Baked Sage Chicken Meatballs with Parmesan Orzo

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5 from 3 reviews

baked sage chicken meatballs over creamy parmesan orzo & spinach

servings: 4



Baked Sage Chicken Meatballs

  • 2 oz fresh italian bread, diced
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 ½ lbs ground chicken thigh
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ tsp kosher salt

Parmesan Orzo

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 8 sage leaves
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 small handful fresh thyme sprigs, tied in kitchen twine
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 2 oz fresh spinach (approximately 2 cups)
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • freshly cracked black pepper


  1. For the meatballs, preheat the oven to 450°F. Prepare a sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper. Lightly oil the parchment. Place the diced bread in a large mixing bowl and pour the warm water over top. Let soak, submerged, for at least 5 minutes.
  2. Heat a 12” skillet over medium heat. Add the butter. Once melted, add the minced shallot and garlic. Cook for a minute or so until softened. Stir in the granulated garlic and red pepper flakes. Turn off the heat.
  3. Add the ground chicken, parmesan, sage, parsley, salt, and shallot mixture to the bowl of bread. Mix until incorporated. Form the mixture into approximately 15 (2 oz) meatballs, packing them tightly. Place them onto the prepared sheet pan. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and bake on the top rack of the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.
  4. For the orzo, wipe out the skillet and place it back over medium heat. Add the butter and let it melt. Add the sage leaves. Let them crisp as the butter begins to brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sage to a paper towel.
  5. Add the shallots to the butter and season with a pinch of salt. Cook for about 2 minutes. Stir in the orzo. Pour in the white wine and add the thyme. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer again, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for about 6 more minutes, stirring often.
  6. Add in the heavy cream, spinach, and parmesan. Let the cream simmer while the spinach wilts and parmesan melts, stirring continuously. Season with salt to taste. Remove the thyme sprigs.
  7. Serve the chicken meatballs over the orzo. Garnish with the crispy sage, freshly cracked black pepper, more parmesan, and any extra chopped parsley & thyme leaves.