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What’s for Dinner: Gluten-Free Chicken Meatballs

April 12, 2018

We love meatballs, you love meatballs—everyone loves meatballs (even vegetarians). But if you’re gluten free, you may have had to curtail your meatball habit, since most are made with breadcrumbs. Bummer.

Clean Plates to the rescue: Now you can feed your love of meatballs with a recipe that’s packed with flavor but has none of the gluten. Made with dark-meat chicken, a bit of rice and some brown-rice flour, plus plenty of herbs and spices, you get all the meatball love, stress- and gluten-free. Try them with your fave gluten-free pasta, on zoodles (or other vegetable noodles), or even wrapped up in lettuce leaves.

Gluten-Free Chicken Meatballs




30 min


20 min


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2/3 cup/80 g cooked brown basmati rice

2 pounds/905 g organic ground chicken, ideally dark or thigh meat

1/2 cup/30 g chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/3 cup/45 g brown rice flour

1/4 cup/60 mL dry white wine (see note)

2 organic, pasture-raised, or antibiotic-free eggs, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon ground fennel

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 400°F/205°C. Coat a 9 by 13-inch/25 by 35 cm baking pan with the oil.

Place the rice in a food processor and process to finely chop, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Transfer the rice to a large bowl and add chicken, parsley, flour, wine, eggs, salt, fennel, and pepper, gently mixing until well combined.

With damp hands, roll the mixture into 1 ½-inch/4 cm balls, arranging them in the prepared baking pan. Bake until an internal thermometer in a meatball reads 165°F/75°C, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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