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Annabel Karmel
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Chicken Balls with Pesto in a Tomato Sauce

These mini chicken balls with pesto are perfect for tiny hands.They’re tasty, suitable for the whole family and packed with protein for growing toddlers and children. Serve on their own or let little ones dunk and dip in the tomato sauce.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Makes: 30 Chicken Balls
Great for:  12-18 Months 18 Months-2 Years Kids - 2-4 Years Kids 4+ Years
Suitable for Freezing
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350g chicken thighs
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 celery stick, roughly chopped
100g white breadcrumbs
2 tbsp pesto
50g Parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg yolk

Tomato sauce

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp sundried tomato paste
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 tbsp basil, chopped
  1. To make the meatballs. Chop the chicken thighs, then put in a food processor. Whizz until finely chopped. Add the remaining ingredients and whizz again until combined. Season for babies over one year and shape into 30 balls.
  2. Heat a little oil in a frying pan. Fry the balls until golden brown and cooked through (about 8 minutes).
  3. To make the sauce. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and fry for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, sundried tomato paste and ketchup. Bring up to the boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the basil, then whizz using a hand blender until smooth.
  4. You can serve the meatballs on their own as finger food and the sauce separately or mix with the sauce.
  5. Remove wooden sticks before serving to young children.

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