Meatballs of any kind are one of my favorite migraine friendly meals. They’re perfect for meal prepping since you can freeze them easily, having them on hand at any time you don’t feel up to cooking. I tend to stick with beef, buffalo, or chicken since I can’t ever find ground turkey without some kind of “natural flavoring” added to it. Using chicken for these really allows the spices to shine.
The key to this particular recipe is a spice called sumac, and it should be a staple in any Heal Your Headache kitchen. Before Europeans had access to lemons, sumac was used to impart a lemon like flavor to food. It’s bright red look and tart flavor make it perfect for adding to dishes where you can’t use citrus. The spice is especially wonderful in hummus.. You can find it in most Middle Eastern markets or on Amazon, as well as most grocery stores.
I love to serve these with arugula tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper along with some Trader Joe’s Zhoug sauce.
If you’re gluten free, I like to use these bread crumbs. They do contain guar gum and milk. If you’re sensitive or dairy free you could try this brand. Sometimes I just leave it out completely and the meatballs are still good, even if they don’t hold together as well. Chilling your meat for 30 minutes or so before forming the balls will help with that. You can find regular panko without any gums, just be sure to check your labels for other triggers!
These sumac chicken meatballs are so easy! They take under 30 minutes to make and freeze well so you can use them in lunches or dinners the rest of the week. Topped with Trader Joe's Zhoug sauce, it's the perfect weeknight meal.
- 1 lb ground chicken * Look for organic and/or air chilled. Often your butcher can grind this for you
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
- 1 small shallot or 1/2 a large, peeled and chopped small
- 1/2 tsp sumac
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp coriander
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup panko * See notes for gluten free
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds * You can toast these quickly in a small pan over medium heat 1-2 minutes. Careful, they can burn fast!
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place all your ingredients, except oil, in a large bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands until combined. Cover and chill if you have time. It will make forming the balls a little easier.
Form the balls into roughly 2" pieces. In a large saute pan, add the olive oil and warm over medium heat. Add your meatballs, giving them enough room to sear properly. Sear on all sides, about 3 minutes total, just until browned but not cooked through. Transfer seared meatballs to a baking sheet.
Once all the meatballs have been seared, bake for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees till cooked through.
Top with Trader Joe's Zhoug sauce for an extra kick. These would also be great with hummus or on top of a salad!