Chicken, apples and carrots form an amazing trio in these easy fried chicken meatballs. They are delicious anytime of the day, and also make an easy freezer meal.
Bulk Item Used: Panko bread crumbs, thyme
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The thing I love about this recipe is that along with ground chicken, these meatballs have both veggies AND fruit lurking inside. (Yes, I say lurking because it feels more like I’m tricking my kids into eating it if I use that word. I love tricking my kids). These tasty bites have both shredded carrots and apples inside, giving them a sweet taste. But then you also have the onions and thyme making them feel savory. It’s the perfect collision of worlds.
Another great thing about these meatballs is that they are SO versatile. I love to eat them for breakfast, giving me a boost of protein to start my day. Tasting just as good cold as they do warm, and I often pack them in my kids’ lunchbox. They make a great dinner that both kids and adults love. They would even be great to take to a party or served as an appetizer.
This recipe is also great to freeze. When I make it, I usually make a double batch–I cook up half of it immediately, and freeze the other half for future use. For the half I’m freezing, I don’t form the chicken mixture into balls. I just put it in a freezer safe container, like a ziplock bag, and pop it into the freezer. When I’m ready to use it, I defrost and then form into balls and fry.
This recipe has long been a favorite in our family. It is adapted from a recipe in a book called, “Super Foods for Babies and Children.” But this is not just kid food! Give it a try today!
Tips for Making Fried Chicken Meatballs
- This recipe calls for grated carrots, onions and apples. Grating those carrots and apples on a regular grater is a great forearm exercise and absolutely doable. But to make this recipe even faster and easier, I highly recommend some kind of food processor. If you have a Bosch, like I do, I recommend this food processor that attaches right on to it. They also make ones for KitchenAid. If you’re looking for a stand alone appliance, this one has great reviews on Amazon.
- Look for pre-ground chicken at the store, or ask the butcher at your grocery store if they can do it for you. Trust me when I say that trying to grind your own chicken can be really messy and gross. Once again, totally doable though, and will probably save you money.
- I highly recommend finding “Better Than Bouillon,” and using it for the chicken bouillon in this recipe. In fact, this goes for any recipe that uses chicken bouillon or chicken broth. It is seriously better than any other bouillon I’ve tried and it’s crazy how much better it makes recipes taste in comparison to other bouillons.
- When frying these meatballs, it’s really important to keep the heat on a steady, medium-low temperature. This will ensure the inside gets fully cooked, while the outside doesn’t get burned. Turning up the heat to speed things up will only result in a blackened outside because the inside will not be done. I like to use my electric skillet for this step, because it lets me know exactly what the cooking temperature is, and keeps it steady at what I set it at. I keep it at 275*
Fried Chicken Meatballs
- 1 small onion
- 1 large carrot
- 1/2 large apple granny smith, honey crisp, or cosmic crisp
- 16 oz ground chicken
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 tsp chicken bouillon
- salt and pepper
- vegetable oil for frying
- Grate the onion, carrot and apple into a large bowl. Add in the ground chicken, thyme, bread crumbs and bouillon. Thoroughly mix all the ingredients together with a large wooden spoon or your hands.
- Roll the chicken mixture in to 1½ inch balls and season the tops with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour a thin layer of vegetable oil into an electric skillet, or in a non-stick pan on the stove. Heat oil over medium-low heat (275°). Once the oil is hot, fry the chicken meatballs until lightly golden and cooked through. This should take 4-5 minutes. Meatballs should be turned every minute or so to evenly brown.