• Rose

Chicken Meatballs with fennel & tomato sauce

This dish evolved as the weather changed. I had planned chicken burgers with a fennel salad but as the thunder and lightning neared and the rain got heavier I couldn't help but feel like a warmer dish and comfort meal on a Sunday night. I reshaped the chicken burgers into balls which worked great! If you start with plain chicken mince, you could season it with any herbs you like, oregano, rosemary, paprika, salt & pepper. Roasting fennel carmalized the flavour and makes a more mild flavour. It is certainly not my go to vegetable but I would say it added extra pizazz to this meal and was a great onion substitute. You could also make this sauce without the meat if you prefer, or change the meat.


Serves: 2 -3 as a main

Prep time: 1 hour to prep and roast fennel

Cook time : 20 minutes



250 g ground chicken (I used Bostock brothers chicken burgers and reshaped them into balls)

2 fennel bulbs, quartered

1 can chopped tomatoes

2 cloves garlic, finely sliced

2 handfuls spinach, roughly chopped if its large

Basil leaves, torn (reserve a tip for garnish)

Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved or quarter

Grated cheese (parmesan, cheddar or vintage)

Good glug of oil, for cooking



Start my preheating your oven to 180 º C .

Cut your fennel bulbs into quarters and drizzle with olive oil, place cut side down on a roasting sheet. Cook for 30-40 minutes until tender, flip halfway if necessary. They should be fork tender when they are finished. Let cool slightly and then chop into bite size pieces and place aside.

Add a glug of oil to a pan and cook your meatballs, I let them cook 4-5 minutes on one side and then flipped and cooked 3-4 minutes on the next until they come away from the pan and you can roll them around by shaking the pan. At this stage add the garlic, fennel and canned tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and allow sauce to simmer.

Right before serving add the handfuls of spinach and allow to cook down. Sprinkle with basil and the fresh cherry tomatoes. Serve on whole wheat pasta of choice and a sprinkle of cheese.


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