Spaghetti Chicken Meatballs

Another classic made healthy!

This is not your quick and easy weeknight meal. A good spaghetti sauce demands time, there is no real way around it. I’d say the more time, the better. But I managed to make this one in less than 3 hours, and it turned out pretty good.

For the ground chicken meat, I used boneless, skinless breasts that I cut in pieces and ground in the food processor. That way, I know I am only getting the lean stuff. You can’t really trust that ground chicken that you get from the supermarket. Chances are, the whole chicken went into it, skin and all… So I prefer to make my own really. It’s not that complicated and it takes no time at all, provided you have a food processor, or a meat grinder.

All you need to do is cut your breasts into smallish cubes and toss them in the food processor, give them a couple of spins on “pulse”, until the meat has the desired consistency. It’s important to do this on “pulse”, otherwise, you’ll end up with mush.  It only takes a few seconds really to get your meat where it needs to be.

Very few steps that are extremely worth taking, in my opinion!

Here’s what you will need if you want to try this dish!

INGREDIENTS
(Serves 6-8)

Meatballs

  • 3 chicken breasts (about 600g total), ground
  • ¼ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp unsalted seasoning (Ms Dash type)
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp salted herbs
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • Pinch nutmeg

Tomato Sauce

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 tbsp each basil, oregano, thyme
  • 4 tbsp dried parsley
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp hot pepper flakes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Pinch ground clove
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 2 cans (28oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup water

DIRECTIONS

  • Cut the chicken breasts into small cubes and grind in the food processor, on pulse, until it reaches the desired consistency.
  • Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the other ingredients. Mix until well incorporated and set aside to rest in the refrigerator while you get the sauce started.
  • In a large saucepan, drizzle some olive oil and sauté the onions, bell pepper and celery over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Add all the other ingredients except for the last 4 and cook for another 5 minutes to develop aromas.
  • Add last 4 ingredients and stir. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring from time to time.
  • Now it’s time to start working on the meatballs.
  • Drizzle some olive oil in a large non-stick pan. While you wait for pan to heat, take the meat out of the fridge and start forming little meatballs, about the size of a ping-pong ball.
  • When the pan is hot enough, start cooking your meatballs (don’t cook too many at once, leave plenty of room between them) until they get nice and golden brown on all sides then transfer them to the sauce to finish cooking.
  • When all the meatballs are done, simmer the sauce for at least 1½ hour to 2 hours, stirring from time to time.
  • Keep this super healthy! Serve on whole grain pasta of your choice.

 

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