Asiago Spinach Chicken Meatballs

I love taking some of my favorite family dishes and putting a big old twist on them. One of the best dishes my Dad makes is his basil pesto sauce with sausage over rigatoni, I love it so much. This recipe is the same basic idea, only with a few easy substitutions to make it just a little more lean and nutritious! Instead of sausage I made the most incredible asiago spinach chicken meatballs. They got paired with a delectable kale walnut pesto and put over pasta. Oh my goodness it was pure Italian heaven!

The amazing mixture for the asiago spinach chicken meatballs all put together.
I made the mixture for the asiago spinach chicken meatballs first. It was a simple combination of ground chicken, chopped baby spinach, lots of asiago cheese, breadcrumbs and seasoning. I dove in with my clean hands to mix it all together well.
The asiago spinach chicken meatballs ready for the oven.
I just took small handfuls of that mixture about the size of my palm, rolled them into little chicken meatballs and got them onto a lined baking sheet. The asiago spinach chicken meatballs went into the oven for 20 minutes to bake until they were cooked through and slightly crisp on the outside. With the size that I made mine I ended up with 14 of them. Well, really in the end it was twelve by the time I served it since I taste tested two when they were done! They were that good, I was so excited about them.
The gorgeous kale walnut pesto sauce for the chicken meatballs.
While the asiago chicken meatballs baked, I made the gorgeous kale walnut pesto. It was a cinch to put together right in my food processor. I pulsed all of the ingredients together into one glorious and gorgeously green sauce.

After that, everything just got tossed together. I stirred my cooked pasta with the meatballs and sauce. Then it was ready to serve! I can’t even tell you how happy this dish made me. The asiago spinach chicken meatballs were so incredibly tender, moist and full of flavor. With the creamy pesto sauce and tender pasta it was a complete home run. The best part here was that I got it on the table in just about 30 minutes! Oh, and if you have little ones in your house that are morally opposed to leafy greens this is a fantastic and delicious way to sneak them in. Mangia and enjoy, the handy printable is just below!

Asiago Spinach Chicken Meatballs

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5 from 1 vote
Asiago Spinach Chicken Meatballs
Prep Time
10mins
Cook Time
20mins
Total Time
30mins
 
Course: Main Course
Servings: 4
Author: Jeanie and Lulu's Kitchen
Ingredients
FOR THE MEATBALLS
  • 1poundground chicken
  • 3/4packed cupbaby spinach leavesfinely chopped
  • 1/2cupfreshly grated asiago cheese
  • 1/2cupseasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2pinchestruffle sea salt
  • 1dashworcestershire sauce
  • 1dashSriracha
  • 1wholeegg
FOR THE PASTA
  • 4packed cupskale leaves
  • 6clovesgarlicpeeled
  • 1/2cupfreshly grated asiago cheese
  • 1cupchopped walnuts
  • 1pinchtruffle sea salt
  • 1/2cupolive oilplus additional for finishing
  • 1 1/2tablespoonsmilk
  • 1poundshort dry pastalike fusilli
Instructions
  1. First, make the meatballs. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a large mixing bowl combine the ground chicken, spinach, asiago cheese, breadcrumbs, salt, Worcestershire sauce, Sriracha and the egg. Give it a thorough mix together with your hands.
  2. Take small handfuls of the mixture about the size of your palm and roll them into balls, then get them onto the prepared baking sheet. Get the meatballs into the oven to bake for 20 minutes, until cooked through and slightly crisp on the outside.
  3. While the meatballs bake, prepare the pasta and pesto sauce. Get a large pot of salted water onto the stove and bring it to a boil. When it is boiling pour the pasta in and let it cook until just tender, about 8 minutes.
  4. While the water comes to a boil and the pasta cooks, quickly make the easy pesto sauce. Get out the food processor, and in the bowl combine the kale, garlic, asiago cheese, walnuts, salt, olive oil and milk. Run the processor until the mixture is a creamy, paste like sauce.
  5. The meatballs should be done by this point, take them out and let them rest a minute. The pasta should also be perfectly done at this point. Before you drain it, reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water and set it aside.
  6. Drain the pasta and get it back into the pot it cooked it. Spoon the pesto sauce all over it. Then add the meatballs and reserved cooking water to the pot and toss it all together. Finish the dish with a big additional drizzle of olive oil.
  7. Scoop the pasta and meatballs into big bowls and serve immediately. Mangia and enjoy!

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