Roasted chicken polpette with peas, yoghurt and dill

Karen Martini
Chicken polpette: Any leftover meatballs will make a satisfying sandwich filling.
Chicken polpette: Any leftover meatballs will make a satisfying sandwich filling. Photo: Bonnie Savage

This is an easy and delicious midweek meal that comes up beautifully the next day as a cold snack. To make this a more substantial meal, simply cook some quinoa or small pasta, like orzo, and toss it through the polpette (meatballs) and reduced roasting juices before finishing with the yoghurt, lemon, peas and dill.


350ml chicken stock

1 tbsp dried Greek oregano

1 fresh bay leaf

2 handfuls fresh breadcrumbs (or about 1/3 to 1/2 a cup)*

2 handfuls fresh or frozen peas or double-podded broad beans, or a mix

2 handfuls dill fronds

extra-virgin olive oil

salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

200g natural yoghurt

1/2 lemon


extra-virgin olive oil

1 brown onion, finely diced

3 garlic cloves, chopped

salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

800g fine chicken thigh mince

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 tbsp dried Greek oregano

zest 1/2 lemon

3 handfuls fine fresh breadcrumbs

2 handfuls finely grated grana padano

* ammended from earlier version of recipe


1. Preheat the oven to 180C fan-forced or 200C conventional.

2. For the polpette, heat 30 millilitres of oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, season lightly and cook for about five minutes until soft and golden. Tip into a bowl to cool.

3. Add the chicken, egg, oregano and lemon zest to a food processor, season with salt and pepper and blend to a homogenised paste. Add the breadcrumbs and whiz again to combine. Tip into a bowl with the parmesan, onion and garlic, and mix really well. Roll the mix into little balls about the size of a 20 cent piece, or weigh out into 50 gram portions and roll.

4. Heat about 30 millilitres of oil in a large, heavy based saucepan over medium heat and brown the polpette all over in batches, adding more oil as needed.

5. Heat the stock, oregano and bay leaf in a saucepan and pour into a baking dish. Add the polpette, scatter over the breadcrumbs and place in the oven, uncovered, for 25 minutes.

6. Add the fresh peas or broad beans (or both) and dill to a small bowl, drizzle in a little oil, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. If frozen, thaw peas by putting them in a strainer and running them under hot tap water.

7. To serve, dollop the yoghurt on the polpette and squeeze over the juice of a lemon. Scatter the pea mix over the polpette and serve.


1. You can use chicken breast mince for this, but thigh mince will yield a more tender and succulent result.

2. If you prefer a red sauce, stir 200 millilitres of passata through the stock before adding it to the baking dish.

3. You could use pork mince instead of chicken.

3. In season, you could use broad beans instead of the peas.


Photo Bonnie Savage; Styling Deb Kaloper; Props The Establishment Studios.