Chicken Meatballs

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These are seriously the best chicken meatballs! Not only are they juicy, and super flavorful, but they’re easy to whip up with minimal mess because they’re oven baked. Enjoy them as a snack with a drizzle of herby chimichurri sauce on top, or meal prep a batch for a quick-and-easy lunch or weeknight dinner idea.

A plate of chicken meatballs
Photo: Gayle McLeod

When I’m craving meatballs for dinner but want a lighter and healthier twist, these baked chicken meatballs are a dream. Here are a few reasons why I’m obsessed with this recipe:

  • They’re baked meatballs: which means there’s no splatter on the stove and cleanup is a breeze!
  • They’re juicy and flavorful: the diced onion keeps the meatballs juicy, and the garlic, parmesan, parsley and oregano make the flavor pop. These tasty little bites can be combined with many different sauces, like chimichurri sauce, for a variety of tasty dinner ideas. But if you’re not a fan of chimichurri sauce, I’ve got plenty more ideas below!
  • They’re meal prep-friendly: just pop leftovers (or a second batch) into the freezer for several months. You can instantly reheat these in the microwave or bake them in the oven for a quick-and-easy dinner.
  • They’re healthy: my spin on this recipe makes them naturally gluten-free and low-carb by swapping breadcrumbs for almond flour. You can also make them dairy-free if you so choose!
Ingredients for chicken meatballs

Chicken Meatballs Ingredients

This recipe highlights the wonderful versatility of ground chicken – just combine it with a handful of aromatic ingredients and seasonings to create these juicy little bites! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Ground Chicken: Packaged ground chicken is usually a mix of dark and white meat so it keeps it fairly juicy. But if you want it slightly juicier, you can grab freshly ground chicken with dark meat from the butcher section.
  • Egg & Flour: Almond flour is usually my default for meatballs. But if you’re nut-free, you can use another type of nut flour or a gluten-free flour blend.
  • Cheese: I recommend using freshly grated parmesan cheese instead of the pre-packaged kind. You’ll notice a difference in taste and texture! If you’re dairy-free you can omit this and the meatballs will still be fabulous.
  • Onion & Garlic: Freshly chopped onion helps to add extra moisture into the meatballs, to keep them from drying out as they cook. So don’t swap fresh onion for onion powder!
  • Aromatics & Seasonings: We’re using lots of fresh parsley here. But you’ll also need salt, black pepper, and dried oregano to complete the flavor profile.

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

How To Make Baked Chicken Meatballs

Mix the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and prep a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper on top. In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, egg, onion, almond flour, parmesan, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, and oregano with your hands.

Chicken meatball ingredients in a bowl

Scoop and roll. Measure 1 ½ tablespoons of the mixture and roll the mixture between your hands, forming about 30 meatballs. To make the process easier, I like using a medium cookie scoop instead. That way, the meatballs will be in a uniform shape.

Rolling chicken meatballs together

Bake until browned. Place the meatballs in an even layer on the baking sheet and bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until lightly browned on the outside and cooked through (to 165°F on an instant-read thermometer). Avoid going over the time because chicken can easily overcook!

Baked chicken meatballs on a sheet pan

Common Questions

Why are my chicken meatballs tough?

These chicken meatballs shouldn’t be tough. But if you notice that yours are, you may have over-mixed the ingredients together and packed the balls too tightly. It’s always best to not over work the meatball mixture.

Can you make these meatballs dairy-free?

Yes, you can use any dairy-free cheese as a substitute. You can also add a tablespoon of nutritional yeast if you want the cheesy flavor without the cheese.

How to Serve Chicken Meatballs

A plate of a few chicken meatballs

Storage Tips

  • Storing for the week: Any leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
  • Freezing for later: Meatballs are a great meal prep recipe, so it’s always a good idea to make a double batch to freeze! Let them cool completely before adding them to a freezer-safe bag or container. They’ll keep for up to 3 months.
  • For reheating: Don’t forget to let them thaw overnight in the fridge! Then you can simply pop them in the microwave for a few minutes for a quick and easy dinner.
A pile of chicken meatballs

More MEATBALL Recipes

Enjoy these delicious baked chicken meatballs for a healthy and flavorful dinner! Once you make it, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment box below.

A white plate of chicken meatballs

Easy Chicken Meatballs

5 from 16 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan

Description

These baked chicken meatballs will surprise and delight you! Not only are they juicy and super flavorful, but I serve them up with the best homemade chimichurri sauce in the video below. Give it a watch to see how this easy recipe comes together!

Video

Equipment

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 ½ pounds ground chicken
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ small onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • ¼ cup finely grated fresh parmesan
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • Optional: serve with chimichurri sauce

Instructions 

  • Mix the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, egg, onion, almond flour, parmesan, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, and oregano. Using your hands, mix the ingredients together until well combined.
    Mixing chicken meatball ingredients in a bowl
  • Scoop and roll. Measure out 1 ½ tablespoons of the mixture (or use a medium cookie scoop) and roll the mixture between your hands, forming about 30 meatballs.
    Forming chicken meatballs
  • Bake until browned. Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until lightly browned on the outside and cooked through (to 165°F on an instant-read thermometer). Avoid overbaking them, so that they stay juicy.
    A sheet pan of baked chicken meatballs
  • Serve. Enjoy the chicken meatballs on their own, or serve with chimichurri sauce, if you'd like.
    A plate of chicken meatballs with a fork

Lisa’s Tips

  • Try to not over mix the the ingredients or compact the balls too tightly when scooping, as this will make them more dense. 

Nutrition

Calories: 224kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 128mg | Sodium: 541mg | Potassium: 647mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 290IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken meatball recipe, chicken meatballs
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




40 Comments

  1. These were great for family dinner, even my extremely picky 7 and 5 year old ate these happily. They were a bit too salty for my taste so I will reduce salt next time.5 stars

  2. Great meatballs – we love to keep a batch in the freezer and heat them up for a meal on those busy days! Thanks for the great recipe.5 stars

    1. Delicious! The whole family loved these meatballs – I served them with brown rice and broccoli. They were delicious as is, but I’m going to test out the recommended sauces in the future. Yum! Definitely adding these into our dinner rotation.5 stars

  3. Goodness, Lisa, these meatballs were so delicious! Followed the recipe exactly as written, including the almond flour, because, even though I am not gluten free, I have it in my pantry – cause I’m a sucker for Linzer cookies :). The meatballs turned out juicy and just flavor packed. Next time I will make a double batch to freeze some, and I’m sure they would work great as an addition to your new vegetable soup, that I cannot wait to try!5 stars

  4. Great recipe Lisa!! As always your recipe was spot on and delicious! I didn’t have parsley so I substituted cilantro and used a store bought chimichurri (Trader Joe’s). Thank you <35 stars

  5. This is a great tasting recipe. I did a burger size variation on this as a healthy alternative to beef burgers and my family loved them. This is now my go to burger recipe! Thanks so much for all your fantastic ideas.5 stars

    1. Oh wonderful! I love that you turned these chicken meatballs into chicken burgers! Have you tried my turkey burger recipe as well? That’s another great option. :)

  6. So good! I made them in the airfryer and they took about 9 minutes to reach temp! So easy and will definitely be making them again!

    1. Glad these chicken meatballs worked out perfectly in the air fryer! Can you let us know what time and temperature you used?

  7. We enjoyed these delicious and tasty chicken meatballs with a yummy salad and it was so outrageous 😋!

    Easy to make and one of the best recipes for a clean meal. You can’t ask for anything better so thank you so much Lisa for this recipe! We are looking forward to trying your recipes of the other meatballs you have created and know we will not be disappointed.5 stars

    1. Happy to hear you’re loving these chicken meatballs! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the other meatball recipes, Karin :)

  8. OMg Lisa! This recipe is awesome! I made it tonight for dinner and my whole family agrees it is a big win! I made the meatballs and the chimichurri sauce and WOW! Everyone loved it! Thank you for another fantastic meal!5 stars

    1. Wonderful! I’m so thrilled the whole family loved the chicken meatballs. You really can’t go wrong with a drizzle of the chimichurri sauce on top. :)

  9. Made these for dinner last night with a side of roasted cauliflower. They were not dry at all, but I can see how they might be best enjoyed with a sauce or dip. Excellent flavor and texture!5 stars

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed them, Sarah! And yes, they’re great with a sauce. I personally love my tzatziki sauce, chimichurri, or romesco sauce!

  10. I just made the meatballs and I can say I love it. It’s delicious!!
    Question: the nutrition values you posted are for one meatball or 100 grams or how many? Thank you!5 stars

    1. Glad you enjoyed these chicken meatballs, Mihaela! The nutritional information is per serving and there’s 5 meatballs per serving (as the recipe make about 30 meatballs with 6 servings).

  11. Thank you for this recipe. I made this tonight and it was fantastic. My super old stove does not go above 350 these days, so I just cooked them a little bit longer. It really is a nice foundational recipe, simple and fast. I am looking forward to playing with it. Thank you for your video, as I made the sauce as well. Overall a big hit!5 stars

  12. Question. What if I don’t have access to ground chicken? Can I grind down a couple of chicken breasts in my food processor?

    1. Hi Ursula – I’m not quite sure how fine you’ll be able to get the raw chicken in a food processor as I’ve never tried that.

  13. Can these be frozen after baking? Also what position in the oven should the rack be on?
    Thanks so much. All your recipes are my favorite!

    1. Yes! I usually will always write storage instructions in the post as well. As for baking, you can arrange this in the middle of your oven.

  14. Lisa, these chicken meatballs sound wonderful ! Do you use ground chicken and ground turkey interchangeably in recipes? Would ground turkey work just as well here? Many thanks!
    Maggie

    1. Hi Maggie – yes, you could use ground turkey in this recipe as well. Though I do have another recipe for turkey meatballs with a maple mustard sauce that you should check out as well!