Chicken and Spinach Meatballs


My goal in 2012 is to eat more veggies. (When my dad’s in town.) As much as my dad enjoys having me cook for him, sometimes I think he’d like some healthier choices.

Eating these meatballs makes me feel like I’m doing something good for body. I rarely eat veggies and sneaking spinach into a meatball is the perfect way to add veggies into my diet. I wasn’t overly fond of the flavor of this meatball; I think the recipe could be improved upon. I’ve listed the ingredients exactly as I made the dish; however, next time I make this recipe I will omit the lemon and the cinnamon. I did not much care for either of these flavors.


  • 1 slice rustic bread, crusts removed
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 4 oz pepperoni
  • 12 oz boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 c. grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 c. dry white wine
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 c. red wine vinegar
  • 2 c. chicken broth


  1. Place garlic and pepperoni in food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add chicken, spinach, onion, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Process until well mixed and all the chicken is chopped.
  2. Add mixture to breadcrumbs. Stir in cheese, lemon rind and egg. Form into 12 2-inch meatballs – they will be very soft. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours.
  3. Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs and cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Add wine. Cook five minutes. Add sugar, vinegar and broth. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer 12 to 15 minutes, turning meatballs once until meatballs are firm and register between 165 and 170 degrees F in the center with an instant read thermometer.
  4. Serve over pasta.

I made these meatballs while rolling homemade pasta and throwing together some tomato bruschetta. I’m not normally able to juggle three dishes easily but somehow I managed to get each dish done at the exact time I wanted, which was exactly when my dad and my sister walked in the door.

I’ve made meatballs before but never before cooked meatballs on the stove top. I have a newfound respect for my mother who has made meatballs from scratch since before I was born – they’re not easy! I found it a bit difficult to brown the meatballs (especially while juggling other recipes). I had to constantly turn the meatballs because it smelt like they were about to burn almost the entire time they were browning – thankfully they didn’t!

If you are looking for an alternative to beef meatballs, you should try my Turkey-Feta Meatballs. They’re delish!

Recipe rating: 1/2


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