Recipe: Kid-Friendly Mini Meatballs

by Cate on December 21, 2011

Mini Meatballs
No sooner did Mystic’s daughter finish the plate of mini meatballs and noodles last week did she ask when we could make it again.  We scheduled it for today, which is perfect for this week’s edition of Eat.Live.Be.  The “print” edition.

I found this recipe two years ago in an issue of Redbook magazine, from Giada DeLaurentiis.  I like her recipes because a lot of them are perfect for easy, weeknight meals for your littlest picky eaters (just noticed she has a new title coming out in a few months with a weeknight theme as well).  Although the recipe calls for ground chicken, I alternate between chicken and turkey, and both versions are scoffed up by all the kids.  In fact, Madeline who adores most pasta of any kind, actually favors the meatballs more than the pasta, and asked for a meatball only lunch for tomorrow’s school day.  A request I’m all too happy to fulfill.

I use a mini cookie scoop when forming the meatballs, which makes it really quick work, and not too fiddly to do after a long workday.  The mini size works well for the kids, a nice bite without being too overwhelming, and they are super tender and flavorful, which is why they are so eager to scoff them up.  A mostly clean eating, guilt-free recipe that has me just as eager to make them.

I usually serve them with this recipe for Orzo with Herbs, or mini noodles with a little chicken broth as the sauce (along with those wonderful brown bits scraped up from the bottom of the pan of meatballs).

Ok, now for this week’s quote, I’m going to go with this one. Nick and I were talking about this very concept the other day. The fact that every day is a clean slate, a change to right the wrong, put the past behind us, a daily do over. And so it is.

Quote for this week's Eat. Live. Be.

Be sure to check out my fellow Eat. Live. Be. co-horts, to see how they interpreted the print theme this week, Sarah, Joanne, and Patsy.  Well, except for, ahem, one of the crew that forgot her alphabet and did next week’s “television” theme instead.  ;)

December 21, 2011 – Bonus Photos
I have no words.

Happiness is Lifesaver Gummies
My mom does an advent calendar with all of us every year, and last night it was Madeline’s turn to open up her bag. Methinks she is quite pleased with her prize.

Guinness Book of World Records 2012
Nicholas is obsessed with the Guinness Book of World Records (and assorted similar books), and when he saw the 2012 version was out (at Costco), he shelled over his own money to buy it.  I swear he practically memorizes these books.

Mesmerized by Dolphins
Madeline’s dolphin obsession continues. She is desperate to swim with them, still. At the very least, we’re adding a dolphin show to our Summer Bucket List 2012. I’m not sure if I can fulfill her request to swim with them quite yet. A little research is in order.

Mini Chicken Meatballs
Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis, Redbook June 2009

  • 1/4 cup(s) plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup(s) chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon(s) whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon(s) ketchup
  • 3/4 cup(s) freshly grated Romano cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon(s) freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound(s) ground chicken
  • 1/4 cup(s) olive oil
  • 1-1/2 cup(s) low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup(s) chopped fresh basil, for garnish
  • 1/2 cup(s) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish

In a medium bowl, stir together breadcrumbs, parsley, eggs, milk, ketchup, Romano cheese, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken and combine well. Use a melon baller (or a teaspoon measure) to scoop the mixture; roll the seasoned chicken into 3/4-inch mini meatballs.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the meatballs and cook without moving until brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Turn the meatballs and brown the tops, about 2 minutes longer. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Garnish with chopped fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne December 22, 2011 at 7:19 am

Yeah my alphabet skills are NOT what they used to be. I might need to redo kindergarten and first grade.

When I was a kid, I would ONLY eat mini meatballs, not regular sized ones. Definitely a great, healthy, kid-friendly dish!

i LOVE that quote. I think I need it plastered on my wall so that when I have a brownie, I would let the guilt creep into and ruin my next day. Not that that ever happens.


Terri December 22, 2011 at 9:33 am

Totally thinking I need to get a mini-cookie scoop to make meatballs with now!

Swimming with dolphins can be done in Orlando at Seaworld’s Discovery Cove and on several cruise excurisions. Not sure if there is anything closer to your hometown.


The Neighbor (Wife) December 22, 2011 at 10:05 am

I’ll swim with her when she’s older. She can do the interaction dolphin encounter in the Bahamas. She’s like me I love dolphins!!


Christa the BabbyMama December 22, 2011 at 11:03 am

Ooh, that looks SO good! Kid friendly, sure. Me friendly, too!


stephanie December 22, 2011 at 4:17 pm

I love that quote. I think it resonates with me because at the end of the day I am usually thinking about the things I did not accomplish when I should be thinking about the successes. I guess if we completed all our goals at the end of each day we’d have no reason to get up again in the morning!
Thanks for the recipes as well!


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