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Paleo Fried Chicken Meatballs

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I don’t feel like I need to do a hard sell on a recipe called “Fried Chicken Meatballs,” but since this space needs to be filled with words, here goes: These are super easy to make. They taste like fried chicken without the unhealthy deep frying and gluten-packed coating. They’re scrumptious straight out of the oven, but are also awesome at room temperature for picnics, and they freeze/reheat like champs.

The best part? They go from ingredients to dinner in 30 minutes. This is one of my favorite recipes from Well Fed Weeknights, and I can tell you, it’s a crowd pleaser. I’ve made these for casual dinner parties and road-trip picnic lunches a bunch of times in the last year. These crispy little devils are always a hit!

Further Food Commentary:

Melissa’s paleo chicken fried meatballs are anything but ordinary. The paleo diet boasts wholesome ingredients and avoids modern processed foods. Chicken is low in carbs but high protein. Protein aids in growth and development of muscles. Chicken is also high in the vitamin niacin (B3) which has the ability to lower and control cholesterol levels. One cup of boiled collard greens has over 250% of your daily needs for vitamin A. Vitamin A repairs and protects everything from eyes and skin to cartilage and heart. It also has a healthy dose of iron, a common deficiency in women. Iron is an important component of hemoglobin which carries oxygen from lungs to the rest of your body.


By Ale Zozos

Paleo Fried Chicken Meatballs

Stars ( Reviews)

  • Prep Time:15 minutes
  • Cook Time:15 minutes
  • Servings: 4

Ingredients

MEATBALLS:
1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons water

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

COATING:
3 tablespoons tapioca starch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/4 teaspoon coarse (granulated) garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse (granulated) onion powder
pinch dried marjoram
pinch ground cayenne pepper
pinch ground cloves

GREENS:
1 bunch collard greens (about 1 pound)
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch ground black pepper

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Season the chicken. Place the ground chicken, salt, pepper, water, cream of tartar, baking soda in a large mixing bowl; mix well.

3. Make the coating. In a shallow bowl, use a fork to combine the tapioca starch, salt, smoked paprika, black pepper, sage, garlic powder, onion powder, marjoram, cayenne pepper, and cloves.

4. Make the balls. Moisten your hands with cold water, then measure rounded tablespoons of ground chicken and roll the chicken into balls. Roll each ball in the seasoned tapioca starch. Set the chicken balls aside on the baking sheet until you’re ready to fry them.

5. Fry the balls. Place 1 tablespoon oil in a large, nonstick skillet over high heat, 2–3 minutes. Place half of the meatballs in a single layer in the pan, leaving some wiggle room around them. Cook until they’re browned on all sides, 4–5 minutes total. Transfer the balls to the baking sheet. Add 1–2 teaspoons oil to the pan and brown the remaining meatballs and transfer them to the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven and set a timer for 10 minutes.

6. Prep the greens. Wash the leaves and remove the tough ribs. Stack the leaves and cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch strips. Reheat the skillet over medium-high heat. Toss the still-wet greens into the pan, add the water, cover with a lid, and steam for 5 minutes or so, until almost all the water is evaporated. Remove the lid and toss the greens with two wooden spoons until they are very dark green and dry. This takes about 2–3 minutes. Meanwhile, peel and crush the garlic.

7. Season the greens. Push the greens to the side of the pan, add the oil, and drop the minced garlic into the oil. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Toss everything together and allow the greens to cook for another 5 minutes. Add the salt and pepper, taste, and adjust the seasonings. Turn off the heat and cover to keep warm until the meatballs are finished.

8. To serve, divide the greens among dinner plates and top with meatballs.

1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. 2. Season the chicken. Place the ground chicken, salt, pepper, water, cream of tartar, baking soda in a large mixing bowl; mix well. 3. Make the coating. In a shallow bowl, use a fork to combine the tapioca starch, salt, smoked paprika, black pepper, sage, garlic powder, onion powder, marjoram, cayenne pepper, and cloves. 4. Make the balls. Moisten your hands with cold water, then measure rounded tablespoons of ground chicken and roll the chicken into balls. Roll each ball in the seasoned tapioca starch. Set the chicken balls aside on the baking sheet until you’re ready to fry them. 5. Fry the balls. Place 1 tablespoon oil in a large, nonstick skillet over high heat, 2–3 minutes. Place half of the meatballs in a single layer in the pan, leaving some wiggle room around them. Cook until they’re browned on all sides, 4–5 minutes total. Transfer the balls to the baking sheet. Add 1–2 teaspoons oil to the pan and brown the remaining meatballs and transfer them to the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven and set a timer for 10 minutes. 6. Prep the greens. Wash the leaves and remove the tough ribs. Stack the leaves and cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch strips. Reheat the skillet over medium-high heat. Toss the still-wet greens into the pan, add the water, cover with a lid, and steam for 5 minutes or so, until almost all the water is evaporated. Remove the lid and toss the greens with two wooden spoons until they are very dark green and dry. This takes about 2–3 minutes. Meanwhile, peel and crush the garlic. 7. Season the greens. Push the greens to the side of the pan, add the oil, and drop the minced garlic into the oil. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Toss everything together and allow the greens to cook for another 5 minutes. Add the salt and pepper, taste, and adjust the seasonings. Turn off the heat and cover to keep warm until the meatballs are finished. 8. To serve, divide the greens among dinner plates and top with meatballs.

Nutrition Information

Per Serving:
Calories: 402; Total Fat: 27 g; Saturated Fat: 6 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 7 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g; Cholesterol: 128 mg; Sodium: 1133 mg; Potassium: 8 mg; Carbohydrate: 10 g; Fiber: 1 g; Sugar: 0 g; Protein: 33 g
Nutrition Bonus:
Vitamin C: 35%; Vitamin A: 191%; Iron: 22%; Calcium: 20%;

Want to see more quick & easy paleo meals? Check out Melissa’s book Well Fed Weeknights: Complete Paleo Meals in 45 Minutes or Less for delicious recipes! Can’t wait for it to ship?! Try out 18 more recipes from Melissa’s new book in the meantime. 

 

Did you know you can add Further Food Collagen to any recipe for an additional protein boost? Learn more here.

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2 thoughts on “Paleo Fried Chicken Meatballs

  1. Susie

    These were great and tasted just like chicken nuggets, which is what got my picky kids to try them. The only problem I ran in to was needing to double the coating mix as one batch wasn’t enough. These will definitely be a regular meal in our house!

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