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Rachael’s Chicken and Ricotta Meatballs

This recipe originally appeared on the Rachael Ray Show. For more recipes and videos from the show visit


For the meatballs:
  • 2 pounds ground chicken (I prefer 1 pound white meat, 1 pound dark meat)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 pound ricotta, well drained
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley, ½ cup leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil ( EVOO)
For the marinara sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil ( EVOO)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons sundried tomato paste
  • ½ cup red vermouth or red wine
  • One 28-ounce can Italian crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes or ground pepperoncini, ⅓ palmful
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, about ⅓ palmful
  • Garlic bread or pasta, for serving


Combine the meatball ingredients in a bowl and roll into 2-inch balls. Arrange on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and chill 30 minutes or overnight.

For the sauce, preheat a deep skillet or saucepot over medium to medium-high heat. Add the oil and once hot, melt in the butter. Peel and finely chop or grate the onion and add to the butter once it foams, soften a bit while you peel and chop or thinly slice the garlic, add garlic to onion, stir a minute. Add paste, then vermouth or wine and bring to a bubble. Add tomatoes to sauce and season with chili and oregano, then reduce heat and simmer to thicken a bit.

Preheat oven to 450˚F and place rack in center of oven.

Roast meatballs on lined baking sheet 12-15 minutes until light golden.

Add meatballs to sauce and simmer until ready to serve.

Serve with garlic bread or with pasta of choice.

Rachael Ray