Gingered Chicken Meatball Soup

Gingered Chicken Meatballs Soup

Between Thanksgiving and other wintertime holidays there's this little break where we can all take a few deep breaths and recover from the hustle and bustle. The beginning of December still feels really busy, but it doesn't have to, at least that's what I'm saying with this bowl of cozy, slow-down soup. 

It's brothy. It's warm. It's satisfying. This bowl tells you to take a deep breath and sit back in your chair while you slurp. It’s one of those feel better soups, if you’ve been feeling a little under the weather, or just need a little pick me up on a grey day (which we’ve had quite a few of lately). With fresh ginger it has a little kick, and with sautéed shiitakes it’s full of umami goodness. For me, this soup is just the thing to eat in between big gatherings and slices of pie! 

Cozy night in with a movie and steaming bowls? Let's do it. 

This ladle? My mom got it for me in Italy!! But I found something similar on  Amazon  if you would like one like it. (Affiliate link).

This ladle? My mom got it for me in Italy!! But I found something similar on Amazon if you would like one like it. (Affiliate link).

Gingered Chicken Meatballs Soup

The meatballs in the soup are inspired by some of my favorite potstickers—ones I learned to make as I kid. They have green onions, ginger, garlic, and cilantro folded into them, giving them fresh and bold flavor. Meatballs in soup is not something I do often (actually, this is the first time I've tried it) but a little day dream about potstickers got in my head and it expressed itself as this soup.

If you’re into slurping up pho, or ramen, or egg drop soup, you are sure to love this one. It’ll warm you up, head to toe! The perfect thing after a day of skiing, snowshoeing, or snowman building ☃️

Gingered Chicken Meatballs Soup
Ginger Chicken Meatball Soup

You can also add rice noodles to this, if you like slurping up hot noodles (and who doesn't?). See the "Tip" in the instructions. Adding rice noodles will increase the number of servings to 6-8. 

Gingered Chicken Meatballs Soup

Published December 5, 2017 by
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Serves: 5   |    Total Time: 45 minutes


    For the meatballs:
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/4 heaping cup sliced green onion
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated on microplane (or ginger paste)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
  • 1 dash cayenne 
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil 

  • For the soup:
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil 
  • 2 cups mushrooms, diced into bite sized pieces (if the mushrooms are small, feel free to skip this)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated on a microplane
  • 6 cups chicken or mushroom broth (I do half chicken, half mushroom)
  • Splash of soy sauce 
  • Pepper to taste 

  • To Serve: 
  • Chopped green onions and cilantro
  • Sesame seeds 
  • Sriracha or red chili flakes


  1. In a medium bowl, mix the ingredients for the meatballs, except for the coconut oil, using a rubber spatula. Once combined, heat the coconut oil in the bottom of a large soup pot over medium heat. When the oil sizzles, shape the chicken mixture into small spheres, about 1-inch to 1-1/2 in in diameter each. Cook them in batches, browning on each side for 1-2 minutes and turning. Once cooked, move meatballs from pot to a plate and set aside. Continue until all the chicken is used.
  2. Now work on the rest of the soup: Add another tablespoon of coconut oil to the pot. Once it sizzles, add the mushrooms, onion, garlic, and ginger. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and the mushrooms are tender. Add broth, splash of soy sauce, and a few cracks of pepper to the pot. Then, return meatballs to the pot.
  3. Bring soup to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Then, serve hot in bowls and top with green onions, cilantro, sesame seeds, and Sriracha or red chili flakes.
  4. Tip: If you would like to add rice noodles to this, add an 8 ounce package of thin (vermicelli) noodles in the last 3 minutes when you are simmering the soup. Simmer until the noodles are softened through, then remove soup from heat and serve.


Grilled Greek Meatballs with Paleo Tzatziki Sauce

If someone asked you "Why do you do what you do?" what would you say in response? "What is my Why?" is a question that's been coming up a lot in my life lately.

It all started with an assignment to watch this TED Talk by Simon Sinek. Like many TED Talks, it left me thinking, "That's it? Isn't there any more?". There wasn't. Instead, I sat there, thinking about my own Why. My mind ventured into a territory it perhaps hasn't known since I was a toddler: a circle of endless questions (Why this? Why that? Why? Why? Why?). I went about my day with these questions continuing to pop up like billboards. Then of course, the inevitable came: I ended up at my blog, and the same question came: Why do I blog?  

The answer came swiftly, as this blog has always had a reason behind it, but asking in such a precise way prompted me to put it into words. Why do I blog? I blog because I believe that by talking about food, we (we, the people of the internet--of the world) can change the way the world eats. We can help people eat more sustainably, bettering the health of our planet, and we can help people eat more nutrient-dense food, allowing them to take control of their health.

Bloggers--not one single blogger, but many bloggers working together- can help make healthy nutrient-rich ingredients look and taste so good that they're crave-worthy. By sharing recipes, we can give people the resources they need in order to eat better. Like this salad with Grilled Greek Meatballs--hello delicious and nutritious! I blog because it is through my blog that I am empowered to help move people towards vegetables. Vegetables, and healthy fats, and real, sustaining food. I blog because it inspires me to continue playing with my food, in the most creative of ways! 

Cooking, eating, talking about food--those are integral aspects of who I am. But Why I do all of those things... that's the real story. 

Now it's your turn! What's your Why? 

Grilled Greek Meatballs with Paleo Tzatziki Sauce

Greek Meatballs 

3/4 pound ground pork

1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, minced

1 tablespoon dried oregano 

1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper 

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt 

1 teaspoon lemon zest 

Dairy-Free Coconut Tzatziki 

1/4 cup coconut cream 

1/4 cup shredded cucumber 

1 tablespoon minced cilantro 

1 tablespoon minced parsley 

1 minced garlic clove 

1 tablespoon minced red onion 

Salt & Pepper 

Pinch paprika  (Optional - skip for AIP)

1 teaspoon lemon juice 

1 teaspoon ground cumin (Optional - skip for AIP)

To serve: Butterhead lettuce, cucumber, tomato, red onion, and any other fresh vegetable you enjoy


1. Fire up your grill and heat it to medium-high heat (500°F). In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the meatballs. Use your hands to ensure the mixture is fully incorporated and roll the mixture into a dozen evenly sized balls. Skewer the meatballs with kabob sticks (this is optional, but makes handling the meatballs easier once they are on the grill).

2. Place the meatball kabobs on the grill. (I like to grill the onions for the salad as well: cut them into wedges, and place them on a grill pan, adding the pan to the grill).

3. Cook the meatballs with the lid on the grill for about 4 minutes. Use tongs to flip the entire kabob of meatballs over, and cook on the other side for 4 more minutes, returning the lid to the grill. Stir the onions at this point as well.

4. Use tongs to pull the kabobs and onions from the grill, placing them on a serving dish. 

5. Assemble the Tzatziki: Stir together the ingredients and adjust seasoning to taste. 

6. Arrange a salad on each dinner plate. Top with a skewer of meatballs and a few spoonfuls of Tzatziki. 


Creamy Paleo Alfredo with Spiced Meatballs & Crispy Artichoke Hearts

I have a lot of respect for broccoli's blonde cousin, cauliflower. In the last few year I've found that cauliflower has an impressive repretoire of uses, from dip-vehical to cream-ifier. These days, having a head of cauliflower in the fridge leaves me in a constant state of debate. What will it be this time? Crispy florets tossed in nutritional yeast and roasted until golden? Shredded into rice and used in a grain-free tabbouleh? Blended with garlic, thyme and butter to make creamy mashers? Trying to find the perfect home for a head of cauliflower is one of my favorite problems. At this point, I'm not even sure what I like more: mulling over the possibilties or finally eating a the end result.

In fact, now that I think about it, neither of those take the cake. It's the forming and shaping of a recipe, the taste testing, and the creating that really gets me going. It's easy, while mixing and matching and measuring, to get lost in the kitchen and forget everything else. A creative trance takes over until the food is created. Cauliflower "Alfredo" Sauce has always been once of those "trance" recipes where I just go and hardly remember what went in.

Blended cauliflower is surprisingly creamy, which is why it makes for such a good non-dairy Alfredo substitute. On one of my trips to the local bookstore (during which I take the fastest route to the food magazines, fill my arms with the current month's issues, and settle in to a good seat while flipping through each magazine, stopping at only the most eye-catching recipes) I learned that cauliflower contains high levels of pectin, which is why it thickens liquids and takes a creamy texture when pureed.  

Swirled into strings of spiralized zucchini, cauliflower becomes almost italian. Meatballs become the perfect tool for scooping extra sauce out of the bottom of a bowl and delivering that sauce to your mouth. The crispy artichoke hearts probably would work well for that too, but I wouldn't know--I ate all of them before I even got to the sauce!

This recipe is part of the Real Food Wednesday Roundup. See more great real food on Kelly the Kitchen Kop's blog!


Creamy Alfredo with Spiced Meatballs & Crispy Artichoke Hearts

Alfredo Sauce:

2 cups cauliflower florets

2 garlic cloves

Salt and pepper

1/4 cup coconut milk

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1/4 cup broth

Spiced Meatballs:

1 pound ground beef

1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seeds

1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 white onion, minced

Salt and pepper

For the artichokes: 

1/2 cup canned artichoke hearts, drained, quartered

1 tablespoon avocado oil

For the Zucchini Pasta: 

1 large zucchini


pinch salt


1. Prepare the meatballs. Put a skillet over medium heat and drop a tablespoon of coconut oil in. While the oil heats, combine the beef, spiced, onion, and garlic in a bowl and use your hands to mash it all together until well incorporated.  Roll the mixture into 1 to 2 inch spheres. Add the spheres to the hot skillet, so that they do not touch each other. You may need to do this in tow batches. Once the meatballs have browned on one side, flip them and brown the other side. Continue until all sides are evenly browned and meatballs are cooked through. Once they are cooked, turn off the heat. I leave them in the pan, covered, to keep them warm while I prepare the rest of the dish.

2. While the meatballs are cooking, place the cauliflower florets in a steam basket and place the basket in a pot with about one inch of water in it. Place the pot on the stove over medium heat, and cover it.

3. Prepare the artichokes. Toss the artichokes in the avocado oil and spread out on a baking sheet. Place on top rack of oven and turn oven to Broil. Keep an eye on them, as food can go from crispy to burn very quickly under the broiler. Once they are browning on the edges, remove them from the oven.

4. Use a spiralizer to shred the zucchini (see note). Steam the zucchini quickly in a steam basket for five minutes.

5. While the zucchini steams, check the cauliflower. It should be soft by now. Place the cauliflower along with the other ingredients in the sauce in a high powered blender and blend until smooth. 

6. Assemble the pasta.  Toss the zucchini with a pinch of salt, stir in the sauce, and top with artichoke and meatballs. Serve hot!

Note: (I use this Spiralizer), and recommend it. If you do not own a spiralizer, you can try cutting the zucchini into thin strings by hand (with a knife). I used to do it this way- it works but takes a lot of patience, and the "noodles" do not come out as long