Chicken Meatballs with Homemade Marinara

A good recipe for meatballs is the perfect way to get the kids involved in the meal prep – I promise you it’s not as messy as you might think! Get creative with sauces and seasonings and send us your pictures.

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the Meatballs

  • 450g Free Range or Organic Springfield Chicken Mince
  • 1 Small Onion Peeled & Diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves Peeled & Minced
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 75g Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 75g Grated Parmesan
  • Freshly Ground Salt and Black Pepper
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Freshly Chopped Sage (1 if dried)
  • 1  Teaspoon Freshly Chopped Thyme (1/2 if dried)

For the Marinara

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Onion Peeled & Chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves Peeled & Minced
  • 2 x 400g Tins Chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • Large Handful of Fresh Basil Torn
  • 1 Teaspoon Chopped Fresh Thyme (1/2 if dried)
  • 2 Bay Leaves
Chicken Meatballs

Method

  • If you plan on baking the meatballs, preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Place all of the ingredients for the meatballs in a large mixing bowl. Wash your hands, take your rings off, and get your hands in there!
  • Take a spoonful of the mixture and form into 1 inch balls by rolling them in the palm of your hands. A little bit of olive oil or water on the hands will stop the mixture from sticking to you.
  • If you are baking the meatballs, place a wire rack onto a baking tray and spray the wire rack with non-stick cooking oil. Place the meatballs onto the rack and into the oven for 25 minutes.
  • If you’d prefer to cook the meatballs on the hob, heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large skillet and slowly cook them until golden brown on the outside and cooked right through. This will take around 15 minutes depending on the size of the meatballs.

Meatballs

  • We usually serve these meatballs with Spaghetti or Linguine but they’re a great canapé idea for parties with friends. If you want to turn it into Spaghetti and Meatballs, simply take 75 grams (adult sized portion) or 50 grams (kids sized portion) of dried pasta, and add it to your seasoned pan of boiling water. Your water should be at a “rolling boil” which will help the pasta to not stick to itself – if you aren’t familiar with this, a tablespoon of olive oil in the boiling water will have the same effect.
  • Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet (typically 12 minutes for dried pasta, less for fresh).
  • Try to time the pasta so that it is ready when everything else is. The longer it sits in the pan waiting around, the higher chance it will overcook and stick.
  • Let your kids throw a piece at the wall or a kitchen cupboard – if it slides off… the pasta isn’t quite ready, if it just sticks… it’s perfect, if it turns into a food fight… I’m sorry!

Food Fight

  • While the meatballs are cooking, start to make the sauce by heating your oil in a pan on a medium heat and adding the diced onion and garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes making sure that the garlic does not burn as it will give a bitter taste to the sauce.
  • Stir in your tins of chopped tomatoes and the balsamic vinegar. This recipe doesn’t have red wine given that it’s designed with kids in mind but if you wish to add it simply substitute one of the tins of tomatoes for a large glass of red wine.
  • Add in all of your herbs (Basil, Thyme, and Bay Leaves), then season with salt. Be careful with pepper as it isn’t to everyone’s taste – you’ll get a better flavour by finishing the dish with freshly ground pepper and parmesan for those who like it.
  • Simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes adding water if it thickens too much for your liking.
  • Hopefully during this time your pasta and meatballs will be finishing. Strain the pasta in a colander and add the cooked meatballs into your sauce.
  • Give your kids the chance to plate up. Pasta dishes are so simple yet can be presented so beautifully – they’ll love the feeling of seeing their hard work and fun put onto a plate and you’ll love seeing their beaming smiles as they serve it to you!