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Baked Caprese Chicken-balls

One simple stuffing step puts these chicken-balls into a whole different category of pure, comforting goodness.  The creamy ooziness of mozzarella, teamed with pesto then topped with a perfectly classic tomato and eggplant sauce just hits all those taste bub notes.

This recipe makes 12 perfect little chicken-balls, but we recommend you double the recipe because your dinner table will be going back for seconds! (P.S. these freeze great too.  Just freeze the balls raw.)

Ingredients:

Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground chicken breast
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 heaping tablespoon pesto
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 heaping teaspoon dried Italian herbs
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 12 half inch cut pieces of mozzarella cheese

 

Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 small eggplant, peeled and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½-1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
  • Salt to taste

Instruction:

Preheat oven to 325 F.

In a skillet over medium heat, add your glug of olive oil, sauté onions for about 3-4 minutes then add chopped eggplant and a bit of salt.  Sauté until eggplant becomes soft, about 5 minutes, then stir in garlic for another 2 minutes to open up the flavors a bit.

Next add the can of tomatoes, dried seasoning and salt to taste.  Let this simmer for 10 minutes, stir often.

While the sauce is simmering you can start on your meatballs.  In a large mixing bowl, add all the listed ingredients for the meatballs except the mozzarella pieces.  Mix well with your hands.

1

Grab a small handful of your chicken meatball concoction and roll into a one inch ball.  Take one mozzarella piece and stuff it into the center of the ball, place in a 9X13 glass baking dish.  Repeat this with all the mix.  Should make 12 mozzarella meatballs.

2

Once all your meatballs are done, pour tomato sauce over the meatballs.  Place in the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes.

3

These meatballs go great served over polenta or spaghetti and a side salad.

5

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