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New York's Winning Recipe: Chicken Cheeseball Kabobs on Veggie Spaghetti

“In school, I did a report on Michelle Obama's Let's Move! program and now I try to eat based on the MyPlate picture. I used chicken instead of beef for the meatballs, and I stuffed them with fresh mozzarella, because I love cheese! I put the meatballs on a stick, because I think it is fun to eat foods on a stick. I added carrots and yellow squash to make it colorful and taste even better. It looked like spaghetti, so I named it Veggie Spaghetti, and topped it with basil, which we grow. Everyone in my family loves it, even my brother, who is a picky eater. I hope you like it too!”

- Danielle Mazlish, Age 10, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge winner from New York

Makes 6 Servings


For the Chicken Cheeseball Kabobs:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning, dried
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ pound skim-milk mozzarella, cut into cubes
  • 6 wooden skewers
  • 1 ½ cups of marinara sauce for dipping (optional)

For the Veggie Spaghetti:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 zucchini
  • 3 yellow squash
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 ½ cups shredded carrots
  • 2 tablespoons basil, finely chopped


  1. To make the Chicken Cheeseball Kabobs: Preheat oven to 375°F. Cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and grease with olive oil. In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken, breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, seasoning, and garlic. In a small bowl, beat the egg with salt and pepper until well blended. Pour the egg into the chicken mixture and mix with a large spoon until blended. Using a soup spoon or tablespoon as a guide, scoop out the chicken mixture and form balls, about 1½ inches wide. Push two mozzarella cubes into the center of each ball and re-form the chicken over the cheese so they are covered and in a meatball shape. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden on bottom, then turn over and cook 10 more minutes.  When cooked, stick three chicken cheese balls per skewer to serve over the Veggie Spaghetti.
  2. To make the Veggie Spaghetti: Using a spiral veggie slicer, mandolin or box grater, shred zucchini and yellow squash into thin strips so it looks like spaghetti. In a large nonstick skillet, warm oil on medium heat. Add zucchini, squash, garlic, and carrots, and cook until tender but not mushy, about 5 minutes.
  3. To Assemble: Divide the Veggie Spaghetti onto 6 plates and sprinkle with chopped basil on top of each plate. Place the Chicken Cheeseball Kabobs on top. Serve marinara sauce on the side, for dipping.

351 calories 16g fat 27g carbohydrates 27g protein