Close view of baked chicken meatballs on a serving board, garnished with chopped fresh herbs.

Chicken meatballs are a staple in my house. They’re easy to prep, quick to make, and they go with just about anything!

Seriously, you can make these chicken meatballs and turn them into any meal you want. You can eat them all by themselves as an appetizer, stuffed in a sandwich, tossed in some spaghetti—the list of possibilities is endless! The best part is that they’re super moist and practically melt in your mouth.

Close view of a baked chicken meatball being dipped into a bowl of marinara sauce on the end of a bamboo cocktail stick.

What makes these the best chicken meatballs?

Some meatball recipes are complicated and messy, but not these! This is the best chicken meatball recipe because:

  • They’re easy to prepare—just toss your ingredients together, mix, and bake.
  • They’re versatile and can go into so many meals.
  • They’re baked—no messy sautéing here!
  • You only need one bowl to make them.
  • They’re a great meal-prep recipe.
  • They can be frozen.
  • They’re absolutely delicious!

What is in these chicken meatballs?

There’s nothing super fancy in these chicken meatballs, which is one of the reasons they’re bound to become your go-to meatball recipe. To make them you’ll need:

  • Ground chicken, because you can’t make chicken meatballs without chicken! You can also use ground turkey.
  • An egg acts as a binder to hold your meatballs together.
  • Breadcrumbs work together with the egg to give your meatballs shape and hold them together.
  • Spices (sage, basil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper) add a ton of flavor.
  • Parmesan cheese is a delicious, cheesy addition to your chicken meatballs.
  • Avocado oil or any other mild-tasting oil.
  • Tomato paste is the one ingredient that might surprise you. A few tablespoons of tomato paste add moisture to your meatballs while packing them full of flavor!

Wholefully Protip

This recipe calls for ground onion and ground garlic in order to keep the meatballs smooth. If you prefer a bit of texture and crunch to your meatballs, you could use diced onion and minced garlic instead.

Overhead view of all the ingredients needed to make baked chicken meatballs, including ground chicken, breadcrumbs, and seasonings.

How do I make chicken meatballs at home?

This chicken meatball recipe is incredibly easy to make. Combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl, roll the mixture into 24 evenly sized meatballs, and bake for 30 minutes in a preheated oven. That’s it! No mess, no fuss, no problem.

Wholefully Protip

It’s best to mix and form meatballs with your hands, so be sure to wash your hands well and take off any rings or jewelry before digging in. Trying to get raw chicken out of your rings isn’t a fun experience!

How do I make these meatballs moist?

There are two components to making sure your chicken meatballs are moist. First, add an ingredient that adds moisture to your meatballs. In this recipe, tomato paste acts as that ingredient. Second, you need to make sure there’s an ingredient in your meatballs that retains moisture to stop your meatballs from drying out. Breadcrumbs play that role in this chicken meatball recipe.

If you’re finding your meatballs are too dry, try adding a little more tomato paste or a few more breadcrumbs. This should help keep the meatballs moist and delicious! One of the moistest meatballs I’ve ever tried is mozzarella-stuffed Italian meatballs. They’re filled with cheese and cooked in the slow cooker.

Rolled meatballs on a tinfoil lined sheet pan, ready to be baked.

Are they gluten-free?

No, since these chicken meatballs contain bread crumbs, they’re not gluten-free. You can substitute the breadcrumbs with your favorite gluten-free bread crumbs or some gluten-free crackers that are finely crumbled. If you’re looking for a delicious meatball recipe that happens to be gluten-free already, try these Swedish meatballs that are made in the slow cooker and perfect served over mashed cauliflower, zoodles, or spaghetti squash.

Are they vegan?

No, since these meatballs contain ground chicken, they’re not vegan. Cassie has a great vegan meatball recipe if you love the idea of meatless meatballs. They’re made using chickpeas, brown rice, and oats, and they’re just as hearty and delicious as chicken meatballs. As a bonus, they’re also gluten-free!

Baked chicken meatballs on a foil lined baking sheet.

What temperature should chicken meatballs be?

Some people’s ovens vary in temperature. Just because my meatballs are done after 30 minutes doesn’t mean yours will be.  You’ll want to check the meatballs’ internal temperature with a thermometer before you consider them done. Your chicken meatballs should reach an internal temperature of 165°F to be safe.

What goes with chicken meatballs?

These meatballs are super versatile. Some of my favorite ways to eat them are:

Finished chicken meatballs on a serving board, garnished with chopped fresh herbs with dipping sauce on the side.

Can you freeze chicken meatballs?

Yes! Chicken meatballs are perfect for meal-prepping ahead of time to be frozen and cooked at a later date. If you want to freeze your chicken meatballs, prepare them up to the cooking stage, and then spread them out on a parchment paper-covered baking sheet. Freeze the sheet for several hours until the meatballs are frozen, and then transfer them to a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag.

Alternatively, you can freeze pre-cooked meatballs. Allow them to cool completely after baking, then toss them in a freezer-safe container. Both raw and cooked meatballs will be good in the freezer for 2-3 months.

Can you cook chicken meatballs from frozen?

Yes! Pop frozen, uncooked chicken meatballs on a tray, and cook them in the oven at 400°F for 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature has reached 165°F. If you want, you can turn the broiler on in the last few minutes to give them a super crispy crust.

 
Close view of baked chicken meatballs on a serving board, garnished with chopped fresh herbs.

Baked Chicken Meatballs Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

These baked chicken meatballs are a crowd-pleaser. Serve them up over pasta, in sandwiches, or with a dipping sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground chicken 
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs 
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and line and grease a baking sheet.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. 
  3. Divide the meat mixture into 24 meatballs, setting each about 1 inch apart on your baking sheet. 
  4. Bake for 30 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F. Serve!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 368Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 175mgSodium: 641mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 34g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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2 Comments

    1. Hi Leslie! You should be able to leave it out and the meatballs will roll up just fine. You’ll miss out on the cheesy flavor and a bit of salt, though—so feel free to play around with the seasoning to get it to your liking. If you give it a go, let us know how it turns out for you!