Chicken,  Cooking for a Crowd,  Dinner,  Pasta,  Recipes

Chicken Meatballs with Fresh Oregano and Yogurt

Love these meatballs! They are so flavorful and moist – thanks to the fresh herbs and Greek yogurt – these are Springtime comfort food! You’ll notice these make a lot of meatballs – I don’t believe in making a meal like these and not having leftovers or you could freeze the meatballs for a future dinner.

Chicken Meatballs new

 

Chicken Meatballs with Fresh Oregano and Yogurt
Author: Kate Wagner
Serves: 8-10 people
Love these meatballs! They are so flavorful and moist – thanks to the fresh herbs and Greek yogurt – these are Springtime comfort food! You’ll notice these make a lot of meatballs – I don’t believe in making a meal like these and not having leftovers or you could freeze the meatballs for a future dinner. I personally like to have 2 of these meatballs for a protein heavy breakfast when my kids are having pancakes. With a little of the sauce spooned over them…delicious!
Ingredients
  • [u]Meatballs[/u]
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup Panko or fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, minced
  • 1/4 cup Greek plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup grated cheese – Mozzarella or Romano or Romano/Parmesan or Parmesan
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheese – all of the cheeses above or a combination of your favorites
  • 2 lbs ground chicken
  • [u]Sauce[/u]
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter or olive oil
  • 1 cup yellow or Spanish onions or shallots, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 1 cup white wine, sauvigon blanc or pinot grigio
  • 2 cups chicken stock, homemade or low-sodium
  • 1/2 – 1 bag baby spinach (optional)
  • 1-2 cups sliced grape tomatoes (optional)
  • 16 oz fresh mozzarella, bocconcini (mini mozzarella works great here) (optional)
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn (optional)
  • [u]Pasta[/u]
  • 2 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 1-2 lbs pasta of your choice – both orecchiette and penne would work well with this recipe – cooked to package instructions
Instructions
  1. [u]Meatballs[/u]
  2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  3. Line a baking sheet with alumium foil and lightly spray with canola oil spray
  4. In a large bowl add eggs and lightly beat
  5. Add remaining ingredients up to and including the cheeses then stir to combine
  6. Add ground chicken and carefully combine – your hands work best – meatballs can get tough
  7. Using a melon ball scoop or a teaspoon, scoop portions of the meatballs onto the baking sheet, should be about 2 inches in diameter
  8. Once baking sheet is full, lightly spray the meatballs and the baking sheet with canola oil spray
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes in the oven. Meatballs should be fairly firm but still have a little give if you touch them – we want them to finish cooking while simmering in the sauce.
  10. Once they are finished cooking in the oven, allow to cool 5 minutes on the baking sheet before adding to the sauce.
  11. [u]Sauce[/u]
  12. Heat unsalted butter or olive oil over medium heat in a large and deep saucepan – a Dutch oven would work well here. I have a large stainless steel combination pot and steamer from Sam’s Club that I use for this recipe.
  13. Once butter or oil has melted add onions or shallots. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes until the onions or shallots start to become translucent.
  14. Add Kosher salt and white wine and let wine cook down for 2-3 minutes.
  15. Add chicken broth and the meatballs and simmer an additional 5 minutes for the flavors to meld.
  16. At this point there are a lot of options – depending on the palates of your eaters! My children want the meal as plain as possible – so I stop here and make their plates – pasta, meatballs and a little sauce.
  17. Then I continue the meal for the grown-ups and/or more adventurous eaters!
  18. Plate with pasta and meatballs and then add spinach, grape tomatoes, mozzarella and basil to each diner’s portion based on their tastes.
Notes
You will notice I spray the meatballs twice with canola oil spray – once on the baking sheet and again before I shape them. Why? Just like turkey, chicken is so lean it does not have a lot of fat, so you need to add a little to work with it – so spraying with canola spray keeps the chicken from sticking to your hands while forming the meatballs AND adds a little necessary fat.[br]Did you know it’s okay to include the stems of some herbs? Parsley and cliantro stems taste the same as the leaves, so you don’t need to waste valuable time picking the leaves off – just mince the stems along with the leaves.[br]Ketchup is a great ingredient in these “quick” meatballs – no it’s not traditional, but it’s nice to skip the tomato paste for once![br]You’ll notice that I offer choices of the cheese you use – that’s because I know kids can be picky – mine sure are – so if you are cooking for kids you could also make a cheese scale. Mozzarella is the most bland option, followed by Romano, finally Parmesan has a stronger taste, so if your kids don’t like that taste then use one of the more mild options.

Chicken Meatballs in the Oven

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