This recipe is a serious favorite around the house.
The best part about these meatballs is that they can be used in so many different ways. For this recipe, I did meatballs with tomato sauce over zoodles. But, you can use any sauce or any base.
This recipe makes A LOT. You can easily have leftovers OR you can freeze these lovely little balls of meat in a Ziplock bag. They defrost very quickly when submerged into your favorite saucy-sauce.
You can also use these meatballs to make AH-maze-ING Meatballs in Creamy Mushroom Sauce. Perfect for a rainy day.
The ingredients are pretty straightforward, as is the method for making them.
Start by heating a little oil in a saute pan over medium heat.
Chop up your onions. I do a little onion chopping tutorial in this recipe.
Add the onions to the saute pan.
Chop your fresh garlic. (To get the clove out of the skin just smash it to smithereens. It’ll come right out.)
See those skins… they lost.
Add the garlic to the onions.
Throw in a large pinch of Kosher salt and fresh black pepper.
Saute the onions and garlic just until the onions soften and become translucent. They should have no color.
Take the onion mixture off the heat and allow it to cool while you are making your meatball mixture.
In a large bowl add the chicken…
Make sure the grated Parmesan is good quality and doesn’t have a bunch of hidden terrors. This is what I use…
I find it in the deli section of my supermarket.
Next, chop up your parsley.
You know what to do…
Lastly, add some Panko breadcrumbs in there.
I actually like the flavor and texture of Panko more than regular breadcrumbs, and interestingly, Panko has no additives or preservatives as do almost all other regular and seasoned breadcrumbs. Use. Panko.
Now for the fun part…
Using your hands, squish the mixture together until it is combined.
Add the onion and garlic mixture. Reserve that saute pan for later. Wink, wink.
Squish a second time. (There are three squishes, so you are almost done.)
Lastly, add 1/2 cup of water and another good pinch of Kosher salt and black pepper. This step is ESSENTIAL!
Squish one last time. The mixture should be very wet.
At this point, heat your oven to 400 degrees.
Begin making little meatballs and placing them on a baking sheet that has been greased with olive oil or lined. I like to race the oven to see if I can make all the meatballs before it hits 400. I lose every time.
I like making these meatballs on the smaller side. They are easier to eat and stay moist that way.
Bake the meatballs for 25 – 30 minutes until they are just cooked through and begin to brown around the edges.
When there is about 10 minutes left of baking time pour your sauce into the saute pan and warm it over medium low heat. Use the same pan you cooked the onions in. One last dish to wash for goodness sakes!
Growing up with a Sicilian grandmother, I really don’t like to use store bought sauce, and I generally make my own homemade sauce. BUT if i’m in a rush, I use Rao’s.
This kind is Arrabbiata which means it has a little spice to it. This sauce has quality ingredients and it is absolutely delicious. Also available in your supermarket.
Gently nestle the meatballs into the sauce.
Cook the meatballs in the sauce for a minute or two so that the meatballs soak in all that yummy sauce. In the mean time you can zoodle your zucchini.
Spoon those luscious meatballs over zoodles (or pasta, or brown rice), with an extra helping of sauce.
I need a minute alone, please.
2 lbs ground chicken (feel free to use turkey, or any other ground meat you enjoy)
1 medium onion, diced
2 TB olive oil plus a bit more for greasing the baking sheet
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (I use Locatelli)
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
1/2 cup water
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 jar of good quality marinara sauce – CHECK THE INGREDIENTS! Rao’s is what I use. I get it at the supermarket.
Yield: About 30 small meatballs Difficulty: Easy
Prep-time: 20 minutes Cook-time: 25 minutes
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
Heat a medium saute pan, to medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions and garlic a good pinch of salt and pepper. Saute the onions and garlic until the onions become translucent. About 5 -7 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and allow the onions and garlic to cool slightly.
While the onions are cooling, add the ground chicken, Parmesan, parsley, eggs, and breadcrumbs in a large bowl. Combine the mixture by squishing it together with your hands. Add the onion mixture. (Reserve the saute pan to heat the sauce later.) Using your hands, squish in the onion mixture.
Add 1/2 cup of water and another good pinch of Kosher Salt and ground black pepper. Squish everything one last time. This step is actually very important. The mixture should be very wet, which will ultimately make the meatballs moist and juicy.
Roll the meatball mixture into small balls, about the size of a golf ball. Place each one on a GREASED baking sheet making sure there is room between each one.
Bake the meatballs for 25 – 30 minutes.
With about 10 minutes left of baking time pour your sauce into the saute pan and warm it over medium low heat. When the meatballs are done remove them from the sheet pan and place them into the warm sauce. Pour the warm sauce over the meatballs and cook for a minute or two so that the meatballs soak in the sauce.
Spoon those luscious meatballs over zoodles, whole wheat pasta or brown rice. Top with extra sauce, Parmesan cheese and a sprinkling of parsley.
Freeze extra meatballs to use with other recipes such as Meatballs with Creamy Mushroom Sauce.