I’m writing this recipe from the comfort of my uncle’s beautiful Lake Toxaway, North Carolina home, where my mama, sister and I are spending a few days together. We came for the epic hiking, but unfortunately it truly has not stopped raining for a single minute since we arrived. Murphy’s Law, eh? But the weather gods won’t get us down - the views of the lake in the rain are stunning, the sound of the rain across the lake is full of fond summer camp memories, we have a full shed full of firewood, and we ventured out to stock up on PLENTY of wine this afternoon.
We had a five hour drive to Lake Toxaway, and somehow (JK, I know exactly how - we were all very hungover from my cousin’s wedding the night before...) we wound up talking about what our favorite not-so-healthy foods were. Mine is Penne alla Vodka - a recipe that I love so much that you have one coming your way soon.
My sister and mom agreed on their favorite guilty food - Eggplant Parm! While it’s not high on my guilty pleasure list, it reminded me of a recipe I’d seen recently on both Delish.com and What’s Gaby Cooking - Chicken Parmesan Meatballs.
So, instead of spending my afternoon hiking, I spent my afternoon developing this recipe for Chicken Parm Meatballs, while my mama and sister read by the fire. My mom’s first reaction was “I can’t believe how much I like this!” to which I said - excuuuuse me?! Turns out she truly just couldn’t that something so simple, requiring so few dishes, could be so delicious. I try to always make it a point to use as few dishes as possible, cut out any time-consuming steps that don’t VASTLY improve the dish, and keep the ingredients to a minimum.
And now onto the meatballs. Guys, these are insane. Like truly out-of-this-world perfect and delicious. This entire skillet of cheesy, tomato-y, chicken goodness comes together in 30 minutes or less, can be served over cauliflower rice if you’re trying to keep things light, or with a great crusty bread for dipping into the delicious cheesy sauce. Serve with a simple salad, or with some roasted broccoli. We had ours with a delicious fresh country loaf and a side of garlicky roasted cauliflower.
Chicken Parm Meatballs
1 pound ground chicken
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs, plus more for rolling the meatballs
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (or 1 teaspoon each dried thyme, dried oregano, dried parsley)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish
2 garlic cloves, grated
4 tablespoons cooking oil
1 (24 ounce) jar marinara sauce (I love Rao’s Roasted Garlic Sauce)
2 to 4 ounces burrata cheese
Preheat oven to 400F.
Place chicken, panko, Parmesan, egg, Italian seasoning, salt, basil, and garlic in a large bowl. Beat the egg with a fork, then use your hands to combine all ingredients.
Pour about 1/3 cup panko into a shallow bowl or plate. Roll 10 meatballs out of the chicken mixture, then roll them through the panko to coat them in panko.
Warm 2 tablespoons oil in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Brown 5 meatballs at a time by cooking them for 30 to 45 seconds per side. Transfer meatballs to a holding plate and repeat with the remaining 5.
Remove skillet from heat and wipe out any oil and panko. Pour marinara sauce into the skillet - careful - it may splatter if skillet is still hot.
Nestle the meatballs down into the sauce.
Bake for 8 minutes, then remove from the oven, tear burrata into pieces and scatter over top. Return to oven for 2 additional minutes.
Scatter fresh basil and more Parmesan over top and serve immediately, straight out of the skillet!