We were craving for eggplant or chicken parmesan the other day. What we didn’t want was a big heaping platter of the gooey goodness. I came up with these lighter on the belly chicken parmesan meatballs. Before you start calling me no-fun by not loading up the plate with a gooey, stick-to-your ribs meal, trust me on how good these are.
This recipe definitely was spiked by our love of meatballs. One of the things I really like about making meatballs is that the recipes tend to make more than enough for two people so I can tuck some away in the freezer for when we come home hungry from a business trip or just do not feel like cooking. As well they are great for feeding a crowd, especially this chicken parmesan version. I loaded this recipe with fresh herbs, which helps keep meaty dishes on the lower calorie train but still full of flavor while enhancing the natural meat flavors. I added a little panko only to help bind everything together, as well is served as the breaded crumbs that would usually be on that slice of eggplant or chicken cutlet. The fun part of these meatballs are the little cheese surprise in the middle, gooey, cheesy goodness, that is only a bite! All that is left is some of your favorite tomato sauce and a bowl of pasta if you feel the need for it.
A couple tips to help make your meatball cooking experience easier:
- Use a high heat oil to lightly fry them. I like sunflower oil as it has a nice clean taste and doesn’t interfere with the other ingredients.
- Keep the heat at medium-low, just hot enough to brown the meatballs without burning them or setting off the fire alarm.
- Use a soup spoon to move the meatballs around the pan as it helps keep their round shape. DO NOT LEAVE the spoon in the pan when not using it or it will heat up, and you will burn yourself.
- I only like to brown the meatballs, then I simmer them with stock, wine or the tomato sauce. Run wild with it!