These chicken meatballs are so juicy and tender baked with classic Italian flavors and homemade Marinara sauce. It’s a very easy recipe and takes less than an hour to make. Chicken meatballs will be perfect whether it’s served over pasta, in a sub sandwich, or as an appetizer.
BAKED CHICKEN MEATBALLS
The first time I made Italian chicken meatballs, my family was a little thrown off because it was not the classic beef Italian meatballs they were used to. Like, how can you possibly make this classic dish with chicken? Well, it’s very easy, it packs a lot of flavor, and goes just as well over pasta.
It’s almost like taking Chicken Parmesan and making it over into a meatballs dish. Chicken is also great in meatballs because it’s so juicy and flavorful. For the juiciest meatballs, try to get ground chicken made out of chicken thigh meat or a combination of chicken thighs and breast.
Chicken meatballs can be cooked either on the stove or baked in the oven. Baking meatballs is fast and easy and saves the hassle of flipping them. Cooked on the stove though, you do get that tasty sear on the meatballs, which adds extra flavor to the meat and to the sauce.
These meatballs are great served over pasta but you can also make meatballs subs with them. If you’re looking for a healthier, lighter dinner, serve the them over zoodles.
HOW DO YOU BAKE CHICKEN MEATBALLS
Preheat the oven to 400° and grease a 9×13 baking dish (you can also use a deep 9×9 baking).
Combine all the ingredients for the meatballs in a large mixing bowl and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
Use a cookie scoop to get the same amount of chicken mixture so that all the meatballs are equal in size. Shape meatballs and place them into the baking dish, leaving a little space between them.
Bake for 20 minutes and add sauce evenly over the meatballs. Bake for another 5-7 minutes.
HOW DO YOU MAKE CHICKEN MEATBALLS ON THE STOVE
The benefit to making meatballs on the stove is the sear that you get on the meatballs. This sear will add more flavor to the sauce and the meat itself.
Combine all the ingredients for the meatballs and mix it thoroughly. Use a cookie scoop to get the same amount of chicken mixture so that all the meatballs are equal in size. Shape meatballs and place them on a sheet of parchment paper.
Preheat a large skillet over medium heat and add some oil. Add meatballs to the skillet and let them cook for 6-8 minutes. Flip the meatballs and let them cook for another 5-6 minutes. Add sauce and shake the skillet gently to spread it around. Cook for a few more minutes.
WHAT SAUCE CAN I USE?
Of course, I highly recommend using homemade Marinara sauce. Homemade sauce takes about an hour to prepare but it really does taste the best. It can also be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator or frozen.
You can also use your favorite store-bought sauce to make it easy and convenient.
These meatballs will also taste great with a creamy sauce like these Garlic Parmesan Meatballs.
CAN I FREEZE CHICKEN MEATBALLS?
Absolutely, meatballs can easily be frozen once cooked. It’s better to add the sauce when reheating but you can also freeze them with sauce.
Prepare meatballs and cook them according to the recipe.
Once cooked, cover a large cutting board with parchment paper and lay cooked meatballs out on the paper to cool to room temperature.
Place the cutting board in the freezer for about 2 hours. (Set a timer so you don’t forget.)
Divide frozen meatballs among one or more freezer bags, seal them, label, and place back in the freezer.
To thaw, take the bag out of the freezer and place in the refrigerator to defrost overnight.
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Italian Chicken Meatballs
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs **Can use Gluten Free bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 yellow onion finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp fresh minced parsley
- 1 tbsp fresh minced basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 cups Marinara sauce
- 1-2 tbsp fresh minced basil
- fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400° and grease a 9×13 baking dish (you can also use a deep 9×9 baking).
- Combine all the ingredients for the meatballs in a large mixing bowl and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
- Use a cookie scoop to get the same amount of chicken mixture so that all the meatballs are equal in size. Shape meatballs and place them into the baking dish, leaving a little space between them.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Add sauce evenly over the meatballs. Bake for another 5-7 minutes.
- Sprinkle some fresh basil and Parmesan cheese over the cooked meatballs before serving.