Irie Recipe: Chicken Pesto Meatballs with Pumpkin Brown Rice

Yum yum! My dinner was so good that I had to share. I’ve been purchasing chicken mince in the supermarket for a couple of months now because sometimes it’s much more convenient to pan-fry quickly for a mid-week meal and sometimes it works even better than chicken breast cubes, like for my pasta dishes. I also started to buy farm fresh pesto from Food Basket recently and decided that since I was also buying some of the same herbs they’re putting in the pesto, maybe I should just make my own! So I made a basil pesto over the weekend. Really simple, it was just basil, olive oil, salt, pepper and walnuts in my food processor. But pesto is something new to me, I only ever knew it used as a pasta sauce so I started to wonder what else I could use it to do, especially since I’m trying to give pasta a rest to work on this tummy. Enter, tonight’s dinner.


Chicken Pesto Meatballs:

1 package chicken mince
1 egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I used panko)
2 tablespoons pesto
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
season to taste. (I used salt, black pepper, chilli powder, coriander, Mrs. dash)


Feel free to play with the measurements. I eyeballed everything, a dash here, a couple shakes there. Mix all together, roll into balls and bake for 30 mins in a 375 degree oven. The brown rice is pretty easy, I simply cooked as usual adding frozen veggies and pumpkin to the broth. Your pumpkin should be in small cubes ( mine were frozen raw from the last time I randomly found a pumpkin growing in my yard. We diced up some to use at a later date) so that it will mix right out into your broth and make a yummy, flavourful brown rice. This makes up for there being no gravy. You know we Jamaicans love our gravy.

It was delicious! I actually overate. There goes healthy eating for dinner -__- but it was just SO good! Well, in hindsight the addition of parm cheese and panko breadcrumbs weren’t the least caloric options but hey. Now I know why meal preppers always use some type of meatball in their meal prep. I can surely see me making up a big batch of this and freezing some for lazy…err….busy days. The addition of the pesto in the meatballs kept them moist and juicy during the baking process I believe. They were divine! Try this recipe and let me know what you think!

What else can I do with pesto? I’m in love with it and want to know all the options! Do you love pesto too?


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  1. That looks real good. Usually you show mi up with u fab cooking so i went all out tonight on my quest to attempt paleo dieting and made bacon wrapped mini meatloaves and baked sweet potato chips… mannnnnnn i over ate!!! its soo good!