Pesto Zoodles with Mini Chicken Bacon Meatballs

I was up in the mountains this past weekend with no internet access and loads and loads of snow. While it was magical and peaceful, it had me dreaming of these pesto zoodles and warmer weather. I’m really looking forward to spring and summer. There’s always such an abundance of fresh herbs and all the fruits and veggies we’ve been waiting to see at the market all year long! I especially love when fresh basil can be found everywhere because pesto is one of my favorite sauces to make, and this is one of my favorite dishes to use it in!

If you’ve never tried zoodles before, this recipe is a great one to start with. Zoodles are basically just long strands of zucchini that resemble noodles, but are loaded with tons of good for you vitamins. You can make them quickly by using a spiralizer or a julienne peeler. I have the paderno spiralizer and it has worked great for me the past few years. After I spiralize the zucchini I like to salt mine liberally to help draw out some of the moisture. This can help the zoodles be less mushy when you heat them up, but you can eat them raw if you like them that way. If I use a sauce that is already warm, sometimes I don’t even heat up the noodles. I will just mix them with the sauce.

This is a recipe I created when doing a whole30 recipes takeover on instagram. It has been well loved on there and I’m finally getting it added on here so you can Pin it or bookmark it for later. It just makes things so much simpler to not have to scroll 150 times on Instagram to find it, and saves you from carpel tunnel, ha ha! I love the mini chicken bacon meat balls mixed in, they really give it an extra depth of flavor, along with the toasted pine nuts! It’s also a fun recipe to make for St. Patrick’s day as it’s very green and festive! Let me know if you try it! You can send me an email or shoot me a DM on Instagram, I always love hearing from you guys!

Pesto Zoodles with Mini Chicken Bacon Meatballs

Ingredients

    For Pesto:
  • 2 cups basil leaves, packed
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Pinch of lemon zest
  • Salt and pepper to taste
    For Meatballs:
  • 1 lb. uncooked boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
  • 7-8 slices of compliant bacon, cooked & crumbled
  • 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. First preheat oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Then place your zoodles onto a towel & liberally salt them. This will help release moisture. Set aside for about 15-20 mins while you prepare the other ingredients.
  3. Add all ingredients for the pesto to a food processor (except oil) & blend until it's a smooth thick mixture. Scrape sides of bowl. Return processor to on position & slowly drizzle in your oil. Keep blending until well combined and emulsified. Set aside.
  4. Clean out your food processor & add in chopped bell pepper, chicken thighs, bacon crumbles, Italian seasoning and salt & pepper. Blend until mixed well & resembles a thick oatmeal texture. Take about one rounded teaspoon full & shape into meatballs. Place on foil lined baking pan & cook for 18-20 minutes. You can also broil on high for a few mins. to brown the tops.
  5. While your meatballs are cooking take your zoodles & squeeze out the extra moisture with the towel.
  6. Place some oil in a pan & heat zoodles up until warm, then add your pesto & mix together.
  7. Plate pesto zoodles & top with meatballs & pine nuts. You can also toast your pinenuts at 375° for 5 -10 minutes for an even better flavor.
http://www.paleopaparazzi.com/2017/03/pesto-zoodles-mini-chicken-bacon-meatballs/

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20 thoughts on “Pesto Zoodles with Mini Chicken Bacon Meatballs

  1. Those meatballs look fantastic! I would have never thought to combine chicken and bacon but holy smokes what a great idea! My kids would be all over this!

  2. We just bought a basil starter plant for our garden that is sitting under lights in our basement and the poor thing is being ravaged because I’m so excited to make basil dishes again! And this one is definitely going on my list. Love the combo of chicken and bacon in the meatballs too- yum!

  3. Homemade pesto has got to be one of the world’s amazing flavors – storebought jarred stuff doesn’t even come close. Love those meatballs too – so much flavor on that plate!

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