CREAMY CHICKEN MEATBALL, SUN DRIED TOMATO, ZUCCHINI, AND ORZO SKILLET

Ingredients

The Meatballs:

2 slices white bread

⅓ cup milk

2 eggs, beaten

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 pounds ground chicken

¾ cup grated parmesan cheese

1 ½ cups Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

 

The Orzo:

1, 8.5 ounce jar sun dried tomatoes in oil, julienned

1 small onion, chopped

8 cloves garlic, chopped

8 ounces zucchini, cut into ½” thick half moons

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 ½ cups raw orzo

3 cups chicken stock

½ cup heavy cream

3 cups baby spinach leaves, packed

2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped

Instructions

To make the meatballs, rip the bread into small pieces and place in the bottom of a large bowl.  Cover the bread with the milk and soak for 5 minutes.  Add the eggs, Ciao Bella Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, Dijon, and Worcestershire sauce to the bowl.  Whisk to combine.

Add the ground chicken, parmesan, breadcrumbs, and parsley to the bowl and knead everything together with your hands until well combined.  Do not overmix.  Take about ¼ cup of the meat mixture in your hand and form a ball.  This recipe will make 14-16 large meatballs.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and add the meatballs to the hot oil.  Sear the meatballs until golden brown on all sides.  Remove to a plate and set aside. Note – the meatballs will not be fully cooked through.

Drain most of the oil from the jar of sun dried tomatoes and add it to the meatball drippings in the skillet. Add the onions and garlic to the pan drippings and cook until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes.   Add the zucchini, salt, pepper, and Ciao Bella Italian seasoning to the pan and cook 2 minutes more.

Add the orzo to the pan and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the orzo is coated and lightly toasted, about 2-3 minutes.  Add the stock to the pan and bring to a boil.

Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low.  Cook for 8-10 minutes.  Stir the sun dried tomatoes, cream, and spinach into the orzo until the spinach begins to wilt.  Add the meatballs (and any drippings that have formed) to the pan, nestling them into the orzo.  Cover the pan again and cook for another 7-10 minutes, stirring once after 4 minutes, until the orzo is soft and the meatballs are cooked through (160 degrees).

Garnish with the parsley and serve hot with a big glass of wine, a light salad, and some crusty bread.

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