Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Chicken Meatballs in a Chunky Pesto Sauce
These chicken meatballs are packed with chopped sun-dried tomatoes and basil and smothered in a chunky pesto sauce. They are delicious enjoyed on their own or served over zucchini noodles and they freeze well too. These pesto meatballs are Whole30, Paleo, Grain Free, Dairy Free and Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal.
I’ve come to the conclusion that just about any dish can be improved by turning it into meatballs. Pork with Asian sauce; good, Asian pork meatballs; AMAZING! Mexican Beef Stew; good, Mexican Beef Meatballs; soooooo good!
There is about mixing the ground meat with the spices and seasonings that really enhances the flavours not to mention making it so fun to eat!
So in this week’s edition of Meatball my Meal, I introduce you to these Chicken, Sundried Tomato and Pesto Meatballs that is a fun and delicious spin on the classic pesto chicken flavour combination.
These meatballs are very easy to make, moist and incredibly flavourful. I love the combination of lemon, basil, red onion and sundried tomatoes that give an unexpected kick of flavour to the meatballs. I prefer to make my own sundried tomatoes in a dehydrator, but you could also use oil packed ones for this recipe, just be careful because they often contain preservatives.
I love how easy pesto is to make, and its almost impossible to screw up. If you are short on time and would prefer to use store bought, that’s completely ok, or if you have an old batch of pesto stored in your freezer (like I usually do) then you could use that as well. Also don’t stress if you don’t have the exact ingredients on hand, kale works in place of spinach, and you could use pine nuts, pistachios or walnuts in place of the almonds.
When it comes to serving these meatballs, there is really no wrong way to do it. They are fantastic served on their own, as a more substantial meal can be served with zoodles or pasta for a more “spaghetti and meatball” type meal, or can even be served with toothpicks as a canapé.
This is a great meal prep recipe. You can make a big batch on Sunday, and then enjoy them throughout the week for lunch and dinner. They also freeze incredibly well, and in my opinion, the meatballs only get better and more tender after freezing.
Here are a few more pesto recipes that you might enjoy:
- Pesto Chicken & Tomato Skewers
- Broccoli Pesto
- Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Walnut Arugula Pesto
- Goat Cheese, Pesto & Sun-dried Tomato Tower
- Butternut Squash Ravioli with Kale Pesto
If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!
Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Chicken Meatballs in Pesto
Chicken Meatballs with Basil & Sundried Tomatoes
- 700 grams ground chicken
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 1/4 cup red onion finely diced
- 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes finely chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh basil shredded
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 1/2 cups fresh basil
- 1 cup spinach
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup onion or shallots finely diced
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
- In a bowl combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs. Using your hands work the ingredients together until they are well combined. Roll the mixture into balls approximately the size of golf balls and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Bake the meatballs in the oven for approximately 25 minutes, flipping them half way through cooking to ensure they brown evenly.
- While the meatballs are baking prepare the pesto by combining all of the pesto ingredients in a food processor and pulsing until the mixture is broken down into a chunky consistency. I like to leave the almonds in little bits so there is a bit of texture.
- In a skillet sauté the diced onion in olive oil for 3-4 minutes until it begins to soften. Add in the cherry tomatoes, cover with a lid and allow to cook for 10 minutes until they have completely softened and all of the moisture has been released from them.
- Once the tomatoes are soft and "wilted" looking, stir in the pesto and then add the meatballs to the pan. Stir so that the meatballs are well coated in the pesto before serving topped with shredded basil and pine nuts.