It seems that meat balls are one of the 25 most searched recipes in North America according to “The Kitchn”. I would never guess they are so popular. Probably because of their soft texture that goes so well with a thick tomato sauce and pasta. We call it “almondegas” in Brazil and the original recipes were made with chunks of wet bread mixed with the ground beef. And they were always deep fried, hummm…
My meat ball recipe is a combination of several other recipes I’ve tried in the past. I make it with beef or chicken mainly. So easy and so fast, it is my solution for busy days when I don’t have too much time to cook dinner, and we enjoy with whole wheat spaghetti and good tomato sauce, preferably my San Marzano tomatoes and basil sauce. I am really picky with the tomato sauce. We don’t have pasta too often, when we do, I make sure the tomato sauce is free of the artificial taste of the preservatives and very good quality, otherwise, for me, it just ruins the whole experience of enjoying a pasta dinner.
This time though I didn’t have any of my home made sauce in the fridge, so I bought a good quality basil tomato sauce, ready made from Christine Cushing, Pure Basil
Back to the chicken balls, they turn out moist and crunchy on the outside! Spicy enough to make them interesting, as many times they lack in flavor, and a super healthy diabetes friendly option.
For that matter remember to use whole wheat pasta and make sure to control the size of your portion.
Oven baked light chicken meat balls
2 lbs. ground chicken
1 tbs of each dried oregano and dried basil
1/4 cup chopped onions
1 tsp salt
1 tsp red pepper flakes ( add less if you don’t like too spicy)
1 cup grated light Parmesan
2 cups bread crumbs (I use Panko)
2 eggs or 3 whites
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 tbs minced clove garlic
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with your hands, but don’t overdo it to avoid to ending up with heavy meatballs. Form the meat mixture into balls and arrange them on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
Mix them with your favorite tomato sauce and serve over pasta.
Enjoy and thanks for stoping by!