Chicken-rice meatballs
Fitness & Nutrition

Healthy Comfort Food: Chicken-Rice Meatballs

By on 04/06/2020

Made with chicken and rice, these meatballs are lighter than traditional beef meatballs. If you want to make them gluten free, omit the flour; the sauce may be a little less thick, but it will still taste great.


  • 1 1/2 lbs ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice, rinsed
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 tsp salt plus 1/2 tsp salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste plus 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley


In a bowl, combine the chicken, uncooked rice, egg, 1 tablespoon of the yogurt, dill, garlic, 1/8 teaspoon salt and black pepper. With wet hands, roll the chicken mixture into 1-inch balls.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and sauté for about 3 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the flour and mix to coat the vegetables; cook for 1 minute. Slowly add chicken broth and stir until smooth and thickened. Add tomato paste mixture, remaining 2 tablespoons yogurt, cumin, nutmeg, paprika, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste and cook until gravy is thickened and smooth. Add the meatballs. Bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 25 minutes, or until the meatballs are no longer pink. Sprinkle with fresh parsley.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 5 meatballs

Per Serving:

Calories: 220
Fat: 9g
Saturated Fat: 2g
Cholesterol: 95mg
Sodium: 338mg
Carbohydrates: 14g
Fiber: 0g
Protein: 24g

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Date Last Reviewed: February 6, 2017

Editorial Review: Judy Capodanno, Health eCooking Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Dietary Review: Jane Schwartz, RD

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