I almost called these Superfood Meatballs, but Mark Bittman says (and I agree) that there are no superfoods, so I'm trying to take that word out of my vocabulary.
Are Gluten Free Meatballs just as exciting? I have no idea. I wanted to make a meatball that was full of good things but also yummy, and to me that's what these are. I also wanted a chicken meatball that didn't inherently feel like it had to be paired with a marinara sauce. These chicken kale meatballs would be great with tomato sauce, for sure, but I paired them with a light brown gravy that was silky and savory and SO good.
These chicken kale meatballs are made with some regular meatball ingredients and some extras to keep things healthy. These meatballs aren't necessarily light - I wanted them to include good foods instead of making the focus on elimination.
Here we have ground chicken, oatmeal, kale, green onion, garlic, olive oil, salt, an egg, and parmesan cheese. All of the yum things in life, I say. Oatmeal takes the place of bread crumbs here, and the extra chew and texture from the oats with the chicken is super delicious.
First, we'll make the kale mixture. Throw the oats, kale, onion, garlic, oil, and salt into a food processor.
Pulse everything together until it's finely chopped. Scrape the bowl down a few times if you need to.
Now, transfer the kale and seasonings to a bowl with the chicken, egg, and parmesan cheese.
Use your hands to mix the chicken meatballs, then carefully form the meatballs. The dough will be somewhat wet and floppy, but I find that the meatballs hold together just fine as long as I'm gentle when I'm forming them. If you have time, you can let the meat mixture sit in the fridge for 15 minutes or so to firm up, but it's fine to skip that step if you prefer.
These can be easily made in advance, either to this point and then kept in the fridge until baking, or you can bake them and keep them in the freezer and pop them into some gravy or other sauce to reheat.
When you'd like to bake the meatballs, they'll go in a 400F oven for just about 15 minutes until they're cooked through. Since the chicken is super lean, don't overcook them or you'll be sad about everything in your life and I'd just hate that for you.
Now, these meatballs are DELICIOUS as-is, really. I love them just for munching, and Beck loves to snack on them too.
However, for a dinner situation, these chicken kale meatballs with a light chicken gravy over rice are just exceptional. I make a quick gravy by shaking 2 cups of chicken stock with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Then, I bring the mixture to a boil in a small pot and simmer it gently for a few minutes. Taste, add salt, done!
You could definitely swirl in some butter, cracked pepper, or grainy mustard, but there's something about a plain brown gravy that reminds me of Southern cafeterias in a way that I'm really not mad about at all.
Ok, these chicken kale meatballs. They're gf if you check your labels, light from using lean chicken, and have healthy fats from the olive oil, which is definitely necessary in these. The kale and green onion add this great earthy flavor, and I'm all around into these.
Healthy as not-boring, that kind of a thing. Enjoy these!Print
Garlicky chicken kale meatballs are held together with oats instead of bread, then topped with a light gravy for extra savory flavor. These are the perfect dinner or snack!
- ½ bunch kale, stems removed and leaves torn
- ½ cup oats (quick cooking or old fashioned is fine)
- 1 green onion, cut into chunks
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 egg
- 1 pound ground chicken
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Add the oats, kale, onion, garlic, oil, and salt to the bowl of a food processor.
- Pulse the kale mixture until everything is finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl with the egg, parmesan, and ground chicken.
- Carefully form the mixture into meatballs - 24 or so for this recipe. Arrange them on baking sheets about 1-inch apart, then bake for 15-18 minutes until lightly golden and just cooked through.
- For the gravy, shake or whisk the cold stock with the cornstarch until combined. Transfer to a small skillet over medium-high heat. Let the gravy come to a bubble and thicken, then add salt to your preference.
- Serve the meatballs with the gravy, over rice isn't a terrible idea.
These can be made in advance and kept in the fridge for a day or so prior to baking, or frozen after being baked and reheated in gravy or tomato sauce.
This makes a wet meat mixture. If it's too hard to form into meatballs, stick the bowl in the fridge for 15 minutes or so and it will firm up.
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 15
Keywords: gluten free, low carb, chicken, italian, meatballs