Mini Chicken Meatballs in Tomato Cream Sauce
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins

The mini chicken meatballs really are the star of this pasta dish. 

Author: Sam
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 pound ground chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups uncooked orecchiette or small shell pasta
  • 1/4 cup reserved pasta water
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese cubed or pearls
  • fresh chopped herbs basil or parsley
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the breadcrumbs with the milk and let stand for about 5 minutes or until the milk is absorbed. To the breadcrumbs, add the chicken, egg, parmesan, salt, and pepper. The mixture will be wet. Shape the chicken mixture into 1-inch meatballs.
  2. In a large saute pan, heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Place half of the meatballs (more or less depending on the size of your pan) into the saute pan and cook 3-4 minutes or until browned, turn the meatballs and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. The meatballs will not be cooked through and will be slightly pink on the inside. Remove from the pan and cook the rest of the meatballs.

  3. While the meatballs are cooking, cook the pasta to al dente according to the package directions. Reserving about 1/4 cup of the pasta water and draining the rest.
  4. Once all of the meatballs are cooked, remove them to the pan and reduce the heat to low. Add the marinara sauce and heavy cream to the pan (be careful of splatters) and stir to combine. Add back in the meatballs and bring to a simmer. Simmer covered over low heat for about 5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and the meatballs are cooked through (meatballs will be white on the inside).
  5. Stir in the cooked pasta and add the pasta water, if needed to make the sauce thinner. Gently stir in the mozzarella and fresh herbs. Serve immediately.

Adapted from this recipe. I changed up the meatball ingredients and a few of the amounts.