Parmesan chicken meatballs are a delicious twist on the classic Italian dinner, chicken parmigiana. They are simple to make and freeze well. As a result, this ground chicken recipe is perfect for easy meal prep!
These baked chicken parm meatballs have lots of flavor, thanks to Parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes and lemon zest. They have a great texture from the onions and toasted pine nuts, too. Plus, it’s a ground chicken recipe, so they’re lighter and healthier than beef meatballs.
Chicken Meatball Ingredients
On its own, ground chicken can be rather bland. A few simple pantry staples will fix that problem. In addition to the chicken, you’ll need:
- Diced onion
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Plain or Italian spice breadcrumbs
- Toasted pine nuts
- Lemon zest
- Minced garlic
- Fresh parsley
- Fennel seeds
- Red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt
- Whole egg
- Olive oil
How to make perfect meatballs
Regardless of the ground meat you use, meatballs can easily become dry. This is especially true when they will be baked in an oven. Use these easy tips to make perfectly juicy meatballs.
- Use a light touch. As you combine the ingredients, moisture releases from the ground meat. As a result, the meatballs will lose the moisture they need to stay juicy.
- Keep them uniform in size. To ensure that all of the chicken meatballs cook evenly, try to keep them the same size. The easiest way to do this is to use a cookie scoop to portion the mixture.
What can you serve with chicken parmesan meatballs?
Because of the Italian flavors in the meat, they pair well with any type of Italian sauce. We prefer them with an Alfredo or white pesto pasta sauce. If your family prefers red sauces, the chicken meatballs will taste fantastic with any of these:
To really jazz up the meal, try them with fresh, homemade chimichurri sauce!
You can serve the parmesan chicken meatballs on a bed of your favorite pasta, gnocchi, risotto, or even egg noodles.
Tasty side dishes that pair well with chicken parm meatballs include:
Meal prep instructions
Because they freeze well, the meatballs make a great make-ahead meal. They can be cooked and stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Then, when you’re ready to serve them, allow them to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. You can either reheat them in the oven or directly in a sauce. SO easy! Enjoy!
This recipe first appeared on Kevin Is Cooking October 2013 and has been updated with new photos and a video.
Watch how to make this below!
Chicken Parm Meatballs
- 1 1/2 lbs ground chicken
- 1/2 onion diced fine (See Note 1)
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup pine nuts toasted
- 1 lemon (zest)
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tbsp parsley chopped
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Dice the onion, mince the garlic and zest the lemon. In a small sauté pan, toast the pine nuts until golden and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl add the ground chicken, onion, Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, pine nuts, lemon zest, garlic, parsley, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, kosher salt and egg. Mix well to incorporate.
- With a small scoop, make 24 meatballs and roll with your hands, arrange them on a foil lined, rimmed baking pan sprayed with cooking spray or olive oil.
- Using a brush, gently coat each meatball with the olive oil or cooking spray. Bake for 18 minutes.
- Remove meatballs from oven and allow to rest 5 minutes. Serve with your favorite sauce or pesto over cooked pasta of choice.
- Feel free to sauté in olive oil until translucent and golden brown if you prefer.