Herby Chicken Meatballs with Orzo

Here is a fantastic weeknight dinner recipe that gives your traditional spaghetti and meatballs a little twist. I cooked a similar recipe a few weeks ago and wanted to make my own version to add to our weeknight rotation and this one delivered. Luca had 3 full meatballs the other night and kept asking for more!

Herby Chicken Meatballs Recipe:

Makes 4 servings

Meatball Ingredients:

– 2 Tbs salted butter
– 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
– 1 shallot, finely chopped
– 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
– 1 lb ground chicken meat
– 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
– 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
– 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes 
– 2 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
– 2 Tbs chopped fresh rosemary
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 tsp black pepper

Pasta Ingredients:

– 1 Tbs butter
– 1 yellow onion, chopped
– 4 garlic cloves, minced
– 2 Tbs tomato paste
– 1/4 cup dry white wine
– 1 cup dry orzo pasta
– 2 cups chicken broth
– 2 cups chopped fresh baby spinach or lacinato kale
– 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
– Salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 
  2. Heat the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once it has melted, add the onion and shallot and cook until soft and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Cook until fragrant, one more minute.
  4. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, mix the ground chicken, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, sundried tomatoes, parsley, rosemary, salt, pepper, and the onion mixture with your hands until blended but not over-mixed.
  6. Form 15 to 20 tightly packed meatballs and place each one on the sheet pan you prepared earlier.
  7. Bake the meatballs for 25 to 30 minutes until cooked through and lightly browned, flipping halfway.
  8. While the meatballs are cooking, make the orzo by adding butter to the same skillet you used earlier for the onions. 
  9. When the butter is melted, add the onion and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute.
  10. Stir in the tomato paste followed by the white wine, orzo, and chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often.
  11. Add the spinach and Parmesan and cook until the spinach wilts, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Serve the meatballs over the orzo. Garnish with extra Parmesan and fresh chopped parsley if using.
  13. Enjoy!

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