With one base recipe, in this case – chicken, spinach & feta meatballs, you can create several meals. I make these meatballs, quadruple the recipe then freeze the meatballs in four freezer bags to pull out at a moments notice. By adding a few simple ingredients you’ve got several meals you can make in minutes, or a quick appetizer for those unexpected guests. Or for times when you just can’t bear the thought of cooking.
I’m including the recipe for just one quantity of meatballs. All you need to do is double, triple or like I do, quadruple it. The meatballs are roasted on baking sheets in the oven so there’s no messy clean-up from frying. This is without a doubt one of my favorite meatballs recipes – for its simplicity, versatility & flavor.
As you can see, I don’t even mess around with turning the meatballs. I let them cool then divide them between four freezer bags & mark on the bag what they are & the date I froze them. They’ll keep a few months in the freezer but I like to use them within a few weeks. Or sometimes, all in one week depends how hectic life is.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
- 1 lb (453g) ground chicken (chicken mince)
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt & freshly ground pepper
- Heat olive oil, onion & garlic in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until onion is softened. Add spinach & stir for 1 minutes or until spinach is just wilted; remove from heat.
- Combine the spinach mixture, chicken, feta, breadcrumbs, egg, rosemary, nutmeg, salt & pepper. Mix until well combined. Stir (or use your hands to mix) until thoroughly combined.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper & using a round 1 tablespoon measure (mine was 15ml, 20ml will work too), drop rounded tablespoons of the mixture onto baking sheet. Chill for 30 minutes (in fridge or freezer if you have the space). Roll into balls. (I find if your hands are a little damp it prevents the mixture from sticking).
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place meatballs onto baking sheets, spray with a little cooking spray & bake for 25 to 30 minutes, turning once during cooking, until meatballs are golden & thoroughly cooked. Let cool before storing & freezing. Serves 4.
Creamy Sundried Tomato Pasta
Saute a pat of butter & garlic in a frying pan, add a good slug of white wine, then julienne sun-dried tomatoes, crushed red pepper (chilies), heavy cream, one quantity of the meatballs & let the sauce thicken. Then add some grated parmesan, lots of chopped fresh basil, s & p & toss through some cooked wholewheat linguine or pasta of your choice. Finish with some basil leaves & parmesan.
Cannellini Beans & Spinach
This is about as easy as it gets – chicken broth (I used homemade but whatever you have on hand), canned cannellini beans , baby spinach leaves, crushed red pepper & parmesan. I heat one quantity of the meatballs in the broth with the beans & add the spinach just at the end ensuring it doesn’t wilt too much. Then top it with some chili heat & parmesan. It’s delicious & delightfully comforting.
Chicken Meatball Gyro
I heat the meatballs in the microwave. Coat the inside of pita bread with hommus, add sliced red onion, sliced tomato, shredded lettuce & top with tzatziki & mint leaves. LOVE how easy this is.
Sriracha Honey Meatballs
The meatballs also make a really quick yet totally fabulous hors d’oeuvres. Melt a little butter in a frying pan, add the meatballs & toss around until they’re warm then drizzle in honey, teriyaki & a good squirt of sriracha sauce & toss them until they’re coated & glazed.
All of that from one chicken, spinach & feta meatball recipe. Make one quantity or make multiple batches & try all four ideas. The point is the have things on hand (such as the meatballs), so dinner can be whipped-up for family or friends with as little fuss as possible. I’m all about keeping things simple & planning ahead. Until next time, cheers, Lovoni xo