Chicken Bacon Meatballs and Pesto Zoodles

ZOODLES.

People. My new favorite thing. Hop on Amazon and find yourself some kind of zucchini noodle spiralizer  and get zoodlin! One thing that I’ve really appreciated from our Whole30 experiences is that I do not desire pasta anymore. Ok, I take that back, I do crave the occasional tasty mac n’ cheese, but besides that I don’t really care for the pasta carb overload. I love having spaghetti squash with spaghetti, so I assumed I would enjoy zoodles as well. They just a nice kind of “you feel like you’re eating pasta, but then you don’t have the need to go lay on the couch after you eat” kind of feeling. So anyway, moving on to my next Whole30 Instagram recipes post from @paleopaparazzi. Per usual, the recipe is straight from @paleopaparazzi with a few of my comments in-between.

On to the Chicken Bacon Meatballs and Pesto Zoodles recipe. Wait, hold on a sec. Let’s back up. Chicken BACON meatballs? Yes. Yes I just said that.

Ingredients:

  • Zoodles
    • 3 medium zucchini made into zoodles (yes, do three. I did less and didn’t realize how much they would shrink up when I made them! And also, I got a hand spiralizer and it was not a pain to use. Very quick and easy! If you didn’t want to hand cut them, you may also be able to find them pre-made in the produce section. Our grocery store has recently started packaging a variety of zoodles and it may be worth the extra dollar to buy them if you are short on time!)
  • Pesto
    • 2 cups basil leaves, packed
    • 3/4 cup olive oil
    • 1/3 cup pine nuts (I used less than this)
    • 2 cloves of garlic peeled (I crushed this as well with my garlic press – might I just add that fresh garlic is SO worth the extra minute it takes to press! Provides so much flavor!)
    • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
    • pinch of lemon zest (I just used lemon juice because I didn’t have a lemon sitting around haha…)
    • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Meatballs
    • 1 lb. uncooked boneless chicken thighs or ground chicken
    • 1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped (I used red bell pepper just because I like the taste better in general)
    • 7-8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
    • 2 tbsp. Italian seasoning
    • Salt and Pepper to taste

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line baking sheet with foil.
  2. Place zoodles on a paper towel and salt them. This helps them release moisture. Set them aside for 15-20 min.
  3. Add all ingredients for the pesto to a food processor (except for the oil) and blend until it is a smooth, thick mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl and drizzle in your oil as you turn on the processor again until it is well blended. Then set this aside.
  4. Clean out your food processor and add in chopped bell pepper, chicken thighs, bacon crumbles, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper. Blend until well mixed, like an oatmeal texture.
  5. Roll the meat mixture into balls and place onto baking pan.
  6. Bake at 400 for 18-20 min.
  7. Heat some oil in a pan on the stove and heat noodles up until warm, then add your pesto and mix together.
  8. Place the pesto zoodles on a plate and top with the meatballs and pine nuts. Enjoy!

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