This is what happens when you try to please everyone with a single platter. It starts with an easy and delicious recipe for chicken meatballs! Meet the Amazing Chicken Arugula Meatball Platter. It’s perfect for those who love pasta and those who don’t, for those watching carbs and those who are indulging, for those who like greens on everything and those who would rather not, and for those who only eat meatballs and mozzarella and for those who only eat salad. I think that just about covers everything doesn’t it?Jump to Recipe
Recipe card and instructions updated 5/26/22
I’ve been making some version of chicken arugula meatballs for years. They are so light and flavorful that I really hate to dunk them in a rich vat of tomato sauce. In this dish, they are the star, nestled into a bed of fresh arugula and heirloom tomatoes, torn basil and the cutest little mozzarella balls. For those who prefer zoodles (me) and for those who prefer (gluten-free) noodles (the rest), this platter has that too. The whole mess is drizzled with garlic infused olive oil, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese, flaky salt, and chili flakes, and served warm or at room temp.
How to Make This Chicken Meatball Recipe
These meatballs are so moist and tender, but be careful to not overmix. I prefer to use chicken thighs or a mix rather than chicken breast. I find that using only ground chicken breast makes for a dryer meatball. Here’s what you’ll need to make the meatballs:
- 2 pounds of ground chicken thighs (or ground turkey).
- 1 cup chopped arugula (plus additional arugula for lining the platter)
- 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs (gluten-free sandwich bread is what I use)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (plus additional cheese for garnishing)
- 1/4 cup prepared pesto
- 1 onion, minced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon each salt & pepper
Place chicken, arugula, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, pesto, onion, 4 cloves of minced garlic, eggs and salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Using your hands (preferred) or a spoon, gently mix everything together until evenly incorporated. Shape the mixture into golf ball-sized meatballs and place on prepared cooking sheet.
Noodles vs. Zoodles. What Are Zoodles Anyway?
I’m sure by now you’ve heard of zoodles. They are spaghetti noodles made out of zucchini. To make the zoodles you’ll need what’s called a spiralizer. They are relatively inexpensive – I have this one. Sprializers can make zoodles from all kinds of things including butternut squash!
Some people quickly blanche the zoodles in boiling water, but I prefer a brief sauté in olive oil, or if I’m serving a very saucy sauce, I eat them raw. Pouring hot sauce over the zoodles cooks them just enough for me. (I hate a soggy zoodle).
Could this be the dish that saves the world and brings everyone together? Doubtful…but it makes a stunning presentation and is a total flavor bomb of a meal that I plan to serve all summer long.
How do you please your pack? Do tell…
Love pasta and meatballs? Try these other recipes:
If you make this recipe, or any of my others be sure to tag me on Instagram, and use the hashtags #agirldefloured #deflouredrecipes!
Chicken Arugula Meatball Platter
- 2 pounds ground chicken or turkey thighs
- 1 cup chopped arugula plus additional arugula for lining the platter
- ½ cup gluten free bread crumbs made from a slice of gluten free bread
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese plus additional cheese for garnishing
- ¼ cup prepared pesto
- 1 onion minced
- 8 cloves garlic divided
- 2 eggs beaten
- ½ teaspoon each salt & pepper
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 4 heirloom tomatoes sliced
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 zucchinis spiralized
- 8 ounces gluten free spaghetti cooked according to package directions
- flaky salt and chili flakes to taste
- 8 ounces Ciliegine mozzarella balls
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (F). Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Place chicken, arugula, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, pesto, onion, 4 cloves of minced garlic, eggs and salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Using your hands (preferred) or a spoon, gently mix everything together until evenly incorporated. Shape the mixture into golf ball-sized meatballs and place on prepared cooking sheet. Bake meatballs for about 18-22 minutes, flipping half way through to ensure even browning, until they are completely cooked though and no longer pink in the middle.
- Sliver remaining 4 cloves of garlic. Heat the olive oil and slivered garlic in a small sauté pan over medium heat. When garlic begins to turn golden brown, remove from heat and set aside.
- Meanwhile layer a large platter with arugula. Prepare the spaghetti and zoodles and arrange decoratively around the edge of the platter. Arrange the cooked meatballs down the center of the platter and top with tomatoes, basil and mozzarella. Drizzle everything with the garlic oil and sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese, flaky salt and chili flakes and serve immediately.
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