Chicken Meatballs with Creamy Orzo

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Be prepared to have a few favorite dinner in this Chicken Meatballs with Creamy Orzo!

If you're following along with my 30 minute or less dinner challenge, you'll know I recently made a creamy orzo that rocked my families world. I've been making it almost every other day and I'm so excited it's finally gracing the website along with a delish chicken meatball recipe.

A braiser with chicken meatballs in red sauce with a garnish of basil on a purple table. On the table there is also a pinch bowl of grated parmesan cheese, a small ceramic bowl of creamy orzo and another small ceramic bowl with a serving of chicken meatballs over creamy orzo with a gold fork and two mauve linen napkins.

Why I Love This Recipe

I love any recipe that comes together easily. It's a huge help as a mom, as a business owner, and just as someone who doesn't want to spend too much time in the kitchen every night. The chicken meatballs are a variation of a few past WGC meatballs, and the addition of the creamy orzo is true perfect. It's a match made in heaven and one that I'll be feeding my family for the next 6 months straight!

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Ground Chicken
  • Parmesan
  • Panko Breadcrumbs
  • Egg
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Dried Oregano
  • Dried Parsley
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Roasted Red Peppers
  • Onion
  • Garlic Cloves
  • Jarred Tomato Sauce
  • Orzo
  • Mascarpone Cheese
  • Basil

How to Make Chicken Meatballs with Creamy Orzo

Mix the ingredients for the meatballs together and then form them in meatballs roughly the size of a golf ball. Heat a large cast iron or heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat. Add a 1 tablespoon of olive oil and let heat for 60 seconds. Add the meatballs and cook until browned on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add roasted bell peppers and onion to the same pan plus a little extra oil if needed. Sauté for 5-10 minutes and then add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the meatballs back into the pan and stir in the tomato sauce. Bring to a low simmer and cook for 5 minutes. 

Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain and toss with mascarpone. Season with salt, lemon, Parmesan, and basil.

Spoon some orzo into a bowl followed by the meatballs and sauce. Garnish with basil and parmesan and enjoy.

A braiser with chicken meatballs in red sauce with a garnish of basil on a purple table.

Tips & Tricks

I know many of you love prepping ahead and these meatballs lend themselves perfectly to that. You're welcome to make the mixture and then form them into balls and freeze just like that. That way, when it comes time to make them, just take them out, let them thaw entirely and continue on the directions as printed below.

FAQs

How do you keep chicken meatballs from falling apart?

The panko and the breadcrumbs are an integral part of keeping the meatballs together! Don't skip that part of the recipe. It also adds a bit of texture and moisture.

What are chicken meatballs made of?

Chicken meatballs are one of those recipes that can be super adaptable - but a few things are key. Ground Chicken, parmesan, panko, egg, salt and pepper and seasonings are non negotiable for me. You can jazz them up with any number of things to allow them to lend themselves to different flavors - garlic and ginger, scallions and chives etc.

Similar Recipes

If you tried this recipe, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it goes in the 📝 comments below. Thanks for visiting today!

A braiser with chicken meatballs in red sauce with a garnish of basil on a purple table. On the table there is also a small ceramic bowl of creamy orzo and another small ceramic bowl with a serving of chicken meatballs over creamy orzo with a gold fork and two mauve linen napkins.

Chicken Meatballs with Creamy Orzo

Author: Gaby Dalkin
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I love any recipe that comes together easily. It's a huge help as a mom, as a business owner, and just as someone who doesn't want to spend too much time in the kitchen every night. The chicken meatballs are a variation of a few past WGC meatballs, and the addition of the creamy orzo is true perfect. It's a match made in heaven and one that I'll be feeding my family for the next 6 months straight!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course, Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

Chicken Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Sauce:

  • 1 16-ounce jar roasted red peppers drained and thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow onion thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 1 16-ounce jar tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Creamy Orzo:

  • 8 ounces dry orzo
  • ¼ cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • Kosher salt for finishing
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese for finishing
  • Fresh basil for finishing

Instructions
 

  • Mix the ingredients for the meatballs together and then form them in meatballs roughly the size of a golf ball. Heat a large cast iron or heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat. Add a 1 tablespoon of olive oil and let heat for 60 seconds. Add the meatballs and cook until browned on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Add roasted bell peppers and onion to the same pan plus a little extra oil if needed. Sauté for 5-10 minutes and then add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the meatballs back into the pan and stir in the tomato sauce. Bring to a low simmer and cook for 5 minutes. 
  • Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain and toss with mascarpone. Season with salt, lemon zest and juice, parmesan, and basil.
  • Spoon some orzo into a bowl followed by the meatballs and sauce. Garnish with basil and parmesan.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 577kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 169mg | Sodium: 2392mg | Potassium: 1222mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1127IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 214mg | Iron: 4mg
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