Minestrone with Chicken Meatballs

In Italian, a minestra is a soup, but a minestrone is a BIG soup – a nourishing meal in itself. Tender and moist chicken meatballs and a host of seasonal herbs and vegetables enhance the depth of flavour in this delicious one-bowl meal.

Minestrone with Chicken Meatballs


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 250 g skinless chicken breast fillet, cut into chunks
  • 1⁄4 cup (25 g) porridge oats
  • 1⁄3 cup (80 ml) low-fat milk
  • 1⁄4 cup (20 g) freshly grated parmesan
  • 1⁄3 cup (20 g) firmly packed chopped fresh basil
  • 2 cups (500 ml) salt-reduced chicken stock
  • 1 cam (about 400 g) no-salt-added chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups (500 ml) water
  • 3⁄4 cup (80 g) farfallini (small bow tie pasta)
  • 300 g silverbeet or cabbage, shredded
  • 1 yellow or green zucchini, quartered lengthways and thickly sliced


  1. Heat the oil in a medium non-stick saucepan over a low heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is tender. Transfer to a medium bowl and cool to room temperature.
  2. Meanwhile, place the chicken in a food processor and pulse on and off until finely minced. Transfer the chicken to the bowl with the onion mixture.
  3. Add the oats, milk, 2 tablespoons of the parmesan and 2 tablespoons of the basil, and mix to combine. Gently shape the mixture into 24 small meatballs.
  4. Combine the stock, tomatoes and water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil over a high heat. Add the pasta and silverbeet and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce to a simmer.
  5. Add the remaining basil and the meatballs, and cook for 1 minute. Add the zucchini, cover with a lid and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through and the silverbeet is tender. Serve sprinkled with the remaining parmesan.

Serves: 4
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
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