Friday night spaghetti dinners have become somewhat of a tradition in our house this Fall. Perhaps it's been driven by Saturday morning Cross Country meets and the need to "carbo-load" or perhaps it came out of a necessity for quick and easy meals before we head out to watch high school football. Either way, there have been no complaints about Friday spaghetti night.
My daughter Courtney will tell you that you cannot have a pasta dinner without - meatballs! For her, eating spaghetti without meatballs is like eating peanut butter without jelly, Oreos without milk, biscuits without jam - you get the idea. She just can't bring herself to eat pasta without meatballs.
It took me a while to catch onto her quirky meatball habit but I've finally learned to keep a few meatballs in the freezer specifically for our pasta nights. (It saves me from making a batch of meatballs EVERY time I cook pasta for dinner.) I almost always make a double batch when I make meatballs and I freeze the leftovers, pop them into ziploc bags and toss them in the freezer.
These chicken parmesan meatballs are really yummy but they didn't quite pass the taste test of Courtney - the great meatball connoisseur. I thought they were really good and I loved the fact that they were a little healthier than their beefy counterparts.
I'm not ready to give up on this recipe quite yet. Perhaps I will melt a little mozzarella cheese on top and a drizzle a little spaghetti sauce over these meatballs to make subs for lunch this weekend.
Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
1 1/4 pounds minced chicken
2 tablespoons onion, chopped
1/2 cup Parmesan
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 minced clove garlic
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 egg, whisked
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup spaghetti sauce
Preheat oven to 400 degrees with the rack near the top. Throw in all the ingredients – except for the last 3 – into a bowl, and mix well.
Make large balls with your hands, and arrange them on a foil sheet.
Serve with whole grain pasta or on sub rolls.
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