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Stuffed Chicken Meatballs

An easy mid-week dinner, these stuffed chicken meatballs are nestled in a cherry tomato sauce and topped with cheese before baked until golden.

Introduction

Cheesy stuffed meatballs baked in a tomato sauce?! Yes please! We’re absolutely certain this is going to become one of your go-to-weekly recipes.

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Ingredients

500g HECK! Chicken Italia Mince (or any HECK! chicken mince)
130g grated Cheddar and mozzarella mix
3 tbsp olive oil
½ red onion, finely chopped
salt and pepper
2 red peppers, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
2 tsp fennel seeds
2 x 400g tins cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp balsamic or red wine vinegar
Balsamic Salad (see page 62 of HECK!) to serve

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.

Divide the mince into 12 equal-sized pieces and shape into rough balls on a baking tray.

Take 1 teaspoon of the grated Cheddar and mozzarella mix and form into a small ball. Repeat so there are 12 balls – you’ll only need 80g of the cheese mix here, so save the rest for the topping later.

Push a ball of cheese into the middle of each ball of mince, moulding the mince around it so the cheese is completely encased, then roll back into a ball. Put the meatball back on the baking tray and repeat with the remaining cheese balls and mince.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large ovenproof frying pan over a medium–high heat. Working in batches, brown the meatballs for 3–4 minutes, flipping halfway, until caramelised. Transfer back to the baking tray.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the same pan, still over a medium– high heat. Add the onion and season with some salt and pepper. Cook for 4–5 minutes until soft, then add the peppers and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes more, then stir in the fennel seeds. Cook for another minute, then tip in the tinned cherry tomatoes and vinegar. Simmer for 10 minutes, then season to taste.

Nestle the meatballs into the sauce and sprinkle over the remaining grated cheese. Transfer the pan into the oven and bake for 15 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Serve with a balsamic salad.

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