Spanakopita Chicken Meatballs with Dill Pesto

You guys. Lots of green things are happening today. This time is happens to be spanakopita chicken meatballs with dill pesto.

Spanakopita chicken meatballs on a tray

How to make spanakopita chicken meatballs with dill pesto

Yet I have to admit that I didn’t plan specifically to have green food today… for St. Patrick’s Day.  It just sort of happened.

And I am SO excited about it.  Because these meatballs… though they may look weird… are DIVINE.  I mean, how cool is it that these little balls are green – by default – and will serve as the perfect appetizer for your St. Patrick’s Day celebration?  No green food coloring necessary!  These Spanakopita Chicken Meatballs are loaded with spinach and feta, and are topped with Spinach-Dill Pesto [even more green… eeek!!] which is extra dill-y and extra garlic-y.  It’s quite fabulous, if you ask me.

*Licks pesto spoon*

Dill pesto in a jar
Spanakopita chicken meatballs on a tray

Nothing wrong with adding spinach to both the meatballs AND the pesto!

And you guys, there is one little trick I can’t wait to share with you.  It’s a trick that gives meatballs extra flavor, but more importantly, extra juiciness.  It’s nothing special, but it works.  And all it is, is a dollop of Dijon mustard [or horseradish mustard, for an extra kick], and it works every time.  We all know chicken and turkey are generally a little dry, so this works perfectly if you’re using either to make meatballs or meatloaf [extra delish].

*Eats meatballs #5*

Spanakopita chicken meatballs on a tray
Spanakopita chicken meatballs on a tray

You could also throw these little guys in freshly baked pita, top with the pesto AND tzatziki sauce and more spinach, and life will just be so good.

And did I mention that I love GREEN?

Spanakopita chicken meatballs on a tray

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, ya’ll.  And happy *Eat Everything Green Day*, especially if you’re eating Spanakopita Chicken Meatballs.

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Spanakopita Chicken Meatballs with Dill Pesto

Chicken meatballs with spinach, feta and oregano served with a garlicky dill spinach pesto.

  • Author: Julie Andrews
  • Prep Time: 10-15 mins
  • Cook Time: 15-20 mins
  • Total Time: 25-35 mins
  • Yield: Makes 18 meatballs 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Baking, No-Cook
  • Cuisine: American
Scale

Ingredients

Chicken Meatballs:

  • 1 ¼ pounds ground chicken breast
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, finely chopped
  • 6-ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Dijon or horseradish mustard
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill leaves
  • ¾ teaspoon coarse salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Dill Pesto:

  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • ¼ cup fresh baby dill
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts (or other nut)
  • Zest and juice of ¼ lemon
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ⅓ cup olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack and coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix together all of the meatball ingredients. Using your hands, form 2-inch meatballs and place on the wire rack with an inch of space in between meatballs.
  3. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until internal temperature of meatballs reach 160 degrees.
  4. While meatballs cook, place spinach, dill, garlic, pine nuts, lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Process while drizzling olive oil in through the vegetable shoot, until desired consistency is reached. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

Notes

Cooking Tip: Make the pesto in advance for a quick and easy weeknight meal.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 3 meatballs
  • Calories: 343
  • Sugar: 0g
  • Sodium: 567mg
  • Fat: 22g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 17g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 9g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 26g
  • Cholesterol: 100mg

Keywords: healthy, with sauce, oven, Greek, easy, simple, weeknight dinner, seasonal

Close-up of a meatball cut apart.

Yahhmm!

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