chicken with black garlic meatballs

Chicken with Black Garlic in Tomato Sauce Meatball Recipe

Black Garlic Recipe

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A mouthwatering twist on the classic meatball recipe

Try something new and exciting that will tantalize your taste buds. Meatballs are always a family favourite, so try jazzing them up with this mouth-watering twist. We are talking about chicken with black garlic in a delicious tomato sauce. Add a few surprise ingredients like bocconcini and pinenuts. Now your meal now has a gourmet look with a classic comfort feel.

How healthy are the ingredients in this Chicken with Black Garlic in Tomato Sauce Meatball Recipe?

  • Chicken is a lean protein source that is low in fat and calories but high in vitamin B.
  • Black Garlic is a nutritious ingredient that is rich in antioxidants and has been linked to improve heart health and immune function.
  • Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin A and C as well as potassium and fibre.  The lycopene in tomatoes has also been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and cancer.
  • Bocconcini cheese, also known as “small mouthfuls” in Italian, is rich in calcium, and a good source of high-quality protein
  • Pine nuts are exceptionally high in vitamin E and contain essential minerals such as magnesium.
Who knew chicken and black garlic meatballs could be this healthy and taste so good
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The Star Ingredient

Black garlic is undoubtedly the star of this recipe. This extraordinary ingredient is garlic that has undergone a fermentation process in the oven for 40 days, transforming its cloves into soft, delights. Black garlic adds depth and complexity to the meatballs, elevating them to a new level of indulgence.

Chicken with Black Garlic in Tomato Sauce Meatball Recipe

Chicken with Black Garlic in Tomato Sauce Meatball Recipe

Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Course: dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: black garlic, black garlic pesto, chicken with black garlic, Meatball Recipe


  • 1 mixing bowl
  • 1 oven tray
  • 1 deep sided saute pan


  • 500 gms mince chicken
  • 1 slice bread crusts removed
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 cloves black garlic finely diced with a wet knife blade
  • 1 teaspn onion salt
  • 2 tbsp basil pesto
  • 2 tbsp pinenuts lightly toasted
  • 50 gms parmesan cheese finely grated
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • pepper to taste

Tomato Sauce

  • 2 cups tomato pasta
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 teasp mixed herbs or fresh herbs
  • 100 gms cherry bocconcini
  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley or basil


  • place bread in a bowl and pour over milk, add finely diced black garlic
  • let stand for 3 minutes then using a fork or clean hands mush altogether
  • in a bowl mix together chicken mince, basil pesto, onion salt, pinenuts, parmesan cheese, pepper and beaten egg
  • add bread to chicken mince mixture, dont overwork
  • roll into meatballs and place on a lined oven tray
  • bake 20 – 30 mins until golden on top
  • meanwhile heat the passata and stock in a saute pan on top of the stove top, then add herbs
  • carefully drop meatballs into tomato sauce, simmer for a few minutes to ensure meatballs soak up some juices.
  • arrange cherry bocconcini inbetween meatballs, simmer with lid on for 2 mins.
  • sprinkle with lots of chopped parsley/basil and serve at the table


Chicken with Black Garlic in Tomato Sauce Meatball Recipe
  • use either turkey or chicken mince.
  • to ensure meatballs are tasty, roll one meatball and cook in microwave.  Taste when cooled then adjust seasoning if needed.
  • pinenuts are such a surprise ingredient and add a great texture.
  • fresh herbs are always better that dried.  Try thyme, oregano or rosemary.
  • ensure the tomato sauce is hot before carefully dropping the bocconcini into sauce using a spoon.  The bocconcini will begin to melt and be super delicious and unctuous if you simmer with the lid on for a minute or two.
  • I just love serving this dish straight from the stove top to the table for a rustic and casual dining experience.
  • Serve with a bowl of fluffy rice and a green vegetable.  Dont forget the crusty bread to soak up all the juices.

What is the Secret to Meatballs?

A little milk will add moisture to your meatballs. Soaking some bread in milk will ensure they will be tender and not dry. The soaked bread will absorb the juices and fats, preventing them from drying out.

The fat content in the chicken is important; don’t be tempted to buy lean mince. The higher fat content ensures they stay juicy. If substituting with turkey add a little extra milk as turkey is a leaner meat.

Do no overwork: Gently mix the ingredients, over mixing the mixture can result in a denser texture.

Oven bake on a lower temperature and finish off in the sauce so the meatball absorb some of the juice. Oven baking is a healthy option to pan frying.

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Are meatballs better with breadcrumbs or bread?

Bread, particularly stale bread that has been soaked in liquid, can add moisture to the meat mixture, resulting in juicier meatballs. Additionally, bread can contribute to a softer and lighter texture in the final meatball compared to using breadcrumbs. Lastly, using bread instead of breadcrumbs gives you more options / variations. Experiment using wholemeal, sourdough or wholegrain breads for a healthier option.

Can I incorporate chicken with black garlic meatballs in other recipes

These versatile meatballs are packed with flavour and can be used in so many ways:-

  1. Classic spaghetti and meatballs are a beloved combination: Simply cook your favourite pasta and toss in a large bowl with the tomato sauce add chicken with black garlic meatballs. Omit the bocconcini and finish with grated parmesan cheese.
  • Meatball subs or sandwiches: Fill a crusty roll or a sub roll with meatballs, tomato sauce and melted cheese.
  • Meatball sliders: Make smaller meatballs and serve them on slider buns with a variety of toppings such as cheese, lettuce, tomato, and condiments like mayonnaise or mustard. These are also perfect for appetizers or party snacks.
  • Meatball stew or soup: Add meatballs to a hearty stew or minestrone soup.  Chicken with black garlic meatballs will infuse flavour into the broth and provide a satisfying texture.
  • Meatball bowls: Create a bowl with a base of rice, quinoa, or salad greens, and top it with meatballs, along with vegetables, sauces, and garnishes of your choice.
  • Meatball stir-fry: Incorporate meatballs into a stir-fry dish with vegetables and your favourite sauce. It’s a quick and flavourful way to enjoy meatballs.
Empathy Aged Black Garlic Healthy, Odourless & Delicious

Should meatballs be cooked before putting in sauce?

Yes, it’s recommended to cook the chicken with black garlic meatballs before adding them to tomato sauce. Baking the meatballs separately allows for better control over their cooking process, ensuring they are fully cooked and retain their shape. Once cooked, the chicken with black garlic meatballs can be added to the tomato sauce to simmer and absorb the flavors, enhancing the overall taste of the dish.

Empathy Blog Conclusions


Chicken with Black Garlic in Tomato Sauce Meatball Recipe

The combination of juicy chicken with black garlic meatballs and tangy tomato sauce never fails to bring joy to the table. Even better when served direct from stove top to table. The communal act of scooping up tender meatballs coated in luscious tomato sauce fosters a sense of togetherness and shared enjoyment. It’s a simple yet irresistible combination that guarantees smiles, lively conversations, and contented bellies.

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