Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

Whether you eat them with spaghetti or make meatball subs on grilled garlic bread, these Chicken Parmesan Meatballs are fast, easy, and wildly delicious.

Chicken Parmesan meatball with pasta on a blue plate.

Recipe ingredients:

Chicken Parmesan ingredients in bowls and labeled.

Ingredient notes:

  • Ground chicken: See “Recipe Tips” for making your own from chicken thighs.
  • Bread crumbs. Regular bread crumbs or panko.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. First, mix together the ground chicken, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, egg, garlic, parsley, and salt and pepper in a bowl.
    Chicken meatball ingredients in a clear bowl.
  2. To form the meatballs, spoon out 2 tablespoons of meat at a time, and roll by hand into balls (use wet hands to keep them from sticking to you). Freezing/chilling for 10 minutes will help the meatballs hold their shape as they cook. You can skip this step if you don’t mind oddly-shaped meatballs.
    Chicken meatballs on a baking sheet.
  3. Heat a little olive oil in the pan over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the meatballs in a single layer (working in batches of you need to) and browned—about 2 minutes per side.As the meatballs brown, take them out and transfer them to a plate.
    Chicken meatballs cooking on a black skillet.
  4. To the oil left in the skillet, stir in the garlic, then add the dried herbs and the crushed tomatoes (they may splatter, so keep the lid handy). Bring the sauce to a boil.
    Pasta sauce and seasonings in a silver skillet.
  5. Then nestle the browned meatballs into the hot tomato sauce in the skillet. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through.
    Meatballs and pasta sauce in a silver skillet.
  6. Finally, uncover and sprinkle with cheese. Cover until the cheese is melted, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Garnish with parsley if desired.
    Chicken Parmesan meatballs in a silver pot.

Recipe tips and variations:

  • Make rolling easier. When you roll the meatballs, wet your hands first to keep the meat from sticking.
  • Make ground chicken: Use boneless, skinless chicken thighs! Spend some time trimming off any of the fat, then grind up the thighs in a food processor.
  • Cheese-filled meatballs: Cut mozzarella into small (1/2-inch) cubes and wrap the chicken meatball mixture around them, making sure the cheese is completely enclosed in the meat.
  • Gluten-free: Instead of panko or breadcrumbs, use your favorite gluten-free breadcrumb blend.
  • Store-bought sauce: To substitute jarred sauce, just pour it over the chicken meatballs after browning them in Step 3 (no need to transfer the meatballs to a bowl).
  • Freezer meatballs: Scoop, roll, and cook the meatballs completely through (165 degrees inside.) Let cool, then line them up in a single layer on a plate. Freeze for 1 hour or until solid. Transfer to a freezer-safe container, then label, date, and keep for up to one month. To reheat, add frozen meatballs straight to your favorite sauce and reheat over medium heat until heated through, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Slow cooker: Add the browned meatballs to a slow cooker and top with the tomato sauce ingredients. Give everything a gentle stir. Cook on HIGH for 2 to 3 hours or LOW for 4 to 6 hours. Sprinkle on the mozzarella about 30 minutes before you plan on eating. The tomato sauce should be hot. If you’re using frozen meatballs, just add the frozen meatballs directly to the slow cooker. There is no need to thaw them beforehand.
  • My favorite garlic bread: If you opt for a chicken parm meatball sandwich, I recommend grilling some garlic bread. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Slather a slice of crusty bread (or a cut hoagie roll) with butter, then add it to the skillet butter-side down. Cook until it’s browned (how bread looks on a grilled cheese sandwich). Remove and sprinkle with garlic salt (or garlic powder, or rub with a raw garlic clove. Whatever you love).

More delicious Italian recipes:

Chicken parmesan meatballs on spaghetti on a blue plate.

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

Whether you eat them with spaghetti or make meatball subs on grilled garlic bread, these Chicken Parmesan Meatballs are fast, easy, and wildly delicious.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Freezing Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings (5 meatballs each)
Calories: 532kcal
Author: Meggan Hill

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs or panko
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 8 cloves garlic minced, divided
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley or 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes optional (only if you like the spice)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • minced fresh parsley for garnish

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, add ground chicken, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, egg, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste (I like 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper) and mix well (I use my hands).
  • Working with 2 tablespoons of meat mixture at a time, roll into balls and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet or plate. (I use the OXO medium scoop (heaping), a size 40 portioner, and make 20 meatballs about 1 ounce each). Freeze at least 10 minutes for best results (this is optional but will help the meatballs hold their shape).
  • In a large oven-proof skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add meatballs in a single layer and cook until browned all over (about 2 minutes per side). You can do this in batches if necessary. Transfer to a bowl and leave the oil in the skillet.
  • To the skillet, add remaining minced garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add crushed tomatoes (Be careful! They may splatter when they hit the hot oil, so keep the lid handy), basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes (if using). Bring the sauce to boil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the meatballs back to the skillet and stir to coat with sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes longer (meatballs should register 165 degrees when tested with an internal thermometer).
  • Uncover and season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cheese, and cover until the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes longer. Garnish with parsley if desired.

Notes

  1. Make rolling easier. When you roll the meatballs, wet your hands first to keep the meat from sticking.
  2. Make ground chicken: Use boneless, skinless chicken thighs! Spend some time trimming off any of the fat, then grind up the thighs in a food processor. 
  3. Cheese-filled meatballs: Cut mozzarella into small (1/2-inch) cubes and wrap the chicken meatball mixture around them, making sure the cheese is completely enclosed in the meat.
  4. Gluten-free: Instead of panko or breadcrumbs, use your favorite gluten-free breadcrumb blend.
  5. Store-bought sauce: To substitute jarred sauce, just pour it over the chicken meatballs after browning them in Step 3 (no need to transfer the meatballs to a bowl). 
  6. Freezer meatballs: Scoop, roll, and cook the meatballs completely through (165 degrees inside.) Let cool, then line them up in a single layer on a plate. Freeze for 1 hour or until solid. Transfer to a freezer-safe container, then label, date, and keep for up to one month. To reheat, add frozen meatballs straight to your favorite sauce and reheat over medium heat until heated through, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  7. Slow cooker: Add the browned meatballs to a slow cooker and top with the tomato sauce ingredients. Give everything a gentle stir. Cook on HIGH for 2 to 3 hours or LOW for 4 to 6 hours. Sprinkle on the mozzarella about 30 minutes before you plan on eating. The tomato sauce should be hot. If you're using frozen meatballs, just add the frozen meatballs directly to the slow cooker. There is no need to thaw them beforehand.
  8. My favorite garlic bread: If you opt for a chicken parm meatball sandwich, I recommend grilling some garlic bread. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Slather a slice of crusty bread (or a cut hoagie roll) with butter, then add it to the skillet butter-side down. Cook until it's browned (how bread looks on a grilled cheese sandwich). Remove and sprinkle with garlic salt (or garlic powder, or rub with a raw garlic clove. Whatever you love). 

Nutrition

Serving: 5meatballs | Calories: 532kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 194mg | Sodium: 633mg | Potassium: 702mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 500IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 415mg | Iron: 3mg
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