Garlic Herb Spaghetti with Chicken Meatballs Recipe - Pinch of Yum
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Garlic Herb Spaghetti with Chicken Meatballs

57 reviews / 4.6 average

Garlic Herb Spaghetti with Baked Chicken Meatballs is SO GOOD! lots of lemon, butter, parsley, and a handful of Parmesan. Yum!

This recipe is sponsored by Land O’Lakes

Hi! Happy day!

There is a pasta combination of epic proportions happening in my life right now. It involves butter and garlic and herbs and fresh greens, which then gets tossed with thick pasta and the most ridiculously good chicken meatballs, which finally gets sprinkled with parm and squeezed with lemon. YES. It’s simple. It’s a total deliciousness bomb. It’s like spaghetti and meatballs got a spring makeover – you get the comforting, satisfying, not-messing-around texture of spaghetti and meatballs with some lightness (thanks to fresh spinach and chicken) plus a little extra pop and brightness from the lemon and garlic and butter.

You need to get down to business with this.

Garlic Herb Spaghetti with Baked Chicken Meatballs in a pan.

Here’s how this garlic herb spaghetti magic happens.

First: bake your meatballs. This is so easy that I will probably eventually dedicate an entire post to it. One bowl, no cutting board, just mix and roll and bake.

Baked Chicken Meatballs on a sheet pan.

Then, you get your sauce going.

Sauce is a little bit of a loose term here – I would not say that this is the sauciest of all the pastas ever made, but that’s good. You don’t really want it to be. It’s meant to be light, fresh, and just saucy enough to help it all slip together effortlessly.

A sauté pan with a stick of creamy, melted Land O Lakes® Butter (always! it’s the good stuff) and a little fresh garlic, lemon zest, and some fresh greens are going to give you juuust enough of a shy sauce to coat all your noodles and meatballs to light, buttery, silky perfection.

Land O'Lakes butter with lemons and spinach.

Like so.

Garlic Herb Spaghetti with Baked Chicken Meatballs in a pan.

I like to add a little splash of water or white wine (preferable!) to the pan at the end to help the butter really stick to everything and carry the flavor into every bite.

And, naturally, a squeeze of lemon on top and a fancy dusting of Parmesan is necessary.

Fork twirl in three, two….

Garlic Herb Spaghetti with Baked Chicken Meatballs in a bowl with fork twirl.

Watch How To Make Our Garlic Herb Spaghetti:

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Garlic Herb Spaghetti with Baked Chicken Meatballs in a pan with noodle pull.

Garlic Herb Spaghetti with Baked Chicken Meatballs

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Garlic Herb Spaghetti with Baked Chicken Meatballs is SO GOOD! lots of lemon, butter, parsley, and a handful of Parmesan. Yum!



Baked Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground turkey or chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (optional – makes meatballs more moist and yummy)
  • 1/2 teaspoon each garlic powder and onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • additional seasonings optional (I added a pinch of this Go-To seasoning from What’s Gaby Cooking)

Garlic Herb Pasta:

  • 8 ounces spaghetti, linguine, or cappellini (regular or whole wheat)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) Land O Lakes® Butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 34 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
  • about a cup of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup water or white wine (more or less as needed)
  • a squeeze of lemon juice, salt, and pepper to finish


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix all the meatball ingredients until well combined. Roll into 30 small balls. Place on a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with oil to prevent sticking. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  3. Melt butter in a large, deep pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and lemon zest. Sauté for a few minutes (don’t brown the garlic, but get the butter going so it’s a little bit sizzly).
  4. Add spinach and parsley and cook until just wilted.
  5. Add pasta, meatballs, and Parmesan. Toss to combine. Add water (or white wine) as needed to loosen it up and make it a little more creamy. Add seasoning to taste – including a final squeeze of lemon! Stand over pot, eat forkfuls of pasta, and repeat. ♡
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: garlic herb spaghetti, chicken meatballs, spaghetti and meatballs

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Thank you to Land O’Lakes for sponsoring this post!

One More Thing!

This recipe is part of our collection of easy pasta recipes. Check it out!

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  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    looks great! love that with a few tweaks (almond flour in the meatballs and using zoodles instead of pasta), this could be low carb as well.
    quick question: any reason to use plain water instead of reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce?

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Daniella Chesnut

      The pasta water has starches that came off the pasta itself that helps the sauce thicken and become more “saucy”!

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Revital Mitchell

    Looks delicious! I am definitely going to try this recipe – every recipe I have ever tried from your website has been a winner! Howeverrrrr….I am not sure I want to use a whole stick of butter, what would you suggest as an alternative? Olive oil and butter combo? Also, I made your gnocchi last night for the gazillion time – we LOVE it so much! My kids don’t like pumpkin (I know, right?) so I substitute the pumpkin with spinach and kale that I steam and puree….yummy!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Leslie Anderson

      I cut the butter in half and no one noticed it was missing. Still delicious.

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo
        Julie Robert

        I do the same! I think the Parmesan cheese helps keep the flavor tasty using less butter.

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Def going to make this tonight! The only change I would make is to reserve some of the pasta water to add to the sauce, rather than using tap water.

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Looks amazing! For those of you that are trying to cut out “bread” you can use crushed almonds instead of breadcrumbs in the meatballs! It works really well and gives the meatball a little crunch! So delicious! I did this with Pinch of Yum’s “Mini Meatballs with Romesco and Chimichurri” recipe.

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This looks so tasty! I love a simple pasta dish and the meatballs look like such a great addition to it. Looks like more than just a pinch of yum to me. A handful of yum? Perhaps a gaggle of yum?

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    It’s like you knew that I have been craving a pasta dish. A fresh light pasta dish. I don’t know how you knew…

    This looks awesome, I love how easy the meatballs are, and the flavors are amazing!

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    nice, another pasta dish for my day off diet and even and idea to tweak it with zucchini noodles when I’m not, love the meatball tweak to the traditional recipe, thank you

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This seems like such a bright and clean dish. I often find that pasta meals end up feeling very heavy but that’s not the case at all. Love your photography too, as always.

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    printed this to make tomorrow! Will use whole chicked thighs destroyed in food processor!
    I seems delicious, will update on review tomorrow.

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I’ve always wanted to try to make meatballs, but for some reason I thought it was difficult. I followed your recipe and it was super easy–and delicious! Thank you for helping me get over my meatball-making fear!

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Made this recipe today and it was quite delightful. Mad with myself for forgetting the olive oil in my meatballs! But will definitely make again…plus it was super easy!

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Diana Lopes

    Wow, these just looks the best meatballs ever! I’m looking forward to making and eating them all!