Delicious Creamy Cajun Chicken Meatball Pasta – tender tasty chicken meatballs with pasta in an amazing dairy free creamy cajun tomato sauce. The whole family will go crazy for this dish.
There is nothing quite like digging into a bowl of meatballs and pasta and I don’t just mean any ole bowl of meatballs and pasta. This right here is the most amazing tender juicy chicken meatballs in a decadent creamy cajun tomato sauce.
THE BEST GLUTEN FREE CHICKEN MEATBALLS
Good chicken meatballs can be hard to make, especially if you are not adding some breadcrumbs and other ingredients that might add a few syns or make these not gluten free.
When coming up with recipes, I really do try to accommodate everyone, especially those who might have intolerances and allergies. So if I can make some delicious without using two of the main allergens – dairy and gluten, then I definitely will.
I know there are gluten-free breadcrumbs out there, but those are going to add syns/points, so instead, I wanted to use healthy free ingredients while keeping these as tasty as possible.
The key to juicy tender meatballs is adding an ingredient that is going to keep them from drying out, especially as extra lean chicken mince (ground chicken) is very low in fat. So the perfect ingredient to add is some grated courgette (zucchini) and I just so happened to have plenty on hand.
FOR THE MEATBALLS
455g (1lb) of extra lean chicken mince (ground chicken) – can use turkey
100g (3.5oz) of zucchini, grated
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp of paprika
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of onion powder
1/8 tsp of cayenne (optional for extra heat, omit if you don’t like too spicy)
1 tbs of fresh chopped parsley
FOR THE CAJUN SPICE
1.5 tbs of paprika
1 tsp of garlic powder
1 tsp of onion powder
1/2 tsp of oregano
1/2 tsp of thyme
1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper
pinch of salt and black pepper
FOR THE SAUCE
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup (200g) of diced tomatoes, canned
1 tbs of tomato paste (puree)
1 cup (240ml) of chicken stock (or broth)
1/3 cup (80ml) of coconut milk
225g (8oz) of brown rice pasta (or use any pasta of choice)
1 spring onion, chopped
fresh parsley, chopped
cooking oil spray (I used olive oil)
salt and black pepper
Preheat oven to 220c/200c fan/425f or gas mark 7
Add the chicken mince, paprika, salt, onion powder, cayenne (if using) and fresh parsley to a bowl.
Squeeze excess liquid from the zucchini (courgette) and add this to a bowl. Mix to combine.
Add a little bit of the beaten egg at a time, until the mixture all comes together, you prob will not use the whole egg (I only used half), as otherwise the mixture will be too wet, you just want enough to bind.
Roll into approx 12 meatballs and place on a baking tray lined with parchmemnt paper.
Spray over the top with cooking oil spray and place in the oven and bake for 10 mins, just to firm slightly.
Remove and set aside.
Spray a frying pan over a medium high heat with cooking oil spray, add the onion and fry for a couple of minutes, adding in a little stock if needed to prevent sticking.
Add the garlic and fry for a further 30 secs.
Add in the cajun seasoning, diced tomatoes and tomate paste and mix till all combined.
Pour in the stock and stir to a sauce, then carefully place in the meatballs, spooning some of the sauce over the top, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 mins until meatballs are cooked through and sauce has reduced slightly and thickened.
While the meatballs are cooking, cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/3 cup (80ml) of pasta water and then drain.
Carefully remove the meatballs and stir in the coconut milk, until the sauce becomes silky and creamy.
Then add in the pasta and stir to coat, using some of that reserved pasta water to loosen up the sauce as needed.
Add back in the meatballs and carefully toss into all the pasta and sauce, then season as needed with salt and black pepper.
Sprinkle with the chopped spring onion and parsley.
TIP: I always like to slightly undercook brown rice pasta, as it will continue cooking once you add to a sauce, and can quickly become stodgy if overcooked.