Rosemary Chicken Meatballs with Orzo

Maybe it’s my Italian upbringing but meatballs are my favourite comfort food, especially when paired with orzo, everyone’s new favorite pastina shape.

This rendition of the popular duo is easy & quick to make, perfect for a weeknight. It’s saucy without being heavy, the meatballs are tender and flavourful with the addition of oil-packed sun dried tomato and sautéed shallots and garlic. Rosemary, possibly my favourite herb adds an earthiness and warmth that I love in this.

For as long as I could remember, you just boiled orzo and added it to soups. These days, it’s taken the place of risotto where you toast it in a pan with butter or oil, add stock and then cheese or whatever else, making the pasta so much more flavourful. The starch thickens the sauce giving it a creamy texture without having to add cream. All you need is a little grated Parmigiano Reggiano or my favourite, Pecorino Romano and you’ve got a masterpiece!

As this is a weeknight go-to meal, I opted to use a little 1% milk and Pecorino Romano to lighten the colour of the sauce and add creaminess rather than heavy cream. However if you are looking for something more akin to a rosé sauce, then go for the cream! It’ll be very delicious and comforting.

For more easy recipes, step-by-step videos and daily mail inspo, visit me on Instagram!

Rosemary Chicken Meatballs with Orzo

Print Recipe


  • 1 Lb ground chicken
  • 1/4 Cup sun dried tomatoes in oil minced extra fine
  • 2 large slices of Italian bread cut into small cubes, crusts trimmed off
  • 1/4 Cup milk or water
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Pecorino Romano cheese or Parmigiano Reggiano for meatballs + more for sprinkling
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • olive oil
  • 2 shallots, divided, minced (dry shallots/French shallots)
  • 8 Small cloves of garlic, divided minced, (4 for meatballs + 4 for orzo)
  • 1/3 Cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 Cup white wine
  • 2.5 Cups chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup of milk to add to orzo towards the end of cooking time
  • 1 Cup orzo
  • 2 Tbsp oil from sun dried tomato jar or olive oil


  • For the meatballs, preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • Prepare a sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper.
  • Place the diced bread in a large mixing bowl and pour the milk over top. Let soak, submerged, for at least 5 minutes.
  • Heat a 12” stainless steel skillet over medium heat. Add the butter. Once melted, add the minced shallot and garlic. Cook for a minute or so until softened. Stir in the granulated garlic and red pepper flakes. Turn off the heat.
  • In the bowl with the bread, add the ground chicken, parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes, rosemary, parsley, salt, and shallot mixture. Mix until incorporated. Form the mixture into approximately 16 meatballs, packing them tightly.
    Place them onto the prepared sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and bake 20 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.
  • For the orzo, wipe out the same skillet and place it back over medium heat. Add the butter and sun-dried tomato oil. Add the rosemary sprig. Let it crisp on both sides as the butter begins to brown. Transfer the rosemary to a paper towel.
  • Add the shallots and garlic to the butter and season with a pinch of salt. Cook for about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomato paste and red pepper flakes until the paste is incorporated. Stir in the white wine and then add the orzo. Bring the wine to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer again, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for about 6 more minutes, stirring often.
  • Add the milk, spinach, and pecorino cheese. Let the cream simmer while the spinach wilts and cheest melts in, stirring continuously. Season with salt if needed.
  • Serve the chicken meatballs over the orzo. Garnish with the crispy rosemary leaves, more pecorino, and any extra chopped parsley.

Leave a Reply

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: