Welcome to Cook This Tonight! Every week we’ll bring you an original Plated recipe fresh off our menus to help lessen the effort of last-minute weeknight dinner planning, so you can make time for what’s worth it.
We love putting a cheffy spin on classic dishes. Here we amp up Italian meatballs by giving them a Greek twist. Feta, Kalamata olives, and fresh dill give this weeknight dinner all the Mediterranean vibes.
Greek Chicken Meatballs
¼ ounce dill
¼ ounce parsley
3 tablespoons Kalamata olives
1 red onion
4 cloves garlic ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
1 pound ziti pasta
1½ pounds ground chicken
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 cup tomato purée
½ teaspoon dried oregano
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
Cooking with a sous chef tonight? Helping hands can pick the cilantro leaves in Step 1 and toss the slaw in Step 2.
1. Preheat oven to 450ºF. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Rinse all produce. Roughly chop parsley leaves and stems. Pick dill leaves, discarding stems. Halve Kalamata olives. Peel onion and cut into small dice. Mince garlic. Line a baking sheet with foil and rub with 1 tablespoon olive oil; set aside for the next step.
2. In a large bowl, combine breadcrumbs, half of parsley, half of garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper, then add chicken. Using your hands, mix well, then form into 20 equal balls, about 1½- inches thick (try rubbing your hands with 1 teaspoon olive oil before forming the meatballs—it’ll help keep the chicken from sticking to your fingers). Arrange meatballs on prepared baking sheet, spacing apart. Bake until cooked through and no longer pink, 12 minutes.
3. While meatballs bake, season boiling water generously with salt. Stir in ziti and cook until al dente, 7–8 minutes. Reserve ¾ cup pasta water (it’s easiest to reserve this water in a liquid measuring cup, if you have one), then drain and set aside for the next step.
4. While ziti cooks, heat butter in a large high-sided pan over medium-high heat. When butter is foamy, add whole grape tomatoes and onion. Sauté, stirring, until beginning to soften, 5 minutes. Add remaining garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute. Stir in tomato purée, dried oregano, and reserved pasta cooking water; simmer, pressing tomatoes to release their juices, until sauce is reduced by ⅓, 4–5 minutes more. Remove pan from heat.
5. To pan with tomato sauce, still off heat, stir in half of feta, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired to combine. Add ziti and chicken meatballs and toss to coat.
6. Divide ziti, chicken meatballs, and tomato sauce among shallow serving bowls. Garnish with olives, dill, remaining parsley, and remaining feta.
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