28 High-Protein Vegetarian Recipes for Toddlers

Many toddlers are picky when it comes to eating meat, even if they’re not on a vegetarian diet. Here is an ultimate roundup of high-protein vegetarian recipes for toddlers, featuring quinoa, beans and lentils as primary ingredients.

When it comes to toddlers’ picky eating habits, one of the food groups I hear most about is meat. Meat can be tricky – it needs to be prepared a certain way that makes it easy for little ones to eat, and the texture can sometimes be offputting. While it’s important to continually expose your child to animal proteins (if your toddler isn’t on a vegetarian diet), there are tons of other ways to ensure your babe is getting this vital nutrient.

Here’s a roundup of 28 fantastic high-protein vegetarian recipes for toddlers, broken down by meal. Seriously, though, there is so much inspiration here! And if you want more tips on how to deal with a picky eater, check out these 9 Easy Ways to Combat Picky Eating in Toddlers.

Without further ado…

BREAKFAST

1. PB&J Quinoa Bowl

Just hold the crunchy almond slivers!

Two PB&J Quinoa Breakfast Bowls complete with toppings, sitting atop striped dish towels.
by CaliGirl Cooking
2. quinoa berry breakfast bowl instant pot
An overhead shot of two Quinoa Berry Breakfast Bowls.
by Green Scheme
3. quinoa blender pancakes
by The Saucy Fig
4. 5 Ingredient eggy quinoa cups
A pan of 5-Ingredient Eggy Quinoa Cups.
by Kidgredients
5. crispy vegan waffles with lentil protein
A plate of Crispy Vegan Waffles with Lentil Protein topped with berries and powdered sugar.
by My Pure Plants

LUNCH

6. baked zucchini, feta and Quinoa Bites
A board full of quinoa bites.
by Whole Food Bellies
7. broccoli cheddar quinoa bars
A stack of two broccoli cheddar quinoa bars.
by Served From Scratch
8. lentil falafel with lime yogurt
A cast iron pan of lentil falafel with lime yogurt dip.
by Greedy Gourmet
9. Veggie Bean Burger
A close-up shot of a veggie burger.
by Spice Cravings
10. easy 15-minute quinoa bites with peas
A stack of 5-ingredient quinoa bites.
by Bite-Sized Kitchen
11. black bean salad with avocado
A bowl of Black Bean Salad with Avocado.
by Dancing Through the Rain

SNACKS

12. roasted cauliflower hummus with rosemary and garlic
Roasted Cauliflower Hummus with Rosemary & Garlic | CaliGirl Cooking
by CaliGirl Cooking
13. easy basil lentil dip
A close-up shot of a bowl of Easy Basil Lentil Dip surrounded by chips.
by The Missing Lokness
14. lemon tahini lentil hummus
An overhead shot of a bowl of Lemon Tahini Lentil Hummus surrounded by fresh rosemary and lemons.
by Bucket List Tummy
15. 5-Minute pumpkin curry hummus
This 5-Minute Pumpkin Curry Hummus takes your average Mediterranean dip and kicks it up a notch with a ton of added flavor. The perfect appetizer or side dish for your next dinner party!
by CaliGirl Cooking
16. kid-friendly quinoa fritters
An overhead shot of a bowl of quinoa fritters with a bowl of marinara dipping sauce.
by Wendy Polisi

DINNER

17. goat cheese quinoa and broccoli casserole in the instant pot
An overhead shot of a bowl of Goat Cheese, Quinoa and Broccoli Casserole.
by Whole Food Bellies
18. vegan white bean mac-and-cheese
A bowl of Vegan White Bean Mac and Cheese with fresh vegetables.
by Rhian’s Recipes
19. pasta e fagioli
A spoonful of pasta e fagioli.
by Christina’s Cucina
20. Instant Pot Lentil Stroganoff
An overhead shot of Instant Pot Lentil Stroganoff.
by Nourish Nutrition Co.
21. enchilada quinoa casserole
A finished dish of Enchilada Quinoa Casserole.
by My Kitchen Love
22. cheesy lentil bake
A finished pan of Cheesy Lentil Bake.
by Love In My Oven
23. one-pot black-eyed peas and spinach rice in instant pot
A bowl full of Black-Eyed Peas and Spinach Rice.
by Piping Pot Curry
24. 15-minute lentil sloppy joe stuffed sweet potatoes
A Lentil Sloppy Joe stuffed sweet potato ready to be devoured.
by Lemons and Zest
25. lentil pizza crust
A sliced pizza featuring Lentil Pizza Crust.
by This Healthy Kitchen
26. lentil tacos
A plate full of Mexican Lentil Tacos.
by Recipes From a Pantry

TREATS

27. Healthy quinoa almond date truffles
A plate of Quinoa Almond Date Truffles.
by Ministry of Curry
28. oatmeal quinoa chocolate chip cookies
A gooey quinoa chocolate chip cookie broken in half.
by Served From Scratch

If you have or come across any other great high-protein vegetarian recipes for toddlers, please let me know about them in the comments below! xo

Easy Meal Prep Mediterranean Bowl with Tzatziki Marinated Chicken

This easy Mediterranean Bowl is full of so much flavor, you’ll want to make it a regular part of your weekly meal plan. Loaded with tzatziki marinated chicken, tzatziki sauce, crispy chickpeas and more, most everything can be made in advance for quick weeknight assembly.

A Mediterranean Bowl loaded with chicken, tomatoes, cucumber and tzatziki.

I hope you’re ready for a life-changing, flavor-packed weeknight meal, because this Easy Meal Prep Mediterranean Bowl with Tzatziki Marinated Chicken is just that! I’ve been dreaming about creating a recipe like this for a while, and now that it’s finally here, I couldn’t be more excited.

The other exciting part? All of the components of this bowl that require ANY sort of cooking can be made well in advance. I mean, this meal can even be served cold without ANY reheating! That’s the ideal weeknight meal if you ask me.

I think it’s about time we start talking about all of the delicious things that go into this Mediterranean Bowl. Shall we?

What Goes into an Easy Meal Prep Mediterranean Bowl?

This recipe is so loaded with flavor, the real question should be, “What doesn’t go into an Easy Meal Prep Mediterranean Bowl?” Because there’s not much!

Let’s start from the top with the real star of the show:

Tzatziki Marinated Chicken

I consider this a pretty genius idea on my part if I do say so myself. Yogurt marinated chicken is nothing new. It’s a great way to infuse some moisture and flavor into grilled chicken. So, when we’re talking about a Mediterranean Bowl, why not marinate our chicken with everyone’s favorite Greek yogurt-based sauce – tzatziki!

You’ll want to mix up the sauce and start marinating the chicken at least a few hours before you want to cook it, so this is where you’ll have to plan a bit in advance. The good news is, once the chicken is cooked, you can keep it in the refrigerator for a few days before using.

Tzatziki Sauce

While you’re mixing up the marinade for the chicken, why not make the tzatziki sauce you’re going to top your bowl with? The ingredients vary only slightly, and there is a lot of overlap, so you can proverbially kill two birds with one stone.

You can store the tzatziki in a sealed container in the fridge for a few days before using as well. In fact, it gets better the longer it sits since the flavors have more time to meld.

An overhead shot of a healthy Mediterranean Bowl with Tzatziki marinated chicken.

Couscous

Since we’re going Mediterranean, we’re using couscous as the grain base for our tasty bowls. If you’re not familiar with making couscous, let me tell you, it’s so quick and easy to make! I just bought the whole wheat couscous from Trader Joe’s and whipped it up in less than 20 minutes. It’s also great to make in advance and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Crispy Chickpeas

Yes, crispy chickpeas! These are another food that, if you haven’t yet made them, you better hop to it because they are the BEST healthy snack. And the flavoring possibilities are endless. For these bowls, I kept the crispy chickpeas simple with a dusting of garlic powder and dried oregano. They tie in perfectly to the rest of the ingredients with the best crispy crunch. You may want to make extra, because you won’t be able to stop nibbling on them as you cook!

The chickpeas can be stored in a sealed container at room temperature for at least a couple of days. You’re going to have to practice your self-restraint to not eat them all before it’s time to top your bowls with them!

These are all of the ingredients for the Mediterranean Bowls that require any sort of prep, and as you can see, you can make them all in advance. Now you’ve got the hard part out of the way, let’s talk about how to make these bowls your own!

Two Mediterranean Bowls surrounded by fresh tomatoes, dill and cucumber.

How to Customize Your Bowl

The ingredients I mentioned above are the basic building blocks of your Easy Meal Prep Mediterranean Bowl, but they’re certainly not all there is to it. Here are the other ingredients – that require no prep at all – that you can mix and match to really customize this recipe to your own personal taste:

Tomatoes
Cucumber
Avocado
Olives
Hummus
Fresh dill
Fresh oregano

Serving Your Mediterranean Bowl

Since we’re still in the heat of summer, I highly recommend serving these bowls cold. Sure, they’re a great weeknight dinner option, but they’d also be great to pack for lunches for both yourself and the kiddos. I think they’d be the perfect picnic fare! Heck, you could even make a full Mediterranean feast for a crowd and serve these bowls with my Loaded Mediterranean Hummus Board with Pulled Lamb.

I hope you give these Med Bowls a shot ASAP because they are seriously bursting with flavor. And if you’re looking for more great meal prep recipes, be sure to check out my Meal Prep board on Pinterest!

An overhead shot of two healthy Mediterranean Bowls flanked by gold forks, fresh tomatoes and dill.

Easy Meal Prep Mediterranean Bowl with Tzatziki Marinated Chicken
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
30 mins
Marinating Time
3 hrs
Total Time
4 hrs 30 mins
 

This easy Mediterranean Bowl is full of so much flavor, you’ll want to make it a regular part of your weekly meal plan. Loaded with tzatziki marinated chicken, tzatziki sauce, crispy chickpeas and more, most everything can be made in advance for quick weeknight assembly.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: bowl, chicken, family-friendly, Greek, marinade, meal prep, Mediterranean, weeknight, yogurt
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 739 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the chicken:
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
For the tzatziki:
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 Persian cucumber, grated and water squeezed out with a paper towel
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
  • Dash of salt (to taste)
For the crispy chickpeas:
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Other ingredients:
  • 5-6 cups prepared couscous
  • 1 Persian cucumber, sliced
  • 2-3 medium tomatoes, cut into sixths
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • Olives
  • Hummus
  • Fresh dill and oregano
Instructions
To make the chicken:
  1. Place chicken breasts in Ziploc. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the marinade ingredients, then pour into Ziploc. Seal Ziploc, smoosh around to coat the chicken with the marinade, and refrigerate for a few hours, or ideally overnight. 

  2. When ready to cook, turn grill on medium heat. Place chicken breasts on grill and cook until done, about 10 minutes on the first side and 8 minutes on the second side (but use your best judgment.) Let cool before storing.

  3. Before adding the chicken to your bowl, dice it up.

To make the tzatziki:
  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Place in a resealable container in the refrigerator to store until ready to use. 

To make the crispy chickpeas:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Using a sieve, drain the chickpeas and rinse off with water.

  3. Pour the chickpeas onto a dish towel and rub until dry. It’s okay if some of the skins come off.

  4. Place chickpeas in a small bowl and coat with olive oil and salt. You’ll add the other seasonings after cooking.

  5. Pour chickpeas out onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until crispy.

  6. Remove from oven and sprinkle on garlic powder and oregano, toss to coat. Store in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to use.

To assemble the bowls:
  1. The couscous will form the base of your bowl. Then, just top with diced chicken, a dollop of tzatziki, a sprinkle of chickpeas, and whatever other toppings you decide to use. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

DISH DENSITY: High

Easy Weeknight Beef and Veggie Stir-Fry

An easy weeknight beef and veggie stir-fry recipe that’s ready in just 30 minutes. Serve over brown rice for a well-balanced meal that the entire family will love!

A close-up of a big pan full of Easy Weeknight Beef and Veggie Stir-Fry.

When it comes to types of recipes you guys like to see here on the blog, some of the most requested are easy, weeknight meals. It’s something I’ve been working on bringing you more of, especially now that I’m in that season of life where they are oh-so-important. After all, there’s nothing like having your hands full with raising a tiny human to really put you in your place when it comes to what types of recipes you have time to make anymore.

So when my brother (who happens to have his hands full with three tiny humans of his own) texted me asking for a good homemade stir-fry recipe, I knew it was time to get one in my arsenal – and share it with all of you!

Why Stir-Fry is a Great Weeknight, Family-Friendly Meal

If you think about it, stir-fry is a pretty ultimate weeknight meal, for a number of reasons:

  • It comes together quickly
  • It’s adaptable for many different diets
  • You can pretty much throw in whatever you have on hand
  • It’s very nutritionally balanced
  • With the exception of some rice to serve it over, it’s a one-dish meal

Does this convince you that you need to make this Beef and Veggie Stir-Fry ASAP?

Well, what if I told you that, once you have the base recipe for this stir-fry down, you’ll be able to make this dinner in tons of different ways and improvise it however you want it so that you’re never serving the exact same thing twice? Let’s talk about the basic building blocks of a good stir-fry…

A dish of Easy Weeknight Beef and Veggie Stir-Fry ready to enjoy.

Basic Building Blocks of a Good Stir-Fry

When it comes to making stir-fry, there are just a few building blocks you need to make it a hit with the fam.

PROTEIN

You’ll want to always include some sort of protein, whether that’s beef, chicken, shrimp, tofu, etc. This will give the meal it’s “stick-to-your-ribs” quality so that you’re not raiding the kitchen for a snack two hours after eating.

VEGGIES

The fun part about stir-fry is that you can really use any combination of veggies you want. I used carrots, zucchini, broccoli and snow peas for this recipe, but some other great ideas might be:

  • Bell peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Bok choy
  • Water chestnuts
  • Mini corn
A TASTY SAUCE

There are tons of different ways you can go with sauces for stir-fry, but the basic one I’ve included in this Beef and Veggie Stir-Fry will work with just about any protein and veggie combination you decide on.

What You Need to Whip Up a Stir-Fry In No Time

The other great thing about stir-fry for dinner – especially on a weeknight – is how very little equipment it involves. If you have a wok, use it! But if not, a big, deep saute pan will do just fine. Aside from an Instant Pot or rice cooker to make some rice to serve it with and a wooden spoon to stir, that’s all you need!

An overhead shot of two delicious plates of Easy Weeknight Beef and Veggie Stir-Fry.

So if all of these reasons don’t convince you, you can stop reading now, but if an Easy Weeknight Beef and Veggie Stir-Fry sounds right up your alley for dinner this week, read on for the recipe!

And in case you’re looking for some more weeknight dinner inspiration, check out these recipes:

Easy Weeknight Beef and Veggie Stir-Fry
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

An easy beef and veggie stir-fry recipe that’s ready in just 30 minutes. Serve over brown rice for a well-balanced meal that the entire family will love!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Asian, beef, dinner, entree, main course, stir-fry, weeknight
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 354 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the stir-fry:
  • 4 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • 3/4 pound flank steak, cut into thin strips or cubes
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 1/2 cups snow peas, cut in half or thirds
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
For the sauce:
  • 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup chicken or beef broth
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili-garlic paste (optional)
For topping:
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of sesame oil in your wok or large pan on the stove over medium heat. Once oil is shimmering, add flank steak and sear on all sides. Remove from pan and set on a plate while you start the vegetables. 

  2. Return wok to heat on the stove and add 2 more tablespoons of sesame oil. Once oil is shimmering again, add garlic and vegetables and stir to combine. Let veggies cook over medium heat while you mix up the sauce.

  3. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all sauce ingredients. Add to the vegetable mix, then add the flank steak back to the pan. Continue to cook on medium heat until sauce has thickened slightly and vegetables are cooked.

  4. Serve over rice and top with green onions and sesame seeds.

Recipe Notes

DISH DENSITY: Medium

Cool and Refreshing Tropical Coconut Ceviche

This refreshing tropical coconut ceviche will transport you straight to the tropics. With fresh fish, cooling coconut milk, plenty of acid and the perfect hint of heat, you might not even be able to guess the secret ingredient that makes this recipe unexpectedly next-level.

A close-up view of cool and refreshing Tropical Coconut Ceviche.

If you’ve never had coconut ceviche before, today you’re in for quite the tasty and refreshing treat! Since we’re in Hawaii right now, I thought it only fitting that I save this recipe that inspired me on our last trip to the islands to post this week. I distinctly remember enjoying my first taste of coconut ceviche at an oceanfront restaurant on Maui with a cold beer in my hand and a nice breeze blowing through the windows last August. Sure, it’s taken me a while to get around to making my own special version of the recipe, but I can tell you it was 100% worth the wait.

You see, this isn’t just any coconut ceviche. Sure, it has all of the typical flavors you’d find in most ceviche – plenty of lime, a touch of spice from some sort of pepper and the freshest fish you can find – but there’s something about the incredibly cooling quality of coconut milk (and my yet-to-be-named secret ingredient) that really brings it over the top.

Ready to learn how it’s done??

An overhead shot of three bowls of Tropical Coconut Ceviche set on palm fronds, surrounded by lime wedges and Thai chilis.

What You Need for Tropical Coconut Ceviche

First, and most importantly, you’ll want to get a hold of the freshest white fish you can find. I’m talking top-of-the-line, from your local seafood store or high-quality seafood counter fresh fish. And because I’m sensitive to all my pregnant mamas out there, if you can’t do the raw fish thing, try subbing in some freshly cooked shrimp.

Next, you’ll want to gather up coconut milk, coconut flakes, a bunch of fresh limes, red onion, red Chile, garlic, cilantro and…wait for it…PINEAPPLE JUICE! That’s right, folks, our secret tropical ingredient is the highest quality pineapple juice you can find. It’s so amazing in this coconut ceviche, and I’m not just trying to toot my own horn. You are not going to want to skip this.

Once you have all of the ingredients on hand, it’s time to get to work!

How to Make Tropical Coconut Ceviche

The great thing about this recipe (aside from the pineapple juice) is that you don’t have to turn on a stove or oven to make it, making it the perfect summertime dish when it’s too hot to even think about turning on any of these kitchen appliances.

All you’ll need is a nonreactive bowl, some plastic wrap and a little bit of patience while the ceviche “cooks” itself in its acid bath in the fridge. That’s it!

The refrigeration process does take about an hour, but it’s a set-it-and-forget-it situation that even the most novice of chefs can handle. If you know how to add ingredients to a bowl and stir, you can easily whip up this Tropical Coconut Ceviche!

A shot of three bowls of Tropical Coconut Ceviche ready to be enjoyed.

Now It’s Time to Enjoy It!

The best way to enjoy this refreshing ceviche is outside (maybe poolside?) with plenty of friends – and tortilla chips! Just be sure to keep the main serving dish on ice or in the refrigerator, as that fresh fish doesn’t stand up well to heat.

And if this yummy recipe makes you crave more and more ceviche, be sure to check out this Shrimp Ceviche with Papaya and this tomato-based Coctel de Camarones.

I hope you enjoy making this Tropical Coconut Ceviche as much as I did!

Tropical Coconut Ceviche
Prep Time
15 mins
Refrigeration Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
 

This refreshing tropical coconut ceviche will transport you straight to the tropics. With fresh fish, cooling coconut milk, plenty of acid and the perfect hint of heat, you might not even be able to guess the secret ingredient that makes this recipe unexpectedly next-level.

Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Hawaiian, Mexican
Keyword: appetizer, ceviche, coconut, no-cook, seafood
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 189 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 pound very fresh flaky white fish (I used cod)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 Thai red chile, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup fresh lime juice (from about 9 limes)
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro, plus more to serve
  • Lime wedges, to serve
  • Diced avocado, to serve
  • Tortilla chips, to serve
Instructions
  1. Place fish in non-reactive mixing bowl. Add garlic, onion, chile and salt. Stir to combine.

  2. Add coconut milk, lime juice, pineapple juice, coconut flakes and chopped cilantro. Stir together and refrigerate for at least one hour.

  3. To serve, top with lime wedges, more fresh cilantro and diced avocado. Serve alongside plenty of tortilla chips.

Recipe Notes

DISH DENSITY: Medium

One-Pan Bison Meatballs with Broccolini and Tomato Sauce

These One-Pan Bison Meatballs come together in just under an hour, with only 15 minutes of hands-on time. They’re tender and juicy, and perfectly complimented by charred broccolini, an herby tomato sauce and melted Fontina cheese.

An overhead shot of a pan of bison meatballs with broccolini and tomato sauce. The pan is tied off with a hand towel and there are tomatoes and bread on either side.

If you’ve never treated yourself to bison before, you’re in for a huge treat with these One-Pan Bison Meatballs with Broccolini and Tomato Sauce! They’re tender and juicy and full of flavor. In fact, you may never want to go back to regular old ground beef again.

BISON VS. BEEF

You can think of bison as beef’s fancier and more flavorful cousin, although, bison is actually lower in calories and higher in protein than both ground beef and turkey. It does tend to be more expensive, so I say save the bison for a once-in-a-while treat as opposed to an everyday thing.

You can usually find ground bison wherever ground beef is sold. In fact, I found a high-quality double-pack of ground bison at Costco. I popped one of the packages in the freezer (because we all know how helpful it is to have freezer options on hand!) and used the other one to make these delicious One-Pan Bison Meatballs.

HOW TO COOK IT

When it comes to cooking, ground bison can be prepared in the exact same way ground beef is prepared. Aside from meatballs, you could also use ground bison to make burgers (bison burgers are a favorite of mine), taco meat or even a meat sauce for over pasta.

A close-up view of One-Pan Bison Meatballs with Broccolini and Tomato Sauce with some crusty bread in the background.

But today we’re here to talk about meatballs, so let’s get to it!

LET’S MAKE SOME MEATBALLS!

Making the meatball mixture itself is the longest hands-on part of the process, and you’re going to have to get a little bit dirty. After all, I find the best way to mix up some meatballs is to get your hands in the mixing bowl to blend it all together.

You’re going to throw all of the typical meatball ingredients into the mix – egg, breadcrumbs, garlic, shallots, oregano – you don’t need anything special because, when it comes to bison, it already has so much flavor.

I guess this recipe is technically a two-dish one (if you count the mixing bowl), but once it comes to cooking, you’ll only need a large cast iron skillet [*affiliate link] to make these meatballs come to life.

You’re going to place your meatballs in a piping hot cast iron skillet on the stove first – you want to give them a good sear so they have that nice crispy outside before baking – then pour all of the tomato sauce ingredients over top (with the exception of the pancetta, which goes in first so you can use some of the oil for cooking the meatballs). Top all this with broccolini and delicious grated Fontina, throw it in the oven for just under 30 minutes (boil up some pasta or quinoa while you’re waiting) and – voila! – your One-Pan Bison Meatballs with Broccolini and Tomato Sauce are ready to be devoured by the fam.

A plate of pasta topped with bison meatballs, broccolini and tomato sauce.

Have you ever tried cooking with ground bison before? Let me know in the comments below!

One-Pan Bison Meatballs with Broccolini and Tomato Sauce
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

These One-Pan Bison Meatballs come together in just under an hour, with only 15 minutes of hands-on
time. They’re tender and juicy, and perfectly complimented by charred broccolini, an herby tomato sauce and melted Fontina cheese.







Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: bison, dinner, family-friendly, Italian, kid-friendly, meatballs, one-pan
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 636 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the meatballs:
  • 1 pound ground bison
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs or panko
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Other ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 8 ounces broccolini
  • 3 ounces Fontina cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Place all meatball ingredients in a mixing bowl and, using hands, blend together until all ingredients are evenly incorporated.

  3. Begin heating 2 tablespoons olive oil in cast iron skillet on stove over medium heat. Add pancetta and begin cooking, stirring occasionally while you form your meatballs. Also add the garlic at this time.

  4. Form meatballs into 2- to 3-inch rounds and place in cast iron skillet along with pancetta (which should be mostly cooked by now.) Allow meatballs to sear (about 2 minutes) and then flip them over to get the other side browned as well.

  5. Turn heat down and add entire can of tomatoes (including juice.) Sprinkle basil over top and tuck broccolini in amongst everything.

  6. Finally, sprinkle the entire mixture with Fontina cheese and place in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through.

  7. Serve over cooked quinoa or pasta and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

DISH DENSITY: Medium