Simple, healthy ingredients, family-friendly, and makes for great leftovers! I recommend making a double batch of this recipe so you have food for several days. Or, you can freeze the meatballs prior to- or after- cooking them so you have a go-to waiting in the freezer for “emergencies”. I make a double batch recipe, then freeze half the meatballs before cooking them. That way I can just defrost them and pop ‘em into the oven for an easy dinner.
I also make these for my personal chef clients as a meal that is family-friendly since I cook for quite a few families with little children. So far, they’re a hit, and you know children are the toughest customers! These are gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free and can be made to be nightshade-free as well. I suggest serving with tomato sauce or try my Sweet Beet Sauce.
As an alternative to pasta, try serving these over a bed of Sauteed Root Veggies.
Hope you enjoy!
- 2 lbs ground chicken (1 lb white meat & 1 lb dark meat is best)
- 10 basil leaves, finely chopped
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme, stems removed
- 3 leaves fresh sage, finely chopped
- ¼ cup tomato paste, or substitute ¼ c. pumpkin/butternut puree
- 1 Tbl lemon juice
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (400 degrees F for non-convection ovens).
- Combine the herbs, tomato paste, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
- Add the ground chicken and mix well to incorporate the seasoning.
- To test for seasoning, heat a small sauté pan over medium heat, add 1 tsp cooking oil, then quickly sauté 1 Tbl of your meat mixture- it should take under 10 minutes. Once the meat is no longer pink in the center, taste it for seasoning. If it needs more salt, pepper or herbs, feel free to add a little as you see fit.
- Line a baking sheet pan with parchment or foil.
- Form small meatballs in the palm of your hand, and place on the baking sheet pan.
- Feel free to use a small ice cream scoop to form the meatballs, this is what I do and find it goes very quickly!
- Use damp fingertips to smooth out any ragged edges of the meatballs.
- Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the pan, then bake another 10 minutes.
- The meatballs are done when the internal temperature reads 165 degrees F on a thermometer.
- If you don't have a kitchen thermometer, cut the largest meatball open, it should not be pink in the center.