Chimichurri Chicken Meatballs with Herbed Greek Yogurt, Red Quinoa & Green Beans

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chimichurri chicken meatballs recipe
Michael Kartes/Rustic Joyful Food: Meant to Share

Chimichurri is a bright, herby, garlicky sauce that’s particularly beloved in Argentinian and Uruguayan cuisine. It’s also a really tasty way to dress up chicken meatballs into a main course, like Danielle Kantes has done in her cookbook, Joyful Rustic Food: Meant to Share.

Concerned about the order of operations here? No worries. To get everything on the table at one time, start by making the herbed Greek yogurt (it can wait in the fridge), then get the quinoa boiling before making the meatballs. About five minutes before everything’s done, cook those green beans—they’ll be done in a flash.

Recipe by Danielle Kartes from Rustic Joyful Food: Meant To Share. Photographs by Michael Kartes.


Herbed Greek Yogurt

1½ cups whole milk plain Greek yogurt

Juice of 1 small lime

¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves

¼ cup sliced scallions (green parts only)

¼ cup fresh parsley leaves

3 or 4 fresh basil leaves

1 garlic clove

1 teaspoon onion powder

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


2 cups chicken stock

1 cup red quinoa

½ cup diced onion

Chimichurri Chicken Meatballs

1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 6 thighs)

½ cup fresh cilantro

½ cup fresh parsley

½ small to medium yellow onion

¼ cup sliced scallions (green parts only)

¼ cup pretzel crumbs

3 or 4 basil leaves

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (from ½ a lime)

1 egg

1 garlic clove

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed

Green Beans

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut

2 garlic cloves, chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. Make the Yogurt: Pulse all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Mix for 2 to 3 minutes or until you get the consistency you desire. We like ours pretty smooth. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

2. Make the Quinoa: Make the quinoa according to the package instructions, adding the onion, and substituting chicken stock for water, if you have it.

3. Meanwhile, Make the Meatballs: Slice the chicken thighs into thirds. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the chicken, cilantro, parsley, onion, scallions, pretzel crumbs, basil, lime juice, egg, garlic, salt and pepper, and pulse the mixer several times to break up and chop the meat. Pulse until you have a coarse paste.

4. Use a small ½-ounce self-release ice cream scoop to portion the mixture into meatballs—your hands work as well, but the mixture will be very sticky.

5. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the meatballs, gently turning them constantly to keep their round shape, until golden brown and cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. (Do this in batches if you don’t have a large enough pan. Don’t crowd the pan or they won’t caramelize.)

6. Make the Green Beans: Meanwhile, sauté the green beans in olive oil for about 3 minutes over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons water, and cook with the lid on for another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the lid and add the garlic, salt and pepper. To serve, layer the quinoa, green beans and meatballs in a bowl, then top with yogurt.

Nutrition Facts
  • 580 calories

  • 22g fat

  • 41g carbs

  • 53g protein

  • 8g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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