Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mac & Cheese with Chicken Meatballs

I believe I've mentioned on this blog that I sort of love ground chicken. Especially chicken burgers. They're so versatile and flavorful. So, when I was looking for a non-lasagna way to use up a tub of ricotta cheese and came across this recipe for chicken meatballs, with a mac & cheese, I was in.

This was a fun recipe to make. The meatballs are juicy and practically bursting with flavor and the cheese sauce is a lovely compliment. It's also a really quick recipe - you realistically can get the entire thing done in 30 minutes, which I really appreciate.

Mac & Cheese with Chicken Meatballs
Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray
Serves 4
Prep Time - 10 minutes
Cook Time - 20 minutes

1 lb penne pasta (or similar size)
1/2 lb ground chicken
1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
1 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/3 cup bread crumbs (more if needed)
1 1/2 TBSP olive oil
3 TBSP butter
2 TBSP flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup 2% milk
salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. 

Mix together the ground chicken, rosemary, garlic, ricotta, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, and bread crumbs. If the mixture seems to wet, add more bread crumbs. Form into small meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter.  Place on a baking dish and coat with olive oil. Roast for about 15 minutes, or until the juices run clear.

While the meatballs are roasting, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook noodles to al dente. Drain and set aside. 

In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter and add the flour (I also added 1 TBSP minced garlic). Whisk together and let cook for a couple of minutes. Add the chicken stock and milk and whisk together. Let cook to thicken for 5-10 minutes. Season with salt & pepper, to taste. Add the remaining 1 cup Parmesan cheese and whisk together until the cheese is melted. 

Toss with the pasta and serve with meatballs on top.


Chicago Career Girl said...

This looks amazing! Can't wait to make it. Last week, I did a turkey meatball and ricotta recipe. Literally just ground turkey, ricotta and some Italian seasoning and then threw them in the crockpot all day covered in stewed tomatoes and some spaghetti sauce and it was delish and easy. Love anything with a meatball!

Joanne said...

Did I hear someone say mac and cheese? Well hello gorgeous! This looks fabulous.

Elizabeth said...

Ooh, that sounds delicious, Marci. I've never put meatballs in my crockpot. I'll have to try it - I bet they turned out great!