Garlic and onion meatballs topped with a bright herbaceous chimichurri sauce and served with toasted cauliflower rice and bright, acidic pomegranate seeds makes for an easy, flavor-packed, and low carb week night meal!
I love a good and quick weeknight meal. You know for those nights after a long day at work and you just don’t feel like cooking. But you’re still craving something super tasty. Dilemma!
Well, I have the perfect meal for this very situation….
These chimichurri meatballs with toasted cauliflower rice and pomegranate seeds. Talk about simplicity yet flavor!
The meatballs are bursting with big garlic flavor, the chumichurri is bright, acidic, and herbaceous, the pomegranate seeds add a pop of juicy freshness, and the toasted cauliflower rice is nutty and a little crunchy for flavor and texture.
It’s a dream weeknight dinner!
Better yet, it’s not only easy to make, but’s it’s also low carb and healthy. So it’s something you can feel good feeding yourself and your family.
Let’s get to cooking!
The first step is to make the meatballs. Start by heating a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet and adding the onions and a healthy pinch of salt and a dash of pepper. Cook until the onions are translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook until fragrant. another minute or two. Remove from the skillet and allow to cool.
Now, I know this is a tiny extra step in our easy to make dinner. But it only takes about 5 minutes and it adds sooooo much flavor to the dish. So we have to do a cost/benefit analysis of dirtying up another dish. And I promise it’s soooo worth it as simply sauteeing the onions and garlic adds a million times more flavor and zing! You won’t even mind that you had to wash that skillet – PROMISE!
Once the onion mixture has cooled, add it and the other meatball ingredients to the ground beef and mix until well-combined. Divide the mixture into 12-15 meatballs. Bake the meatballs at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes, flipping half way through, so you can achieve maximum browning of the meatballs on all sides.
For the toasted cauliflower rice, toss the cauliflower pieces with about a tablespoon of olive oil and a healthy pinch of salt and bake on a sheet pan for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.
For the chimichurri, add all the ingredients, except olive oil, to the food processor and blend until the herbs are broken down into small chunks. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until it is all combined. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. It will be chunky!
I added a little mint to the chimichurri because it gives it a nice pop of sweetness and extra flavor, but if you do not have mint on hand, you can omit this step. I also added a touch of coconut sugar to help tone down the acidy and balance out the sauce (but again this is optional, taste the sauce and add sugar if you find it necessary).
Here are 2 beautiful things about this meal.
- It can be prepped beforehand. You can form the meatballs the day before (or even in the morning before work) and store them in the fridge until dinner. I actually find they hold together better if they are refrigerated before cooking. You can also make the chimichurri before and store it in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
- It only requires one sheet pan. You can cook the cauliflower rice on the same pan as the meatballs, which makes for easy cleanup (now do you forgive me so having to get out the sauté pan?!?!)
Final step is to assemble. Add the toasted cauliflower rice to a platter. Top with meatballs, chimichurri, and pomegranate seeds.
There you have it. You have a showstopper, impressive dinner that not only was easy to make, but is also low carb and super satisfying.
Your family will think you are a ninja for getting such a beautiful, tasty meal on the dinner table in under 30 minutes.
Go ahead and call yourself a weeknight dinner warrior!
Chimichurri Meatballs with Toasted Cauliflower Rice
- ½ white onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound ground beef 85% or 90% lean
- 1/2 cup whole wheat panko break crumbs or gluten-free oats
- 1 tablespoon Worchester
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 cup parsley
- ¼ cup cilantro
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint optional
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- ½ cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Dash coconut or regular sugar optional
- 2 cup cauliflower rice*
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1/3 cup Pomegranate seeds
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add onions, salt and pepper, and cook until the onions are translucent. Add in garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes until onions start to brown and caramelize and garlic becomes fragrant. Set aside and let cool.
In a large bowl, add ground beef, cooled onion and garlic mixture, and remaining meatball ingredients and gently mix until well-combined. Form the mixture into balls.** Bake the meatballs for 18-20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
On a sheet pan, toss together the coconut rice, olive oil, and salt and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the rice starts to brown slightly. You just need enough olive oil to lightly coat the rice.
For the chimichurri, add all the ingredients, except olive oil, to the food processor and blend until the herbs are broken down into small chunks. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until it is all combined. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
Add the toasted cauliflower rice to a platter. Top with meatballs and chimichurri sauce. If desired, top with pomegranate seeds.
Serve and enjoy!
*For the cauliflower rice, you can buy it already rice or add a head of cauliflower to a food processor and slowly pulse until it is broken down into small chunks that resemble rice. **The meatballs can be made beforehand and stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours before cooking. The meatballs tend to hold together best if reregistered at least half hour before cooking.