Baked Rosemary Chicken Meatballs with Tomato Orzo

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 1 review

baked rosemary chicken meatballs over creamy tomato orzo & spinach

servings: 4



Baked Rosemary 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 red pepper flakes
  • 1 ½ lbs ground chicken thigh
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (in olive oil)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt

Tomato Orzo

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp sun-dried tomato olive oil (from the jar)
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 2 ¼ cups chicken stock
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 oz fresh spinach (approximately 2 cups)
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving


  1. For the meatballs, preheat the oven to 450°F. Prepare a sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper. 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” stainless steel 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, sun-dried tomatoes, rosemary, parsley, salt, and shallot mixture to the bowl of bread. Mix until incorporated. Form the mixture into approximately 16 (2 oz) meatballs, packing them tightly. Place them onto the prepared sheet pan. Drizzle with 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 sun-dried tomato oil. Add the rosemary sprig. Let it crisp on both sides as the butter begins to brown. Transfer the rosemary to a paper towel.
  5. Add the shallots and garlic to the butter and season with a pinch of salt. Cook for about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and red pepper flakes until the paste is incorporated. Stir in the white wine and then add the orzo. Bring the wine to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer again, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for about 8 more minutes, stirring often.
  6. Add the heavy cream, spinach, and parmesan. Let the cream simmer while the spinach wilts and parmesan melts, stirring continuously. Season with salt if needed.
  7. Serve the chicken meatballs over the orzo. Garnish with the crispy rosemary leaves, more parmesan, and any extra chopped parsley.