While classic meatballs (made with some combination of beef and pork) will always have a special place in our hearts and bellies, these chicken meatballs are better for you and seriously yummy! We packed ours full of flavor, but the real trick to getting them perfectly juicy and tender is to cook the meatballs in the sauce. Some people like to fry them in oil or bake them to get a crisp exterior, which we do on occasion as well, but by cooking them in sauce, all the flavors blend together and there’s no chance these babies will get tough or chewy. Give your traditional meatball recipe a break and try this one out…you won’t be disappointed!
Chicken And Bell Pepper Meatballs And Sauce
- 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
- 1 (28 oz.) can whole, peeled tomatoes
- 2 red bell peppers, seeds removed and finely chopped
- 1 white onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, plus extra for garnish
- 1/4 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, divided
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- spaghetti or other pasta of your choice
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add bell peppers and onion. Season generously with salt and pepper.
- Cook peppers and onion for 7-9 minutes, or until softened. Add garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant.
- Pour in tomatoes and stir in tomato paste and season with half of Italian seasoning.
- In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, milk, egg, parsley, remaining Italian seasoning, 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 tomato and bell pepper sauce.
- Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook for 30-40 minutes, or until meatballs are tender and cooked all the way through.
- Serve with sauce and spaghetti, if desired.
Recipe adapted from 12 Tomatoes