Chicken and Ricotta Meatballs in Broth


September 13, 2010 by Dana

You know those people that like to play games just for the sake of entertainment?  People that say “it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.” Or “everyone’s a winner as long as they have fun.”  They don’t keep score in Scrabble.  They let other people bowl during their turn.  They root for players on the opposite team.

Well, those people are just plain crazy.  Of course it matters if you win or lose!  Why else would you play?  My motto is more along the lines of “There’s no crying in baseball!” a la Tom Hanks than “Everyone’s a winner blah blah blah.”

If you couldn’t already tell, I am more than a little competitive.  I can turn even the most personal, introspective, or meditative activities into contests.

Like yoga.  I love yoga.  But I must admit, half the fun is trying to beat the other people in the class. I want to bend farther than the girl next to me.  Hold my pose longer than the man in front of me.  Keep my leg straighter than the woman behind me.  It’s a sickness.

My competitive personality even drove me to start this blog.  One day, I was browsing for recipes, and I thought, “I can do this.  And I can do it a helluva lot better than some of these people.  Just make something good for dinner, take some pics, and write a blurb?  How hard is that?”

Turns out it’s not as simple as I thought.  But I’ll save that for another post.

The point of this post (and you thought I was just rambling) is that my super competitive nature influences my blog on a daily basis.  Because of this personality flaw quirk, I always strive to post the tastiest recipes, the most interesting stories, and the best reviews.  And that’s whether I’m competing with 1700+ other food bloggers in Project Food Blog, or if I’m just challenging myself.

I will always challenge myself to bring my readers the very best.

So, in honor of a healthy competitive spirit, I present to you this recipe for Chicken and Ricotta Meatballs in Broth from another woman that’s not afraid of a good challenge: Martha Stewart.

(She also happens to be the only person I would never dream of competing with… I mean, I’m competitive, not masochistic.)


1 lb ground white meat chicken
2 cups part skim ricotta
1/3 cup grated parmesan
1 large egg
1 ½ teaspoons course salt
pinch ground nutmeg
8 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 lemon, zest peeled off in wide strips, plus lemon slices for serving
3 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bag (6 oz) baby spinach

This recipe is so easy to make.  Just follow the simple steps below, and a tasty and filling dinner will be ready in less than 30 minutes.


1.  In a large bowl, mix chicken with ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt, and nutmeg until thoroughly combined.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

2.  In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, combine broth, lemon zest, and thyme, and bring to a simmer. Using a spring-loaded 1/4-cup ice-cream scoop or two large spoons, drop meatball mixture into broth (you should have 18 meatballs). Simmer gently until meatballs float and are cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Just before serving, add spinach to broth and let wilt; garnish soup with lemon slices.

In true Martha form, this recipe is perfect.  The flavors of the thyme and lemon compliment each other beautifully, and the ricotta keeps the chicken meatballs moist and tender.

The only issue worth noting is that my chicken mixture was very soft, so I wasn’t able to make “balls.”  I dropped the mixture into the hot broth, as you would when making dumplings, and ended up with way more than 18… but, believe me,  no one was complaining about having more of these yummy meatballs in their bowl!

**By the way – This is my first entry for Project Food Blog.  It epitomizes me and my blogging style: a little silly, a little sassy, and a lot tasty. Voting will begin on September 20, so please vote for me then!**

32 thoughts on “Chicken and Ricotta Meatballs in Broth

  1. These sound so amazing Dana! I am thinking of making them for this week now! I just have to go get some Ricotta (knew I should have gotten some the other day when I was food shopping!) and baby spinach. Love it!

  2. Dana,
    This looks like one of those dishes I could go back for seconds and thirds!

    Bon appetit!

  3. Janice says:

    They look great. My mother used to make something similar with veal (we were, unimaginably, a chicken-free zone) but rolled little bitty ones.

  4. KeepItSweet says:

    this looks delicious and creative, good luck!

  5. This looks fantastic. Definitely a winner in my book!

  6. RavieNomNoms says:

    Wow, what a great recipe! YUM!

  7. What a ooey lovely recipe. You are so funny. You know, yoga is pretty much the only thing I keep going back to. I’ve tried to do it on my own, but I lack discipline, and I know yoga is supposed to be a practice only about you…but I am SO GLAD to hear that someone else loves the competitive nature of yoga. =) I love being in a class because I love the energy and seeing others far better than me pushes me to do better!

  8. Monet says:

    You are hilarious. I loved this post from beginning to end. Not only are you witty, but you give us some delightful recipes too. I love cheesy recipes, and these meatballs sound delicious! And I completely agree…winning matters…a lot!

  9. Faith says:

    That’s too funny! This looks delicious, perfect for a chilly fall night!

  10. Reeni says:

    Your meatballs are floating like light and puffy clouds! I bet they’re delicious! Martha’s got nothing on you…

  11. This sounds like a perfect fall dinner! My BF LOVES meatballs (we just had them tonight for dinner) I know he’ll love this meal!
    PS. Love Martha!

  12. Ah my fellow competitor! Very nice post and recipe…but see you in the friendly boxing ring ;-). Best of luck, rooting for you!

  13. Yum! And yoga. I’m a dropout. Been thinking of trying bikram.

  14. Victoria says:

    Great post!! I love Martha, and would NEVER want to get on her bad side, EVER, haha. Great meeting you tonight!! We definitely had so much to talk about, lol :)

  15. Looks fantastic! I couldn’t of said it any better myself. Good Luck with project food blog :)

  16. Joanne says:

    I think a person without a little competitive spirit is. well. a pushover. And no one really wants to be a pushover.

    I love this dish! Anything with ricotta in it sounds fantabulous to me. Great project food blog entry! I’m posting mine tomorrow!

  17. Kristen says:

    I love meatballs in any form and any venue. Yours sound scrumptious and so comforting in broth.

  18. Funny how I didn’t start blogging to be competitive at ALL! I just knew I was making dinner every night and figuring out the calories anyways so I might as well just take a pictures and stick it on a blog! Now that I’ve been doing it for awhile, I’m looking for ways to increase the revenue and get better at it. My pictures still stink though as I have a bad camera. My goal is not to put any money INTO the blog, just food and time.

    So for now, the competition goes to you! This looks wonderful! I’ve actually never made chicken meatballs before though I LOVE meatballs! Thanks!

  19. Melissa says:

    Good luck with PFB!!

  20. Bonnie @ Savoring Simplicity says:

    So glad you tried it and enjoyed it.

  21. Kocinera says:

    Those meatballs look so light and delicious! Also, I totally love that you’re competitive about something like yoga–that’s so something that I would do, too. :D

  22. You got my vote! Cheers and aloha.

  23. Another vote for you! Good luck!

  24. January says:

    This translates to a +1 vote from me! :)

  25. Lindsay says:

    Yum! Love you blog!! I just gave you a vote! You can check out my entry here: Thanks and Good Luck!

  26. actorsdiet says:

    now i’m hungry again! good luck in project food blog!

  27. FitMamaEats says:

    I love love this recipe!! Sent you a vote too :)

  28. @lickmyspoon says:

    love the meatball recipe! i can’t wait to try it :) you got my vote!

  29. Erica says:

    Oh my i am sooo making this! Genius! I bet the ricotta makes this amazing

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