Quick Veggie Pasta and Chicken Meatballs

Makes 4 servings

Having trouble getting the kiddos to eat vegetables but they love pasta? Try out this creamy, lemony pasta loaded with vegetables!

They’ll get in some greens as well as enjoy the pasta that they love! The meatballs don’t have a lot of ingredients so they come together really fast. While they cook, finish the pasta and cook the vegetables, so you’re not spending too much time in the kitchen. Use the time for boiling the water to chop the vegetables and form the meatballs and cover your pot so that the water boils a little faster! 


8-ounces bucatini pasta, cooked to package directions

1 pound mild Italian chicken sausage

1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds

1 large egg

1/4 panko bread crumbs

1 1/2 cups broccoli florets

1 cup 1-inch asparagus pieces

1 small zucchini halved and sliced thinly

1 cup halved grape tomatoes

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1 lemon zested and juiced

1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil


Preheat the oven to 425°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.


In a large bowl, stir together chicken sausage, fennel, egg, and panko until combined. Form into 16 1 1/2-inch balls and bake for 8 minutes. Set the oven to broil on hi for 6 minutes in order to brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.


Meanwhile, in a large skillet with a lid, add 1 cup water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add broccoli florets and asparagus, cover, and cook for about 3 minutes until tender. Remove the lid and allow the water to evaporate.


Add avocado oil and move the broccoli and asparagus to the side. Add the zucchini and tomatoes and cook until tender, stirring frequently about 3 minutes.


Add heavy cream, lemon zest, and juice and bring to a boil, about 2 minutes. Stir in parmesan until melted.


Add pasta, parsley, and basil and toss until combined. Divide among four bowls and serve immediately topped with meatballs.