Caramelized Onion Chicken Meatballs
You know I love a good meatball, and caramelized onions…which is why I combined the two into one tasty dish to get Caramelized Onion Chicken Meatballs. The meatballs have all of the same simple ingredients as my All Purpose Chicken Meatballs but with sweet caramelized onions mixed in. I included a simple gravy to go with these meatballs, it really makes the meal! It’s filled with Thanksgiving flavors and more caramelized onions. YUM!
Woodsman & Wilderness is a local woodworker who hand made the heart shaped spoon in the above picture. Check out their online shop for some beautiful woodwork!
You know I love caramelized onions…I use them often…the same goes for meatballs. I’ll link some of my favorite recipes at the end of this post for some tasty reasons to make extra caramelized onions! Since the onions can take a bit of time (30-45 minutes), I often make a huge batch and they keep well in the freezer and fridge. And, since the caramelized onions go into the meatballs and the gravy I like to chop them quite small. Normally I would thinly slice the onion into strips, but you want them to mix well into the meatballs and gravy.
Normally I bake my All Purpose Meatballs and Chicken Meatballs but for these I just pan fry and steam on the stove because I want the chicken bits from the pan to make my gravy. Plus they get a nice little char on them when you cook on the stove top.
The gravy is totally optional…but in my opinion it makes the dish. It’s got all of the warm and comforting flavors of Thanksgiving and really compliments the meatballs nicely. Plus…the recipe makes enough caramelized onions to use in both the meatballs and gravy so you might as well!
In the above picture they’re served over a bed of cauliflower-potato mash combo. You could go either way, but I like to combine both! The cauliflower is obviously lower in carbs and calories, but the real potato added in helps give the thicker texture to hold the mash together. Pair it with your favorite veggie side and you’ve got a delicious and comforting meal. Try my Balsamic Roasted Carrots or my favorite Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan, bacon, and balsamic drizzle, yum!
Here are a few of my favorite ways to use caramelized onions:
Caramelized Onion Chicken Meatballs
For the caramelized onions
- 2 medium yellow onions diced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
For the meatballs
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 cup fresh minced parsley or 1 tbsp dried parsley flakes
- 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes optional for spice
- 1/2 of the caramelized onions
For the gravy
- 2 1/4 cups chicken stock
- 2 chicken bouillon cubes, reduced sodium
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 tbsp corn starch
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried sage
- salt and pepper to taste
In a medium skillet, add in the chopped onions and olive oil. Cook on medium to medium-low until caramelized and brown, about 30-40 minutes. Stir occasionally and season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, combine all of the meatball ingredients (half of your caramelized onions, the other half will go in the gravy). Stir gently until well combined. Form into equal sized meatballs using a scoop if you have one, and place onto a plate or sheet pan. You should get about 20-25 meatballs.
Preheat a large skillet on med-high heat. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Place meatballs into skillet and cook on medium until browned on one side, about 3-4 minutes. Turn meatballs over to cook on the other side, and cover. Cook for another 5 minutes. Monitor burner heat, if it seems too hot, turn it down. Stir occasionally to ensure meatballs are cooked on all sides.
Turn burner off, and remove meatballs onto a plate, leaving the cooking juices and bits in the pan to use for the gravy. In a microwavable safe dish, combine 2 cups chicken stock and bouillon cubes. Microwave in 1 minute increments, stirring in between, until the cubes dissolve. Use a fork to break them up in between microwave sessions. May take 2-4 minutes.
In a small bowl, dissolve the corn starch in the remaining 1/4 cup chicken stock, set aside.
In the same skillet used for the meatballs, return to burner on medium-high. Add in butter and chicken stock bouillon mixture. Whisk until butter is melted. Bring to a boil and whisk in the cornstarch slurry mixture. Make sure it comes to a boil, it will begin to thicken immediately, reduce heat to low. Whisk in onion powder, thyme, sage, and salt and pepper. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Stir in remaining caramelized onions. If gravy becomes too thick, add more stock. It will continue to thicken as it sits.
Add meatballs back into the gravy pan. Once meatballs are re-heated through, they are ready to serve. Serve over mashed cauliflower or potatoes. Or a combo of both!
Since the caramelized onions take a little while to make, you could make them the day before or even a couple days ahead. That way they’re ready to throw in the meatballs and gravy and it cuts the recipe time down.
The fall flavors are in the gravy, however you could add the same herbs into the meatballs to really turn up the flavors of Thanksgiving and fall!