My husband and I are trying to eat less carbs. Yes, it sounds horrible, especially since I'm still breastfeeding all I want is carbs. #bringmeallthecarbs. But really, we should eat less pasta. I'm a pasta freak and let's be honest, making pasta is super quick and easy! Especially when the baby needs to be held from 4:00 until bedtime :)
But, we are trying to eat less carbs and I am being forced to become more creative. These little Chicken Parmesan Meatballs are an awesome testament that you don't need pasta...well you don't need pasta all the time.
They are made with everything you love about chicken parmesan without the noodles! They are baked which is awesome since let's be honest, turning meatballs in a pan blows and you can make a whole mess of them in no time!
I made a bunch, we ate some of them, I saved some for lunch the next day and the remainder went in the freezer for another dinner! These would be super cute for an appetizer too, just sayin'.
2 lbs ground chicken breast
1 medium onion, finely, FINELY minced
2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon olive oil + 2 tablespoons for brushing
3/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 jar marinara sauce
1/2 block provolone or mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with sides (jelly roll pan works best!) with tin foil. Set aside for now.
Combine the ground chicken, onion*, garlic, dried basil, 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Mix using your hands, until just combined, being sure not to over mix. Over mixing will cause tough meatballs. Using a cookie scoop out the meatballs onto the cookie sheet. I like uniformly round meatballs so I go back and roll them between my hands so they don't look like cookies. Brush each meatball with the remaining olive oil. Pop in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to be sure they are 165 degrees, you will not be able to tell if they are fully cooked by looking at them. Mine took exactly 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven, spoon on a little marinara sauce, and top with a square of cheese. Pop them back in the oven for a minute or two, just until the cheese melts.
To serve, ladle a little of the marinara sauce onto the bottom of a bowl, place the meatballs on top. Shred additional cheese on top of the meatballs and sprinkle with parsley.
Recipe by: Mrs. Schwartz
**NOTES: Be sure to finely mince the onion. If you don't the meatballs will have a funky texture and fall apart!
If you plan to freeze some of the meatballs, don't add marinara sauce to them, simply let them cool (naked) on the baking sheet and put in a container/freezer bag and freeze them. The easiest way to heat them up would be to add them to marinara sauce and let them simmer on the stove!
Also, you know, you can serve these over noodles. It would make an awesome dinner.