One-Pan Chicken, Spinach And Feta Meatballs Recipe

meatballs in white bowl
meatballs in white bowl - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

One-pan meals complete with meat and vegetables are super-convenient, but developer Kara Barrett considers this one to be something special. While she says "There's a nice simplicity to this dish," she feels that the flavorful and unusual chicken meatballs with spinach and feta are elevated way beyond the ordinary by a lemon-cream sauce so tasty you may just want to eat it with a spoon. "I mean that sauce," she says, "it's really good."

Despite its elegance, Barrett calls the dish budget-friendly without sacrificing flavor. She also notes that it's not too labor-intensive, especially since you can make the meatballs ahead of time, which means that it "makes for a pretty delicious weeknight meal." She also feels that since the recipe is so special, "This is a great dish to make on a lazy Sunday afternoon, the kind where you have time to babysit the pan of meatballs while they brown. Just throw on some music or grab your partner to hang out in the kitchen with you. Then, serve your dish with a nice glass of wine."

Since this dish has protein and vegetables all in one pot, all you'll need to do is add a simple side to make it a meal. Barrett suggests pasta or rice along with a green salad, but you may also want to add a hunk of bread to help you sop every last drop of sauce.

Read more: 12 Different Ways To Cook Chicken

Collect The Ingredients For The One-Pan Chicken, Spinach And Feta Meatballs

ground chicken cheese and vegetables
ground chicken cheese and vegetables - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

The meatballs are made from ground chicken, feta, parmesan, spinach, breadcrumbs, an egg, and salt and are fried in butter. Additional ingredients needed for the sauce include chicken stock, whipping cream, and lemons.

Step 1: Combine The Meatball Ingredients In A Bowl

meat and eggs in bowl
meat and eggs in bowl - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

Add the ground chicken, feta, ¼ cup grated Parmesan, 1 cup of chopped spinach, breadcrumbs, egg, and 1 teaspoon of salt to a large mixing bowl.

Step 2: Mix The Meatball Ingredients

hand mixing ground meat
hand mixing ground meat - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

Gently mix to combine.

Step 3: Shape The Meatballs

raw meatballs on pan
raw meatballs on pan - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

Shape the mixture into meatballs, about the size of a golf ball.

Step 4:Melt Some Butter In A Pan

butter in white frying pan
butter in white frying pan - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

On medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet.

Step 5: Put The Meatballs In The Pan

raw meatballs in frying pan
raw meatballs in frying pan - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

Add the meatballs to the skillet.

Step 6: Fry The Meatballs

cooked meatballs in frying pan
cooked meatballs in frying pan - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

Lightly brown the meatballs on all sides, about 10 minutes.

Step 7: Pour The Stock And Cream

hand pouring cream on meatballs
hand pouring cream on meatballs - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

Add stock, heavy whipping cream, 1 teaspoon of salt, and lemon juice with zest to the skillet with the meatballs.

Step 8: Simmer The Meatballs In The Sauce

meatballs and sauce in pan
meatballs and sauce in pan - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

Reduce heat slightly and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 9: Add The Parmesan

hand putting cheese on meatballs
hand putting cheese on meatballs - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

Add a ¼ cup Parmesan and cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the sauce is thickened.

Step 10: Add The Butter

meatballs and sauce in pan
meatballs and sauce in pan - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

Swirl in 1 pat of butter.

Step 11: Add The Spinach

hand putting spinach on meatballs
hand putting spinach on meatballs - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

Add 1 cup of reserved spinach and cook for a few more minutes, or until the spinach is just wilted.

Step 12: Serve The Meatballs

meatballs and spinach in sauce
meatballs and spinach in sauce - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

Taste for salt and serve with additional crumbled feta if desired.

One-Pan Chicken, Spinach And Feta Meatballs Recipe

meatballs in black bowl
meatballs in black bowl - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

What Ingredient Substitutions Would Work With This Recipe?

meatballs in black bowl
meatballs in black bowl - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

If you're thinking this recipe sounds like something you might want to make for dinner tonight but you don't have ground chicken, Barrett feels that ground turkey would make a great substitute. She says that she personally wouldn't choose ground beef, though, and it's true that its stronger flavor might overwhelm this rather delicate sauce. Ground lamb, however, goes well with spinach, feta, and lemon, so that could work. You could use a plant-based ground meat substitute if you prefer.

As for the cooking liquid, if you don't have stock, you could always use broth, bouillion, or even water, but if you go with this last option, you may need to add a bit more salt to compensate for the lack of flavor. Barrett also suggests that if you have any white wine on hand, you could use this to replace all or part of the stock. (Here are our recommendations for white wines to use in cooking.) You could also use half-and-half or even milk in place of the heavy cream if you want to make a lighter version of the dish, although, of course, the sauce won't taste quite so rich with this substitution. If you're swapping milk for heavy cream out of necessity instead of for dietary reasons, you can always add extra butter to make up for the missing milk fat.

Can I Use A Different Method To Cook The Meatballs?

meatballs in white bowl
meatballs in white bowl - Kara Barrett/Tasting Table

If you'd prefer not to pan-fry the meatballs as Barrett does, you have several different cooking options open to you. Barrett suggests that you could bake them at 350 F for 15 minutes, which has the advantage of being hands-free. (Try baking them on a wire rack to help with caramelization.) You could also cook them under the broiler if you like them extra-crispy, something that will only take 5 to 10 minutes. With both baked and broiled meatballs, you might want to turn them over at the halfway point to ensure even cooking.

You could also cook the meatballs in an air fryer, which will take about 8 minutes per batch. Depending on the size of your air fryer, however, you might need to cook them in multiple batches. No matter how you heat your meatballs, Barrett says there's no need to worry about whether they're cooked all the way through. As she assures us, they'll finish cooking while they simmer in the sauce.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.