I love meatballs, and in my quest to make them healthy, I have started making them with ground chicken or turkey. But the lack of fat in the meat means, that they need an additional punch of flavor.
In this recipe I use an extremely popular Bruschetta dry mix from our Oil & Vinegar store to easily add remarkable flavor to ground chicken. This dry mix comes in multiple flavors, and any of them pack tremendous piquancy and kick to these meatballs. I decided to BE BRAVE and use a sweet and spicy Peppa Sauce made from South African Peppadew peppers instead of a traditional marinara sauce for the meatballs. I love this versatile sauce in this recipe, but also over grilled chicken, turkey burgers, and more.
Since I know that I have followers in parts of the world were our Oil & Vinegar products are not available, I have included in the Notes at the end of the recipe some alternative approaches to flavoring the meat and making a sauce. Of course, the taste of the dish will change with these alternative ingredients, but I promise it will be delicious and healthy.
I love serving these meatballs as an appetizer with a dipping sauce, or over pasta or zucchini noodles, so BE BRAVE with me, make up a batch, and give them a try. You won’t go back to beef meatballs, I promise!
Chicken Meatballs in Peppa Sauce
1 lb ground chicken
1 egg beaten
2-3 tablespoons O&V Bruschetta Dry Mix (Original, Formaggio, Picante, Olive)*
2 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons breadcrumbs or gluten-free breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons O&V Garlic EVOO *
1 bottle O&V Peppa Sauce *
¼ cup water
Chopped parsley for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 F
Soak the Bruschetta mix of your choice in the 2 tablespoons of water. Let sit for 3-5 minutes
Combine the ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs and soaked Bruschetta mix. Do not over-mix
Prepare a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Roll the chicken mixture into small balls (about 20-24) and place on the parchment paper. Brush the meatballs with the Garlic EVOO. Bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes.
Remove from the oven and add the meatballs to a slow cooker. Add the Peppa Sauce and ¼ cup water. Cook on low for 2 hours.
Alternatively, place the baked meatballs in a large skillet, add the sauce and water, cover, and cook on low for 1 hour, stirring occasionally and checking that the sauce does not burn.
Serve garnished with parsley as an appetizer or over boiled pasta or zucchini noodles.
Active Time: 10 minutes. Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes
* The perfectly convenient way to get LOTS of flavor into chicken or turkey meatballs is using the Oil & Vinegar Bruschetta Dry Mix. It is delicious, versatile, and easy to use. An alternative is to add the following to your ground meat in place of the Bruschetta mix and water in the recipe:
1 tablespoon dried Italian Seasoning
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon dried chili flakes (more for additional heat)
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
* I use a Garlic EVOO as it adds an additional layer of flavor that enhances the taste of these meatballs. You can also substitute a plain EVOO if you wish.
* The Peppa Sauce from our Oil & Vinegar franchise has a perfect balance of sweet and spicy and is made from Peppadew peppers from South Africa. You can also use a marinara sauce or a red pepper sauce. Here is a quick, and easy homemade red pepper sauce option
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ large onion, diced
16 oz jar of roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more depending on how much heat you want)
¾ -1 cup chicken broth
¼ cup cream or almond milk (Optional)
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 tablespoon parsley, minced
Heat the EVOO in a pan and add the garlic, onion, and red chili flakes. Sauté for 3-5 minutes till translucent.
Add the red peppers and Italian seasoning. Sauté another 2-4 minutes.
Take off the heat, let cool slightly, and place in a food processor. Puree until well blended. Return the puree to the skillet, add the broth and cream/milk (if using). Season to taste and gently stir till heated and combined. Remove from heat and add minced parsley.
Categories: Appetizer, Snacks & Sides, Poultry, Chicken, Meatballs, Bruschetta Mix, Peppa Sauce, Garlic EVOO, Slow Cooker, Tailgating, Make Ahead