These ground chicken meatballs are perfect any night of the week. The meatballs are super light, juicy, and bursting with the perfect seasoning.
Meatballs are always a good idea, especially made with chicken. Chicken may be the most versatile protein. The simple protein can be turned into casseroles, grilled as strips, or a creamy main course.
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Why this recipe works
This ground chicken meatball recipe is one that you are going to want to add to your main menu rotation. It’s a fun change from beef and they are a blank canvas to work with.
- They are light and juicy. The meatballs are baked in the oven, making them super light and juicy. Since they are not fried, they do not have any unnecessary grease dragging them down.
- Packed with flavor. Each bite of these chicken meatballs is more flavorful than the next. The Italian seasoning combination gives the ground chicken a hearty flavor.
- Quick and easy. The best thing about this recipe is that they can be ready quickly. They need little prep and take under 20 minutes in the oven to bake.
This recipe mostly uses pantry staples. It allows me to make a great meal whenever I want. Here is everything you’ll need.
- Ground Chicken. I use lean ground chicken because the other ingredients add enough moisture without drying the meat. If you can’t find ground chicken, try ground turkey for a similar flavor. We often do this with our turkey meatballs too.
- Eggs. Helps give the meatballs a hearty texture while baking.
- Milk. Adds moisture to the meatballs. If you are dairy free, use your favorite dairy alternative instead.
- Garlic. Gives a nice punch of flavor to the ground chicken.
- Bread crumbs. Panko breadcrumbs help to bind the meatballs together and prevent them from falling apart.
For gluten-free meatballs, swap out the breadcrumbs for gluten-free breadcrumbs.
- Italian seasoning. Gives the ground chicken flavor with hints of basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary.
- Garlic powder. Helps to balance out the Italian seasoning.
- Salt and pepper. To season the ground chicken.
How to make ground chicken meatballs
Step 1: Prepare the pan and preheat the oven
Get the oven ready by preheating it to 200C/400F. While the oven is preheating, prepare a baking tray with a sheet of parchment paper. When this is done, set the pan to the side.
Step 2: Mix all of the ingredients together
In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients together. Use a large spoon or rubber spatula to mix everything together to ensure the seasoning is well distributed.
Step 3: Form the meatballs
Slightly wet your hands with warm water. This will make it much easier to roll out the meatballs. With wet hands, roll out the meatballs into small balls, about one tablespoon in size. Place them on the prepared tray as you roll them out.
Step 4: Bake the meatballs
Place the tray of meatballs in the oven and bake for 15-17 minutes. The meatballs will look beige in color when done.
These chicken meatballs follow a traditional recipe making them very customizable. I love adding these simple additions to the mix to switch up the meal.
- Customize the spice blend. Add spices like cumin, red pepper flakes, or garlic powder to change the flavor.
- Use different ground meat. Not a fan of chicken? Swap out the chicken for ground turkey for a similar-tasting meatball. The ground turkey is super lean and provides a ton of protein in the meatball dish. You can also use ground beef.
- Think out of the box when it comes to side dishes. Sure, you can serve these meatballs with traditional pasta, sugo, or tomato sauce, or you can go with the healthy and low-carb option and pair the meatballs with spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles. Add different sauce options, too, like pesto.
- Add some cheese. A sprinkling of parmesan cheese into the mixture will completely transform the flavor.
- Keep your hands wet. Having wet hands will make forming the meatballs so much easier. Slightly wet hands mean that the ground chicken will not stick to your hands and will smoothly form into a ball.
- Don’t overmix the meat. Overmixing the meat can result in tough and dry meatballs. Mix the ingredients together just until they are evenly combined.
- Chill the mixture. Chilling the meatball mixture for at least 30 minutes before shaping and cooking can help the meatballs hold their shape better.
- Brown the meatballs. If you’d like your meatballs to be much more tender, brown them on all sides in a hot skillet for several minutes before baking them in the oven.
- Experiment with different sauces. Try something different by dousing the meatballs in a katsu, bulgogi, or eel sauce. This would work well as a fun appetizer!
To store: Place any leftovers in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for 4-5 days.
To freeze: Transfer the cooked meatballs to an airtight container or plastic bag and place them in the freezer. The meatballs will last in the freeze for 2-3 months.
To reheat: Place the meatballs on a baking sheet and place them in the oven at a low temperature. Cover the meatballs with foil so they will not dry out.
Frequently asked questions
If your chicken meatballs have a tough texture after they come out of the oven, you probably overmixed all the ingredients. You want to ensure everything is evenly incorporated without mixing the ground chicken too much.
No. Since these meatballs are baked, they do not require any browning beforehand. If you want that slightly crispy texture, you can first brown them in a skillet.
The meatballs will be light beige in color when ready instead of the pink they were when placed in the oven. You can also check if the meatballs are done with an instant-read thermometer to see if they are 73C/165F.
Yes, you can make chicken meatballs in advance. Prepare the meatballs and refrigerate them for up to 24 hours before cooking. You can also batch-freeze the uncooked meatballs for later use.
Yes, you can make chicken meatballs without eggs by using an egg substitute or a mixture of milk and cornstarch. Simply whisk together 1/4 cup of milk and one tablespoon of cornstarch until smooth and use in place of one egg.
Always use a binder like breadcrumbs or oats to prevent baked chicken meatballs from falling apart. Also, avoid over-mixing the meat and chill the mixture in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before shaping and cooking.
Ground Chicken Meatballs
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well.
- Using lightly wet hands, roll out 20 meatballs. Place them on the lined tray.
- Bake the meatballs for 15-17 minutes.
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