A toddler staple in our house.
I don’t think we need to tell you guys how hard it is to muster up the energy to cook dinner every night. Whether you’re a full time working mom, a stay at home mom or part time worker… energy is energy and it’s typically spent throughout the day. When dinner time rolls around, and you’re lacking the motivation to cook, one of the best feelings in the world is being able to pull a few of these meatballs loaded with veggies out of the freezer and heat them up. It’s a little victory because our kids are getting a home cooked, healthy meal with little to no effort.
You can fry or bake these bad boys, and the kiddos like them either way. These are impossible to dry out because of the sweet potato which ensures a great kid friendly consistency.
This recipe is a little more time consuming than our typical sheet pans but well worth the effort because a little extra time on a Saturday or Sunday yields a lot of extra time on a Monday or Tuesday… if you’re picking up what we’re putting down.
Get creative and customize the recipe below based on whatever veggies you have in your fridge. Spinach, carrots, squash, peas, etc. they could all fit easily into this recipe. Herbs and seasonings are optional, I usually put whatever I have fresh first and if I don’t have any fresh herbs I go for dried blends, think Italian Seasoning..
- 16 oz ground chicken
- 1/2 zuchinni (shredded and drained*)
- 1 small sweet potato; cut into small cubes (see picture above)
- 1/2 small white onion (minced or chopped really small)
- 1 1/2 cups gluten free breadcrumbs (4c are the best for this recipe… the consistency is great for kids!)
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Herb and seasonings to taste. Try fresh herbs if you have them 1 teaspoon should do or dried seasonings like Italian Seasonings
- Steam the sweet potatoes until very soft on the stove. (if you’re not a fan of steaming you can roast them in the oven as well)
- Add all ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
- Using an electric mixer, mix ingredients together.
- Decide if it’s a fried or baked kind of day… if you have a pickier eater I would go with the fried option.
- Form meatballs, I use an ice cream scooper because I have OCD and like the same exact size for each meatball.
- Fry on medium heat in EVOO or avocado oil until all sides are browned. Don’t worry about overcooking these, you really can’t dry them out.
Heat oven to 350 and place formed meatballs on baking sheet. Cook in oven for 10-15 minutes and then flip and cook for 10-15 more minutes.
- Serve with rice or our broccoli bites recipe.. coming to the blog soon!
- Check out the pictures above for frying and baking options.
*to drain zucchini just place shredded zucchini in the middle of a clean dish towel pull all the ends of the dishtowel up so zucchini is in a ball in the middle and squeeze out the excess liquid. The green color on your dish rag comes out in the wash.