Chicken Parmesan Meatballs are a delicious twist on two Italian American classics, chicken parmesan and spaghetti and meatballs. Juicy chicken meatballs coated in crunchy breadcrumbs, baked with marinara sauce and topped with mozzarella cheese.
Top your favorite pasta with these crispy chicken parmesan meatballs or use them in a chicken parmesan meatball sub or sliders. For a tasty appetizer, just make them bite size and serve the mini chicken parmesan meatballs with a side of marinara dipping sauce at your next party. Anyway you try them, you are going to say “that’s a really good meatball”.
For this recipe, ground chicken is seasoned with Italian herbs and parmesan cheese, formed into golf ball size meatballs and rolled in a crisp coating of panko breadcrumbs. They are pan sautéed in olive oil until golden, topped with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese and then finished in the oven. The result is a new twist on an Italian classic that I believe you will enjoy.
Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
Recipe serves 4, adjust the recipe according.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- 1 lb. ground chicken
- 1 large egg, whisked with 1 Tbsp. water
- 1/2 c. of homemade or flavored Italian breadcrumbs
- 1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese plus an additional 2 Tbsp.
- 1/2 c. finely chopped onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 – 2 tsp. chopped fresh basil or 1/2 tsp. dried basil
- a pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 or 2 Tbsp. olive oil (if needed)
- 1 c. panko breadcrumbs
- olive oil for sautéing
- 3 c. homemade marinara sauce or a jar of your favorite bottled sauce
- 1/2 c. freshly grated mozzarella cheese
In a large bowl combine the ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, grated cheese, onion and herbs, season generously with salt and pepper and mix well. Take a small piece of the mixture and cook it then taste for seasonings. If the chicken is bland, add more salt. If dry, add 1 or 2 Tbsp. olive oil to the mixture. Refrigerate the chicken about 10 minutes then form into 12 meatballs. Place the panko breadcrumbs plus 2 Tbsp. of parmesan cheese into a shallow bowl, mix then place the meatballs into the crumbs, one at a time, and roll until completely covered in crumbs.
Coat a large sauté pan with olive oil and heat over medium high heat until shimmering. Add meatballs and brown on all sides. Transfer meatballs to a foil lined baking sheet or a large casserole dish. Top with a spoonful of marinara sauce and bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese then return to the oven and bake until cheese melts and chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
- You can buy either ground breast of chicken or a mixture of breast and thigh meat. The mixture will produce a slightly moister meatball than just breast meat alone.
- Ground turkey can be substituted for chicken if you wish.
- If the chicken mixture appears a little dry, you can add 1 – 2 Tbsp. olive oil to produce a juicier meatball.
- Refrigerating the ground chicken mixture 10 minutes will help you form the meatballs without the mixture sticking to your hands. You can also moisten your hands with water to help keep the chicken from sticking.
- You can just bake the meatballs in the oven until they reach an internal temperature of 165, about 30 min. but they will not be as crispy as browning them first then baking.
- I made a quick homemade marinara sauce from one large 28 oz. can of San Marzano whole tomatoes but you can use your favorite bottled sauce if you wish.
If you have leftover meatballs, they can be reheated but they will not be crunchy like the first day. This is when the meatballs make a great chicken parmesan meatball sub. Place a couple of the meatballs in each sub roll, ladle marinara sauce over the top, sprinkle with a little extra mozzarella and bake in a 350 degree oven until they are warm and the cheese has melted. It doesn’t get much better than that…it is real comfort food.
Whether you have chicken parmesan meatballs with pasta, a chicken parmesan meatball sub in front of the TV for game day munching or make mini versions of the crispy chicken parmesan meatballs to serve as an appetizer next to a side of marinara sauce, I believe you will enjoy this versatile recipe…a twist on two Italian American classics.