<< Previous Recipe (Roasted Beef Broth) | Next Recipe (Oatmeal Cherry Bars) >>

Orecchiette with Mini Chicken or Turkey Meatballs

Orecchiette with Mini Chicken or Turkey Meatballs

This recipe has not yet been rated. Be the first.

Poultry, Pasta, For Kids, Fast and Easy

Active Time: 25 minutes
Start to Finish: 40 minutes


  • 1 lb. orecchiette pasta
  • 1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 Tbs. whole milk
  • 1 Tbs. ketchup
  • 3/4 cup grated romano cheese
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. ground chicken or ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups hot low-sodium chicken stock
  • 4 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 8 ounces halved bocconcini mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped basil


Boil a large pot of salted water to boil and cook until tender while making meatballs. Be sure to reserve 1 cup of the pasta water when draining.

In a medium bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs, parsley, eggs, milk, ketchup, romano cheese, salt, pepper and ground chicken or ground turkey. Wet hands, then form mini-meatballs using a melon baller or a teaspoon. With wet hands, roll balls into 3/4 inch pieces.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the meatballs on each side for about 2 minutes per side. Add tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat and simmer until tomatoes are soft and meatballs are cooked through. Giada says this will take five minutes, but we've gone significantly longer.

Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl and add parmesan. Toss to coat lightly and add the reserve pasta water if necessary. Add the meatball mixture, the basil, and the mozzarella (at the very last moment to avoid clumping) to the pasta. Toss gently and garnish with basil.


We've made this with chicken and turkey, and both are delicious and a great choice for guests or a weekend family meal!

Kids LOVE these meatballs. Mothers of very young eaters might like to throw some carrots in with the tomatoes, meatballs and chicken broth. Freeze a number of the meatballs with carrots and a spoonful of the broth. Reheat within one month and serve with potatoes or pasta.

What to Drink

A fruity red wine!

You must be signed in to leave a comment or rate a recipe. Please register or sign in here.
sign in to save to favorites


recipe type

Main Courses


Giada De Laurentiis


4 to 6 servings




Kosher v. table salt
We always use kosher salt in our cooking because its crystals dissolve better in water than ordinary table salt. However, kosher and table salt are not equivalent when you are measuring amounts for a recipe. To further confuse matters, different types of kosher salt measure differently. If a recipe calls for table salt (or just salt), and the amounts are relatively small (e.g., one teaspoon), we simply use the amount called for in the recipe. You can always add a bit more salt to taste. If however, the recipe calls for larger amounts of salt, as would be the case, for example, in a brine, then you should convert the amount called for. Most sources cite 2 types of kosher salt as being widely available: Morton (which is what we use) and Diamond Crystal (which none of us have ever been able to find.) In any case, to convert the amount of table salt to Morton Kosher Salt, multiply the table salt by 1.5; to convert to Diamond Crystal, multiply by 2.

Just another example of why algebra really is im

Choosing an Olive Oil
If a recipe calls for olive oil, you may substitute extra virgin olive oil; but if it calls for extra virgin olive oil, we do not suggest substituting any other type of olive oil.