Chicken and Spinach Meatballs with Rice in Broth


  • For the meatballs:
    • 1 pound ground chicken
    • 1 box frozen spinach, thawed and water pressed out
    • ¼ cup finely diced yellow onion
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
    • 1 tsp. fresh lemon zest
    • ¾ tsp. salt (used Kosher salt)
    • ½ tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
    • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
    • ½ tsp. ground coriander
    • ¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg (we used pre-ground nutmeg)
    • ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
    • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (we used Parmigiano Reggiano)
    • 1 large egg
    • 3 Tbsp. whole milk
  • For the soup:
    • 2 Tbsp. olive oil (we used extra-virgin olive oil)
    • ¼ cup finely diced onion
    • 1 clove garlic, sliced
    • 6 cups good chicken broth (we used Swanson 33% Less Sodium)
    • 1 dried bay leaf
    • 2-3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (we used 3 Tbsp.)
    • 2 cups cooked white or brown rice (we used brown rice)
    • Fresh parsley and shaved Parmesan cheese, for serving (didn’t use*)


  1. Move the rack into the upper third of your oven (we used the second shelf from the top) and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. afterwards. Take a baking sheet out and line it with aluminum foil (we sprayed the foil with cooking spray), setting the lined baking sheet off to the side for now.
  2. Now for making the meatballs. Take a large mixing bowl out and mix the following ingredients together in it just long enough for it to be combined: ground chicken, the thawed and pressed spinach, onion, garlic, mustard, lemon zest, salt, peppers, coriander, nutmeg, breadcrumbs, and cheese. In a separate small-sized bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. Pour the egg mixture over the chicken mixture and blend everything together using your hands. Make sure that the spinach is broken up and everything’s equally distributed throughout. Use a cookie scoop (we didn’t) to get a heaping tablespoon of the meat mixture and place it on the lined baking sheet.
  3. Make sure the meatballs are spaced about 1-inch apart on the baking sheet and stick the sheet in the oven for 20 minutes or until the meatballs are fully cooked. You should end up with around 30 meatballs (we got 32).
  4. While the meatballs are cooking, start making the broth. Get a large pot out and pour in the two tablespoons of olive oil, setting the heat to medium. Once the oil’s hot, toss the onions in and cook them for 6 minutes or until they’re translucent and softened, stirring continuously. Add in the sliced garlic and let it cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly (move on sooner if the garlic looks like it’s going to get burnt). Now add in the chicken stock (we think they meant chicken broth), bay leaf and the lemon juice. Bring the soup to a simmer.
  5. Add the cooked meatballs into the broth, letting the broth continue to simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  6. For each serving, spoon a small amount of rice into the bottom of the bowl and ladle in the broth and meatballs. Sprinkle some parsley and cheese over the food and enjoy !

*We tried the recipe without these components and it still tasted fantastic !


If you love the flavor of lemons, you’ll love this dish. The meatballs are good on their own and while you can taste a little bit of lemon in them as well as a little bit of heat, it wasn’t as strong a flavor as we though it would be. The broth though, that really brings the bright, lemon-y flavor though and the rice add substance to the dish, helping you feel fuller.

Recipe source unknown.

We weren’t paid in any form to mention Swanson.

Take care everybody !

2 thoughts on “Chicken and Spinach Meatballs with Rice in Broth

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