Meatball Salad

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This delicious meatball salad is the perfect dinner for a crisp fall evening. It is filling but light at the same time, made with roasted cauliflower, quinoa, fresh parsley and a flavorful homemade ranch dressing that ties all the components together.

meatball salad

How to make meatball salad:

The cauliflower in this recipe takes the longest, so that’s what you want to start with. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. and while the oven is heating, cut the florets off of 1 head of cauliflower. In a bowl, toss the florets with 3 tablespoons olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

how to make meatball salad

Spread the cauliflower on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast until it is tender and a knife goes through easily (about 40 minutes). While the cauliflower is in the oven, prepare the dressing and the meatballs.

how to make meatball salad

Whisk together 5 tablespoons tomato sauce1 cup mayonnaise1 tablespoon rice vinegar1 garlic clove (minced or pressed)1 teaspoon chili powder1 teaspoon hot sauce1 teaspoon dried oregano and 1 tablespoon olive oil.

how to make meatball salad

You’re going to mix part of that dressing into the meatballs, so you want to transfer 1/3 cup of it into a large bowl. Cover the remaining dressing and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve the salad.

how to make meatball salad

Cut 2 slices of sandwich bread into cubes and mix them into the 1/3 cup dressing.

how to make meatball salad

Let the bread sit for 10 minutes, then mash it up with a fork and add 1 pound ground beef (90 percent lean, 10 percent fat)1 egg1/4 cup minced white onion1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Mix everything together until well combined.

how to make meatball salad

Form about 20 meatballs (you can use a spoon, your hands, or a 3-tablespoon metal scoop for that) and set the meatballs directly onto one large or two small rimmed baking sheets.

Once the cauliflower is done, place the meatballs in the 400-degree oven and bake them until they are crispy on the outside (about 20 minutes).

how to make meatball salad

How to serve meatball salad:

Place the warm cauliflower, quinoa and meatballs onto individual plates, sprinkle with parsley and drizzle with dressing. Serve the salad with toasted bread.

More delicious salads:

meatball salad
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5 from 2 votes

Meatball Salad

This delicious meatball salad is the perfect dinner for a crisp fall evening. It is filling but light at the same time, made with roasted cauliflower, quinoa, fresh parsley and a flavorful homemade ranch dressing that ties all the components together.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: meatball salad
Servings: 4
Calories: 682kcal

Ingredients:

For the salad:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into individual florets
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the dressing:

  • 5 tablespoons canned tomato sauce
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder*
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the meatballs:

  • 2 slices sandwich bread, cut into cubes
  • 1/3 cup dressing
  • 1 pound ground beef (90 percent lean, 10 percent fat)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup minced white onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

To put it all together:

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

Instructions:

For the salad:

  • Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. 
  • In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower florets with the olive oil and the salt.
  • Transfer the cauliflower to a baking sheet in a single layer and roast until tender (about 40 minutes). (Turn the florets over on the baking sheet after about 20 minutes).
  • While the cauliflower is in the oven, make the dressing and the meatballs.

For the dressing:

  • In a large bowl, whisk all dressing ingredients together until smooth.
  • Transfer 1/3 cup of the dressing into a large bowl. Cover the remaining dressing and store in the fridge until you're ready to serve the salad.

For the meatballs:

  • Add the bread cubes to the bowl with the 1/3 cup of dressing. Mix well until all the bread is well coated. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Mash up the soaked bread cubes with a fork, then add beef, egg, minced onion, salt and black pepper and mix until well combined. 
  • Form about 20 meatballs (I like to use my 3-tablespoon metal scoop) and set them directly onto two rimmed baking sheets. 
  • When the cauliflower is done, put the meatballs in the 400-degree oven and bake them until the meat is cooked through and the meatballs are crispy on the outside (about 20 minutes). 

To put it all together:

  • Place the cauliflower, quinoa and meatballs onto individual plates, sprinkle with parsley and drizzle with dressing.
  • Serve warm and with toasted bread.

Notes:

*If you want to make your own chili powder, I have a recipe here: Chunky Chili.

Nutrition

Calories: 682kcal | Carbohydrates: 34.3g | Protein: 40.7g | Fat: 43.2g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 158mg | Sodium: 1003mg | Potassium: 856mg | Fiber: 3.6g | Sugar: 7.7g | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 23.2mg

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meatball salad

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