Weather-wise, this has been a really weird summer. First, it was cold for.ev.er. And then we had a brief glimpse of wonderful, glorious, summer heat. Then it rained for approximately two weeks straight. I won't even tell you how many hilariously original people were making Noah's Ark jokes on Facebook. So it's been kind of strange and confusing for my appetite as well. I don't really like to eat big, heavy meals when it's 800 degrees outside. We eat a lot of grilled meat, veggies, salads, and lots of fruit throughout the summer. But it's practically impossible to grill when there's a flash flood or thunderstorm warning every night. Thus, I've been craving comfort foods. But like I said, it's been weird because it's still hot outside, so the thought of meatloaf or something equally as heavy isn't at all appetizing. I know my thought process is confusing and random, but stay with me.
Enter these chicken parmesan meatballs. Comfort food at it's best, but on the lighter side. They aren't as heavy as traditional meatballs, or traditional chicken parmesan. But they taste familiar and comforting, you'll still feel all warm and fuzzy inside. These are super easy to put together, and they were a big hit with the whole family. We love chicken parmesan in practically any incarnation, so that's no surprise. I served these over pasta with marinara, but I think they would be really great as meatball subs as well. Or serve them on their own as an appetizer or part of a spread of party foods.
Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
adapted from Dinner, A Love Story, via Tracey's Culinary Adventures
makes about 12 meatballs
- 1/4 cup dried breadcrumbs
- 3 Tbs grated onion
- 1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
- 1 Tbs chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 1/4 lb ground chicken
- 1/4 cup marinara sauce, divided
- mozzarella or provolone cheese slices, for topping the meatballs
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Farenheit. Line a baking sheet with foil, and spray with nonstick cooking spray or brush lightly with oil.
In a large bowl, stir together the dried breadcrumbs, onion, parsley, basil, Parmesan, salt, pepper, garlic, egg, and red pepper flakes.
Add the ground chicken, and gently mix with your hands to incorporate the seasonings with the meat. Do not over mix.
Scoop the meat into 1/4 cup portions (an ice cream scoop works really well for this). Roll into a ball with your hands, and arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet - having your hands a little wet will help form them and keep the meat from sticking to your hands.
Add 2 tablespoons of marinara sauce to a small bowl, and use a pastry brush to brush the top of each meatball with a little sauce.
Bake 11-12 minutes, then use the remaining marinara sauce to brush the meatballs again. Lay a slice of cheese over the top of each meatball. Return to the oven and cook an additional 3-4 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the meatballs are cooked through (they should read 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer). Remove from oven and serve.