These lightened-up Italian style Chicken Meatballs are made with Parmesan cheese, sauteed peppers, and onions, and baked using a special technique that keeps the meatballs tender and moist.
If you are looking for more meatball recipes, be sure to check out my Classic Oven Baked Meatballs, Swedish Meatballs, and Instant Pot Meatballs. And serve any of these recipes with my homemade tomato sauce.
Baked Chicken Meatballs
These Baked Chicken Meatballs are a lighter version of my popular recipe for The Best Oven Baked Meatballs.
In place of ground beef, I use ground chicken breasts. Normally you would think that chicken breast would be the WORST possible meat to use for meatballs, as it is known to dry out easily.
However, with a few tricks and a lot of seasoning, these Chicken Meatballs are JUST as tasty as the original–just significantly lighter on the calorie count.
How To Make Ground Chicken Meatballs
Step One: Saute Peppers and Onions
- Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat.
- Add the peppers and onions and saute for 3-5 minutes or until softened.
Adding sauteed peppers and onions adds great flavor and moisture to these chicken meatballs, as ground chicken can be quite bland. However, if you have picky eaters or need to save time on preparation, you may skip this step.
Step Two: Mix Together Base for Meatballs
- Mix together all the ingredients except for the chicken until well combined.
Step Three: Mix in Ground Chicken
- Add the chicken and just combine.
- Do not over mix, but be sure seasonings are well dispersed.
Step Five: Bake Chicken Meatballs
Just like my Classic Italian Meatballs, I use a steaming technique to get moist and tender meatballs.
- Set your oven to 450 degrees.
- Place meatballs on rimmed baking sheet.
- Pour chicken stock around your meatballs and place in the oven.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until meatballs reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Step Six: Serve Italian Chicken Meatballs
- Heat 2 cups of homemade tomato sauce or your favorite jarred sauce over medium heat in a large skillet.
- Add in the cooked meatballs.
- Gently toss the meatballs in the sauce and remove from heat.
- Serve with additional freshly grated Parmesan over pasta, zucchini noodles, or in a meatball sub.
How to Make Ground Chicken
Yes, you can purchase ground chicken at your grocery store. It is just so overpriced and so easy to make homemade ground chicken, that I do it at home.
To make freshly ground chicken:
- Cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or chicken thighs) into chunks
- Place chicken into the food processor.
- Pulse a couple times, until the meat begins to break down.
- Be careful to not over-process. It should only take 5-6 pulses to make ground chicken at home.
- I like to add -2 ice cubes to keep meat super cold as it processes.
How to Freeze Baked Chicken Meatballs
- Make a double or triple batch of meatballs.
- Once cooled, place on cookie sheet and freeze until solid (about 30 minutes.)
- Transfer to a freezer safe bag for up to 3 months.
- To reheat frozen meatballs, either drop into simmering sauce for 20 minutes or reheat in an oven at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until warmed through.
Tips on Chicken Meatballs
- Instead of using ground chicken, you can also use Italian sausage links. Be sure to use RAW sausage and remove from casings. I love use Italian-Style sausage (chicken or pork).
- You can also use ground chicken breast, ground chicken thighs, ground turkey, ground pork, or ground beef in this meatball recipe.
- Oven Baked Chicken Meatballs are delicious served on spaghetti or served up on a hoagie bun with melted provolone cheese for a Meatball Sub.
- Remember to use a lined baking sheet for these meatballs so that you pour stock around them to steam as they cook.
More Delicious Italian Recipes
- Instant Pot Creamy Italian Pasta
- Easy 5 Ingredient Baked Rotini
- Easy Homemade Lasagna
- 4 Ingredient Tortellini Soup
- The World’s Best Oven Baked Meatballs
Chicken Meatball Recipe
Italian Chicken Meatballs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup red peppers diced
- ¼ cup onion diced
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup chicken broth divided
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 pounds ground chicken
- 16 ounces marinara sauce
- Additional Parmesan Cheese grated
Baked Chicken Meatballs
- Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add the peppers and onions and saute for 3-5 minutes or until softened.
- Mix the peppers and onions with the breadcrumbs, cheese, ½ cup chicken broth, egg, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano and crushed red pepper flakes.
- Add the meat and just combine. Do not over mix, but be sure seasonings are well dispersed.
- Coat a baking sheet with rimmed edges with non stick spray and roll meatballs into 1 inch circles.
- Pour reserved chicken broth around meatballs and bake at 450 for 25 minutes.
- Heat 2 cups of homemade tomato sauce or your favorite jarred sauce over medium heat in a large skillet and add in the cooked meatballs. Gently toss the meatballs in the sauce and remove from heat. Serve with additional freshly grated Parmesan.
To Make Homemade Chicken Meatballs, You May Need
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