CHICKEN MARSALA-ISH MEATBALLS || no dairy, no egg, no breadcrumbs!

CHICKEN MARSALA MEATBALLS by essellesse || this recipe is dairy-free, uses no egg, & no breadcrumbs. Comes with a bonus recipe for a pan sauce!!

Another meatball recipe! What can I say, we love our balls around here.

But really there, they are so versatile, easy, & takes no more than 20 minutes to make

I have mentioned it a few times but Erik hates garlic and onions. I AM THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE so I figured it would be fun to challenge myself to come up with recipes without garlic or onions… especially since almost everything I make uses it!

THAT SAID: you can easily add that to the mix. Add a little parm to the mix too to really make it sexy.

CHICKEN MARSALA MEATBALLS by essellesse || this recipe is dairy-free, uses no egg, & no breadcrumbs. Comes with a bonus recipe for a pan sauce!!
CHICKEN MARSALA MEATBALLS by essellesse || this recipe is dairy-free, uses no egg, & no breadcrumbs. Comes with a bonus recipe for a pan sauce!!
CHICKEN MARSALA MEATBALLS by essellesse || this recipe is dairy-free, uses no egg, & no breadcrumbs. Comes with a bonus recipe for a pan sauce!!i like shiitake mushrooms for this!

These are seriously SO EASY & healthy.

With recipes like these, my measurements are not exact. I seriously just eyeball everything I make unless I am baking.

Basically, I will use the entire package {1 pound} of chicken & go visually.

You want a nice mix of mushrooms & chicken mixed in with enough oil to really keep things moist and tender. That said, I’ll do what I recc measurement-wise for my actual recipe.

CHICKEN MARSALA MEATBALLS by essellesse || this recipe is dairy-free, uses no egg, & no breadcrumbs. Comes with a bonus recipe for a pan sauce!!
CHICKEN MARSALA MEATBALLS by essellesse || this recipe is dairy-free, uses no egg, & no breadcrumbs. Comes with a bonus recipe for a pan sauce!!
CHICKEN MARSALA MEATBALLS by essellesse || this recipe is dairy-free, uses no egg, & no breadcrumbs. Comes with a bonus recipe for a pan sauce!!

Even though I don’t use any Marsala wine {though it would be delicious!}, I call these Marsala-ish for 2 reasons: the meatballs & a very important step:

THE FLOUR!!!

So basically as you roll the meatballs, roll them in flour before you put them in the pan. TRUST ME. This takes them from good to next level good.

Here’s why: it helps brown & makes things super flavourful, protects the interior {we are using lean chicken so it keeps things from getting dry}, and it thickens & grabs any sauce! Not to mention, it just makes the texture ahhh-mazing!

As mentioned here, you can make these a variety of ways… but imho the best way is to pan-fry & it’s because of that sexy flour.

Basically, after you make the meatballs, you can make a SUPER quick pan sauce.

CHICKEN MARSALA MEATBALLS by essellesse || this recipe is dairy-free, uses no egg, & no breadcrumbs. Comes with a bonus recipe for a pan sauce!!

Remove the meatballs & put them on a plate {I like to put them over rice, orzo, zoodles, or pasta so the base can catch some of the drippings}. In the skillet with the pan drippings & browned bits {FLAVOUR!!!}, add mushrooms & saute.

Be sure to scrape all the browned bits. Pour in stock, reduce, add butter & go! {note, if you do this, it won’t be dairy free anymore but you can emulsify with dijon mustard instead – YUM!!!!!!}

CHICKEN MARSALA MEATBALLS by essellesse || this recipe is dairy-free, uses no egg, & no breadcrumbs. Comes with a bonus recipe for a pan sauce!!

real quick on mushrooms: I actually don’t like mushrooms lol but the only ones I love are shiitakes. Not only are they healthy but I love the texture. That said, you can easily substitute shiitakes for creminis or whatever you want.

also: it would be fun to try this in patty form too! Just don’t skip the flour step.

CHICKEN MARSALA-ISH MEATBALLS

CHICKEN MARSALA MEATBALLS by essellesse || this recipe is dairy-free, uses no egg, & no breadcrumbs. Comes with a bonus recipe for a pan sauce!!

ingredients

ground chicken breast, 1 pound

mushrooms, 6 large shiitakes or as much or little as you want

olive oil, 1/4 cup

salt, 1 tbsp

pepper, 1 tsp

chile flakes, 1 tsp

oregano, 1 tsp

flour, enough to coat a plate

pan sauce ingredients – if making!

sliced mushrooms, 1 shroom per person

stock, 1 cup

butter, 1 tbsp {or dijon mustard for a dairy free alternative}

directions

heat skillet to medium-high & drizzle with olive oil until the full pan is coated

dice mushrooms or process in a food processor. add to a large bowl & drizzle the olive oil to completely coat all the mushrooms. Add half of spice mixture & stir until fully combined.

using your hands, mix in the ground chicken until fully incorporated.

Continuing to use your hands, roll the chicken-mushroom mix into balls & roll the ball in flour. Add to pan right away!

When you have the desired amount, wash hands, & cook for 5-7 minutes or until fully cooked {165 with a meat thermometer}.

Move meatballs to a plate {I like to put it over whatever I am serving it with so all the juices can absorb!} & if you want to continue, make the pan sauce.

In the now cleared pan with all the drippings, add sliced shiitakes & scrape up all the browned bits. Saute over medium high until they start to brown. Add stock & bring to a rapid simmer. Let liquid reduce to about 1/2 a cup. Stir in butter or mustard until combined.

CHICKEN MARSALA MEATBALLS by essellesse || this recipe is dairy-free, uses no egg, & no breadcrumbs. Comes with a bonus recipe for a pan sauce!!

notes

if pan sauce is too thick, add a little more stock or liquid. if too thin, whisk in some cornstarch or flour.

to make it even more “Marsala”, add some Marsala wine & reduce before you add the stock to the pan sauce.

I like to make a huge batch & keep the raw mix for leftovers. Then, I cook them fresh each day!

You can sub out the chicken for turkey, pork, or beef. For a vegetarian option, I recc the brand BEYOND MEAT {note: it’s “beef” vs “chicken}. Would be interesting to also try processing cooked lentils into a “ground meat” texture? Any other veg reccs? LMK in the comments

Feel free to add shredded parm or manchego to the mushroom + chicken mix

for added freshness, add torn basil & greens!! & finish with a squeeze of lemon YUM

wine pairings

chianti, pinot noir, un-oaked chardonnay, brunello, champagne!

CHICKEN MARSALA MEATBALLS by essellesse || this recipe is dairy-free, uses no egg, & no breadcrumbs. Comes with a bonus recipe for a pan sauce!!
CHICKEN MARSALA MEATBALLS by essellesse || this recipe is dairy-free, uses no egg, & no breadcrumbs. Comes with a bonus recipe for a pan sauce!!

I hope you love!!

Literally, when Erik had these, on first bite he said “THESE ARE AMAZING” & not gonna lie… that felt pretttyyyy good. Thanks love!!

If you make them, be sure to tag me on instagram or stories so I can drool over them.

SO SORRY I have been so MIA. But I am BACK BACK BACK. We all know I was sick but then I took a week or so off because life was life!

What’s crazy is we have our second to last Japanese class tomorrow. It has been QUITE a journey but so rewarding. We are going to continue on with private tutoring… no stopping until I’m fluent!

See you tomorrow,

x SLS

+++ here are my favourite cooking tips!

+++ cooking for two? I gotcha covered!

+++ want more balls? 😉 check out these!

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