Pesto Chicken Meatballs

These easy pesto chicken meatballs are loaded with flavor and perfect for a quick weeknight meal. They’re flavorful and only take few minutes to prep!

Served with pasta, roasted vegetables or cous cous, these meatballs are a favorite! If you love meatballs, you’ll also love our buffalo chicken meatballs and Italian meatballs

Pesto Chicken Meatballs on plate

Few Minutes To Prep

Our family is always on the hunt for really easy dinner recipes. Bonus points if they are both kid-friendly and somewhat healthy.

These pesto chicken meatballs have become a family favorite. They require minimal ingredients and only a few minutes of prep. It doesn’t get much better than that!

My kids absolutely adore basil pesto and chicken meatballs. I thought it only made sense to combine the two! Turns out that was a great idea… although I’ll admit, I was a little worried at first. Testing recipes is always nerve wracking especially when you have two tough critics to please. Thankfully they turned out great. Flavorful, tender and perfect on top of a bed of basil tossed pasta.

Chicken pesto meatball ingredients in bowl

How to Make Chicken Meatballs

We always make homemade pesto because my husband is allergic to pine nuts, but store-bought works too. I make an extra large batch and it goes a long way. Plus if I make my own I can toss in extra greens like spinach and kale and the kids have no clue. 

All you need for this recipe is a baking sheet lined with a baking mat and a large mixing bowl.

Toss all of the ingredients together, form the meatballs (into 1 ½ – 2 inch balls), then spray them lightly with oil before baking them.

After 20-25 minutes in the oven they’ll be tender and juicy on the inside and crisp on the outside. These meatballs are the perfect addition to any pasta, rice, or veggie dish. Even the pickiest of eaters will LOVE them!

Chicken meatballs on baking sheet

FAQ + Tips

Can you use ground turkey or other meats? Of course! We love chicken which worked great, but ground turkey or sausage would also work well.

Can you fry meatballs? We opt to bake them for a healthier version, but they can be fried. To fry meatballs, heat about ¼ inch of oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add your meatballs and fry for about 15 minutes (or until all sides are browned and cooked through).

How to store meatballs? Stored in an air-tight container, cooked meatballs last in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can also FREEZE meatballs by placing in a freezer-safe container or bag or wrapping tightly in foil for 2 months.

What to serve this with? We love to serve them with pesto covered noodles (or even our Tortellini with Pesto or Pesto Baked Pasta). We’ve also enjoyed them with roasted veggies and cous cous. Always a big hit!

Pesto meatballs over noodles in bowl

For more meatballs and recipes, check out:

Pesto Chicken Meatballs |

Pesto Chicken Meatballs Recipe

These easy pesto chicken meatballs are loaded with flavor and perfect for a quick weeknight meal. They go great with pasta, cous cous, rice or veggies!
5 from 9 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 16 meatballs
Calories: 89kcal
Print Recipe


  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 shallot - minced
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese - grated
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto - fresh or store-bought
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat, set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine ground chicken, shallot, breadcrumbs, parmesan, pesto, egg, salt, and pepper. Using a spatula or your hands, mix until combined.
  • Roll mixture into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place onto prepared baking sheet and lightly spray with oil (I prefer using pure avocado oil).
  • Place into oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Remove from the oven and serve with your favorite pasta dish or steamed vegetables.


Serving: 16g | Calories: 89kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 169mg | Potassium: 161mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 183IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg

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About the Author


Wife, mother, baker and photographer. Recipe developer & author of Life Made Simple. A self-professed peanut butter lover and fond of anything that involves pumpkin, cookie dough, or sprinkles

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    1. Hi Janel. I was able to find fresh ground chicken in the meat section of my grocery store. You can also find brands like Perdue and Tyson. I’m sure Whole Foods sells ground chicken as well. Hope that helps!

  1. Thanks for this recipe, I was looking for this exact thing. Made as directed using costco pesto and the meatballs turned out delicious!

  2. Hi Natalie, for some reason the ingredient listing is not showing up in the actual recipe at the end of the blog – only the directions. I refreshed the page but it’s still there. Could you check? Would love to try these. thanks!

  3. Natalie – something is wrong. I can see the directions but not the ingredients list. Can you double check? THANK YOU!