These Chicken Zucchini Poppers are squeaky clean, but not short on flavor! Gluten free, Paleo, and Whole30 friendly!
Have you heard of Whole30? I first heard about it a few years ago when the book It Starts With Food came out. In essence, Whole30 is a chance to reset your body by eating squeaky clean for 30 days, giving you a chance to see if you have any latent food sensitivities, break any food addictions or unhealthy patterns you may have, clear up any food-related inflammation or and to start fresh.
Well, it’s making a comeback. Several great bloggers are in the middle of theirs (Jenna of Small Fry is one of my faves), so I’ve seen a huge resurgence of healthy recipes floating about the web. We aren’t on a Whole30, but we eat pretty darn clean most of the time. I’ve loved the huge variety of inspiration out there lately! These Chicken & Zucchini Poppers are delicious, and while they may be squeaky clean, they don’t skimp on flavor.
First off: Michael H-A-T-E-S zucchini. Hates the texture, doesn’t like the flavor. BUT he loves these. Really loves them. Enough that he always asks when we can make them again. If you’re a zucchini hater, you should still give these a try! Grated, you don’t really get much of the squash texture, and they keep the meatballs nice and tender and juicy. So if you’re a zucchini hater, don’t hesitate to give these a try!
We LOVE them. They’d make great game-day food for something lighter or a great addition to a buffet table. We love them for dinner with a little dish of guacamole or Citrus Avocado Sauce for dipping and some sweet potatoes and fruit on the side. Not a guacamole fan? No problem. They’d be great with salsa or paleo ranch. If you’re not gluten free, they’d be awesome in a pita. (p.s. anyone have a good GF pita recipe?)
I can’t wait to try other versions–swapping basil for the cilantro and maybe adding a bit more garlic for an Italian-ish version (might be dynamite with marinara).
Like this recipe? You might also like:
- Citrus Avocado Sauce (Paleo, Whole30)
- Slow Cooker Paleo Beef Stew (Paleo, Whole30)
- The Perfect Paleo Meatballs (Paleo, Whole30)
- Chicken Lettuce Wraps (Paleo, Whole30)
UPDATED NOTES: Several of you have asked if you can bake these rather than pan fry them. I’ve included directions for baking them below.
- 1 lb. ground chicken breast
- 2c grated zucchini (leave peel on)
- 2-3 green onions, sliced
- 3-4 Tbsp cilantro, minced
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- (optional: ¾ tsp cumin)
- olive oil, for cooking (or coconut oil, avocado oil, or ghee)
- Toss chicken with zucchini, green onion, cilantro, garlic, salt, and pepper (and cumin, if using). Mixture will be quite wet.
- Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Use a small scoop or a heaped tablespoon to scoop meatballs into the pan. Cook 8-10 at a time for about 5-6 minutes on the first side. Flip and cook an additional 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown and the centers are cooked through.
- Drizzle a bit of olive or avocado oil onto a baking sheet. Scoop meatballs onto the greased pan. Drizzle a bit of additional oil over the meatballs. Bake at 400 degrees 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through. If desired, place under the broiler for an additional 2-3 minutes or until browned on top.
- Serve with guacamole, salsa, or your favorite dip.