
  • fold in the meatballs and remove from the stove
  • in the bottom of the casserole dish add a layer of the basil and quinoa mixture and top with a layer of sauce and meatballs
  • repeat another layer of each
  • top with sliced tomatoes, the other half of mozzarella and more fresh basil
  • bake for 20 minutes at 350
  • turn on the broiler for the last two minutes to brown the cheese







4 responses to “Caprese Quinoa Bake with Herbed Mini Turkey Meatballs

  1. Pingback: Chicken Vegetable Soup | cookingandaconvo·

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