Quick Chicken Meatball Meal

A Grandkid-Tested Recipe

Sometimes I get tired of trying to figure out new ways to prepare chicken, especially with the added challenge of making it appeal to a child with limited food preferences. This dilemma resulted in the creation of a new recipe that may be the easiest way I know to cook a winning meal in 15 minutes. Get ready to roll!

Boil water to make four servings of pasta noodles, such as penne, farfalle, or rotini, according to directions. I like to sneak in some veggies by tossing a handful or two of broccoli tops into the boiling water during the final five minutes of cooking. Reserve about ½ cup of the cooking water before draining the pasta and broccoli. 

While the pasta is doing its thing, pull out your food processor. Toss in:

  • One pound of cubed, raw chicken
  • ¾ cup roughly chopped onion (about one medium onion)
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2-4 cloves (to your preference) garlic, smashed, peel removed 
  • One or two large handfuls of fresh, roughly chopped  basil (for extra pizazz, add a sprig of rosemary leaves stripped from the stem)
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • ½ teaspoon pepper

Pulse the blender until everything is mixed together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. This will take about one minute. Shape the mixture into 1-inch meatballs and fry in a pan with a small amount of olive or other oil. 

Add cooked pasta and broccoli to the pot. Add about ½ cup of Parmesan and a small amount of the pasta cooking water to create a bit of a sauce. Stir, adding more water, if needed. Toss in the meatballs and blend.

Divide into bowls and serve. I like to garnish the plates with a sprig or a chiffonade of basil for fun (that’s a fancy way of saying chop a few basil leaves into thin strips and sprinkle them on top of the pasta dish).

Trust me, this is a winner. And, of course, ask God to bless your dinner time together before you dig in.

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