fbpx Chicken Meatballs + Tomato Sauce

Chicken Meatballs + Tomato Sauce

Photography by Stacey Brandford

Posted on Feb 19, 2019

Kid-Friendly Chicken Meatballs + Ben's Basic Tomato Sauce

KID-FRIENDLY Chicken Meatballs

I've got a house with little people who would happily gobble up plain pasta with cheese every night of the week if given the chance, so I'm constantly trying to sneak a bit more nutrition into everything I serve. These chicken meatballs take mere minutes to make and can cook in the pan while the pasta is cooking in the pot. As an adult alternative, serve them alongside a gourmet green salad with a simple vinaigrette, and you'll have something to please all your fussy easters, big and small.

  • 1 1/2 lbs lean ground chicken
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp low-sodium soy or teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil


1. Place the ground chicken in a bowl and add the salt and pepper.

2. In a separate bowl, mix the herbs, garlic, Parmesan cheese, egg, mustard, soy sauce, and bread crumbs together. Stir well, then pour over the chicken and mix until fully blended. If you've got fussy easters, feel free to skip the garlic.

3. Roll the mixture into small balls (about the size of Ping-Pong balls).

4. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the meatballs and cook for a few minutes until golden brown. Turn the meatballs to cook evenly on all sides and remove them from the pan when firm.

5. Serve with pasta and Ben's Basic Tomato Sauce, or with a hearty salad.

Makes about 30 small meatballs


Ben's basic Tomato Sauce

Looking for a quick an easy recipe for homemade pasta sauce? This is it! On a rainy day at the cottage, my brother Ben showed me his awesome and easy recipe for tomato sauce that can be used on pasta, pizzas, and more.

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tins whole, peeled tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
  • Freshly ground sea salt and pepper
  • 10 chopped fresh basil leaves, or a 1-2 tbsp chunk of the Basil Puree (see page 263 of my book At Home Sarah Style for my basil puree recipe)



1. Warm the oil in a large, deep frying pan or stockpot over medium-high heat.

2. Peel and dice the garlic cloves and cook quickly in the oil, then add the tomatoes just as the garlic begins to turn golden (do not let it burn).

3. Season with lots of salt and pepper and bring the tomatoes to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. If you've got a lid big enough to cover the pan, you may want to cover it for halt the time so your kitchen isn't splattered with sauce, but it needs to remain uncovered for at least half the time to reduce the liquid. I like to use the back of a wooden spoon to help mash down and mush up the tomatoes once they start cooking. The sauce is done when the tomatoes have formed a nice chunky sauce. When almost finished, add chopped basil or Basil Puree. Serve with pasta or on pizza. Save any extra in an airtight container for up to a week, or pop in the freezer so it's ready when you need a meal in a hurry!

Serves 6