6.24.2011

Baked Chicken Meatballs

I’ve wanted to develop a recipe for chicken meatballs for sometime now.  The ideas and the flavors have been rolling around inside of my head since the first time I made Zucchini Fettuccini so when I logged on to my Facebook the other day and saw what a friend was having for dinner I knew it was time.

A quick search of the internet lead me to one of my favorite food bloggers, the lovely and talented Deb of Smitten Kitchen.  Now Deb has absolutely zero clue who I am, but I’ve been “smitten” with her for going on 3 years now.  Her photos, her food and her adorable baby Jacob have me looking forward to each new post that pops up on my feed burner.  So when I stumbled upon her recipe for Baked Chicken Meatballs I knew I could put my own spin on them, Primal style.

I think what I love most about cooking is that there are no rules when it comes to recipes.  That’s probably why I’m not much of a baker.  When I look at a recipe I think of what I have on hand that could make it work, not about what I have to run to the store and get in order to make it.  That’s the beauty of it, taking someone else’s creation and making it your own to suit your personal taste or budget.  I haven’t tried Deb’s version, but if mine came out this good I can only imagine how amazing hers are!


Baked Chicken Meatballs
Serves 4

1 lb ground free range chicken, or 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into strips and pulsed in a food processor until ground
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 strips bacon, diced
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons homemade tomato sauce
3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

Preheat your oven to 400º and place a rack in the upper third of your oven.

In a medium skillet over medium heat, add the diced bacon and cook until a good amount of fat has been rendered out, about 1 tablespoon or so.  Add the diced onion and the garlic and cook until the onion is translucent and the bacon is crispy.  Remove from the heat and cool slightly.

Combine the ground chicken, egg yolk, 1 tablespoon of tomato sauce, parsley and the bacon, onion and garlic in a large bowl.  Season with salt and pepper and mix well.  Form meatballs and roll into little balls, about 1 tablespoon of mixture per ball.  Place the formed meatballs into a large baking dish about one inch apart. 

Combine 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of tomato sauce together in a small bowl and brush on top of each meatball.  Pop into your preheated oven, and bake for 15 minutes.

These can be served as an appetizer or alongside your favorite pasta.  I decided to serve mine on top of my new favorite noodles, zucchini fettuccini with a healthy dose of homemade tomato sauce.  Needless to say they are delicious, and as is the case with most dishes, even better the next day.  The boy decided to make his into a meatball hoagie topped with crumbled goat cheese; I drooled while watching him inhale it ;)


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37 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for this recipe - these are delicious! I made a couple variations and blogged about them.

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  2. Do I buy the zucchini fettuccini or purchase? from where? looks/sounds amazing!!

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  3. You actually make your own! You can either chop by hand into small strips but I recommend using the julienne blade on a mandolin.

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  4. Sounds great. Should the bacon in the recipe be added raw or cooked?

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  5. Lindsey,

    These look so good! I can't think of a better way to do a healthy, low carb version of spaghetti and meatballs. Will definitely be trying this one out soon.

    - Eric

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  6. Can these be frozen for later use?

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  7. These directions are not very clear. It should say not to cook the ground meat before you add it to the mixture. I did thinking 15 mins in the oven wouldn't be long enough and there was no possible way they would be turned into balls at that point. Then it had raw egg in it so i HAD to put it in the oven. The balls just crumbed.

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    1. Seriously? The directions were VERY clear.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  8. To the person above - you never cook meat before you make it into the ball shape. There is no way it would stay stuck together. Instructions are very clear. Thank you. Can't wait to try

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  9. Would be healthier if you use the egg white instead of the yolk and left the bacon out.

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    1. Just what I was thinking!

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  10. Made these for dinner tonight and served w/ pasta and vodka sauce. Very good. Unfortunately, the meatballs I made were rather dry. I followed the recipe and the flavor was great but they were not moist. Any suggestions? Or ideas of what I did wrong?

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  11. Perhaps your meatballs were dry becasue you over cooked them - try shortening your cook time.

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  12. Any nutritional value on these? like weight watchers points, we have to track everything and these look so good !!!

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  13. Just tried these tonite and they are moist and tasty!!! I love them and will make them as a regular dinner item. I made it tonite with penne pasta and prepared tomato basic Prego sauce.

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  14. I know you posted this a while ago, but I found it recently on pinterest & wanted to drop by & let you know that they were yummy! In fact, I'm making them again tonight :)

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  15. These meatballs look awesome!Okay-where did you find the zucchini slicer? I have looked everywhere for one!

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  16. I tried this last night and It was a complete fail. Im not sure what happen but I could not roll into balls. too much liquid and way to soft. I tried to cook as a meat loaf and it was a fail too. they look good though

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  17. I just made these, and they were delicious!!! I didn't find them dry like others, and I could roll them just fine. The only thing I may have done differently is to spoon the bacon out on to a paper towel, removed the fat and cooked the onions in the same pan but with a bit of olive oil. Other than that, they were great.

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  18. I made it yesterday and added a 1/2 cup of almond meal, and gluten-free baking powder and they came out scrumptious! THANKS MUCH!! :)

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  19. Is there anyway that I can make these ahead of time and freeze them? Would I freeze before cooking or after cooking? Thank you!!

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  20. Yum! Ours turned out great, despite the fact that we're o-u-t of bacon. (It's very sad.) I did use the whole egg, and added some ground flax seed meal to help it stick together. Yum!

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  21. I found this recipe via Pinterest. I modifed the recipe in the following ways: I subbed minced onion (the dried kind) for the chopped onion; I subbed chopped spinach for the parsley; i subbed garlic paste for the clove; o used the whole egg; and I omitted the bacon cause I didn't feel like cooking it. I guess i pretty much changed it all up lol I was pretty loose with my measurements since the recipe seems pretty forgiving. If I didn't have a little one I might have added red pepper for a kick. I plan on serving these tomorrow over some quinoa pasta with sauce. They're in the oven now and they smell amazing! Thank you for the inspiration! I'll have to post tomorrow what the LO thinks- you know they set the bar lol

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  22. Coming back to comment. These were pretty good but next time I'll use some more herbs in it... it was missing something. But overall they were good, my LO ate them so they'll be in the rotation.

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  23. I followed your recipe exactly except I sauteed some mushrooms in a separate pan and then added everything as directed. They were perfect, Thanks for a great recipe, it is a keeper. We just started Paleo a few weeks ago and trying to find recipes that are good and easy and this was both. Thanks.

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