You’re going to love this flavorful healthy alternative to traditional beef meatballs! Chicken meatballs are juicy, perfectly seasoned, and baked until lightly golden. They’re meal prep and freezer-friendly and come together in minutes!
Meatballs are an easy pop in your mouth appetizer which is convenient when serving a crowd. Have an array of a few different dipping sauces like buffalo sauce, BBQ sauce and teriyaki sauce and you’ve got an easy one-bite recipe option for your next gathering.
If your family loves a nice comforting bowl of spaghetti and meatballs, you’re going to LOVE the lighter version of the classic beef meatball, without missing a beat. They will soon be on your most requested list by kids and adults alike!
Seasoned with fresh garlic, onion powder, and parmesan cheese then held together with the light and crispy Panko breadcrumbs, they yield a very tasty meatball every time. We especially love them served over cooked pasta with marinara sauce.
How to make chicken meatballs
- Prep: Heat the oven and prepare a baking sheet with foil and spray with a non-stick spray. You definitely want to spray the foil as these have a tendency to stick while baking. And we want to keep the meatballs nice and intact!
- Combine: In a bowl, combine the ground meat, egg, olive oil, Panko breadcrumbs, grated parmesan cheese, minced garlic, onion powder, salt, and pepper. In other words, combine everything. Mix together, being careful not to overmix. Doing so may cause a loss of moisture and tough meatballs.
- Scoop: Scoop out the meat and form it into 1 1/2″ balls and place them individually on the pan, leaving a bit of room in between each one.
- Bake: Bake uncovered until no longer pink in the middle. If you are worried about one side browning more than the other, feel free to turn them over halfway through.
Tips & variations
- Lean meat. When buying your ground chicken, look for lean meat (I use 80%).
- Ground turkey. Sub ground turkey for chicken to make turkey meatballs.
- Non-stick. When forming your meatballs, try using a bit of oil on your hands to help form the balls.
- Garlic substitute. If you don’t have fresh garlic, you can substitute with 1/2 tsp of garlic powder.
- Fried version. If you want to fry the meatballs instead, cook them in a pan with 2 Tbsp of oil over medium-high heat until cooked through.
- Darker meatballs. For extra browning after baking, toss them in a sauté pan.
- Keep them moist. Mix the meatballs thoroughly to make sure all of the ingredients are evenly dispersed but not enough to toughen the meatballs in the end. Also, don’t overbake!
Storing & freezing
These meatballs can be kept in the fridge for up to 1 week in an airtight container. So you’ll have leftovers for days! Otherwise, freeze them in a freezer friendly bag for up to 3 months. To avoid having them freeze in a clump, flash freeze them on the baking tray first before transferring them to the bag.
More meatball recipes to try:
- Buffalo chicken meatballs
- Slow cooker Hawaiian meatballs
- Swedish meatballs
- Mozzarella stuffed meatballs
- Teriyaki meatballs
- 1 pound 80% lean ground chicken
- 1 large egg (beaten)
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup panko crumbs
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped green onion
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For serving: Teriyaki or buffalo sauce
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray.
- Combine the meat, egg, olive oil, breadcrumbs, cheese, garlic, onion powder, salt and black pepper in a bowl. Stir just until combined, do not over mix.
- Use a medium cookie scoop or spoon to scoop the meat. Then form into 1 1/2" balls and place on the pan.
- Bake uncovered for 16-20 minutes, or until no longer pink in the middle. Turn halfway through if desired, so the bottoms don't brown.
- Dip in teriyaki or buffalo sauce if desired or add to your favorite sauce.