Easy Chicken & Rice Meatball Soup

This Chicken & Rice Meatball Soup was created for the Boston kickoff of the Ben’s Beginners Cooking Contest sponsored by Uncle Ben’s. It’s an easy recipe that your kids can cook with you, and it’s healthy and delicious too! 

Easy Chicken & Rice Meatball Soup via @MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

This week, we helped Uncle Ben’s kick off the third annual Ben’s Beginners Cooking Contest at Sportello restaurant in Boston.

 

Easy Chicken & Rice Meatball Soup via @MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Chef Barbara Lynch showed a group of kids and their parents how to make this easy Chicken & Rice Meatball Soup, and we were on hand to answer nutrition and mealtime questions. Read on for highlights from the event, information on how YOU can enter the contest, and of course, the recipe. {We were hired by Uncle Ben’s to help with the event; all ideas and opinions expressed here are our own.}

Ben's Beginners kickoff event at Sportello, Boston via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Getting kids excited about cooking is the focus of the Ben’s Beginners program. We love the campaign, because as dietitians, we know that when children become invested in the shopping, preparing, and mealtime process, they’re more likely to eat a healthy diet.

Ben's Beginner's Kick-off Event at Sportello, Boston

The contest: Parents can submit a video of their child in grades K through 8 and themselves preparing a rice-based dish and discussing their experience cooking together. Any recipe is fine, as long as rice is one of the ingredients. This year, there will be five winners, and each prize will include $15,000 cash, a hometown celebration and a $30,000 cafeteria makeover for their child’s school. Submissions for the Ben’s Beginners Cooking Contest will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. EDT on Oct. 10, 2014.

Easy Chicken & Rice Meatball Soup via @MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Chicken & Rice Meatball Soup

Makes 4 Servings

Recipe courtesy of Chef Barbara Lynch. Try it at home with your kids … and feel free to use it as your featured recipe if you enter the video contest :)

  • 1 cup cooked UNCLE BEN’S® Brand Rice, such as Natural Whole Grain Brown Rice, cooled
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/4 cup grated onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus additional for serving
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 cup packed baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup thinly sliced peeled carrots
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked and cooled UNCLE BEN’S® Brand Rice with the
 ground chicken, onion, garlic, parsley, Parmigiano-Reggiano and egg. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

3. Shape mixture into meatballs that are roughly 1/2-
inch in diameter. Roll them in seasoned breadcrumbs, shaking off excess and arrange on a nonstick sheet pan. Drizzle them with extra virgin olive oil and place in the oven and bake until the meatballs are cooked through and golden brown, about 15 minutes.

4. Place chicken stock in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add carrots and simmer until tender. Add meatballs and spinach and stir until spinach is just wilted. Ladle soup into bowls, garnish with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and serve.

If your kids are in grades K through 8, we encourage you to enter the contest; the prizes are amazing … and so is this recipe. For how-to tips on making carrot flowers, check out this YouTube video.

{We were compensated for attending the Uncle Ben’s kick-off event, but not for this blog post.}

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