Easy, low-carb and one-pot Chicken Meatballs Zucchini Noodles with marinara sauce, za’atar seasoning and topped with fresh pecorino cheese and thyme!
End of June in northern US can only mean one thing; the start of zucchini season!
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you know that last summer I grew more zucchini then I could handle, some of them grew as big as 18inches long. It was amazing!
With all the zucchini I was able to make this low-carb zucchini lasagna, also this healthy chicken zoodles skillet, and scallop scampi zucchini noodles as well as many baked goods like this gluten-free almond zucchini cake and double chocolate zucchini muffin.
What I love the most about cooking with zucchini is how easy it is to incorporate this mild vegetable to many types of recipes. Botanically speaking though, zucchini is actually a fruit because it develops out of a flower, however zucchini is widely treated as a vegetable and mostly served as a savory dish.
Zucchini Noodles (or Zoodles)
Zoodles, short for zucchini noodles are also called courgette spaghetti, basically it’s a healthier low-carb alternative for the carb-heavy spaghetti. In my opinion zoodles are one of the best creations of modern cuisine which might explain all the hype around it.
This one-pot chicken meatballs and zoodles recipe combines seasonal flavors with a healthy protein. Altogether a lighter and healthier meal, packed with flavors and super easy to make.
This is a two step easy recipe that you can make anytime. While the chicken meatballs are baking in the oven you can sauté the zucchini and prepare it as a base, then you transfer the chicken meatballs to the skillet and finish off cooking with a touch of marinara sauce.
The zucchini will release some water creating a light and flavorful broth. Top this delicious dish with fresh pecorino cheese and thyme for the perfect explosion of flavors!
- 16 oz organic ground chicken breast
- 1/2 tbsp za’atar spice
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 3 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
- 3 tbsp parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 whole zucchini, about 6 cups
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 pinch sea salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup marinara sauce
Pre-heat oven to 400F degrees. Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl mix the chicken meatballs ingredients and fold to combine or mix using your hands. Then using a scooper or table spoon, scoop some chicken meatballs into the palm of your hands and roll it. Place each chicken meatball on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 25 minutes, turning the chicken meatballs once half way through.
In a large sauce pan heat the oil. Add zoodles and sauté tossing the turning until they start to soften (about 8-10 mins), then add the minced garlic, salt and pepper and continue to sauté for another 2 minutes.
Add the chicken meatballs and marinara sauce. Note that the zoodles will release some water, so there should be plenty of sauce at this point. Allow the chicken meatballs, zoodles and marinara to cook for 2-3 more minutes on low heat and covered.
Remove from stove. Add fresh parmesan or pecorino cheese as well as fresh thyme and serve.