Who says eating healthy isn’t exciting?
Me. I do. I say that. Almost every day. Except for last night when I made these delicious mini chicken and spinach meatballs and served them with whole wheat penne and some simple crushed tomatoes. AND I did it in like 30 minutes.
They are seriously good. I was actually surprised at how delicious they were. I was kind of expecting them to be dry and not very flavorful, but that was not the case in the least. The garlic, shallots, basil and oregano really flavor the meat. Normally, I would put the cheese in them, but I was cooking for people who have decided to torture themselves by giving up cheese for lent, so I opted out. But, I encourage you to add cheese, because why wouldn’t you?
I feel like these would be a good kid-friendly meal, too, that could be easily prepared on a week night. They’re a healthy alternative to beef meatballs, and you kinda sneak in the spinach. But, I fed these to a bunch of 20-somethings who would probably eat anything, so what do I know?
I know these are yummy, and you should make them ASAP.
You could definitely get creative with these, too. Add kale or arugula instead of spinach. Use ground turkey instead of chicken. Serve them as appetizers. Throw ’em on a pizza. Eat them straight off the pan right when they come out of the oven. I mean, what?
However you eat them, just eat them, and you don’t have to feel guilty about it, either! Sounds like a good plan to me.
Mini Chicken & Spinach Meatballs
- 1 lb. ground chicken breast
- 1 package fresh spinach (you could use frozen, too)
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1 tblsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 C panko bread crumbs (whole wheat if available)
- 1/4 C pecorino romano cheese, freshly grated
- 2 garlic cloves, grated
- 1 medium shallot, grated
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. (If serving with whole wheat pasta, go ahead and start to bring a large pot of salted water to boil).
- In a skillet, sauté the package of fresh spinach until it is wilted. When cooked down, using paper towels or a dish towel, squeeze the spinach to remove excess liquid. When dry, give it a rough chop.
- In a mixing bowl, place the chicken breast, chopped & cooked spinach, egg, olive oil, bread crumbs, cheese, grated garlic gloves, grated shallot, and seasonings. Mix with your hands to combine. Don’t over mix!
- When the chicken mixture is combined, scoop out meat and form gently with your hand into mini meatballs (I used a teaspoon to scoop them out and to ensure they were all about the same size). The mixture will be wet/sticky, and may not form as firmly as beef meatballs, but it’s okay. Place meatballs in a large nonstick baking dish, or on a lightly greased baking dish. You can get them pretty close together, it doesn’t matter.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until cooked all the way through. (If serving with pasta, heat crushed tomatoes/your favorite pasta sauce on the stove during the baking process. Place pasta in boiling water about halfway through the baking, for about 10 minutes).
- Serve however you wish, and enjoy!