Chicken thigh meat makes exceptionally flavorful and moist meatballs. When you form meatballs from ground poultry, it’s a good idea to moisten your hands to keep the meatball mixture from sticking.


3/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into chunks

1/2 cup minced scallions

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage

1/4 cup fat-free milk

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons plain dried breadcrumbs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg white

2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) no-salt-added stewed tomatoes, coarsely chopped with their juice

2 teaspoons paprika

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

12 ounces spaghetti


1. In a food processor, finely grind the chicken. Add the scallions, garlic, and sage, and process until combined. Add the milk, Parmesan, breadcrumbs, salt, and egg white. Process to combine. Form the mixture into 24 meatballs.

2. In a large nonstick skillet, stir together the tomatoes, paprika, and cayenne. Bring to a boil and cook 4 minutes, then reduce to a simmer. Add the meatballs, cover, and cook 10 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce is flavorful.

3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling water, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain. Spoon the meatballs and sauce over the pasta. Makes 4 servings

Nutrition Facts

per serving
calories 598
total fat 12g
saturated fat 3.5g
cholesterol 81mg
dietary fiber 6g
carbohydrate 81g
protein 38g
sodium 540mg

Good source of: niacin, riboflavin, selenium, vitamin C, zinc

If you are carefully watching your sodium, be sure to read this before preparing this recipe: Sodium Intake and Salt in Recipes

From The Johns Hopkins Cookbook Library: Recipes for a Healthy Heart, edited by Simeon Margolis, M.D., Ph.D. and Lora Brown Wilder, Sc.D., M.S., R.D.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 31 Oct 2011

Last Modified: 24 Mar 2015