This pasta and mini meatballs dish is comfort food all the way. Perfect for the winter months, I crave heartier foods this time of year. Since we spend a lot of our days on the mountains and outdoors, it’s nice to have a warm and hearty dinner to fill our bellies. Please excuse the poor lighting on this photo but “real life” trumps “cooking photos” and this pic was shot just before we ate dinner and it was dark outside.

This is a meal my whole family enjoys- a rarity trust me. It’s a little time consuming to make the meatballs but once you get them done the rest of the meal comes together quickly. I just love dinners that can be made and served in one pot. This recipe is adapted from Giada de Laurentiis’ cookbook, Giada’s Kitchen. BTW- this recipe is from the “kids’ section but if you knew my husband you wouldn’t find it so ironic!

One Dish Dinner: Pasta with Mini Chicken Meatballs

This is pure comfort food. Mini chicken meatballs, pasta, cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. Warm your belly and your soul with this quick one pot pasta dish.


  • 1/2 lb orecchiette or other small pasta
  • 1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 8 oz bocconcini (small mozzarella balls), halved
  • 1/2 cup packed chopped fresh basil


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until tender.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, parsley, oregano, eggs, milk, ketchup, 3/4 cup of the parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken and combine well.
  3. Using a melon baller or teaspoon, scoop up the mixture and roll into 1 inch mini meatballs.
  4. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the meatballs and cook without moving until brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Turn the meatballs and brown the tops. (It took me three batches to get all the meatballs browned.)
  5. Return all meatballs to pan and add chicken broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil, using a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits on bottom of skillet. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the tomatoes are soft and meatballs are cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  6. Drain the pasta and add to the meatballs.
  7. Add the remaining 3/4 cup parmesan, bocconcini, and basil. Give it a good stir and serve with additional parmesan if desired.
Happy Cooking!

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13 Responses to Pasta with Mini Chicken Meatballs

  1. SnoWhite says:

    Wow — that looks like a great bowl of pasta 🙂 Something both my husband and I would like. Stopping by from the Holiday Recipe Exchange — definitely great comfort food.

  2. That looks incredibly delicious. Where do you buy your ground chicken?

    • Kelley says:

      Thanks Nisha. I buy organic ground chicken breast at Whole Foods. They don’t carry it in the meat counter so I usually call ahead and order it in 1 lb packages and then freeze it.

  3. LIz Wall says:

    On a wtf it’s snowing again kinda night….this was a tremendous hit with me and the Emma….sooooo delic….

  4. jenny says:

    We had this last night and loved it. My husband raved about the meatballs! Very easy and a hit here. Thank you!

  5. Debbie says:

    Rather than frying my meatballs, I like to put them on a cookie sheet and bake them in the oven. Less fat and allows for multi-tasking as I don’t have to watch over them.

  6. Destiny says:

    I absolutely love this recipe and featured it on my blog to share with my readers. I haven’t made chicken meatballs in a pasta dish and can’t wait to try it. Great recipes you have here!!

  7. Lacey says:

    This was amazing! Thank you. My whole family loved it and my hubby told me to put in the ‘make again’ pile :).

  8. Liz says:

    Wow – thank you Kelly.

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