The best chicken meatballs baked until golden brown and flavored with garlic, herbs and spices. These meatballs are great served as an appetizer, or over a big plate of spaghetti.
My family loves meatballs, I often make their favorite versions including slow cooker meatballs, sweet and sour meatballs, and this lighter chicken version.
My family loves meatballs, and these tender and juicy chicken meatballs are their all-time favorite. Chicken meatballs are a little lighter than their beef counterparts, but they’re still plenty flavorful and are super easy to prepare.
How do you make chicken meatballs?
To make chicken meatballs, place ground chicken, eggs, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, olive oil and seasonings in a large bowl. Mix everything thoroughly, then roll 1 inch balls out of the mixture.
Place the uncooked meatballs on a foil lined sheet pan and they are ready to bake. Put them in the oven until the meatballs are golden brown and cooked through. Add a sprinkle of parsley, then serve and enjoy.
Tips for chicken meatballs
- You can use ground turkey instead of ground chicken with great results.
- When you select your ground chicken, pick 93-96% lean ground chicken. Avoid 99% lean ground chicken breast.
- I like to serve these meatballs in garlic butter sauce. To make garlic butter sauce, simply cook in a pan 4 tablespoons of butter, 1 teaspoon of garlic, 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley and a little salt and pepper to taste. You can also serve these meatballs in marinara sauce or with marinara sauce for dipping.
- Try putting a little cooking oil on your hands when you form the meatballs. That helps keep the meat from sticking to you and gives you smoother meatballs.
How do you keep meatballs moist?
There are a few tricks to keep your meatballs moist.
- Make sure you add the olive oil indicated in this recipe.
- Mix the meatballs thoroughly so the eggs and bread crumbs are evenly distributed.
- Use chicken meat that is 93-95% lean so that the meat has moisture.
- Don’t over bake the meatballs. Take them out of the oven when they are cooked through and the tops are browned.
Chicken meatball variations
These chicken meatballs are fantastic because they can be used in practically any sauce or modified as you like. Here are some changes you can try.
- Greek style: Add 1/2 cup chopped cooked spinach and substitute feta cheese for the parmesan cheese.
- Cheese lovers: Add 1/2 cup each of shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese to the meatballs.
- Mexican: Omit the Italian seasoning, instead use 1 tablespoon of chili powder. Use shredded cheddar cheese instead of parmesan cheese. Sprinkle a little cilantro over the top of the meatballs when serving them instead of parsley.
- Bacon: Try adding 1/2 cup of cooked crumbled bacon to the meatballs.
- Stuffed meatballs: Put a 1/2 inch cube of mozzarella cheese inside each meatball. The cheese will be melted and gooey when you cut the meatballs open.
These chicken meatballs bake up browned on the outside and moist on the inside. They work perfectly in pasta, as a pizza topping, in a meatball sandwich, or as a party snack. The possibilities are endless!
More meatball recipes you’ll love
- Greek Meatballs with Lemon Dill Rice
- Turkey Meatballs (Slow Cooker)
- Asian Meatballs and Carrot Rice
- Cranberry Meatballs (Slow Cooker)
- Teriyaki Meatballs
- 2 pounds ground chicken 96% lean
- 1 egg
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- cooking spray
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with foil, and coat the foil with cooking spray.
- Place the ground chicken, eggs, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning in a bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined.
- Roll 1 inch sized meatballs, and place the meatballs in a single layer on the baking pan.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until meatballs are browned and cooked through. Sprinkle with parsley, then serve.
Just checking on the amount of ground chicken. The recipe says 2-pounds, but the accompanying ingredients, seems better suited for 1-pound of ground chicken. Thanks.
This recipe is for 2 pounds of ground chicken.
How many meatballs is in one serving for the nutrition facts?
It should be about 4 meatballs.
I’ve made these for a long time. I get the 4 packs of ground chicken at Costco! They are really easy to make with ingredients I can actually find at Costco as well. I’ve ate these for probably 3-4 months while going to the gym. They are so good
Really good and easy I did add more parsley and used 1 fresh garlic clove – cookie scoop made it fast and easy. baked then put in homemade sauce for 30 min. I combined the egg and olive oil in one bowl and the herbs cheese and breadcrumbs in another bowl mixed them together then added to the ground chicken this made it easy to mix in and not over work the meat.
Two comments/questions. How many meatballs does this recipe make? 1 tablespoon of parsley for 2 pounds of ground meat seems a bit light. I realize that more or less parsley may be used, but what range of quantities do you typically decide on? Also, what size sheet pan do you use? I have several different sizes. Knowing what you find suitable would be helpful.
Thanks for the recipe and the requested info!
It should make bout 24 meatballs. You can add more parsley if prefer, it won’t be a problem! I use an 18×13 pan. You just need to make sure you have room for the meatballs without them touching.
These sound really nice but if serving with pasta would they need a sauce ? If so what would you suggest? A creamy sauce maybe ?
I’d use marinara sauce!
My husband doesn’t like cheese (I know, CRAZY!). What can I use to bind the meatballs together other than cheese? 🙁
You could try adding extra breadcrumbs, I’d start with 1/4 cup.
All prepped and in fridge ; serving tonight with rice and sautéed spinach. My stomach is growling.
I keep reading eggs plural but it he recipe only calls for 1 egg. Is it only one egg?
Thanks for catching that, it is one egg!
P I made these meatballs very good
Am I able to freeze these once they are cooked and then just heated up for a quick meal one day?
Yes that’s fine!
Can I switch parmesan cheese to cheddar cheese, for that is what I have. Thanks
That should work fine!
If I want to freeze it, should I cook it and freeze it or should I freeze it raw after rolling it into balls?
I typically cook them first, but you can really do it either way.