Lemon Butter Chicken Meatballs with Creamy Spinach Orzo

Rachel Riesgraf, Modern Farmhouse Eats

Elevate your spaghetti and meatball night with zesty, tender lemon butter chicken meatballs on a plate of creamy spinach orzo. Butter adds essential flavor to the chicken meatballs and lemon butter sauce, which is sure to brighten up any weeknight meal.
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15 min Prep Time
30 min Cook Time
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Servings: 5

Servings: 5


  • Lemon Butter Chicken Meatballs

  • 8 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Creamy Spinach Orzo

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound orzo (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups baby spinach


Lemon Butter Chicken Meatballs

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Step 2

Place the lemon slices in an oven-safe skillet in a single layer and top with the butter and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes over medium-high heat until the butter melts and the garlic is fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside. NOTE: If you didn’t use an oven-safe skillet, transfer the lemon slices to an oven-safe baking dish.

Step 3

Combine ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, parmesan, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix until just combined.

Step 4

Roll the chicken mixture into golf ball-sized meatballs. You should have about 18 meatballs.

Step 5

Place the chicken meatballs in the skillet on top of the lemon slices. Loosely cover with tinfoil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the tinfoil and continue baking for another 15 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.

Creamy Spinach Orzo

Step 6

While meatballs are baking, make the orzo. Heat a skillet or pot over medium-high heat and add the butter and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

Step 7

Pour in the broth, milk, lemon juice, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.

Step 8

Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in the orzo. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the orzo is al dente, stirring frequently. Add more broth or milk, if needed.

Step 9

Mix the parmesan and spinach into the orzo until the cheese is melted and the spinach is wilted.

Step 10

Plate and serve the creamy spinach orzo and chicken meatballs, drizzling with extra lemon butter.