You will never believe these meatballs are made with just chicken! They are so tender and just fall apart in your mouth good. Broiled and never fried, then slowly simmered in a simple creamy asiago and artichoke sauce with a little spicy kick.
This is a sponsored post in partnership with Bertolli. Thank you to Bertolli for sponsoring today’s post and inspiring me to celebrate. Viva Bertolli!
I grew up eating tefteli, which is a Russian version of Swedish meatballs. My mom made them with addition of rice which gave them an incredibly soft, rich and juicy texture. Then she slowly simmered them in a tomato + veggie sauce and served over mashed potatoes rather than pasta. One of my absolute favorite comfort dishes.
Over the years, I’ve perfected my own version of soft and juicy meatball recipe that has become a staple in my house that my family absolutely adores. I use the same chicken meatball recipe in a variety of dishes. While I love my mamas tefteli, for my meatballs, I completely omitted the rice and instead packed them with grated onion and sour cream, which gives them soft and tender texture. The rest of the ingredients are pretty basic, Panko (you can also use stale bread), milk, chicken, egg, and parsley.
For this recipe, the meatballs are lightly broiled in the oven and then simmered slowly in a mouthwatering sauce. For the sauce, I used Bertolli Riserva Asiago Cheese and Artichokes Sauce to which I added red wine, red pepper flakes, bay leaf, cream and spinach. The red wine not only adds flavor but also moisture to the dish. I love everything about this sauce! It has the perfect texture, taste and plenty of leafy greens.
What’s great about this dish is that it’s a perfect family meal to make on a weeknight. The meatballs can be rolled + broiled the night before and stored covered in the refrigerator until the next day. The sauce is practically already made, with exception of just few more ingredients. Make a double batch of these meatballs and enjoy it over couple days with pasta, mashed potatoes or just some crusty bread.
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- 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 lb. ground chicken
- 1 egg
- 3 Tbsp. grated onion
- 2 Tbsp. minced parsley
- 2 Tbsp. sour cream
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup red wine (such as Pinot Noir or Red Blend wine)
- 1 (24 oz) jar Bertolli Riserva Asiago Cheese and Artichokes Sauce
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup light cream
- 3 cups packed baby spinach leaves
- shaved fresh parmesan cheese
- 1 lb. spaghetti, cooked according to package
- fresh chopped parsley
- In a large mixing bowl, combine Panko with milk. Let stand until milk is absorbed. To the Panko, gently mix in the chicken, egg, onion, parsley, sour cream, salt, and pepper. The mixture will be sticky and wet.
- Turn on the broiler on HIGH. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Shape the chicken mixture into 2-inch (approx) meatballs and place in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
- Broil on HIGH for 4-5 minutes or until lightly golden on top. Meatballs will be raw inside. Remove from the oven and prepare the sauce.
- In a large saute pan or dutch oven, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add onion and saute for 3 minutes or until just soft. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add wine and cook for additional 1 minute. To the wine, add Bertolli Riserva Asiago Cheese and Artichokes Sauce, bay leaf, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer. Add meatballs and reduce heat to low. Simmer partially covered for 20 minutes or until meatballs are fully cooked, stirring couple times. Disgard the bay leaf.
- To the sauce, add cream and cook just until heated through, about 1 minute. Turn off the heat and add spinach, stirring until wilted.
- Sprinkle with fresh shaved parmesan cheese and serve over cooked spaghetti. If desired, add a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley.