Tuesday, August 9, 2016

a favorite dinner - chicken/turkey parmesan meatballs

We had this dinner during the first few weeks after Frances Ann was born and have been rotating them into our meal plan ever since! I love a good pasta dish, but now when we have the craving we are reaching for this one. This is one of our very favorite meals and feels so much fancier than your average bowl of pasta! The first time we made it, we used turkey in place of the chicken and couldn't stop talking about how much flavor there was. We have used chicken as well and it is equally as good, so I would encourage you to try both ways {or buy whatever is one sale!} It's safe to say I much prefer the turkey and chicken meatball over ground beef now, plus it's much healthier!




INGREDIENTS
Meatballs

1½ pounds ground chicken {I usually use just 1 lb since most packages come this way}
1 egg
1 garlic clove, minced
⅓ cup onion, minced
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ cup panko crumbs
2 teaspoons dried basil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper


Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
⅓ cup onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
pinch of chili flakes
⅓ cup cream
salt and pepper and pepper to taste
6 oz fresh mozzarella
Fresh basil for garnish {optional}

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 400.
Line a large sheet pan with foil for easy clean up.
In mixing bowl, combine all meatball ingredients together. Careful not to over mix as it make the chicken tough. Shape in 1½ inch balls and place on prepared baking sheet.
Bake for about 12-15 minutes - Don't worry if slightly undercooked they will finish off in the sauce.

While meatballs are cooking:
Melt butter in large oven proof skillet/pot (if you don't have one, use a regular skillet and transfer to baking dish when sauce is done).
Cook onion until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add garlic, cook for one minute until fragrant and slightly soft.
Add crushed tomatoes, chili flakes, salt and pepper to taste.
Bring to simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in cream.
Add cooked meatballs to sauce. Top with mozzarella.
Bake for about 20 minutes until all bubbly and cheese has melted.

Serve with pasta and a green salad and you are done! While this isn't a 15 minute meal, I find it still doable on a weeknight when I am throwing dinner together and managing the 5:00 hustle. I also set aside around 6-8 meatballs each batch after they have cooked in the oven, and freeze them for an easy dinner another night. Bonus- meatballs make for great toddler meals too! My Mom made us a batch a few weeks ago and had them all set in a foil pan for us to pop in the oven whenever we chose. It made for quick cleanup and a delicious dinner! I use my dutch oven, as seen below- one of my favorite pieces in my kitchen.







4 comments:

Joanna H said...

These look awesome! Can't wait to try!

Natasha said...

oh goodness this looks AMAZING

Molly said...

When you are freezing the extra meatballs, are you freezing them with sauce? I have baby #2 on the way in a couple months so am trying to fill my freezer with pre-made meals and this looks like a delicious option! Thanks!

Tracy Lyons said...

O yummy!! This looks awesome.