Top o’ the mornin’ to ya!!
I know it’s not St. Patty’s yet – but I figured it’s close enough that I could greet you all like an enthusiastic leprechaun without too much judgement.
Anywho – I’m going to keep this short and sweet today because I’ve got not one but TWO recipes (ya know…that are particularly delicious when served together) and they’re kind of lengthy. I made these for the fam last weekend and everyone loveeeeedddddd it!!! Even the men were happy with the spaghetti squash, which really made me happy!!
If you’ve got a real food recipe that you’d like to share, don’t forget to grab a badge and link up at the bottom of the post!!!
Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Pesto Meatballs with Baked Spaghetti Squash
For the Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Pesto Meatballs (makes about 30 meatballs)
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
(or about 1.5 lbs lean ground chicken)
- 1 red bell pepper, seeds and stem removed
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 handful of fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons prepared pesto + More to taste
(you can make your own or use store bought! I use Wegmans brand when I’m in a pinch. It’s delicious AND check out the ingredients)
- 1 egg + 1 egg white
- 1 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
- 1 lb of part skim mozzarella cheese, cut into little cubes
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Add the bell pepper, garlic, and basil to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until it forms a paste. Add about half of the chicken breasts and pulse until ground. Remove the chicken mixture and place in a large bowl. Set aside. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
Once all of the chicken is ground and in the bowl, add the pesto, Parmesan, panko, salt, pepper, and eggs. Mix well until thoroughly combined.
To prepare the meatballs, grab a small handful (about the size of a golf ball) of the chicken mixture and flatten it in the palm of your hand. Add a mozzeralla cube to the center and form the meatball around it, being careful not to expose the cheese. Repeat until all of the meatballs are formed.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add meatballs to the pan (fill it up, but make sure they aren’t touching) and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side until brown. Remove meatballs from the skillet as they are done and place them on a large baking sheet, adding more meatballs to the skillet as you go, until all of the meatballs are brown.
Place the cookie sheet in your preheated oven for about 15 minutes. Remove, and brush the meatballs with some more prepared pesto. Return the pan to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes more or until the meatballs are cooked through to a safe 165 degrees.
Serve on top of Baked Spaghetti Squash!
For the Baked Spaghetti Squash
- 2 spaghetti squash, roasted, cooled, and spaghettified
(Yup, that’s the technical term. Directions for spaghettifying here!)
- 1 can of no salt added diced tomatoes
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced fine
- 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded part skim mozarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except mozzarella cheese.
Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray and add the spaghetti squash mixture. Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes or until the cheese is melted and brown and the squash is warm through.
Serve topped with Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Pesto Meatballs!