These homemade Chicken Meatballs always turn out perfectly flavorful, juicy and tender! While they are flavorful, they’re also neutral enough to pair well with any sauce or side dish you choose to serve them with. Made with a handful of simple ingredients and easy to follow steps, you’ll NEVER use frozen meatballs again.
Chicken Meatballs are as tried and true as any recipe could be. One of the best things about making them is that they never get boring! I can plate them with pasta and Spaghetti Sauce for a spaghetti dinner, or pile them on top of Mashed Potatoes with some gravy for a deliciously comforting meal.
You’ll never need to get frozen meatballs again! While they’re good enough to use if you’re really in a time crunch, homemade Chicken Meatballs will always be tastier, healthier, juicier, and only takes like 30 minutes! Plus, the steps to making these meatballs are incredibly easy, so you won’t be stressed.
The ingredients that lend the most flavor to these Chicken Meatballs are the fresh garlic cloves, Dijon mustard, crushed red pepper flakes, and just a touch of coarse salt. All of these ingredients compliment the natural flavor of the chicken while also giving it extra touch of flavor.
How to Make Chicken Meatballs
Ingredients You’ll Need:
- Ground Chicken – Get ground chicken without any added flavors. You can substitute lean ground turkey if you’d prefer. Chicken and turkey will both yield similar results but turkey will not be as juicy.
- Panko Breadcrumbs – These breadcrumbs will help hold structure to the meatballs and help retain moisture. Use Gluten Free Panko bread crumbs if needed.
- Garlic – For the best flavor, make sure you’re using fresh garlic cloves.
- Onion – Yellow onions will be good.
- Mayonnaise – A full fat mayonnaise also serves as a great binder for the meatballs that keeps them flavorful, juicy, and tender.
- Dijon Mustard – Do NOT substitute this with plain yellow mustard.
- Salt – it’s better to use coarse (kosher) salt or sea salt rather than table salt.
- Red Pepper Flakes – You can add more or less of this ingredient depending on how spicy you’d like your meatballs to be.
- Parsley – Try to use fresh for better results. If you only have dried parsley on hand, use half of the amount the recipe calls for.
Prepare the your kitchen and the meatballs.
In a mixing bowl, thoroughly combine all of the ingredients for Chicken Meatballs.
Use your hands to roll the meatballs.
For the BEST results, make sure you grease your hands with some cooking spray and use a cookie scoop! The grease on your hands will prevent the meat from sticking to you, and the cookie scoop will ensure that all of the meatballs are uniform in size.
Bake the meatballs:
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Grease a baking sheet or cover it with parchment paper so the meatballs don’t stick to it.
Place the Chicken Meatballs onto your prepared baking sheet. Make sure they’re not touching each other.
Bake for approximately 18-20 minutes, depending on the size of the meatballs. Check the temperature – if they’re 165°F, the meatballs are fully cooked and ready to eat.
OR Cook Meatballs In A Pan:
Preheat a large cooking pan over medium to medium-low heat (depending on how hot your stove runs.)
Add a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil to the pan and add meatballs. Cook meatballs, covered, for about 6-7 minutes and turn them over. Keep cooking the meatballs for 5-6 more minutes, uncovered until done.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make Chicken Meatballs gluten free?
Absolutely! To make sure your Chicken Meatballs are gluten free, simply swap the Panko breadcrumbs for gluten free Panko breadcrumbs. The rest of the ingredients are already naturally gluten free.
Be sure to take precaution when purchasing ground chicken and ground turkey and read the ingredients. Some brands add extra things to their ground meats that may not be gluten free. Always check the label on your ground meats!
Can I use ground turkey instead of chicken?
Of course! This recipe will work great with ground turkey as well. Remember that ground turkey is much leaner than chicken, so don’t expect the turkey meatballs to be as juicy as chicken. Also, I recommend that you use lean ground turkey, not extra lean.
What kind of sauces can I serve Chicken Meatballs?
These are very straightforward meatballs that are perfect any day and any time. You can dress up these meatballs with any sauce you want, and if you plan ahead a bit, you can even add complimentary flavors right into the meatballs.
Flavors you can add right into the meatballs include lemon zest, orange zest, Parmesan cheese, rosemary and extra garlic, extra spice, basil and other additional herbs. Feel free to get creative!
Some great sauces you can serve it with are Pasta Sauce, Teriyaki Sauce, Alfredo Sauce, Peppercorn Sauce, Creamy Mushroom Sauce, BBQ Sauce, Thai sweet chili sauce, simple butter and garlic sauce, and lemon wine sauce (think Scampi).
You can also check out my other chicken and turkey meatballs like Buffalo Chicken Meatballs, Sweet and Sour Turkey Meatballs, Turkey Meatballs with Creamy Parmesan Sauce, Sweet Thai Chili Turkey Meatballs, and Roasted Garlic Baked Meatballs.
Chicken Meatballs Recipe
- 2 lbs ground chicken (or lean ground turkey)
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 3 garlic cloves pressed or minced
- 1/4 yellow onion minced
- 3 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp coarse salt more or less to taste
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp fresh minced parsley*
- Combine all of the ingredients for the chicken meatballs in the mixing bowl and mix well until combined.
- Grease your hands with some cooking spray. To get even meatballs, use a cookie scoop. I use #40 scoop but you can use a slightly larger one. Try to keep the meatballs about 1 inch in diameter. (You can make meatballs a little bigger or smaller according to your own preference. Just remember to adjust cooking time slightly if making bigger or smaller meatballs.)
- Quickly roll all the meatballs and add them to the baking sheet, close together but not touching.
To Bake The Meatballs:
- Preheat oven to 400°. Lightly grease a baking sheet with some oil or cover it with parchment paper.
- Bake the meatballs for 18-20 minutes, depending on the size. (Check the internal temperature of the meatballs using instant read digital meat thermometer. Chicken should be cooked to 165° internal temperature.)
To Pan-Sear Meatballs:
- Preheat a large cooking pan over medium to medium-low heat (depending on how hot your stove runs.)
- Add a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil to the pan and add meatballs. Cook meatballs, covered, for about 6-7 minutes and turn them over. Keep cooking the meatballs for 5-6 more minutes, uncovered until done.
- Tip: If you're not planning on adding any sauce you can always melt a couple tablespoons of butter when meatballs are almost done and toss in some fresh herbs and pressed garlic clove or two. Coat the meatballs, cook just a minute or two, and serve.
I double this recipe and freezing half makes my week a lot easier. Thanks for sharing!