Entertaining/ Main Course

Easy Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

July 19, 2019
Chicken parmesan meatballs on blue plate with red wine and green napkin

For 10 years, I worked as a personal chef for families who needed healthy, delicious meals prepared for them each week. Though I had a large repertoire of recipes, I was always on the lookout for new recipes that fit the bill. Several years ago, I came across Chicken Parm Meatballs on the lovely Dinner a Love Story blog. It’s a genius riff on traditional chicken parmesan, featuring chicken meatballs baked and then broiled with marinara sauce and fresh mozzarella cheese on top. I made the recipe immediately, where it became a client favorite almost overnight.

After making these meatballs again and again over the years, I’ve slowly adapted the recipe so much to my tastes that I thought it was worth sharing my own version of this great meal. I hope these Easy Chicken Parmesan Meatballs will become a regular dinner favorite for your family, just as they are for mine. And, I hope you’ll make it so many times that eventually it becomes your own.

Can you freeze chicken parmesan meatballs?

Yes, definitely. My advice would be to bake your meatballs and then freeze before adding the marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. Then you can just take the meatballs out of the freezer, defrost, bake for 10 minutes or so in a 400-degree oven to bring back up to temperature, then add your sauce and cheese and broil. Voilà: even easier easy chicken parm!

If you have leftovers of this recipe, you can freeze those as well. It’s not ideal, as cheese does not like being frozen and defrosted, but it will still be tasty. And you can always cover them up with more sauce if the cheese doesn’t look quite as good as it looked the first time you made it! 

How do you make easy chicken parmesan meatballs?

First, you’ll preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Then beat one egg with a fork in a large bowl, then add ground chicken, breadcrumbs, parsley, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and salt. Mix just until combined.

ingredients for chicken parm meatballs: ground chicken, breadcrumbs, egg, parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic powder, salt

If you have one, use a medium cookie scoop to scoop the mixture into 1.5 inch meatballs, and place each on a nonstick foil-lined sheet pan as you go. After you have all your meatballs arranged on the sheet pan, wet your hands with cold water and roll gently into balls. You may need to wet your hands a few times since the mixture can be sticky.

chicken meatballs rolled and ready to bake on sheet pan

If you don’t have a cookie scoop, just use your hands to roll the mixture into 1.5-inch balls—wetting your hands frequently with cold water. Roll gently—over-mixing and over-handling filling makes for tough meatballs. When you are done, you should have between 20-25 meatballs. 

Bake meatballs at 400 for 12-15 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to test that they are fully cooked—they should measure 165 degrees internally. While meatballs are cooking, slice mozzarella into thin slices—one for each meatball. When meatballs come out of the oven, top each with a spoonful of marinara sauce (I whole-heartedly recommend Rao’s Marinara Sauce) and a slice of cheese. 

baked chicken meatballs covered with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese

Then set the broiler to high and place the sheet pan on the top rack of the oven, about 5 inches from the heat source—broil for 3-5 minutes, until cheese melts and begins to brown slightly. Serve meatballs with additional marinara sauce that you have warmed up in a saucepan on the stove. 

Broiled chicken parm meatballs on sheet pan

What should I serve with chicken parm meatballs?

These meatballs are honestly great with almost anything. They are great on garlic bread, on pasta, or as a meatball sub. If you’re going low-carb, I love these on their own with a big green salad on the side, or some sautéed spinach or kale. Chicken parm meatballs also make perfect little bite-sized appetizers, skewered with toothpicks and served on a platter . 

What equipment do I need for this recipe?

Really, you don’t need any special equipment for this recipe. However, I find the following items to be very useful—both for this recipe, and many other recipes.

  • 18/8 (1.5-inch) cookie scoop: This is my favorite size scoop for making chocolate chip cookies, but I also love it for making meatballs. Not only do you make sure that you have a consistent size for all your meatballs (helpful in making sure they all cook in the same amount of time), but using a scoop also means you can handle the meatball mixture less. And less handling makes for more tender meatballs!
  • Nonstick foil: This has been a staple in my pantry since I discovered it. You don’t need it—you can always spray a cookie sheet lined with regular foil with cooking spray—but boy, is it easy. I love roasting all kinds of vegetables on nonstick foil since they will caramelize without sticking to the foil.
  • Half sheet pan: The half sheet pan may be the most regularly used item in my cooking arsenal. I use it to roast almost everything. It’s the perfect size to spread out your food so that everything browns and caramelizes rather than steaming. And, it’s great for baking cookies. Go for a sturdy, warp-resistant baking sheet, not the cheap aluminum ones. The thicker ones heat more consistently, and you won’t burn the underside of your cookies. 
  • Thermapen meat thermometer: I also swear by my ThermoWorks Thermapen. Yes, it’s expensive, but it is super accurate and comes to temperature in just a couple of seconds. Perfect when you want to get a quick read on a food without leaving the oven door open too long and letting all the heat escape.

If you’re looking for other healthy and delicious family-friendly meals, be sure to check out my Grain Bowl with Steak, Brown Rice, and Peanut Sauce, my Greek Chicken Kabobs with Yogurt Sauce, my Parmesan Pearl Barley Grain Bowl, and my Shrimp Pasta with Tomatoes, Feta, and Olives.

Easy Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

Easy Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

Yield: Serves 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Easy chicken parmesan meatballs are healthy and delicious. Chicken meatballs are baked and then broiled with marinara sauce and fresh mozzarella cheese.

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1 lb. ground chicken breast
  • 1/3 c. panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 T. chopped parsley
  • 1/3 c. grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 4 oz fresh mozzarella
  • 1 15.5oz jar marinara sauce, such as Rao’s Marinara Sauce
  • fresh basil, for garnish

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    2. Beat egg with a fork in a large bowl, then add the next 6 ingredients and combine gently.
    3. If you have one, use a medium cookie scoop to scoop the mixture into 1.5 inch meatballs, and place each on a nonstick foil-lined sheet pan as you go. After you have them all arranged on the sheet pan, wet your hands with cold water and roll gently into balls. You may need to wet your hands a few times since the mixture can be sticky. When you are done, you should have between 20-25 meatballs.
    4. Bake meatballs at 400 for 12-15 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to test that they are fully cooked—they should measure 165 degrees internally.
    5. While meatballs are cooking, slice mozzarella into thin slices—one for each meatball.
    6. When meatballs come out of the oven, top each with a spoonful of marinara sauce and a slice of cheese.
    7. Then place the sheet pan on the top rack of the oven, about 5 inches from the heat source, and set the broiler to high.
    8. Broil for 3-5 minutes, until cheese melts and begins to brown slightly.
    9. Serve meatballs with garlic bread or pasta, spooning over additional marinara sauce that you have warmed up in a saucepan on the stove. A green salad is lovely on the side!

Notes

If you don’t have a cookie scoop, just use your hands to roll the mixture into 1.5-inch balls—wetting your hands frequently with cold water will help. Roll gently—overmixing and over handling filling makes tough meatballs. If you don’t have nonstick foil, just spray regular aluminum foil with cooking spray.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 438 Total Fat: 24g Saturated Fat: 9g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 13g Cholesterol: 195mg Sodium: 1318mg Carbohydrates: 18g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 7g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 38g
Nutrition information is provided as a general reference for users courtesy of the online nutrition calculator Nutritionix.

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