Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

There's something about a chicken meatball that I just can't get enough of these days! From my Chicken Piccata Meatballs, to Thai Coconut Curry meatballs (coming soon!), to these flavor-packed Chicken Parmesan Meatballs, the hits just keep coming! These meatballs come together very quickly and, if you use a store bought sauce, you can have this dinner on your table in less than an hour! 

Flavorful chicken meatballs are stuffed with tiny mozzarella balls, coated in panko breadcrumbs, browned in a pan, and then baked in marinara sauce.  My Pantry Shelf Marinara is your best bet, but, as Ina Garten would say, store bought is fine. Finally, the whole thing is covered in shredded mozzarella and baked until gooey and bubbly! My Chicken Parmesan Meatballs have all the flavor and fun of chicken parmesan, rolled up in a tender, juicy, cheese-oozing meatball! 

Makes 24-28 meatballs. Serves 6... unless one of them is an Italian-American from New Jersey, then all bets are off.

The Balls
 1 lb ground chicken
 1 large egg
 ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
 ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
 2 cloves minced or grated garlic
 1 tsp Italian seasoning
 ½ tsp kosher or sea salt
 ¼ tsp ground black pepper
 8 oz container small mozzarella balls (Ciliegine or cherry sized)
Meatball Coating
 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
 3 tbsp grated parmesan
 Pinch of salt
Finishing Touches
 26 oz jar of your favorite marinara sauce or half a batch of my Pantry Shelf Marinara
 1 cup shredded mozzarella
 Extra grated parmesan and basil leaves for garnish

1

In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, eggs, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, Italian seasoning salt, and pepper. Mix gently until combined. Don’t over mix or squish around the meat too much or you’ll end up with tough, dense meatballs.

2

Shape the meatball mixture into small balls, about 2 tbsp, and then press a hole in the center with your thumb. Place a piece of mozzarella into each. Reseal the meatball mixture around the mozzarella, making sure to cover it completely. You don’t want to see any of the cheese or it will ooze out when cooking.

3

Once all of the meatballs have been stuffed, roll them one at a time in the panko/cheese mix to coat. Press the crumbs into the meatballs a bit, while still maintaining their meatball shape. Place meatballs on a small sheet pan or plate and chill in the fridge for about 15-30 minutes before frying.

4

Preheat oven to 350°

Place an oven-safe skillet (I prefer my 12 inch cast iron) over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Brown Meatballs 5-6 minutes, rolling over a few times to brown as much of the outside as you can. You want the exterior to be a nice golden brown. The meatballs won't be done at this point, but will continue cooking in the oven. You’ll probably need to do this in two batches, wiping out the pan between batches and adding new oil. Remove finished meatballs to a plate and continue with second batch. When done, wipe out the pan again.

5

Pour the marinara into the skillet and then nestle the meatballs into the sauce. Place into the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese around the meatballs and place back into the oven to bake for an additional 5-6 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. If desired, broil for a few minutes to brown the cheese a bit.

6

Garnish with grated parm and fresh basil. Serve with garlic bread, your favorite pasta, or use slider buns to make mini chicken parm sandwiches.

Ingredients

The Balls
 1 lb ground chicken
 1 large egg
 ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
 ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
 2 cloves minced or grated garlic
 1 tsp Italian seasoning
 ½ tsp kosher or sea salt
 ¼ tsp ground black pepper
 8 oz container small mozzarella balls (Ciliegine or cherry sized)
Meatball Coating
 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
 3 tbsp grated parmesan
 Pinch of salt
Finishing Touches
 26 oz jar of your favorite marinara sauce or half a batch of my Pantry Shelf Marinara
 1 cup shredded mozzarella
 Extra grated parmesan and basil leaves for garnish

Directions

1

In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, eggs, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, Italian seasoning salt, and pepper. Mix gently until combined. Don’t over mix or squish around the meat too much or you’ll end up with tough, dense meatballs.

2

Shape the meatball mixture into small balls, about 2 tbsp, and then press a hole in the center with your thumb. Place a piece of mozzarella into each. Reseal the meatball mixture around the mozzarella, making sure to cover it completely. You don’t want to see any of the cheese or it will ooze out when cooking.

3

Once all of the meatballs have been stuffed, roll them one at a time in the panko/cheese mix to coat. Press the crumbs into the meatballs a bit, while still maintaining their meatball shape. Place meatballs on a small sheet pan or plate and chill in the fridge for about 15-30 minutes before frying.

4

Preheat oven to 350°

Place an oven-safe skillet (I prefer my 12 inch cast iron) over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Brown Meatballs 5-6 minutes, rolling over a few times to brown as much of the outside as you can. You want the exterior to be a nice golden brown. The meatballs won't be done at this point, but will continue cooking in the oven. You’ll probably need to do this in two batches, wiping out the pan between batches and adding new oil. Remove finished meatballs to a plate and continue with second batch. When done, wipe out the pan again.

5

Pour the marinara into the skillet and then nestle the meatballs into the sauce. Place into the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese around the meatballs and place back into the oven to bake for an additional 5-6 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. If desired, broil for a few minutes to brown the cheese a bit.

6

Garnish with grated parm and fresh basil. Serve with garlic bread, your favorite pasta, or use slider buns to make mini chicken parm sandwiches.

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

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