Monday, February 9, 2015

Chicken Meatballs and Zucchini Pasta (with Crockpot Version)

Happy Meatball Monday! Wait what?! I know, it's not a Crockpot Monday today. I needed something different this week for my meals, but have no fear this can easily be made into a crockpot meal. 

It's strange to think I had never had a meatball before last fall, crockpot turkey meatballs were the first time I ever had meatballs. I love turkey meatballs (I don't eat beef), but I wanted to try something different. When I purchased my vegetable spiralizer I knew I had to make zucchini pasta and since I was trying new things I wanted to try "spaghetti" and meatballs, yes that is right I have never had spaghetti and meatballs before (my dad doesn't like spaghetti what can I say?). Instead of making turkey meatballs  I opted for chicken meatballs, also a first, and they turned out so good! 

The meatballs are made with almond flour and gluten free breadcrumbs and packed with flavor. They paired so well with the zucchini pasta that I am working on making my own homemade pasta sauce to complete the pair. The meatballs are not hard to make and they could be put in the crockpot- see note at end of recipe instructions for crockpot version. 

Chicken Meatballs
  • 1 pound lean ground chicken
  • 1/3 cup almond flour/meal
  • 1/8 cup gluten free breadcrumbs (or more almond flour)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • pepper, to taste
  • basil, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, tin foil or a baking mat. If you're using tin foil lightly spray tin foil with nonstick cook spray.

In a mixing bowl combine almond flour, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, olive oil, garlic, pepper, basil and egg. Mix until everything is well combined.

Add ground chicken into mixing bowl and stir to distribute breadcrumb mixture throughout.

When the chicken and breadcrumbs have been combined, use your hands and roll meat into 1-1.5 inch meatballs. 

Place formed meatballs on baking sheet and repeat with remaining meat. 

Bake meatballs at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. To check if meatballs are done slice the top open on one. There should be no pink and the tops of all the meatballs should be a golden color. If they're not done bake for an additional 3 minutes and check again.

I served my meatballs over zucchini pasta. I finally caved and bought a vegetable spiral slicer (so worth it!). I just fed the zucchini through it and it came out as noodles, which are totally delicious! 

*CROCKPOT VERSION- If you want to cook the meatballs in the crockpot place formed meatballs in crockpot. You can brown the meatballs on all side before putting them in the crockpot to seal in flavor, but you don't have to. Dice up 1/2 medium sweet onion and put it in crockpot with meatballs. Pour a 28 ounce jar of organic peeled and crushed tomatoes over meatballs. Cover crockpot and cook on low for 6-7 hours or high 3-4 hours. Serve meatballs over zucchini pasta. Store leftovers in refrigerator or freeze for later use. 

Nutrition for 1 meatball (based on 29 meatballs):
Nutrition Facts
Servings 29.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 36
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3 g4 %
Saturated Fat 1 g3 %
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 19 mg6 %
Sodium 35 mg1 %
Potassium 2 mg0 %
Total Carbohydrate 0 g0 %
Dietary Fiber 0 g1 %
Sugars 0 g
Protein 4 g8 %
Vitamin A0 %
Vitamin C0 %
Calcium2 %
Iron2 %

*And a special shout out to my awesome brother for getting me the coolest oven mitt ever for Christmas! It's a cow and it's completely hilarious!

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