Italian Chicken Meatballs stuffed with Mozzarella

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Italian chicken meatballs stuffed with mozzarella

 (serves 6)

 I have many vices, but one of the biggest ones is wanting to eat pasta every single night. I mean, it can’t be that bad for you right? WELL- if you make your meatballs with lean, protein-packed chicken, then maybe you can?? All jokes aside, this is a super easy weeknight dinner recipe that you can whip up in no time, plus, it is perfect to reheat for leftovers. You can even omit the spaghetti if you’d like and sub in a salad, but that sounds horrible so just keep the pasta J -wow I am full of jokes today. You can totally sub half of the pasta for spiralized zucchini noodles to keep it low carb, no judgements here.

 

-          2 lb. ground chicken

-          3 cloves garlic, minced

-          1 egg

-          1 c. parmesan, freshly grated

-          ¾ c. panko breadcrumbs

-          1 tsp. dried basil

-          1 tsp. oregano

-          1 ½ tsp. dried parsley

-          1 tsp. salt/pepper combo (more to taste)

-          Drizzle of olive oil, for the meatballs

-          Drizzle of avocado oil, for cooking

-          1-8oz. container of Ciliegine (cherry-tomato sized mozzarella balls, found in cheese section of grocery store)

-          2-25 oz. jar of Arrabiata sauce (or favorite marina sauce)

-          Spaghetti, cooked to package direction

-          Fresh basil, chopped

 

1.       In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, spices, garlic, parmesan, breadcrumbs, egg, drizzle of oil using your hands. Don’t overmix, just enough that all of the ingredients are combined.

2.       Place the mixture in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. This makes the mixture easier to handle, since the chicken is super lean and does not have any fat to bind it together. Preheat the oven to 375.

3.       Remove the mixture from the freezer.

4.       Form the mixture into small meatballs, about golf ball sized. Insert 1 mozzarella ball in the middle of each meatball, forming the mixture around the mozzarella so it doesn’t show. (otherwise it will ooze out into the pan…which now that I think about it….doesn’t sound so bad…..)

5.       Add avocado oil (or other high heat oil) into a large skillet, over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add your meatballs to the pan to sear, turning every 2 minutes or so until the outsides are seared golden brown. (don’t worry about cooking the chicken fully here, as it will finish cooking in the oven.)

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6.       Remove from heat, add the marina sauce over the meatballs into the skillet and place in oven.

7.       Cook for 20-25 minutes. While the meatballs are cooking, make your spaghetti noodles.

8.       Serve the meatballs hot, over the noodles, topped with fresh parm and chopped basil!

 

*Keep leftover meatballs/sauce in fridge for up to 5 days. (Keep pasta separate)

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