Chicken Pesto Meatballs in Marinara Sauce Recipe

IMG_7391Lord did I ever hit the jackpot with this recipe!! It’s tasty, not too complicated to make and it smells so freaking great. My husband and I devoured this meal within days and I know this will become a repeat recipe in the house. Thank you Clothes Make the Girl for this amazing present.


1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup walnuts
1 clove garlic, smashed and peeled
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
dash crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound ground chicken {I have also used ground turkey = same amazing results}
2 tablespoons warm water
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar {I have yet to include this when I make the recipe and it has turned out just fine}
1/4 teaspoon baking soda


1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes
1  8 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
10 large fresh basil leaves


Grab your food processor and put the basil, parsley, walnuts, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes in the bowl and chop until it forms a uniform paste. I had to scrape down the sides twice to get it to turn into a true paste {or pesto!!}. Next put the ground chicken in a large bowl, dump the pesto on top.

IMG_7441In a small bowl {I used one of my small, clear bowls that make me feel like I am fucking Martha Stewart}, mix the water with the cream of tartar and baking soda. I was told it will fizz a little, but both times I have made this it hasn’t. I feel cheated. Add the liquid to the chicken and mix until everything is integrated into the chicken. Then cover and refrigerate at least 20 minutes. I usually make this portion in the morning and cook the balls in the evening.

When you are ready to cook the meal, you will start with the sauce. Heat a large skillet over low heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is warm {takes about 2 minutes},  add the crushed garlic and when it’s fragrant {takes about another minute}, add the tomatoes. Stir occasionally until you bring the sauce to a simmer. Next, take the chicken out of the fridge and make them into balls. I used a tablespoon to help me keep the balls a uniform size. Put the balls in the tomato sauce–they don’t have to be completely covered by the sauce, it should come up about halfway.

Cover the pot. This is important because, as the meat cooks, it is cooked in the sauce and steamed because it’s covered. It rather genius and perfect. Cook for abut 25 minutes, turning the balls about 12 minutes in. After 25 minutes, remove the lid, let the sauce thicken, stir in the basil and voila!! Dinner is ready!! Serve on top of spaghetti or zoodles or on nothing. They are great either way!

Again, this recipe is amazing!! Delicious and not time consuming! Win win win. No go make them and thank me later!!