Baby Led Weaning Quinoa and Beef Meatballs

baby beef meatball fingers on a plate with green beans and spiral pasta.

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These easy quinoa and beef baby meatballs are healthy and delicious for the whole family, and easy to shape into baby led weaning friendly "fingers". They're great with spaghetti, or dipped in your family's favorite sauce. (gluten-free)


Units Scale
  • 1 lb ground beef (you can also use turkey or bison)
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup onion, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary (or 1/2 tsp dried)
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried)
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano (or 1/2 tsp dried)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten


  1. Heat oven to 425° F. Place it in the oven to preheat. If you are using a baking sheet, line it with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and  leave it out of the oven while preheating.
  2. Mince garlic and onion. Chop fresh herbs. A mini food processor make this quick!
  3. In a large bowl, mix until all of the ingredients until well blended. I like to use my hands to squish it all together.
  4. Roll mixture into meatballs about the shape of an adult thumb. They don't have to be perfect, so don't over think it. If you'd like to make some finger shaped for baby and some in round balls for adults, go for it.
  5. Once all meatballs are shaped, remove the skillet from the oven and carefully place meatballs in the skillet, spaced so they don't touch. If you're using a baking sheet, place meatballs on the sheet.
  6. Bake until the center is cooked through (it should register at 155° F on a thermometer), about 15 minutes.
  7. Serve however you'd like, such as with pasta and spaghetti sauce, or another favorite sauce for dipping.


  • Make-ahead: Meatballs can be mixed and shaped in advance. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months before baking. Thaw frozen meatballs before cooking.
  • Variations: If you don't have fresh herbs, dried herbs work well too. You can also experiment with adding other herbs, or omit them altogether if you want a more flavor-neutral meatball to go with different sauces.
  • Leftovers: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat by simmering in sauce on the stove, or microwave for 15-45 seconds, or until warmed throughout. Always test the temperature before serving to baby!