A few days ago my daughter ordered meatballs from a restaurant. She had the choice of chicken or beef, and surprisingly she ordered chicken this time. She loved them! Inspired by this, I decided to create my own recipe. Most meatball recipes use breadcrumbs, but since I had a fresh bag of almond flour I decided to make these gluten free, making these naturally a bit lower in carbs too. Even if you don’t have a gluten sensitivity it’s a worthy option. If you aren’t an almond flour fan you can use regular breadcrumbs in place… it’s all good.
For this recipe I use my Classic Marinara Sauce recipe, it’s so delicious and simple to make. It makes a little over 6 cups and I usually use a little less than half, and leftover sauce can always be frozen or used in tomorrow night’s meal. Feel free to use a jar of prepared marinara sauce if you’re really short on time.
What is it about meatballs? Maybe it brings out the kid in me, because I find them so fun to eat!
We prefer eating larger sized meatballs and I can get all 2 pounds of meat in my 9×13 inch pan, it’s a tight fit but it works. If you can’t find ground chicken, you can make your own using this meat grinder I have, or just simply use ground turkey. I’ve used both, and because both are naturally lean they cook great with little if any fat leftover in the dish.
Once I remove the cooked meatballs I simply top with marinara sauce, add mozzarella cheese, and return to the oven until the cheese looks melty good. Yes, melty good. Then top it with fresh Italian parsley. Don’t skip that part, ok? Italian flat leaf parsley makes food flavors really come to life! I have some growing in my garden, it’s so easy to grow!
2 pounds ground chicken (or ground turkey)
1 cup almond flour (or regular breadcrumbs)
1 cup shredded parmesan
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
6 cups prepared marinara sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
Pre-heat your oven to 375, then lightly oil a 9×13 casserole dish. Mix italian seasoning, garlic, salt, and pepper together in a small separate bowl to blend and set aside. In a larger bowl add ground chicken, eggs, almond flour, parmesan, and blended spices. Using your hands throughly mix all the ingredients together. Scoop out meat mixture with a spoon, roll into balls, and place into the prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from oven and top with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. Return to the oven and bake another 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with fresh Italian flat leaf parsley.
Depending on size makes 20 medium sized meatballs
Now simply serve with a side salad, or perhaps some pasta or bread for those who aren’t watching carbs or gluten, and you’ve got a great meal.
Oh, and did I mention this recipe freezes great? I do it all the time with aluminum disposable casserole pans. I bake the meatballs, top with sauce, and freeze. Let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight, heat in the oven until is thoroughly warm, add the cheese, and melt. When possible I love having a few of these waiting in the freezer for a quick family meal. Enjoy!
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