Chipotle Chicken Meatballs with Sweet Corn Polenta

DSCN2117I’ve been on this whole “meatball kick” lately because they are such an easy and healthy meal to make. Just throw them in the crock-pot in the morning and you have a delicious (and might I say very eye-pleasing) dish.

Now I know what you’re thinking, this looks like a complicated recipe and too fancy… But SURPRISE! It’s actually quite easy – maybe a little more involved than just any Tuesday night, but overall not too difficult.

These chipotle chicken meatballs not only are fresh and colorful, but full of complex flavors and laid upon this sweet corn polenta, you will feel pretty darn fancy… and healthy at the same time.

This is also a great recipe to make when you’re having guests over. The meatballs go in the crock-pot, you can whip the polenta up in the morning and heat up when you’re ready to serve, and it plates beautifully.

Like I’ve said before… Who says that healthy food can’t be delicious, enjoyable and – in the this case – beautiful?

DSCN2114Ingredients:

—— For the meatballs: ——

1lb. ground chicken (you could also use ground turkey; this will lower the fat)
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tsp. light brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper

—— For the sauce: ——

1 jar of salsa (any kind you like)
1/2 can Rotel diced tomatoes and green chiles
2 chipotles in adobo sauce, chopped
2 tsp. light brown sugar

—— For the polenta: ——

1 tube premade poleta
1 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup unsweetend almond milk
1/2 cup canned sweet corn
1 tbsp. honey
1 stevia packet

* Additional toppings

shredded cheese (I used shredded Mexican)
fresh cilantro
sour cream

Directions:

For the meatballs:

  1. You will first want to prep the meatballs. I try to do this the night before but you could do it in the morning – you just want them to sit in the fridge for at least an hour.
  2. In a large bowl combine chicken, 1 chipotle, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, 1 tbsp. olive oil, panko, egg, 1 tsp. brown sugar, salt and pepper.
  3. Using your hands, incorporate everything together until it is all combined (try not to over mix though).
  4. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  5. Take the meat and roll into meatballs (I try to shoot for golfball-size), and place evenly spaced on the baking sheet. Once you are all done you should have about 20 meatballs. Place in the fridge overnight or at least 1 hour.DSCN2095
  6. After the meatballs have been refrigerated, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat.
  7. When the pan is hot (I usually test with a little splash of water; if it sizzles, it’s ready) use tongs to place about 4-8 meatballs in the hot skillet. Sear for about 1-2 minutes on each side (this will help lock in the moisture and prevent them from crumbling in the crock-pot).
  8. When all the meatballs are seared, spray the crockpot with cooking spray, add a little sauce (see recipe below) on the bottom, add meatballs, and pour remaining sauce over the top.
  9. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-7 hours.DSCN2105

For the sauce: 

  1. In a large bowl pour jar of salsa, add 2 chipotles (chopped), brown sugar, and Rotel diced tomatoes. Stir to combine.

For the polenta:

  1. Take the tube of polenta, cut into 1/2 inch rounds and place on a plate.
  2. Microwave in 1-minute increments (took a total of 5 minutes for me). You want the polenta to become soft.
  3. Place the polenta rounds in a bowl and mix with a hand mixer until they’re mashed potato consistency.
  4. Then add melted butter, almond milk, honey and stevia and mix until all incorporated. Finally add your corn and stir in with a spoon.
  5. You can serve immediately or place in the fridge and heat up when ready to serve.

Tip: When ready to serve the dish scoop out polenta onto a plate or bowl, top with meatballs and sauce, then sprinkle with mexican cheese, and fresh cilantro.DSCN2112

Nutritional Information:

Chipotle Chicken Meatballs with Sauce

Servings: 20 meatballs w/sauce
Serving Size: 1 meatballs w/sauce

Calories: 83
Fat: 4 g
Carbohydrates: 6 g
Sodium: 448 mg
Fiber: 1 g
Sugar: 3 g
Protein: 6 g

Sweet Corn Polenta

Servings: 3

Calories:  197
Fat: 5 g
Carbohydrates: 36 g
Sodium: 668 mg
Fiber: 3 g
Sugar: 8 g
Protein: 8 gDSCN2122

Emily

EMILY NESS is a full-time food and lifestyle author who’s passionate about developing simple yet mouth-watering recipes that anyone can make. Since founding her website CookingUpHappiness.com in 2013, she’s went on to share her passion for cooking healthy and tasty recipes with the thousands of people around the world.
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Emily Ness

Sharing a passion for food and fitness to live a healthy lifestyle - with the occasional hint of chocolate.

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