These Ground Chicken Meatballs are a staple in our home, and for good reason! They follow the same base recipe of our Classic Ground Beef Meatballs, but feature versatile ground chicken and sweet, chewy sun dried tomatoes.
As with most meatball recipes, these are fantastic served with your favorite pasta (spaghetti and meatballs forever!) or over warm, creamy polenta.
In addition to tasting amazing, here’s why we love them so much:
- Quick prep time! In just 10 minutes, these ground chicken meatballs are ready for the oven. Perfect even on the busiest evenings!
- Easy cleanup! Browning meatballs on a stovetop can be messy. Bake or broil them in an oven for easier cleanup, while still getting that crisp exterior!
- Juicy and moist! Juicy sun dried tomatoes help to keep the meatballs tender and moist.
- Meal prep and freezer friendly! There is nothing more freezer-friendly than meatballs. We make a double batch and save half for another day. They reheat beautifully, too!
If you love quick and easy meals that taste great, you absolutely must give these baked chicken meatballs a try! Check out more of our favorite 30 minute meal ideas!
This recipe for chicken meatballs is the same standard recipe I use for our Classic Ground Beef Meatballs with with a few extra ingredients for added flavor.
- Ground chicken: You could also use ground turkey.
- Egg: To bind the ingredients together and help the ground chicken meatballs keep their shape.
- Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano: And lots of it! Pecorino Romano is also great.
- Italian breadcrumbs: There’s a time and a place for panko breadcrumbs, and meatballs ain’t one of them. Stick to traditional breadcrumbs for a smoother texture to your meatball. If you haven’t made them before, homemade breadcrumbs are easy and so flavorful!
- Sun-dried tomatoes: With a sweet taste and chewy texture, these not only help to keep the meatballs moist, but add a lovely tomato flavor.
- Worcestershire sauce: If you don’t have Worcestershire sauce, substitute with a little balsamic. We prefer the savory notes of Worcestershire, but they both add depth of flavor.
- Kosher salt and black pepper: To season everything!
For more dinner meatballs, be sure to try our Lemon Oregano Chicken Meatballs, Ground Beef and Ricotta Meatballs, Mozzarella Cheese Stuffed Meatballs, or these Sheet Pan Chicken Meatballs with Goat Cheese next!
10 Minute Prep Time
Making baked chicken meatballs requires little more than a large bowl and, if you want to make your life even easier, a standard cookie scoop.
Place all meatball ingredients in a mixing bowl, then use your hands or a spatula to thoroughly mix. Next, form the meatballs.
The Easiest Way To Form Meatballs
Use A Cookie Scoop!
A standard medium cookie scoop makes portioning out meatballs easy, but also uniform. Simply portion the meatballs into mounds on a parchment lined baking sheet, then use your hands to roll into uniform balls.
It can be helpful to moisten hands with water to prevent the meatball mixture from sticking.
How To Cook Chicken Meatballs In The Oven
Ultimately, this comes down to personal preference. You’ve got a few options, but we almost always prefer to bake or broil meatballs instead of pan frying. There’s less mess, less standing around, and they’re more evenly cooked.
How to broil meatballs: Transfer the baking sheet with meatballs under a broiler set to high (about 3-5″ from the heating unit), then broil for 12 minutes. We like this method because of the browning on the outside of the meatballs.
How to bake meatballs: Transfer the sheet pan to an oven preheated to 375F then bake for 10-12 minutes. The meatballs won’t have as crispy of an exterior here, but they are perfectly juicy and moist!
How to pan fry meatballs: Working in batches, heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken meatballs for 2-3 minutes per side, or until browned all over, about 8-10 minutes total. Either return all meatballs to the pan along with your favorite sauce or transfer to an oven preheated to 350F and cook for about 6-8 minutes, until fully cooked through.
Regardless of how you cook meatballs, be sure to check for proper doneness with a meat thermometer.
We recommend the Thermapen MK4 to check for doneness on all meats!
How To Serve Ground Chicken Meatballs
We’re big fans of Rao’s Marinara Sauce, but homemade marinara sauce is best. Here’s what we do: heat marinara sauce in a large pan until simmering. Add a big scoop of creamy mascarpone cheese, some reserved pasta cooking water, and fresh basil leaves. Stir until the cheese has melted, and that’s it!
You can serve the sauce on the side or toss the baked chicken meatballs in just before serving. Whatever you like.
When we don’t feel like pasta, we serve this same meatball with homemade zucchini noodles (zoodles!). In the winter, we love them served over creamy parmesan polenta.
Keep the side dishes simple: our go-to is this Arugula Salad, which we make weekly!
Leftovers, Reheating, and Freezing
Leftovers: Store leftovers in a airtight container in a fridge for up to 5 days.
Reheat refrigerated meatballs: Hands down, the best way to reheat meatballs is to slice them in half, then griddle cut side down in a skillet. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil or canola oil over medium-high heat in a small skillet. When hot, add meatballs cut side down and cook 1-2 minutes until browned and crispy. Flip each halved meatball over and cook another 1 minute. Serve and enjoy! If you’d rather reheat in a microwave, warm for 1-2 minutes on high heat.
To freeze meatballs: Allow cooked meatballs to cool completely, then transfer to a large freezer-safe Ziploc bag. Make sure all air is removed before sealing. Meatballs will keep in a freezer for up to 6 months if stored properly.
Reheat from frozen: Either allow to defrost overnight in a refrigerator or on a counter until thawed, then place on a microwave safe plate and heat on high for 1-2 minutes, until fully defrosted and warm throughout. You can also add thawed meatballs directly to your favorite marinara sauce and warm on a stove top in a sauce pan.
Ground chicken meatballs should bake at 375F for 10-12 minutes. Their internal temperature should reach 165F to be fully cooked.
Yes! Substitute traditional breadcrumbs with gluten-free breadcrumbs.
We love adding freshly grated Parmesan to meatballs, but if you prefer you can use dairy-free parmesan. Leaving it out altogether, however, will alter the texture of the meatballs. We recommend adding about 1 Tbsp of the sun dried tomato oil to help keep them moist.
If you make our Ground Chicken Meatballs recipe, please let us know by leaving a review and rating below!
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Tender & Juicy Ground Chicken Meatballs
- 1½ lbs ground chicken or turkey
- 1 large egg beaten
- ½ cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving
- ½ cup breadcrumbs we recommend seasoned Italian, but plain is fine
- 2 Tbsp sun dried tomatoes finely chopped
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 32 oz marinara sauce about 3 cups (if using store-bought, we love Rao's)
- ½ cup mascarpone cheese
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves thinly sliced or hand ripped, plus more for serving
- 1 lb pasta cooked, any shape
- Flaky sea salt for serving
- Make the meatballs. Place 1½ lbs ground chicken in a large mixing bowl, then add 1 beaten egg, ½ cup grated Parmesan, ½ cup Italian breadcrumbs, 2 Tbsp chopped sun dried tomatoes, 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp Kosher salt, and ¼ tsp black pepper. Use your hands to mix well.
- Form the meatballs. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, then use a small standard cookie scoop to evenly divide the mixture into meatballs about 2” in size. Use your hands to roll into uniform balls, then place on the parchment about 2” apart.
- Cook the meatballs. Broil the meatballs on high for 12 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165F. If you want the meatballs browned on both sides, turn the meatballs over halfway through cooking.
- While the meatballs are cooking, make the sauce. Pour the marinara sauce into a large pan, then place over medium-high heat until simmering. Add ½ cup mascarpone cheese, ½ cup reserved pasta water, and ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, then stir until well mixed. Simmer until the meatballs are fully cooked, then add them to the sauce and toss to coat.
- Serve with pasta. You can add the cooked pasta directly to the marinara sauce with meatballs or you can spoon the sauce over individual bowls of pasta. Serve immediately with additional grated Parmesan, fresh basil, and a pinch of flaky sea salt.
- Nutrition facts include a serving of 3 meatballs in addition to pasta and marinara sauce.
- Use traditional breadcrumbs (either plain or Italian), not Panko breadcrumbs. Panko will give the meatballs a coarse texture.
- To freeze meatballs: Allow cooked meatballs to cool completely, then transfer to a large freezer-safe Ziploc bag. Make sure all air is removed before sealing. Meatballs will keep in a freezer for up to 6 months if stored properly.
- To reheat frozen meatballs: Either allow to defrost overnight in a refrigerator or on a counter until thawed, then place on a microwave safe plate and heat on high for 1-2 minutes, until fully defrosted and warm throughout. You can also add thawed meatballs directly to your favorite marinara sauce and warm on a stove top in a sauce pan.
- To reheat refrigerated meatballs: Hands down, the best way to reheat meatballs is to slice them in half, then griddle cut side down in a skillet. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil or canola oil over medium-high heat in a small skillet. When hot, add meatballs cut side down and cook 1-2 minutes until browned and crispy. Flip each halved meatball over and cook another 1 minute. Serve and enjoy!
- To make gluten-free, substitute with gluten-free breadcrumbs.
This recipe was originally published in August 2019. It has since been updated with new photos and additional information to make it easier to recreate at home.
Photography by Alana of Your Home Made Healthy.