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chicken balls recipes

Chicken Balls with Parmesan, Rocket and Bacon


Homely chicken meatballs with parmesan can be enjoyed any day of the week.

  • Serves: 4-6 |
    4-6 servings
  • Difficulty:

  • Prep Time : 30 mins |
  • Cook Time : 30 mins
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Chicken balls

2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil

3 rashers bacon, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 packet (40 g) wild rocket, roughly chopped

500 g chicken mince

½ C (125 ml) fresh breadcrumbs

½ C (125 ml) grated Parmesan cheese

50 g pine nuts, lightly roasted

1 large egg, beaten

Maldon salt and freshly milled black pepper

Sauce and pasta

5 Tbsp (75 ml) good-quality olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 can (240 g) Italian cherry tomatoes

1 tsp (5 ml) sugar

salt and pepper

½ packet (250 g) penne

freshly grated Parmesan for serving

zest of 1 lemon for serving

Chicken balls

Heat the olive oil and fry the bacon until crispy. Add the garlic and cook on a low heat until translucent (be careful not to burn the garlic). Add the rocket to the mixture and cook for 2 minutes. Keep to one side.

In another bowl, combine the minced chicken, breadcrumbs, cheese, pine nuts, egg, salt and pepper. Add the rocket mixture. Roll into small balls (these quantities yield 25–30 balls). Add oil to a pan and fry for about 5 minutes until just cooked.


Gently heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the garlic briefly to release the flavour. The garlic must not brown. Add the can of Italian cherry tomatoes and cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the sugar and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Add the chicken balls and simmer for 10 minutes.


In a separate saucepan, bring 6 C (1.5 litres) of salted water to the boil. Add the penne and cook for about 12 minutes until al dente. Drain and return to the saucepan and toss with olive oil.

Add the sauce with the meatballs to the penne. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan and lemon zest.