🔥 Easy Chicken Meatball Recipe | Juicy & Flavorful

by | Jun 3, 2024 | Chicken Recipes, Recipes

Picture this: it’s a busy weekday evening, and everyone is starving. You’re looking for something fast, good for you, and tasty. You’ve heard about a easy chicken meatball recipe that might just be perfect. Rushing against time, you go to the kitchen. You pick up common items like lean ground chicken, garlic, and a few spices. In less than 30 minutes, you can have these meatballs ready and baked to perfection.

The twist is using lean ground chicken or turkey for lighter, juicier meatballs. You know the secret: Go for 93-95% lean for meatballs that are tender and bursting with flavor. As the homemade chicken meatballs bake, your kitchen smells amazing. It makes everyone look forward to eating.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • This easy chicken meatball recipe was last updated on December 8, 2023.
  • Utilizes lean ground chicken or turkey for a healthier option.
  • Freezer-friendly, making it perfect for meal-prep and quick weeknight dinners.
  • Common pantry ingredients ensure convenience and ease of preparation.
  • Baking instead of frying keeps these meatballs light and less oily.
  • Recipe is versatile and can be paired with various sides and sauces.
  • Optimal baking time and temperature ensure a juicy, tender result.

Why You Should Try This Easy Chicken Meatball Recipe

Discover the benefits of making this easy chicken meatball recipe at home. It offers simplicity, health benefits, and is very versatile. These qualities make it a great choice for anyone’s cooking skills.

Healthier Than Fried Meatballs

This recipe cuts down on oil by baking instead of frying. This makes a low-fat, healthier chicken meatball. Only 2 tablespoons of olive oil are used per batch. This keeps them moist and tasty. Ingredients like garlic powder and onion powder add flavor without extra grease. Cooking at 400°F for 20 minutes gets them just right, with an internal temperature of 165°F.

Lean Protein Source

Ground chicken is the heart of this recipe. It’s a lean protein, great for your diet. Since you need 2 pounds of it, you get plenty of protein per serving. This is perfect for muscle repair and health. The recipe makes about 35 meatballs, perfect for many meals. Adding fresh parsley and black pepper ensures they’re both nutritious and tasty.

Versatile and Freezer-Friendly

These meatballs are great for any meal plan. You can serve them in many ways, as appetizers or in sauces. They can also be frozen, which is great for batch cooking. Reheat them in the oven for quick and tasty meals. Making them gluten-free is easy by using GF breadcrumbs.

Nutritional Aspect Benefit
Ground Chicken Provides lean protein
Baking Method Lower in fat
Freezer-Friendly Convenient meal prep

Ingredients You’ll Need

This Italian chicken meatball recipe is full of great flavors and textures. Here’s what you need to get your meatballs juicy and tasty.

Italian chicken meatball recipe

Ground Chicken

Start with 2 pounds (907g) of ground chicken. If you like, you can use ground turkey instead. Don’t use 99% fat-free chicken breast. It can make your meatballs too dry.

Seasonings and Spices

These meatballs get their great taste from a mix of seasonings and spices. You’ll use:

  • Salt and pepper for seasoning
  • Onion powder and dried oregano to add depth
  • Fresh parsley for a pop of freshness
  • Minced garlic, used in the meatballs and a butter sauce

You can add red pepper flakes if you like some heat.

Binding Agents

For the right texture, these binding agents are key:

  • 1 egg, to hold everything together
  • 3/4 cup (84g) of breadcrumbs: panko, regular, whole wheat, or gluten-free
  • 1/2 cup (50g) of optional grated Parmesan for flavor

Also, you’ll need 2 tablespoons (30ml) of olive oil to keep the meatballs moist.

Ingredient Quantity Purpose
Ground Chicken 2 lbs (907g) Main ingredient
Egg 1 Binding
Olive Oil 2 tbsp (30ml) Flavor & Moisture
Worcestershire Sauce Small amount Flavor enhancement
Breadcrumbs 3/4 cup (84g) Binding
Grated Parmesan Cheese 1/2 cup (50g) Flavor (optional)
Garlic 4-5 cloves Flavor
Seasonings (Salt, Pepper, Onion Powder, Dried Oregano, Fresh Parsley) To taste Flavor

Step-by-Step Preparation Guide

To make great homemade chicken meatballs, prepare everything with care. This ensures each meatball turns out juicy and tender. The recipe is easy to follow yet detailed for the best results.

Preheat the Oven

First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This step guarantees your meatballs will be cooked through. They need to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees to be safe to eat.

Mixing the Ingredients

In a large bowl, mix 1 pound of ground chicken with 1 egg. Also, add 1/2 cup of panko breadcrumbs and the same amount of grated Parmesan cheese. Season with 1/2 teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper. Grate onion for extra flavor and moisture.

Forming the Meatballs

Gently mix the ground chicken with the other ingredients. Be careful not to overmix, this keeps the meatballs tender. Shape the mixture into 1-inch meatballs using a scoop or your hands. Place them on a greased baking tray for even cooking.

It takes about 30 minutes to prepare everything for this recipe. You’ll end up with 30 meatballs, enough for 6 servings. Follow these steps, and soon you’ll have delicious chicken meatballs ready to eat or freeze for later.

Aspect Details
Time Required 30 minutes
Yield 30 meatballs or 6 servings
Cooking Temperature 400°F
Best Feature Juicy & tender
Freezer-Friendly Yes

Baking Instructions for Perfect Meatballs

To make the best chicken meatballs, you need to pay close attention to the details. Follow these steps to bake meatballs that are juicy and tender every time.

chicken meatball recipe easy

Using a Greased Baking Tray

Don’t let your chicken meatballs stick. Always grease your baking tray or use a wire rack. This step ensures heat spreads evenly, keeping your meatballs from losing their shape.

Ideal Baking Temperature and Time

Set your oven to 400°F for perfect chicken meatballs. Cooking at this temperature makes them juicy inside and delightfully golden outside. Watch them carefully as they bake for 18 to 20 minutes to get them done just right.

This easy baking fits any skill level, making it a great, healthy recipe. It means less oil is needed, so it’s better for you. You’ll find this method helpful whether you’re new to cooking or an expert.

Tips for Juicy and Flavorful Meatballs

To get the perfect juicy chicken meatball recipe, you need to focus on some key details. By following these tips, your meatballs will be a hit at any meal.

Grate Your Onion

Grating the onion instead of dicing it helps keep the meatballs moist. It allows the onion to let out more juices. This locks in more flavor and keeps the meatballs juicy. This method is key to preventing dry meatballs.

Use Panko Breadcrumbs

Using panko breadcrumbs instead of regular ones makes a big difference. Panko is lighter and better at holding moisture. This leads to a juicy, tender meatball. It also makes the texture of the meatballs better.

Avoid Overworking the Meat

To make your meatballs juicy, don’t mix the meat too much. Gently mix the ground chicken with the other ingredients until just combined. If you mix too much, the meatballs might be tough. You want to keep them soft and flavorful.

Serving Suggestions

This easy chicken meatball recipe is great for many occasions. It’s perfect for parties, family dinners, or healthy meals. The meatballs fit well in different settings.

easy chicken meatball recipe

As an Appetizer

As an appetizer, these meatballs have a delicious taste and soft texture. Pair them with various sauces to suit everyone’s taste. Try them with:

  • Classic marinara sauce
  • Vodka sauce
  • Spicy marinara
  • Smoky BBQ sauce

The sauces make the meatballs even better, pleasing guests at any event.

As a Main Course

For the main dish, these meatballs are great with different sides. You can enjoy them with:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Steamed vegetables
  • Spaghetti or other pasta dishes

These sides add to the meal’s taste and keep it healthy and yummy.

With Different Sauces

These meatballs can match with many sauces for something special. Serve them with:

  • Classic tomato sauce
  • Rich Alfredo sauce
  • Sweet and sour sauce
  • Garlic butter sauce

Each sauce changes the taste, making the meal enjoyable for everyone.

Storing and Freezing Instructions

Keep chicken meatballs tasty longer with proper storage. You can either store the mixture ahead of time or freeze cooked meatballs. This keeps their flavor and texture just right.

Refrigerating the Mixture

Put the raw chicken meatball mix in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. This keeps the ingredients fresh. If you’re looking for an easy chicken meatball recipe you can prep early, this is key.

Freezing Raw Meatball Mix

Making a freezer-friendly chicken meatball recipe? Freeze the shaped meatballs first on a tray. Then move them to freezer containers or bags. This lets you keep them for 3 months, ready for a quick meal anytime.

Freezing Baked Meatballs

If you like to bake them first, bake at 400°F for 20 minutes. After cooling, freeze the meatballs in airtight storage for up to 3 months. To eat, thaw in the fridge and reheat in the oven at 325°F. Though they may dry a bit, you’ll still enjoy a tasty meal.

Refrigerating Mixture Up to 2 Days Use airtight container
Freezing Raw Mix Up to 3 Months Freeze individually before packing
Freezing Baked Meatballs Up to 3 Months Thaw in fridge overnight before reheating

These simple steps guarantee you always have an easy chicken meatball recipe for bulk prep. It makes meal planning and busy nights easier.

Substitutions and Variations

This chicken meatball recipe is flexible for different diets and tastes. It’s considered the best for varied preferences. Here’s how you can change it up:

best chicken meatball recipe

Using Ground Turkey or Pork

Want a different flavor? Try ground turkey or pork. They give your meatballs a twist in taste. This change also adds unique texture and flavor to your meal.

Making It Gluten-Free

Looking for a gluten-free option? Swap panko breadcrumbs for crushed rice Chex or almond flour. You won’t lose the crispy texture, but it’ll be gluten-free. Perfect for those who can’t have gluten.

Adding Extra Spice

Love spicy food? Add more spices like smoked paprika or cayenne pepper. It’ll give your meatballs a spicy kick. This makes your meal special and enjoyable to everyone.

Key Tips for Preventing Dry Meatballs

Making juicy chicken meatballs includes focusing on the details. This involves keeping the moisture and choosing the right fat amount carefully. By using these important methods, your meatballs will be tasty and tender.

Grating Onion Over Dicing

Choosing to grate onions instead of dicing them can keep your meatballs from getting dry. Grated onions release more juice, mixing it into the meat. This adds moisture and flavor, ensuring your meatballs turn out juicy.

Choosing the Right Fat Percentage in Meat

Pick ground chicken that’s 93-95% lean for your meatballs. It’s a crucial step in your recipe, adding just enough fat to keep them moist. Ground chicken too lean will make your meatballs dry. The small amount of fat keeps your meatballs tender and juicy.

Tips Benefits
Grating onions instead of dicing Enhanced moisture and flavor
Using 93-95% lean ground chicken Retains essential fat for juiciness
Including grated or moist ingredients Prevents the meatballs from drying out

The Secret to the Best Chicken Meatball Recipe

The key to irresistible chicken meatball recipe with parmesan is using fresh, top-notch ingredients and precise directions. Let’s get into what makes this recipe exceptional:

  • Picking out fresh items like ground chicken, garlic, and grated Parmesan is key. The ground chicken should be 93-95% lean to stay moist yet light.
  • Add in flavors with garlic powder and onion powder. Garlic in the garlic chicken meatball recipe brings a special zing that goes well with the Parmesan’s creaminess.
  • How you mix things makes a big difference. Be gentle to keep the meatballs soft and airy. Overworking the mix makes them tough.
  • Getting the cooking times and heat right is crucial too. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until they reach 165°F inside. This bakes them through without drying them out.
Specification Details
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 30 meatballs / 6 servings
Author Lindsay
Rating 4.9 from 704 reviews

The mix of garlic and Parmesan makes this chicken meatball recipe with parmesan truly stand out. They work great as a starter or a main course, promising have a tender, flavorful punch. Follow these hints, and you’ll craft a garlic chicken meatball recipe that shines at every table.

Making Meatballs Ahead of Time

Having a busy life means preparing meals in advance is key. This easy chicken meatball recipe offers a tasty solution. It lets you save time without losing out on flavor.

Preparing the Mixture in Advance

This homemade chicken meatballs recipe lets you mix the ingredients ahead of time. You can prepare the mix and keep it in the fridge for a day. This step cuts down on preparation time when you’re ready to cook.

The mix includes ground chicken or turkey, an egg, panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and more. After mixing, cover it and let it sit in the fridge. This helps the flavors blend, making the meatballs tastier when you cook them.

Baking and Storing for Later Use

When it’s time to cook the homemade chicken meatballs, bake them at 400°F for 20 minutes. They’re ready when their internal temperature is 165°F.

To save even more time, bake them all the way through beforehand. After baking, cool them and freeze in a suitable container for up to 3 months. Just reheat in the oven when you want to serve them.

Preparation Type Description Storage
Raw Mixture Mix and refrigerate up to 1 day Refrigerate
Fully Baked Bake at 400°F, cool and store Freeze up to 2 months
Partially Baked Bake until half done, then store Freeze up to 1 month

This easy chicken meatball recipe is perfect for making meals with less work. Whether you prepare the mix early or bake the meatballs in advance, it’s simple and tasty. You can have great meals prepared without a lot of effort, but with full flavor and satisfaction.

Pairing Your Chicken Meatballs with Sides

Boost the yumminess of your chicken meatballs with the right sides. This recipe makes 24 tasty meatballs. It includes healthy stuff like panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning. The sauce has butter, chicken broth, and Worcestershire sauce for extra flavor. These meatballs fit any meal perfectly.

Pasta and Noodles

Pasta or noodles with chicken meatballs make a warm, tasty dish. Try whole-wheat spaghetti, or add flavor with linguine. A garlic herb pasta with butter, garlic, and lemon zest is also great. It not only makes the meal complete but adds joy to eating, especially for dinners during the week.

Vegetable Sides

Go lighter with healthy veggie sides like roasted butternut squash or green beans. These sides add nutrients and color to your plate. You can choose from mashed potatoes to spinach gratin. With a variety of veggie sides, eating stays interesting and delicious.

Rice and Grains

Rice and grains are perfect for making your meatballs a full meal. You can try rice pilaf, farro, or a rice salad. Use basmati or jasmine rice, add mushrooms, carrots, and goat cheese. These sides offer different textures and flavor, which keeps every meal exciting.

Make sure your meatballs reach 165°F inside to be safe. You can keep them in the fridge for 2-3 days or freeze for 3 months. Each meatball has around 88 calories, 6g protein, and 3g carbohydrates. So, they’re not just tasty but also a healthy option.


What makes this chicken meatball recipe healthier than traditional meatballs?

This recipe is healthier because it uses lean chicken. It’s also baked, not fried, which cuts the fat.

Can I use any other type of meat instead of chicken for these meatballs?

Yes, ground turkey or pork can be used. They offer a different taste and texture.

How can I ensure the meatballs remain juicy and tender?

To keep the meatballs juicy, use grated onion. It adds moisture. Also, use panko breadcrumbs and don’t over mix the meat.

Are these chicken meatballs freezer-friendly?

Yes, you can freeze them cooked or raw. This makes meal planning easier.

What temperature should I bake the meatballs at?

Bake the meatballs at 400°F. They need around 18 to 20 minutes to brown.

How should I store leftover meatballs?

Store in the fridge for 2 days or freeze for 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating.

Can I make these meatballs gluten-free?

Yes, use rice Chex or other gluten-free breadcrumbs. This makes the meatballs gluten-free.

What are some recommended side dishes to pair with these chicken meatballs?

Pasta, roasted butternut squash, or rice and grains go well with the meatballs.

What is the secret to the best chicken meatball recipe?

Using fresh ingredients, a careful balance of fats, garlic, and Parmesan. Also, the right cooking and mixing methods are key.

How can I add extra spice to the meatballs?

Add more smoked paprika or cayenne pepper for a spicier kick.

Can I prepare the meatball mixture in advance?

Yes, prep the mixture early and refrigerate it. This saves time when baking.