If you’ve never made meatballs with ground chicken, you need to try this recipe! The meatballs are tender and filled with fresh herbs, plus a tiny hit of heat from the red pepper flakes. Using chicken instead of beef creates a much lighter meatball without sacrificing any flavor or heartiness.
An added bonus for busy weeknights — use your favorite jarred marinara sauce. I’m partial to Rao’s, but use whatever you have on hand.
When you make this dish, don’t forget to tag your pic #amenuforyou so I can see what’s cooking in your kitchen! When you tag me in your pics it’s like giving me a virtual high five which seriously makes me SO happy!!
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cups flour
- olive oil
- 1 jar marinara sauce
- Garnish on top:
- Chopped fresh parsley \
- Grated Parmesan
In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken, parmesan, breadcrumbs, egg, salt, pepper, oregano, thyme and red pepper flakes. Gently combine everything with your hands until the ingredients are evenly mixed. Don't over mix -- you want to mix JUST until everything is combined. Using this technique ensures lovely tender meatballs.
Using your hands, form the ground chicken mixture into small meatballs. You want each meatball to be the size of a golf ball. Try to make each meatball the same size, so they cook evenly.
Put the flour in a shallow dish.
Dredge each meatball in the flour to lightly coat it and gently tap off any excess flour. I find it's much to perfect their shape when they've been dusted in the flour. Put the meatball in the palm of one hand, place your other hand on top and move your top hand clockwise. This helps shape them into round meatballs.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat 5 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat. If you have a cast iron skillet, this is the time to break it out. Once the oil is hot, add half of the meatballs and sauté for a 3-4 minutes, turning every so often to brown the outside. I use tongs to turn them over, and don't forget to also roll them around on all their sides.
Once the meatballs are browned on all sides, remove them from the oil. Repeat the process with the remaining meatballs.
Once all meatballs are browned, add all the meatballs back into the skillet. Add the tomato sauce.
Transfer the skillet into the oven and let the meatballs continue to bake for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
Remove the skillet from the oven, sprinkle with fresh parsley and extra Parmesan.
You can eat these meatballs as a complete meal and serve with a salad OR serve over pasta OR roasted spaghetti squash.