Light chicken meatballs with fusilli

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15 min


4 Servings

* PLUS Cooking time: 25 minutes
Light chicken meatballs with fusilli

Light chicken meatballs with fusilli.
Photo, Yvonne Duivenvoorden.

We gave meatballs a makeover, subbing chicken for the usual heavy beef and seasoning it with finely chopped fresh mint. Trust us: This is one time it pays to make your own meatballs.


  • 1 slice white bread
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped chives or green onions
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped mint
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 500 g ground chicken
  • 3 cups fusilli or rotini pasta
  • 4 garlic cloves , minced
  • 4 plum tomatoes , chopped
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup red or white wine
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan


  • If crust on bread is hard, cut off and discard. Tear bread into small pieces and place in a small bowl. Add milk and mash with a fork until pasty. Prepare chives and mint.
  • In a large bowl, whisk egg with Dijon, Worcestershire, oregano and ½ tsp (2 mL) salt until blended. Stir in the bread mixture. Crumble in chicken. Sprinkle with 2 tbsp (30 mL) each chives and mint. Using your hands or a fork, work just until evenly mixed. (Over-mixing toughens meatballs.)
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, lightly coat a large frying pan with oil and set over medium heat. Slightly dampen your hands and roll meat mixture into 1-in. (2.5-cm) balls, adding to the oil as each is formed. Don’t crowd pan. They’ll need to be cooked in at least 2 batches. Turn often until lightly browned, 5 to 7 min. Remove each to a large plate when done. Repeat with remaining meatballs, adding more oil if needed.
  • While meatballs are browning, cook pasta, following package directions, until al dente, 7 to 9 min. Prepare garlic and tomatoes. When all meatballs are removed from pan, add garlic, tomatoes, and ¼ tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper. Stir frequently until tomatoes start to break down, 2 to 3 min. Pour in wine. Scrape up and stir in any brown bits from pan bottom. Cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until tomatoes become saucy, about 4 min. Add meatballs. Cover and stir often until they are cooked through, from 2 to 4 more min.
  • Drain cooked pasta, then stir with tomato-meatball mixture and Parmesan. Serve in bowls sprinkled with remaining herbs.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 582,
  • Protein
  • 41 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 52 g,
  • Fat
  • 22 g,
  • Fibre
  • 4 g,