One of my most fond memories of the holidays is consistently the food associated with different events. I can’t help it – I simply love to eat! Since I monitor what I eat pretty much on a daily basis, I definitely let myself indulge a bit around the holidays without going overboard. It’s all about balance, right? So today, I’m cooking up a favorite healthy holiday appetizer that is so delish and will fulfill those holiday taste buds! (Plus, a special giveaway to go with it below!)
First things first, let’s talk veggies and lean protein, as these are super important to be munching on during your holiday parties because they keep you full and away from chowing down on cookies. I love to hide veggies in different foods and have done this with Branden since he was little. This provides him the vitamins that he needs without having to take a vitamin everyday. My go-to is always spinach, as it’s jam packed with vitamins A, C, E, K, B6, protein, fiber – so I always have some handy. Packing this healthy holiday appetizer with spinach makes it a super meatball that is great for you to get your hands on this holiday season.
Healthy Holiday Appetizer – Spinach and Chicken Meatballs
First, I must introduce you to my favorite new kitchen gadget – the Bella 6 Quart Programmable Slow Cooker With a Searing Pot, and it is life changing! To be completely honest, we have been using my grandmother’s old slow cooker since we got married, and it was so outdated (we couldn’t even remove pieces for cleaning) that I needed an update. I love everything about this new one, and it’s especially awesome that you can take the inner pot out to sear meats on the stove first – a pretty spectacular detail for busy mamas! You can enter to win the exact same one I have below, or CLICK HERE to purchase from Wayfair where they are on sale for $69.99.
Anyways…onto the meatballs! You can see here that instead of balling the mixture up into dinner meatball portions, I made them super mini for bite size appetizer portions. This recipe is awesome because it’s very easy to double or triple for holiday parties and the slow cooker is big enough to hold them all.
Before you check out the actual recipe, I’d also like to add that I used a pesto tomato sauce which gave these meatballs an extra pop of flavor – but you can use whatever sauce you prefer!
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1 egg white
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 3-5 tbsp Italian bread crumbs
- Sprinkle of sea salt
- Sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups of your favorite sauce
- Turn on your Bella slow cooker, pour in your sauce.
- Set the slow cooker on the low chicken setting for 3 hours
- Measure your 2 cups of fresh spinach, chop the ends off and discard, and chop it up finely
- In a large mixing bowl, combine your egg white, ground chicken, seasonings, and spinach.
- As you begin to mix, spoon in the breadcrumbs and use enough to be able to form the meatballs.
- Roll the mini meatballs in your hands and place in the crock pot in the sauce.
- Let sit for 3 hours, stirring gently as needed
- Sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese on top before serving, once cooked through.
These turned out really great that I kept wanting to go back for more. From the picture, you can see that I didn’t quite chop the spinach as fine as I should have because I cooked in a rush, but chopping more thoroughly will help you roll the meatballs much easier. You can also substitute grated zucchini for the spinach, which is especially great if you want to hide the veggies from your family. You will need to add extra bread crumbs if you go the zucchini route, though.