Broccoli, Cheddar, Rice Meatballs

I know. You’re like, “You’ve been gone for a year and all you have for me is this incredibly frumpy meatball recipe?” I feel you. But let me say, I’m in my (hopefully) last few weeks of being pregnant (It’s our first. It’s a girl. Yes, I’ll write more about this.) and went DEFCON 2 in the kitchen prepping meals for the freezer, in preparation for what I’m imagining will be a baby-pocalypse, where I’ll be a shut-in for weeks on end. I’m terrified.

So out of my individually packaged and labeled rage came what I hope is going to be the most perfect-est easy to re-heat, complete meal. Lean protein, fat, carbs, and something green–because I guess I’m a grown up now.

Makes ~6 servings


  • 2 lbs ground turkey
  • 1 c cooked rice
  • ~1 c finely chopped broccoli florets
  • 1/2 c shredded chedda’ cheese
  • 1 T hot sauce
  • 1 t chicken base (see below)
  • 1 egg
  • s&p, to taste


Preheat your oven to 400°F.

Start by sauteeing your finely chopped broccoli florets in a bit of butter or olive oil (add some salt and pepper here), until they’ve browned and look crispy. Words of warning: do not walk too far away from this, the broccoli will turn from roasty, brown to nasty, black in 30 seconds.


Meanwhile, lightly grease a large cookie sheet (that has edges) or 2 medium Pyrex-type casserole dishes.

In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey, cooked (not raw!) rice, browned broccoli, cheddar, hot sauce, chicken base, the egg, and salt and pepper. Mix gently with a fork. I think your hands compacts the meat too much.


Use a cookie scooper to portion out evenly sized meatballs into your prepared pans. Bake until cooked through, about 20-25 minutes.

I portioned these 6 at a time into freezer bags, pressed out the air, and laid them flat into the freezer, making sure they weren’t touching each other, so they’d be easier to re-heat.


What is chicken base?

chickenbase jusdepoulet

It’s like buying 10 quarts of chicken stock, but without the water added to it already. And instead of paying $4 per quart, you pay about $.80 and add your own water. And beyond using it like stock, like in this recipe, it adds flavor to whatever you’re making.

I use Better than Bouillon when I don’t need the base to dissolve (like this recipe, because the texture is liquidy), and More than Gourmet (the texture is like extra hard jello) for when what I’m making will come in contact with heat; like soups, stovetop sautées, and stews.

And of course there are other base/reduction variations out there. I just keep chicken and beef on hand, but I bet mushroom is the shizzzz.



30 responses to “Broccoli, Cheddar, Rice Meatballs”

  1. You’re back! Thank goodness. And congratulations on your good news. Your food is the best, whether it’s paleo, primal or what-have-you!

  2. Welcome back. 🙂

  3. Congrats! You will definitely appreciate any easy meals in the first few weeks postpartum. And welcome back! Oh happy day! I hope we see more of you!

  4. Congrats! Welcome back, I refer to your cookbook frequently.

  5. So glad to see you pop up in the Inbox! Congratulations – you and Brandon are going to be great! Just like these meatballs. 🙂

  6. Congratulations!! Such an exciting (and busy) time for you! Thank you for thinking of us…I love your creations!

  7. YES! I have missed you! Thank you for posting this. You are so right! I had my first last August and let me tell you… I wish I had done some meal prep before baby came. Also… food that is easily eaten with one hand is a bonus! I feel I was a tad delusional on what it would be like. Also, if you have friends or family that offer to bring dinner or heck any type of food, say yes. Congrats by the way. It is the most amazing experience.

  8. I’m due on the 29th, first baby too! Totally hear you about baby-pocalypse. terrified.

  9. Oh how I have missed you! I have always been a fan, but especially since you “Quit Paleo”. Congrats on the babe and best wishes.

  10. Welcome back! I was excited to see your name in my inbox. Congrats on the pregnancy and good luck with the last few weeks! I had my son last summer and had a few things in the freezer ready to reheat and it was amazing. So worth the time and effort prepping it. Now, I wish I had the time to do it again because DAMN! kids take up all of your energy and brain space…but in a good way 🙂 You’re going to do great!

  11. Welcome back and mucho congratulations for you and Brandon. What an exciting time! Coincidentally, I just happened to read your post yesterday about leaving Paleo. Excellent and great sources to back it up. I, like you, tried it for 3 years after my celiac diagnosis. Even AIP which I could never complete. I’ve got a super stressful and busy life and it was so restrictive that I was having more problems with my blood sugar than my autoimmune diseases. My yeast got out of control and wham! I’m reading some books on “Sugar Addiction” right now. Have just started adding back some grains and beans this week. Except for the “die-off”, I feel so much better. Thank you for your helping me to not feel guilty that Paleo didn’t work for me. I can’t believe an “eating movement” could make me feel like that. Love your cookbook and will Diaya cheese in your recipes since I’ve got dairy allergy too. Best to you both!!!

  12. Congrats!! It will be a “whole new world” and you will see, do, and experience things where you will wonder why in the hell someone didn’t tell you….but it will pass. Enjoy the baby snuggles. By the way, your pizza crust has made my heart go pitter patter! Thank you for your cookbook.

  13. What ever you’ve done so far with make ahead freezer meal planning, that would be a great reference to share! I’ll keep my fingers crossed you are considering sharing.

  14. Yay! You’re back! Congrats on the new addition and thank you for another delicious recipe! Yum!!

  15. My two year old and I just made these for dinner tonight…only problem is i doubt any will make it that far! Holy delicious!

  16. Congratulations!! So excited for you and Brandon. So happy to see you back and hope to see more recipes and blog posts.

  17. Question: Why do you not use raw turkey and how long do you cook it for first?

    1. Cooked, not raw, RICE. –you use raw turkey.

      1. YES……I realized that the minute I hit post for my question…..I was reading the recipe too fast. Thanks

  18. What an awesome surprise this morning–your post! So glad to see recipes from Health-Bent again and a super huge congrats on your soon-to-be born baby girl. I’m a full-time single Mom of two teenage boys. We live on Health-Bent recipes. Every Sunday we look through the well loved copy of your book and piles of printed recipes to choose four or five for the week. We make a grocery list and off we go! I love knowing easy delicious meals are ready to be made without the crazy “what should we have for dinner?” scenario. Love you guys. Selfishly can’t wait for more recipes!! 😉

  19. bernadette


  20. I am really glad you’re back! When your email popped into my inbox I was like, what the? who the?? LOL I have really enjoyed your blog in the past. I have your cookbook and I really appreciate you taking the time out of your day to answer any questions that I had about the recipes. Please blog more often……

  21. I’d like to add congratulations as well! I’m very happy for you and Brandon, exciting times! And like everyone else it was wonderful to see your email and your recipes are favorites in our home.

  22. I can’t believe you did all this as you are coming up on your due date. Congratulations on the new addition to your home and thanks for the recipe. I love how easy they are to make.

  23. Thank y’all so much for the comments and sweet notes!

  24. […] link: […]

  25. Congrats on your new addition, Megan and Brandon! I’m so excited to see these last couple of posts on the blog and I hope that you’ll come back with some in a few months. I hope it won’t be another year before we see you back on HB again. It would be awesome to see what sort of recipes you end up cooking up now that you’re parents and how you juggle being business owners, parents, etc. As a parent, I know the struggle! IT.IS.REAL.

  26. Congratulations!! Happy you guys are back!

  27. How do you reheat these after freezing?

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