Baked Greek Chicken-squash meatballs

A fellow Canadian blogger, Johanne, @ French Gardener dishes recently posted a gorgeous dish that caught my eye.  If you are new to Johanne’s blog, I urge you to visit and take a look around.  She’s a creative cook and gardener and her blog definitely reflects that.  We bonded over just that….our love of food, gardening and entertaining.  I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting Johanne in person.   She’s just a wealth of information when it comes to those areas.

My husband is a great fan of spaghetti and meatballs.  I do love spoiling him every so often with his favorite meals, and when these savory meatballs were presented on a plate, he was grinning from ear to ear.  The best part of this meal is taking some shortcuts and baking the meatballs and the sauce at the same time.  Adding grated squash to the meatballs renders them moist and succulent.  The sauce is bursting with Mediterranean flavors and is sure to be a favorite in your home as it is in ours.  I adapted Johanne’s recipe and added some Italian flavors as well.  A hodge-podge of Mediterranean flavors makes this dish so versatile.  Click on the link above to get to Johanne’s recipe with more precise measurements.  My cooking tends to be a bit of this, a bit of that and a lot of times I adapt recipes to suit our tastes.

picmonkey-collageHere’s what I did.  I grated some fresh garden squash into the ground chicken, making sure I pressed out all the water  real well.   I then grated a few pods of garlic, also from the garden.  I  added some flat leaf parsley, oregano, Italian seasoning, basil, dill, panko bread crumbs, ground fennel, salt, pepper and an egg to bind it all together.   I scooped about a tablespoon or more of the meatball mixture and formed them into little balls.

In a separate pan, I chopped up some onion and sauteed it with lots of fresh garlic, and green pepper in extra virgin olive oil.  Tossed in a can of crushed tomatoes, chopped up parsley, fresh basil, oregano, Italian seasonings, a sprinkling of red chili pepper flakes  and let the sauce simmer for a few minutes till it thickened.  To assemble, I placed about a third of the sauce in a pan, placed the meatballs on top of the sauce, then topped with more sauce and finally spread crumbled feta over the entire dish and baked it uncovered in the oven for about half an hour.

img_8556The result is a spicy, rich and luxuriant sauce with a vivid and intense mix of taste and texture.

img_8566Serve over spaghetti noodles or with crusty bread.

img_8562Garnish with additional parsley and basil and top with more feta.  Enjoy!

32 comments

  1. What a wonderful surprise to find your post in my inbox this morning Loretta! One of the hardest things about blogging is having to stop, measure and document the recipes, cramping creativiy. Your vivid descriptions of making this recipe invited me right into your kitchen with you and I so enjoyed the visual experience of cooking with you Loretta. We moved back home Monday but still have no gas hook up, ongoing work all over and it is a madhouse! Still not cooking but soon! Thank you for the beautiful tribute. I felt connected to you instantly when we met on the blogs and in person. Are you moving back to Canada???????

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    1. Thanks for your sweet note Johanne. I must say this is fast becoming our favorite meatball dish as the meatballs and sauce bake at the same time. So glad you’ve moved back home, trying to get it all together must be an arduous task though. Still, you’ll have it all ready for Thanksgiving I’m sure. As for Canada…….so glad one of us still remains Canadian, you never know :))

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    1. Thanks Julie – I’ve got to try your Mexican meatballs too as I’ve seen posts from Johanne that they are her favorite kind. Still enjoying warm, sunny days and cool nights. I can’t bear the thought of winter being just around the corner. So much to do, so little time before we all hibernate for the winter. 🙂

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  2. Just say “meatballs” and I am interested. I always make some variety for every party I have had as they can be made ahead of time and frozen. This version looks delicious Loretta… By the way I love the serving dish – just beautiful and it really makes these meatballs “shine”.

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    1. Thanks Judi. I too have always made cocktail meatballs at parties and gatherings at home. I have a sweet and sour recipe in particular that really goes down well. I too used to freeze batches at a time and bring them out at party time. This more filling version was a great meal over noodles. Thanks for the compliment on the serving dish….would you believe it if I told you I got it at a thrift shop for $5.00 :)) It is silver, but I prefer the more tarnished look 🙂

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    1. Thank you Zeba for your sweet comments. It definitely rendered a moister meatball, and you’re absolutely right, baking it all in one dish is what attracted me to the recipe in the first place, and it did not disappoint.

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  3. Oh boy do these looks good. I am going to have try my hand at these. Chicken meatballs, yummy! I normally make turkey meatballs because my significant other is allergic to pork. I like the twist of having squash in yours. Healthy…got to love that.

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