Parmesan Chicken Meatballs

5 from 6 votes

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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! 

close up of a baked chicken meatballs on sheet pan

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
ingredients to make chicken parm meatballs

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.
baked chicken meatballs on sheet pan

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 my Pesto 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:

close up of Italian dinner
Smothered with my favorite non-tomato sauce, Pesto Alfredo!

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!

stack of chicken meatballs in pesto alfredo sauce

This recipe first appeared on Kevin Is Cooking October 2013 and has been updated with new content, photos and/or video February 2020.

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close up of a baked chicken meatballs on sheet pan

Chicken Parm Meatballs

5 from 6 votes
Parmesan chicken meatballs are a delicious twist on the classic Italian dinner, chicken parmigiana. They freeze well, so this meatball recipe is perfect for easy meal prep! 
Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 18 minutes
Total: 28 minutes



  • 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 my Pesto Alfredo over cooked pasta of choice.



  1. Feel free to sauté in olive oil until translucent and golden brown if you prefer.


Calories: 551kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 195mg | Sodium: 500mg | Potassium: 1038mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 385IU | Vitamin C: 4.9mg | Calcium: 207mg | Iron: 3.2mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: Dinner, Main
Cuisine: American, Italian
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
chicken parm meatballs with pesto alfredo and lemon slice


Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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  1. 5 stars
    Oh. Cheet these were amazing , I think I used a smaller scooper , was hard to tell if you used large ice cream or medium cookie …I mixed a little store fresh pesto with half n half I found i frig. It was a hit

  2. 5 stars
    Really enjoyed these! Making another batch today for the freezer. Thank you for this creative and delicious meatball recipe.

  3. Oh Kevin!!! Why isn’t the recipe for your pesto Alfredo sauce here too? I need to make these exactly as you did but now I NEED that sauce!

  4. 5 stars
    I could think of so many uses for these, including enjoying straight up as they are! Delicious, Kevin! Love the pine nuts too!

  5. 5 stars
    I’m giving you five stars for the taste of the meatballs, however, as an Italian American I have to say, please use real grated cheese. Your meatballs will be a 10 star recipe once you do that. I adore meatballs and have made them for my whole life. Starting making chicken meatballs to bring more chicken into our daily rotations and trying to avoid a little more red meat. I promise you if you try a good quality cheese it will make your meatballs sing. Keep up the great recipes, love your site, you have a lot of fabulous flavors in your cooking.