by The Culinistas

After a *very* long winter we are finally out here having a ball this summer. And one of our fave ways to celebrate is with a big ol’ skillet full of golden brown Chicken & Apple Meatballs. The real star of this dish is the fresh basil, which brings that bright summer flavor to the party.  

To get the, ahem, ball rolling to work this dish into your dinnertime routine, check out how The New York Times is turning meatballs into the meatball sub dreams are made of. Pro tip: Make the meatballs the night before, assemble and wrap up your sandwich(es) in the morn, then throw them in your bag and ‘ball out on the beach. 

Chicken & Apple Meatballs

Chef Tips:

Make a meatball tester: In a large pan, heat 1 tsp oil over medium-high heat. Form a meatball about 1 tsp in size & fry, 2 mins per side. Taste; adjust salt & pepper accordingly. 

– Use any leftover basil to make a basil oil. In a high-speed blender, blend ¼ cup olive oil with ½ cup packed basil for 20-30 seconds. Strain through a fine mesh strainer (or leave chunky) & use as a finishing oil, base for a vinaigrette or sauce for a sandwich. 

Prep Time 20 mins 

Cook Time 40 mins 

Serves 4 to 6

12 oz ground chicken

1 green apple, grated

2 TB basil, minced, plus more for garnish

½ tsp onion powder

¼ cup olive oil, divided, plus more for shaping

1 small yellow onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (14.5 oz) can crushed tomatoes

Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

1. In a large bowl, mix chicken, apple, basil & onion powder; season with salt & pepper.

2. Portion meatballs 1 TB each. Rub oil in the palms of your hands & shape the meatballs into round balls.

3. In the same pan, heat 2 TB oil over medium-high heat. Work in batches to sear the meatballs to a golden brown color, 3-4 mins per side. Set aside.

4. In the same pan, heat remaining 2 TB oil over medium heat. Add onions & sweat until they become translucent, 8-10 mins.

5. Add garlic & cook until fragrant, 1-2 mins.

6. Add crushed tomatoes & simmer for 10 mins. Season the sauce with salt & pepper. Add meatballs to the pan & simmer, 5 mins. Garnish with basil & serve.

Onion Powder is a chef’s secret. Check out our eComm shop to purchase our favorite brand.