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Chicken Meatballs

5 from 2 votes

posted: 01/20/23

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Chicken Meatballs are a kid approved healthy dinner recipe. This is perfect for busy weeknight meals and these are freezer friendly!

overhead of a chicken meatballs in a bowl with spaghetti, sauce covering all of it

My kids could eat meatballs for dinner every single night and not get tired of them. We have my grandmother’s Italian meatballs that were my favorite growing up and a slightly lighter spin with baked turkey meatballs that my kids adore.

Today, I’m sharing with you to an additional meatball recipe that my kids flip out over. When they first had them, they could not stop talking about how much they loved these chicken parm meatballs. This is a very simple recipe to make. From easy to find seasonings to baking them in the oven, this meatball recipe is no fuss.

I’m sure they will become a staple in your house as well.

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Be warned: ‘simple joy’ is an absolute understatement when it comes to describing them, unless referring to the ease in making these! Be prepared to start making this almost every week!

overhead of a bowl of ingredients for baked chicken meatballs

How to Make Chicken Meatballs

This is a brief overview of how to make these healthy meatballs. For the full recipe with all of the measurements, please see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  1. Mix the ingredients together. In a large bowl combine the egg, bread crumbs, seasonings, fresh parsley, Parmesan cheese, and ground chicken.
  2. Roll the meatballs. I love using a cookie scoop for this. Not only does it make quick work of the task, but then all of your meatballs are uniform in size and will bake evenly.
  3. Bake the meatballs. I like baking mine on a cooling rack sprayed with cooking spray on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet. This makes for meatballs that are crisp on the outside all the way around.

Cookie Scoop

This 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop is perfection for making uniform meatballs and pulling them together quickly.
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overhead of uncooked chicken parm meatballs on a cooling rack that is in a rimmed baking sheet

Cooking Meatballs in the Air Fryer

My grandmother always pan fried her meatballs. This created the best crisp outside of the meatball. Of course, this wasn’t the healthiest choice as deep frying meat in oil adds a lot of fat.

Meatballs made in the air fryer is a great solution. Add the meatballs to the air fryer in a single layer and cook them at 350 degrees for 8 to 12 minutes or until they register 165 degrees with an instant read thermometer.

How to Make Italian Breadcrumbs

If all you have on hand is plain bread crumbs, I encourage you to add 1/2 a teaspoon of my Homemade Italian Seasoning to them. That will make up for the flavor lost with regular bread crumbs.

Cooking with Fresh Parsley

Normally, I shy away from using fresh herbs unless they are a garnishment or added at the very end. They don’t typically hold up in recipes once they get hit with high heat.

That being said, my grandmother always added fresh flat leaf parsley to her meatballs, and I love the pop of color and flavor it adds. Flat leaf parsley holds up better that curly parsley, and I think it works perfectly in this recipe.

overhead photo of ground chicken meatballs in a bowl with spaghetti and sauce, two pieces of bread sticking out

Storing Leftovers

Left over meatballs can be stored in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days. When reheating, I like to add them to a skillet and cook until they are warmed through, about 15 to 20 minutes.

How to Freeze Chicken Meatballs

This is a great recipe to freeze. In fact, you could double or triple this recipe and freeze them so you always have delicious baked chicken meatballs on hand. This would be a great way to make some fast meatball subs or a quick lunch for the kids on the weekend.

  1. Make the recipe completely, through baking. Allow the meatballs to cool.
  2. Place in a single layer on a parchment or wax lined tray. Freeze for 1 hour.
  3. Transfer the meatballs to an airtight container or bag and store in the freezer for up to three months.

When you are ready to serve you can either bake them at 375 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes on a baking sheet. Or you can add them to a skillet with sauce over low heat and simmer until they reach an internal temperature of 140 degrees, about 25 minutes.

close up of a chicken meatball in a bowl with spaghetti


Are chicken meatballs healthy?

Yes. In the world of meatballs, these are the healthier kind. If you compare them to my grandmother’s meatballs, they have about half the calories and half the fat.

Can chicken meatballs be frozen?

Yes! We have instructions for freezing above.

Can these be made without breadcrumbs?

No. The breadcrumbs are crucial to this recipe to holding them together and keeping their meatball shape.

That being said, you could replace the breadcrumbs with ground pork rinds and 1/2 teaspoon of Italian seasoning. This would make for great keto chicken meatballs.

Can these be made with ground turkey?

Yes, you can make ground chicken meatballs into turkey meatballs by switching out the chicken for turkey. I would encourage you to use 90% lean turkey.

bowl of spaghetti with chicken meatball recipe all covered in sauce

What to Serve with Chicken Meatballs

This recipe is great over spaghetti with my easy homemade spaghetti sauce. If you are looking for side dishes to serve with this recipe, here are some of our favorites:

If you make this chicken meatball recipe or any of my other recipes please leave me a comment and let me know what you think. I always love hearing from you.

overhead of a chicken meatballs in a bowl with spaghetti, sauce covering all of it
5 from 2 votes

Chicken Meatballs

Serves: 24 meatballs
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Chicken Meatballs are a kid approved healthy dinner recipe. This is perfect for busy weeknight meals and these are freezer friendly!


  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder not garlic salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound ground chicken


  • Preheat your oven to 375. Line a rimmed baking sheet with tin foil and set a cooling rack on top of it. Spray it with cooking spray.
  • In the bottom of a large bowl, combine the egg, bread crumbs, fresh parsley, salt, garlic powder, oregano, basil, and cheese.
  • Add the ground chicken. Mix together until throughly combined.
  • Roll into into 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls and set on the cooling rack (I got about 24 meatballs out of it).
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the meatballs reach 165 degrees. If you don't have an instant read thermometer, cut one of the meatballs that is in the middle of the sheet in half to ensure it is fully cooked through.
Serving: 1meatball Calories: 47kcal (2%) Carbohydrates: 2g (1%) Protein: 4g (8%) Fat: 3g (5%) Saturated Fat: 1g (6%) Cholesterol: 23mg (8%) Sodium: 96mg (4%) Potassium: 7mg
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: dinner, healthy
Cuisine: Italian
overhead of a chicken meatballs in a bowl with spaghetti, sauce covering all of it

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Chicken Meatballs

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

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  1. Ally says

    To all future readers of this comment section considering making these, be warned: ‘simple joy’ is an absolute understatement when it comes to describing them, unless referring to the ease in making these! Be prepared to start making this almost every week, making enough for left overs (or trying to :P ), having to share with everyone, cooking in the oven and the air fryer, etc. I was not prepared for any of that but now totally am, after probably 5 times of making them now.
    Part of what makes them so very special to my family and me is that even though our gluten and allium (garlic, onion and related) issues have made it impossible to find a meatball we can all eat from the market, this recipe makes it possible again! Just by using gluten free breadcrumbs and leaving out the little bit of garlic. Even our allium eaters don’t miss it! I originally made them for myself alone not knowing how the others would enjoy them, but let them all take a taste. About a week later I was making a batch for all of us by request of my sis whose birthday it was! Of all the things she could ask for to eat, I was so honored that she chose these! I have not been super successful when making homemade meatballs in the past, but amazingly thanks to the directions here, for both air fryer and oven, I feel mostly confident about it! I only made tweaks to the time because I prefer my meat to be rather well done, but I am sure that most would be fine with the times listed.
    One more thing to be grateful for: they are even easy to make on the days where my health issues are flaring up.
    For these reasons and more, Lisa, I want to say thank you! Truly! <3 I look forward to cautiously explore more of your website, although I am afraid it may amount to more work for me if we fall in love with another recipe ;) I literally got a new set of cooling racks so I can make even more meatballs in the oven, as we are now tripling the recipe so we can have leftovers. Or attempt to ;)

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so happy you loved these so much!!

  2. Christine Shepherdson says

    Hi could you please tell me where I buy cosier salt from.

    • Lisa Longley says

      You can find kosher salt in the spice aisle of most grocery stores. If you can’t find it, you can use table salt, just cut the amount in half.

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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners