These incredibly light and tender meatballs are a customer favorite at Black Sheep. Chef Judy Klumick serves them many different ways and with a variety of sauces (marinara, pesto, romesco). You can find organic ground chicken at down-Island Cronig’s. Be sure to pick up the real Parmigiano too — it lends a lot of flavor to these meatballs.

When mixing the meatball mixture, you’ll find it is quite wet. Don’t worry; the meatballs hold their shape beautifully in the oven. And they cook in only 20 minutes.

Makes 16 large meatballs; serves 3 to 4

  • Vegetable oil for baking sheet
  • 1 pound organic ground chicken
  • 3 cups chopped kale
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 cup panko or coarse bread crumbs
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 egg
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup full-fat ricotta
  • Marinara or other sauce for serving


1.  Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Rub a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with a little oil.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine the chicken, kale, Parmigiano, panko or bread crumbs, mayonnaise, egg, a generous 1 teaspoon salt and several grinds of fresh pepper. Mix gently until combined (don’t overwork). Gently fold in the ricotta.

3.  Shape the mixture (it will be wet but will hold together) into 2-ounce balls (about 2 inches in diameter) and arrange them on the baking sheet with a little room around each.

4. Bake for 20 minutes. They will be firm and lightly browned. If you want tocheck the internal temperature, it should read 170 degrees or over.

5.  Serve warm with sauce.