For many of us, this week between Christmas and the New Year is one spent relaxing and having lots of much needed down time. So far my family and I have been enjoying being very lazy, watching lots of movies, and doing lots of nothing. Its also a time for easy dinners with not a lot of fuss, especially if you did your fair share of hosting over the holidays. This recipe we did last night for Chicken & Ricotta Meatballs was super easy and was a hit all around. We had five kids at our house last night and they all enjoyed this dinner, even the ones that said they were not hungry (I think they just suspected they would not eat them and wanted an easy out if required!)
Its also a healthy and budget friendly dinner, something else that might sound really good to many of us right now. Trying to cut back on pasta or carbs? Just eliminate the fettuccine and serve the meatballs over some mixed greens instead!
We made it with 2 lbs of chicken and that gave us about 24 meatballs. We had friends over and some sleepovers happening so we needed the larger amount but you could reduce the recipe or just freeze some for another busy night. Leftovers make for great subs, cut up and thrown into salads, or even on top of home made pizzas!
So go ahead, dig in and treat yourself to this simple lazy dinner, put on your pj’s, and get ready for that next movie!
Chicken & Ricotta Meatballs with Fettuccine & Peas
2 lbs of ground chicken
1 cup of ricotta cheese (we used part skim)
3/4 cup of seasoned bread crumbs
2 tbsp. of garlic powder
1 tsp of salt and black pepper (more or less to taste)
1 box of fettuccine pasta (we used whole grain)
10 oz of frozen peas
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes (we used Muir Glen Roasted Garlic)
1/2 cup of chicken broth (or can just use water)
Place chicken, bread crumbs, ricotta cheese, salt, pepper and garlic powder in large bowl and mix until well combined. Form into meatballs (about 2 inches each), place on large plate or platter and refrigerate for 15 mins so they are easier to cook. While meatballs are in the fridge, cook fettuccine according to package. Add peas to pasta the last few minutes of cooking time. Drain and keep warm.
Once the meatballs have been chilled, heat about 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a large skillet over med/high heat. Add meatballs to skillet and let them brown, turning in skillet to get all sides. Once browned, add chicken broth (or water) and cover meatballs with diced tomatoes. Continue to cook for 5 minutes until meatballs are cooked through. To serve: Place fettuccine in large serving bowl or platter, top with meatballs and tomatoes from skillet. Also great topped with some shredded parmesan cheese and served with a simple garden salad!
Wishing you all a Happy Holiday Season!