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Baked Sage Chicken Meatballs with Parmesan Orzo

The following recipe and photography were provided courtesy of Julia of A Cedar Spoon.

Baked Sage Chicken Meatballs with Parmesan Orzo is an easy fall meal that would also be great for holiday entertaining. Full of warm fall flavors, the hearty meatballs pair perfectly with the creamy texture of Parmesan orzo. These could be served as an appetizer with toothpicks and a delicious dipping sauce, or as an entrée with the creamy orzo and Heinen’s Italian bread. 

These meatballs are always a hit with adults and kids and they freeze nicely if you want to double the recipe and save some for a quick weeknight meal!

Baked Sage Chicken Meatballs with Parmesan Orzo

The Parmesan orzo combines Heinen’s butter, Heinen’s garlic powder, Heinen’s crushed red pepper, Heinen’s grated 24-month aged Parmigiano Reggiano, Heinen’s chicken stock, Heinen’s heavy cream and orzo pasta. And for a little color and extra flavor, I mixed in fresh spinach and sage. 

You and your family will love this healthy, fall-inspired meal!

Baked Sage Chicken Meatballs with Parmesan Orzo
Baked Sage Chicken Meatballs with Parmesan Orzo
Cook time:
Prep time:
Total time:

12-16 Meatballs


For the Meatballs

  • 1/4 cup Heinen's bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp. Heinen's butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. Heinen's Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. Heinen's garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Heinen's crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 cup Heinen’s grated 24-month aged Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh sage, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 lb. ground chicken

For the Parmesan Orzo

  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 16 oz. Heinen's chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbsp. Heinen's butter
  • 2 Tbsp. shallot, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. sage leaves, minced
  • 1/2 cup Heinen’s grated 24-month aged Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1/4 cup Heinen’s heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. parsley, minced
  • 4 oz. Heinen's spinach


For the Meatballs

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, egg, butter, shallot, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, Parmesan cheese, sage, parsley, salt and pepper.
  3. Add the ground chicken and use your hands to gently mix everything together. Don’t over mix.
  4. Form the chicken mixture into 1-inch meatballs and place on the baking sheet.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the meatballs reach an internal temperature of 165ºF.
  6. Serve the meatballs over the orzo (see below) with fresh sage and extra Parmesan cheese.

For the Parmesan Orzo

  1. In a large pot, boil the chicken broth. Add the orzo, cover and reduce the heat to simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the pasta is tender and the liquid is absorbed. Stir occasionally. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the shallot and sage and sauté for 2 minutes.
  3. Turn the heat to low and add the orzo.
  4. Stir in the parmesan cheese, heavy cream, butter, spinach and parsley. Stir until combined and the spinach is wilted.


  • You can add a variety of spices to the chicken meatballs such as paprika, cumin, oregano, thyme or Greek seasoning.
  • If you don’t have sage, use other fresh herbs like mint, basil, oregano, thyme or dill.

Baked Sage Chicken Meatballs with Parmesan Orzo

Julia Joliff
By Julia Jolliff
Julia is all about creating quick and easy weeknight meal ideas, kid-friendly recipes and a few sweet treats. Her roots are from the Mediterranean and many of my recipes incorporate those flavors!

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