We’re so used to seeing meatballs served alongside heaping plates of spaghetti that we forget how amazing they are on their own! Meatballs are so fun to make because you can customize them with whatever kind of meat you like and dress them up or down in different ways with different sauces. We decided to take a lighter approach with these baked chicken meatballs, and we amped up both the flavor and the nutrition!
Instead of packing these full of milk-soaked bread (which is still a great move for moist meatballs), we went with seasoned breadcrumbs and topped everything off with bell peppers and onions. By adding extra veggies and not frying these balls in oil, we’re able enjoy our meatballs and not worry about getting seconds! Try these and you’ll see they deserve their own time in the spotlight, separate from the traditional spaghetti and meatballs–they’re great!
- 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
- 1 red bell pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped
- 1/2 white onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, plus extra for garnish
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Heat olive oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat and add bell peppers and onion. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook peppers and onion for 5-6 minutes, or until softened.
- In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, breadcrumbs, cheese, garlic, egg, milk, parsley, tomato paste, onion powder, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
- Use your hands to incorporate and mix everything together.
- Once completely mixed, break off equal pieces to form 1-1 1/2-inch meatballs. Transfer meatballs to baking dish.
- Spoon bell peppers and onion over the meatballs and place baking dish in oven. Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through.
- Serve with peppers and cooking juices and garnish with Parmesan cheese.
Recipe adapted from Epicurious