Veggie Loaded Chicken Romano Meatballs
This will be our new go-to meatball recipe. It's that good!
A dear friend asked if I had a healthy meatball recipe that actually tasted good AND had veggies in it. A unicorn, I know!
My first answer was no, followed quickly by, " Give me a few days, and I will!"
Et voila! Loaded with mushrooms and zucchini (though you'd never know it), these succulent little suckers are first and foremost D.E.V.I.N.E. Crunchy on the outside (thanks to the Romano cheese) and perfectly dense and incredibly flavorful on the inside.
1 medium zucchini
1 8oz container of mushrooms
1 lb ground chicken
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup bread crumbs or panko
2/3 cup Romano cheese
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 Tbsp EVOO
1 shallot, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
Salt to taste
~1 cup dry white wine, like chardonnay
~1 1/2 cups no added salt chicken stock
1 Tbsp corn starch
1 lemon, sliced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place zucchini and mushrooms into a food processor and pulse until everything is well-minced.
In a bowl, combine ground chicken with veggies, egg, bread crumbs, cheese, dried basil, oregano, garlic, onion, pepper flakes (optional), salt and pepper.
Mix with clean hands until just combined - do not overmix.
Shape the mixture into meatballs that are 1-inch in size - or slightly less, about 24.
Heat an oven-safe skillet over medium heat and add EVOO.
Add meatballs in a single layer (you may need to do this in batches), browning on all sides, cooking about 5 to 6 minutes in total. You don’t need to cook them fully because we will put them in the oven - just brown them.
Transfer meatballs to a baking sheet and bake in oven for about 10 minutes until cooked through ( 165 degrees).
In the same skillet over medium heat, add shallots and garlic with a pinch of salt and stir.
Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in white wine, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
Let it reduce for a few minutes and then add in sliced lemons and chicken stock.
Remove about 1/4 cup of sauce and place in a small bowl with corn starch (you need the liquid to be hot or when you return it to the pan it will clump). Mix until combined, pour into pan, and mix again until sauce thickens to desired consistency.
Add meatballs back into pan to coat.
Serve on sandwiches or with pasta, rice or your favorite vegetable.
Cook's note: You can probably use whatever veggies you have on hand, just remember they bring a lot of moisture so you may have to balance that with more panko/cheese/egg to keep them together.