Chicken meatballs are easy to make and very versatile. I am blown away that nearly everyone I have talked to about them have never heard or imagined making meatballs with chicken! Once made, they can be used in almost any meal. I make a large batch and store them in the freezer for later use. I made this recipe with 5 lbs of chicken breast making 40 meatballs. As part of the 21 day fix meal plan, two meatballs served as one serving of protein. There isn’t enough carbs or vegetables in my opinion to be counted.
You will want to dice all ingredients finely. Onions or peppers that are too large can cause the meatballs to fall apart while cooking.
Here is what you will need:
5lbs chicken breast trimmed (remove all visible fat)
1 cup bell peppers diced
1 cup oats or bread crumbs
5-7 eggs large-medium
1 cup diced onions
1 cup diced fuji apple *Optional
1 tablespoon Avajar *Roasted red pepper spread optional
2 cups wilted spinach
1/4 cup goat cheese *Or cheese of choice
2 tsp Himalayan salt
As mentioned before, dice all of your vegetables and set aside. Begin preparing your chicken. You can dice your vegetables by hand or use a food processor. for the sake of providing you with pictures, I cut mine by hand. I will usually dice mine with the food processor attachment on my blender. I love my Ninja blender for this reason.
You will also notice in the pictures that I diced up some apples. I divided my ground chicken into three separate bowls once prepared and added different ingredients to each bowl to add a little variety. It can get boring eating the same thing every day and making this slight change gives you more options. Since all of my meatballs had oats, eggs and spinach I suggest you add these to the chicken before dividing and adding additional ingredients. Simplify your life! In one bowl I added apples. in the second I added red peppers and roasted red pepper spread, the third I added red pepper, turmeric and curry powder. both turmeric and madras curry powder can be very strong in flavor, so if you are going to add them, make sure you don’t over do it and add in equal amounts. I would say no more than 1/4 teaspoon of each, unless you like a little spice, then by all means add a little more.
You can use your blender to combine your oats egg and cheese as well. I prefer to mix my cheese by hand so I have chunks of cheese when I bite into a meatball, but it is up to you how you want it to taste. Again, for the sake of photos, each ingredient was added by hand.
Add one cup of oats to your chicken. Those on the 21 day fix meal plan will use two yellow containers.
Add your wilted spinach. I say wilted because it is easier to mix than fresh spinach that is crisp. If you would prefer, you could blend the spinach with the chicken mixture, but I prefer chunks of spinach for the flavor rather than mutilating it in the blender. There are several ways to wilt spinach and it will all depend on the utensils you have available to you in your kitchen. I use a steaming pan with a lid. It looks like a double broiler, but there are holes in the bottom of the top pan. If you don’t have one of these, or a steaming basket, no reason to run to the store and get one, you can also add a tiny bit of water to a frying pan (no more than a teaspoon) place your spinach in the pan and cover with a lid.
I used goat cheese, but any cheese will work. I love the flavor of gorgonzola but for the 21 day fix meal plan, I stick to my goat cheese. Aged cheeses work best because they melt at a higher heat and don’t break apart your meatballs while cooking and are usually stronger in flavor.
To make your meatballs with roasted red pepper and diced red peppers, add them to the chicken at this point.
Add your Ajvar and mix well to combine.
If you are feeling lazy, as I do sometimes, You could also place the prepared chicken into a loaf pan and make meatloaf, then slice off as much as you want to include in your lunches. Either way, it all tastes the same. You will just have to cook the loaf longer than you would the meatballs.
Using an ice-cream scoop as your mold for the meatballs, scoop the chicken out of your bowl and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Here is a little tip I learned. Parchment paper is far better than foil because it doesn’t stick to your food. You have less mess when you are done because your food doesn’t stick to the pan. Be careful when you go out and buy some though, because there is a HUGE difference between parchment and waxed parchment. If you use waxed parchment in the oven, the wax will melt and your food will then have little bits of paper stuck to your food when your food sticks to it. Unless you want the added fiber, I would keep the waxed paper for other items that do not require being heated up.
place the pan in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. If you are concerned about cooking them all the way through, as you should, use a thermometer to measure a temp of 165 degrees. Or you can cut one open to see if it is fully cooked.