I’m partnering with Le Creuset to bring you today’s recipe. All opinions are my own. Thank you for helping me work with companies I love!
All of the satisfying flavors of the Italian classic, only in meatball form! These easy chicken parmesan meatballs are sure to become a family favorite!
I’m not sure about you, but when the weather starts to cool off, I crave comfort food. I’m talking warm and cozy dishes that involve way too many carbs and a whole lot of cheese. I decided to take a classic dish and turn it into a slightly healthier one. Instead of using chicken breasts, I went with ground chicken, which was the perfect choice for these saucy, flavorful meatballs!
If you’ve glanced at the recipe below you may be wondering why there are so many ingredients involved. FLAVOR. No one wants to eat bland meatballs. There’s just not enough sauce in the world to mask a under-seasoned meatball. You may also notice that spinach is listed. Weird? Maybe. However, with two little kiddos I tend sneak in extra veggies anywhere I can, as long as they are undetectable. Grated zucchini or carrot would also work well too.
Making the meatballs is quite simple. You’ll want to soak the breadcrumbs in the egg and marinara so that they become soft. Then you’ll add everything else and mix it up with your hands. Be sure not to overmix or you’ll end up with tough, dense meatballs, which can easily happen.
Use a standard size cookie scoop to portion out the meat. It makes the shaping process quick and relatively mess-free. Heat a large oven-safe skillet (I used my Le Creuset buffet casserole which was the perfect size + had a lid for the oven portion of this recipe) over medium heat and once the oil is hot, add the meatballs and cook until golden brown on each side. It’s important to use a non-stick skillet or one that has non-stick properties like the enameled cast iron skillet pictured above. You definitely don’t want your meatballs to stick!
Once the meatballs are browned, add your marinara, top with cheese and then cover with a lid. Transfer to the oven to bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is nice and melty and the sauce is bubbly.
You can serve these meatballs on top of pasta, in roasted spaghetti squash, or on subs! No matter how you serve them, they’re going to be a huge crowd pleaser!
Chicken Parmesan Meatballs Recipe
For the Meatballs
- 1/4 cup marinara sauce
- 1 egg
- 2/3 cup panko bread crumbs - OR regular breadcrumbs
- 1- 1 1/4 lb ground chicken
- 3/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup spinach - finely chopped, optional
- 1/4 cup onion - finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic - minced
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp coarse kosher sea salt*
- 1 tsp dried basil - OR 2 tsp fresh basil
- 1 tsp dried parsley - OR 2 tsp fresh parsley
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
For the Topping
- 1 1/4 cup marinara sauce
- 4 oz mozzarella cheese - sliced or grated
- fresh parsley - chopped, optional
- parmesan cheese - shaved, optional
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the egg and marinara. Add the breadcrumbs and combine. Let sit for 5 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are a moist.
- Add the ground chicken, parmesan, spinach, onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, basil, parsley and pepper. Using your hands, gently mix the ingredients, being careful not to overwork it. Shape meat mixture into balls, approximately 1½ inches in size (a #40 scoop or a standard size cookie scoop works well for this).
- In a large skillet set over medium heat, add olive oil. When oil is shiny and hot, add the meatballs. Brown the meatballs on all sides, rotating every 2-3 minutes or so.
- Top with marinara, then with cheese. Cover with a lid (or bake uncovered) and place in the oven to bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melty and the sauce is bubbling.
- Remove and garnish with freshly chopped parsley and shaved parmesan, if desired. Serve with pasta, spaghetti squash or on subs.