Thursday, June 8, 2023

What’s for dinner?Chicken meatballs and garlic and Herb Spaghetti

Bailey Woodean
Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!
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Due to the pandemic, some grocery items have been hard to come by so many of us might be experimenting more than normal with the items we have on hand. My family and I were lucky enough to be the recipients of a few gifted food items to help restock our supply. We received oranges, pears, cherries, a head of lettuce, a large container of yogurt, and son chicken meatballs. Since they are already made, I didn’t need to make them from scratch as the following recipe illustrates. However, I wanted to make sure I included that part of the recipe for future dinners.

Chicken meatballs and garlic and Herb Spaghetti

Garlic herb spaghetti with baked chicken meatballs

Garlic Herb Spaghetti with Chicken Meatballs


Baked Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground turkey or chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (optional – makes meatballs more moist and yummy)
  • 1/2 teaspoon each garlic powder and onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • additional seasonings optional (I added a pinch of this Go-To seasoning from What’s Gaby Cooking)

Garlic Herb Pasta:

  • 8 ounces spaghetti, linguine, or Cappellini (regular or whole wheat)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) Land O Lakes® Butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3–4 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
  • about a cup of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup water or white wine (more or less as needed)
  • a squeeze of lemon juice, salt, and pepper to finish
Chicken meatballs and garlic and Herb Spaghetti
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix all the meatball ingredients until well combined. Roll into 30 small balls. Place on a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with oil to prevent sticking. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  3. Melt butter in a large, deep pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and lemon zest. Sauté for a few minutes (don’t brown the garlic, but get the butter going so it’s a little bit sizzly).
  4. Add spinach and parsley and cook until just wilted.
  5. Add pasta, meatballs, and Parmesan. Toss to combine. Add water as needed to loosen it up and make it a little more creamy. Add seasoning to taste – including a final squeeze of lemon! Stand over the pot, eat forkfuls of pasta, and repeat.
Want to stick with the classics? Here is a more traditional recipe for spaghetti and meatballs.
Classic spaghetti and meatballs

Classic spaghetti and meatballs



  • 1 cup stale Italian bread
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 bunch Italian parsley chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese

Tomato Sauce

  • 2 cloves fresh garlic chopped
  • 56 ounces Crushed Tomato San Marzano
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 1/2 onion finely diced
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 pounds spaghetti


  1. Soak bread in milk in a small bowl for 20 minutes.
  2. Mix beef and pork together in a large bowl. Stir onions, bread mixture, eggs, parsley, garlic, salt, black pepper,dried basil, and Romano cheese into meat mixture with a rubber spatula until combined. Cover and refrigerate for about one hour.
  3. Using wet hands, form meat mixture into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
  4. Heat about 1/4-inch of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Fry the meatballs until they are browned on all sides and cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Tomato Sauce

  1. In a large skillet or small sauce pot, sauté diced onion and chopped garlic in olive oil until onions are translucent, do not allow them to burn!
  2. Add crushed tomatoes, rinse cans with just a little water and add to the sauce (if crushed tomatoes are not available use whole tomatoes and crush by hand or with an immersion blender).
  3. add chopped basil, sugar, sea salt and black pepper to taste (don’t over season you can always add more later).
  4. After your sauce has reached a boil, reduce the heat to low, a simmer for 15-20 minutes for classical Marinara / simmer for 1-3 hours for a rich hearty Tomato Sauce.


  1. Cook pasta.  Follow instructions on the box.
  2. **Unless you have a large enough pot to cook both pounds at once, cook them 1 pound at a time.

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