Chicken Parm Meatballs


Chicken Parm Meatballs combine the comforting flavors of Italian-American cuisine into a delightful dish that’s both versatile and easy to prepare. This culinary creation takes the beloved elements of chicken parmesan—juicy chicken, rich tomato sauce, and a generous topping of melted cheese—and reimagines them in meatball form. The result is a dish that pays homage to its traditional roots while offering a playful twist that’s perfect for everything from a cozy family dinner to a chic party appetizer.

The history of chicken parmesan goes back to the early 20th century, originating from Italian immigrants in the United States who adapted their traditional recipes to available ingredients. This adaptation led to the birth of a classic comfort food that has been embraced by generations. Chicken Parm Meatballs are a modern iteration of this culinary journey, combining the essence of the original dish with the convenience and popularity of meatballs. Learn more about the origins of Italian cuisine.

What makes Chicken Parm Meatballs particularly appealing is their versatility. They can be served atop a bed of spaghetti, nestled in a sub for a hearty sandwich, or enjoyed on their own with a side of marinara for dipping. This adaptability, coupled with their delicious taste, has cemented their popularity among a wide range of food enthusiasts. For those looking to dive deeper into meatball recipes, Pinterest offers a wealth of inspiration.

In creating Chicken Parm Meatballs, the key ingredients—ground chicken, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and marinara sauce—work in harmony to deliver a dish that’s both satisfying and flavorful. As we explore further into this article, we’ll uncover the secrets to perfecting this dish, from selecting the right ingredients to mastering the cooking process, ensuring that every bite is a testament to the rich history and culinary creativity that Chicken Parm Meatballs represent.

Ingredients and Preparation :

Ingredients List

Creating Chicken Parm Meatballs requires a blend of simple, yet flavorful ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 pound ground chicken – a lean protein source that forms the base of the meatballs. For a vegetarian alternative, consider using ground chickpeas.
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs – helps bind the meatballs together. For a gluten-free option, almond flour is a great substitute.
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated – adds a salty, nutty flavor. Nutritional yeast can be used for a dairy-free version.
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped – brings a burst of freshness.
  • 1 egg – acts as a binder. Flaxseed meal mixed with water is an excellent vegan alternative.
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced – adds depth of flavor.
  • 1 teaspoon salt – enhances the overall taste.
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper – provides a slight kick.
  • 1 cup marinara sauce – the tangy tomato sauce that coats the meatballs. Homemade sauce is recommended for the best flavor, but store-bought works in a pinch. Explore homemade marinara sauce ideas on Pinterest.
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded – for that gooey cheese topping. Dairy-free mozzarella is available for those avoiding dairy.
  • Olive oil for frying – gives the meatballs a golden crust.

Step-by-Step Preparation

  1. Mixing Ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, egg, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Mix until just combined, being careful not to overmix to ensure the meatballs remain tender.
  2. Forming Meatballs: Scoop out the mixture and roll into balls, about 1 inch in diameter. This size ensures even cooking and a perfect bite-size portion.
  3. Cooking Method Options:
    • Frying: Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. This method gives the meatballs a crispy exterior.
    • Baking: For a healthier option, arrange the meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 400°F for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through. Baking offers a lighter alternative while still keeping the meatballs juicy.
  4. Simmering in Marinara Sauce: Once the meatballs are browned or baked, transfer them to a skillet with the marinara sauce. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, allowing the meatballs to absorb the sauce’s flavors.
  5. Adding Mozzarella Cheese: Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the meatballs and sauce. Cover and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  6. Serving: Serve the Chicken Parm Meatballs hot, garnished with additional Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley. Whether enjoyed on their own or as part of a larger meal, these meatballs are sure to delight.

By following these steps and using the listed ingredients, you’ll create a dish that’s not only delicious but also adaptable to various dietary needs. The combination of juicy chicken, rich sauce, and melted cheese, all wrapped up in a meatball, makes for a comforting and satisfying meal that pays tribute to its Italian-American roots.

Cooking Tips and Tricks :

Achieving Juiciness in Meatballs

The secret to juicy Chicken Parm Meatballs lies in both the preparation and cooking process. Here are some tips to ensure your meatballs are moist and flavorful:

  • Avoid Overmixing: When combining your ingredients, mix until just incorporated. Overmixing can lead to tough meatballs. Use a gentle hand or a fork to fold the ingredients together.
  • Use a Panade: A panade, made from breadcrumbs and milk (or a milk substitute), can be added to the meat mixture. This not only helps bind the meatballs but also retains moisture during cooking.
  • Let Them Rest: After forming the meatballs, let them rest in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. This helps them hold their shape and absorb flavors.
  • Cooking Temperatures: Whether frying or baking, ensure your cooking temperature is just right. For frying, medium heat allows the meatballs to cook through without burning the exterior. When baking, 400°F is the sweet spot for a crispy outside and juicy inside.

Choosing the Right Marinara Sauce

The marinara sauce is more than just a condiment; it’s a crucial component that can make or break your Chicken Parm Meatballs. Here’s how to choose the best sauce:

  • Homemade vs. Store-Bought: While store-bought can be convenient, a homemade marinara sauce offers freshness and the ability to adjust flavors to your liking. Consider making a batch in advance. Here’s a guide to understanding ground chicken, a key ingredient in many homemade sauces.
  • Flavor Profile: Look for a sauce with a good balance of acidity and sweetness. The tomatoes should be the star, with herbs like basil and oregano playing supporting roles.
  • Texture: A thicker sauce clings better to the meatballs, ensuring each one is generously coated. If your sauce is too thin, simmer it for a few minutes to reduce and thicken.

By following these tips, you’ll not only enhance the juiciness of your meatballs but also ensure they’re paired with a marinara sauce that complements their flavors perfectly. Remember, the goal is to create a harmonious dish where each component shines, from the tender meatballs to the rich, savory sauce.

Serving Suggestions :

Chicken Parm Meatballs are a versatile dish that can be served in numerous ways, making them perfect for any occasion. Here are some serving suggestions to elevate your meal:

  • Pairing with Sides:
    • Pasta: Spaghetti or linguine tossed in olive oil or additional marinara sauce makes a classic pairing. Opt for whole wheat or gluten-free pasta to cater to dietary preferences.
    • Vegetables: Roasted vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, and eggplant add color and nutrition to your plate. A fresh salad with a balsamic vinaigrette can offer a refreshing contrast to the rich meatballs.
    • Bread: Garlic bread or a crusty baguette serves as the perfect vehicle for scooping up extra sauce. For a low-carb option, consider cauliflower breadsticks.
  • Presentation Tips:
    • Garnishing: A sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley not only adds flavor but also enhances the visual appeal of the dish.
    • Plating: Serve the meatballs and sauce over a bed of pasta or alongside your chosen sides. For a more casual presentation, consider a Chicken Parm Meatball sub, layering meatballs and sauce in a hoagie roll, topped with melted mozzarella.

Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or looking for a comforting meal to enjoy at home, these serving suggestions can help you create a memorable dining experience. The beauty of Chicken Parm Meatballs lies in their ability to adapt to various tastes and occasions, making them a beloved choice for both cooks and diners alike.

By incorporating these serving suggestions, you can transform Chicken Parm Meatballs from a simple dish into a feast for the senses. Remember, the key to a great meal is not just in the taste but also in the presentation and the joy it brings to those around the table.

Nutritional Information :

Chicken Parm Meatballs are not only a treat to your taste buds but can also be a part of a nutritious meal. Here’s a breakdown of their nutritional benefits and considerations:

  • Lean Protein Source: Ground chicken, the main ingredient, is a lean protein that’s essential for muscle repair and growth. Opting for ground chicken breast can further reduce fat content, making it a healthier choice.
  • Calcium and Vitamins: Parmesan cheese provides calcium, which is vital for bone health. Additionally, fresh parsley is a good source of Vitamin C and Vitamin K.
  • Dietary Fiber: By serving the meatballs with whole wheat pasta or a side of vegetables, you can increase the dietary fiber content of the meal, which is beneficial for digestive health.

A single serving of Chicken Parm Meatballs, including the marinara sauce and a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese, contains approximately 310 kcal. This calorie count can vary based on the size of the meatballs and the type of ingredients used. For a lower-calorie version, consider using part-skim mozzarella and serving the meatballs with a side of roasted vegetables instead of pasta.

While Chicken Parm Meatballs can be indulgent, they can also fit into a balanced diet with mindful ingredient choices and portion control. Enjoying this dish alongside a variety of vegetables and opting for whole grain or gluten-free pasta alternatives can make it a wholesome and satisfying meal.

FAQs :

Can I use turkey instead of chicken? Yes, ground turkey is a great alternative to ground chicken and can be used in a 1:1 ratio. Turkey offers a slightly different flavor but still pairs wonderfully with the marinara sauce and cheese.

Can these meatballs be frozen? Absolutely. You can freeze the meatballs either before or after cooking them. To freeze uncooked meatballs, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze until solid. Then, transfer to a freezer bag. Cooked meatballs can be cooled, then frozen in a single layer before transferring to a freezer bag. They can be reheated in the oven or on the stovetop with some marinara sauce.

How do I ensure the meatballs don’t fall apart? Ensuring your meatball mixture has the right proportions of breadcrumbs and egg is key to binding the ingredients together. If the mixture feels too wet, add a bit more breadcrumbs. Letting the meatballs chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before cooking can also help them hold their shape.

What are some gluten-free alternatives for breadcrumbs? For a gluten-free version, you can use almond flour, crushed gluten-free crackers, or gluten-free oats pulsed into a coarse meal. These alternatives provide the necessary binding and texture without gluten.

Can I make this dish dairy-free? Yes, to make Chicken Parm Meatballs dairy-free, use nutritional yeast or a dairy-free Parmesan cheese alternative in place of traditional Parmesan. For the mozzarella topping, there are many dairy-free mozzarella cheese options available that melt beautifully.

Is there a low-carb option for serving? For a low-carb serving option, consider using zucchini noodles (zoodles) or spaghetti squash instead of traditional pasta. These vegetable-based noodles complement the meatballs and sauce while keeping the meal low in carbohydrates.

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Chicken Parm Meatballs

  • Author: Easy Recipes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes


Dive into the heartwarming flavors of Chicken Parm Meatballs, a delightful twist on the classic Chicken Parmesan. This recipe transforms the traditional dish into succulent meatballs, combining ground chicken, breadcrumbs, and Parmesan cheese, all simmered in a rich marinara sauce and topped with melted mozzarella. Perfect for any occasion, from a family dinner to a festive gathering, these meatballs offer a comforting taste of Italian-American cuisine with every bite. Serve them over spaghetti, nestled in a sub, or enjoy them on their own for a meal that’s sure to impress.



1 pound ground chicken

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1 egg

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup marinara sauce

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Olive oil for frying


  1. In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, parsley, egg, garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix well until evenly combined.
  2. Form the mixture into meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes.
  4. Pour marinara sauce over the meatballs in the skillet. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through.
  5. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the meatballs and sauce. Cover and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.
  6. Serve hot, garnished with additional Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.


Ingredients Substitutions:

  • For a gluten-free version, substitute breadcrumbs with almond flour or gluten-free breadcrumbs.
  • Ground turkey can be used in place of ground chicken for a different flavor profile.
  • For a dairy-free option, replace Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses with dairy-free alternatives.

Cooking Tips:

  • Avoid overmixing the meatball mixture to ensure tender meatballs.
  • Letting the formed meatballs chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before cooking can help them maintain their shape during cooking.
  • If using store-bought marinara sauce, choose a brand with a flavor profile that you enjoy, as it significantly influences the dish’s taste.

Serving Suggestions:

  • These meatballs pair beautifully with pasta, but for a low-carb option, consider serving them with zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash.
  • They’re also great as a meatball sub filling, tucked into a hoagie roll with extra sauce and melted cheese.


  • Leftover meatballs can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. To reheat, simply simmer in marinara sauce on the stove until heated through.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes


  • Serving Size: 4 servings
  • Calories: 310 kcal per serving

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