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Chicken and Vegetable Meatballs

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"My chicken meatballs are pretty famous in my family. I started making them when my daughter was little. She has a beef allergy so I use lean ground chicken in a lot of different recipes. She is now 22, but still asks for chicken meatballs when she comes home! My daughter is also allergic to eggs so I do not use any egg as a binder. We have another family member with a gluten allergy so I have always made these meatballs with rice cracker crumbs. I get plain rice crackers from the Asian food section of the grocery store and I crush them with a rolling pin. I think they add a lightness to the meatballs and prefer these to regular bread crumbs. Feel free to use what you prefer. These meatballs are full of veggies and taste great served alone or in your favorite sauce." Wendy Cannon, a cooking instructor at the Yum Kitchen

Ingredients

Food
Amt
Units
Prep
Notes
½ sweet onion, very finely chopped
sweet onion
½
very finely chopped
½ yellow squash, very finely chopped
yellow squash
½
very finely chopped
½ zucchini, very finely chopped
zucchini
½
very finely chopped
1 carrot, grated
carrot
1
grated
1 cup fresh spinach, very finely chopped
fresh spinach
1
cup
very finely chopped
2 pounds lean ground chicken
lean ground chicken
2
pounds
½ teaspoon salt
salt
½
teaspoon
½ teaspoon black pepper
black pepper
½
teaspoon
½ teaspoon garlic powder
garlic powder
½
teaspoon
2 tablespoons ketchup
ketchup
2
tablespoons
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
yellow mustard
2
teaspoons
½ tablespoon worcestershire sauce (omit for fish allergies)
worcestershire sauce
½
tablespoon
omit for fish allergies
1 cup rice cracker crumbs
rice cracker crumbs
1
cup

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute vegetables in a pan with a small amount of olive oil. When vegetables are soft, add chopped spinach and stir until wilted. Remove vegetables from heat and allow to cool a bit. In a large mixing bowl, place 2 pounds of lean ground chicken. Season with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and rice cracker crumbs. Add vegetables and gently mix everything together using your hands or a potato masher. Using a small scoop, form meatballs and place on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake meatballs for 15 minutes, then turn them and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Add to your favorite sauce or eat plain. They also taste great cold and can easily be packed for lunch.

Babyfood Option:

Meatballs can be a great food for new eaters. the soft consistency of the veggies and meat make it easy to swallow as you introduce texture. For brand new eaters who are still learning a smooth texture, use a little low sodium broth to puree the meatball into a softer consistency. For more advanced eaters, break off small pieces or make teeny tiny meatballs to practice self-feeding and perfect the pincer grasp.

Prep time
20 min
Cook time
30 min
Yields/Serves:
12 servings (48 one inch meatballs total)
Nutrition Information

Yum Ratings

😫😟😐😀😍 “Both of my babies loved them! I love that they can be frozen.” —Amelia, a grown up
😫😟😐😀😍 “She scarfed 4 meatballs!” —Lillian, age 2
😫😟😐😀😍 “I didn't like the flavor.” —Emma, age 4
😫😟😐😀😍 “I love the veg in them and my 2 year old loved the taste!” —Kristen, a grown up
😫😟😐😀😍 “Yummy!” —Ginny, age 2