Sunny’s Fennel Chicken Meatballs


  • Olive oil
  • ½ bulb fennel, finely diced, fronds reserved
  • ½ small onion, finely diced
  • 1 pound ground lean chicken
  • ½ cup saltine crackers, crushed (about ½ of a sleeve)
  • 2 tablespoons applesauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground fennel
  • 1 cup maple syrup


1. Preheat oven to 400° F. In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, sauté onions and fennel. Cook until soft and translucent. Remove from heat and let cool.

2. In a large bowl, mix the ground chicken with the cooled sautéed onions and fennel, saltines, and applesauce. Season with salt, pepper and ground fennel. Roll the meatballs into ping pong-sized balls. Place onto a parchment-lined sheet tray. Drizzle with a little olive oil and place into the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

3. Put maple syrup in a small sauce pan over medium low heat. Add in half the fennel fronds and allow to steep for 15 minutes. Remove fronds and discard. Serve meatballs on a platter with toothpicks. Garnish with chopped fennel fronds and serve with fennel infused maple syrup for dipping.

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