Tender chicken meatballs are baked to perfection and seasoned with crushed fennel seeds and Tabasco sauce for a kick.
We are up to Day 3 of the #Tabasco10 Recipe Challenge and I’m so pumped to tell you about these tender chicken and fennel meatballs. In case you missed it, so far we’ve feasted on Honey Chipotle Chicken Breasts and Grilled Chicken Pasta Salad with Smoked Mozzarella.
Ground chicken is an ideal choice for meatballs because it has a slightly higher fat content than ground turkey breast which means they will always turn out juicy and delicious without too many additional ingredients. In a nod to my Italian hubby, I decided to add crushed fennel seeds to the mixture.
If you think of it, I always recommend toasting fennel seeds in a dry pan for a couple minutes to bring out maximum flavor. If you don’t think of it, no worries.
For an added kick, I used Tabasco Original Red Sauce to give these chicken meatballs a bit of spice. The heat brings the entire dish together and really balances out the mellow zucchini, chicken and toasted fennel. To serve, just toss cooked rigatoni with high quality olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
The final result is a delicate, refined and fun spin on your favorite pasta and meatballs. Leftovers taste great the next day baked in the oven with fresh mozzarella.
Your fork is waiting.
Spicy Chicken Meatballs with Fennel
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1/2 cup grated zucchini
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons Tabasco Original Red Sauce
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 8 ounces rigatoni cooked according to package instructions
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- minced fennel fronds optional garnish
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil. Spray with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix together ground chicken, zucchini, salt, fennel and pepper. Scoop mixture out into small balls and line in single layer on baking sheet.
- Bake meatballs for 20 minutes, turning once halfway through.
- Serve meatballs over cooked rigatoni tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.