Baked healthy chicken meatballs just have to be one of the best and easiest meatball recipes to make. Made with simple ingredients, in one-bowl, and did I mention they are very kid friendly!

Healthy Chicken Meatballs

I made these baked chicken meatballs on my IG stories a few weeks ago and you all loved them so much. This is my go-to recipe for meatballs. I shared it in numerous recipes such as Orecchiette with Baked Mini Meatballs.

However, I’ve never shared the meatball recipe on its own. Don’t ask me why. Because these meatballs are truly the best chicken meatballs and my kids go crazy for them.

They are 100% baked, freezer-friendly, and incredibly flavorful and tender. You all will love them!

How to Make Meatballs Soft and Juicy

Secret to good meatballs? Four basic but important ingredients make these healthy chicken meatballs soft and juicy.

  • Bread and milk. The first and most important is panade. Panade is a mixture of starch and liquid that is added to ground meat.

In this case, it’s the Panko breadcrumbs and milk. Panko breadcrumbs are made from bread without crumbs and are light, airy, and delicate.

  • Onions. The second moisture maker in these baked chicken meatballs is onions. Onions contain natural enzymes that have a tenderizing effect on the meat.

Katya’s TIP: Shred the onions or grate them using a box grater into pulp-like consistency. That way the onions flavor and tenderize the meat without changing the texture of the meatballs.

  • Sour Cream. The last ingredient that adds a ton of moisture to these easy chicken meatballs is sour cream. Basically fat = flavor. In this case, sour cream adds little fat and makes the chicken meatballs really juicy and soft. A good substitute is mayonnaise.

Ingredients for Healthy Chicken Meatballs

  • Panko breadcrumbs: Japanese style breadcrumbs usually found next to regular breadcrumbs (the biggest difference between Panko and regular breadcrumbs is that Panko is made from bread without crusts).
  • Milk: Regular cow’s milk works the best.
  • Ground chicken: Ground turkey works great as well.
  • Egg: It’s going to bind everything together.
  • Onion: Grated using a box grater or shredded in a food processor.
  • Fresh parsley: Don’t like parsley? Try fresh cilantro or fresh dill.
  • Sour cream: Mayonnaise can be used instead.
Ingredients for baked chicken meatballs recipe

How to Make Healthy Chicken Meatballs

  • Combine the breadcrumbs and milk in a large bowl. Let the mixture sit for about 2-3 minutes or until the breadcrumbs absorb the milk.
Breadcrumbs in glass bowl for easy chicken meatballs
  • Add chicken, egg, onions, parsley, sour cream, and salt. Season with black pepper, to taste. Mix the mixture by hand just until combined. Do not overwork the mixture, or else the meatballs will be dry and tough. Let mixture rest for 10 minutes before forming into balls.
Ingredients in glass bowl for easy chicken meatballs
  • Lightly oil the palm of your hands with olive oil, form the chicken mixture into 18 meatballs, and place on the prepared baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 
Raw chicken meatballs on parchment lined baking sheet
  • Bake chicken meatballs at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes.
Close up of best chicken meatballs in marinara sauce in a cast-iron skillet

What to Serve with Meatballs

When it comes to serving meatballs the possibilities are endless. You can enjoy them as is, with sauce, or paired with a meatless dish. Here are some of our favorite ways to serve meatballs.

With Sauce – serve the meatballs with your favorite homemade or store-bought sauce:

With a Vegetable Side – keep things light and fresh by serving the meatballs alongside a salad or vegetable side dish:

With a Meatless Main Dish – add a boost of protein by adding meatballs to your favorite meatless dish:

Healthy chicken meatballs on white plate with fork on side

Video: How to Make Healthy Chicken Meatballs

Print
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Healthy chicken meatballs in marinara sauce in black cast-iron skillet

Healthy Chicken Meatballs

  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

Baked healthy chicken meatballs just have to be one of the best and easiest meatball recipes to make. Simple ingredients, one bowl, and kid friendly!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup plain Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 Tbsp. grated onion (or shredded in a food processor)
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. sour cream
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Olive oil for forming meatballs

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line 9X13″ baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. If using aluminum foil, lightly spray with non-stick spray.
  2. Combine the breadcrumbs and milk in a large bowl. Let the mixture sit for about 2-3 minutes or until the breadcrumbs absorb the milk.
  3. Add chicken, egg, onions, parsley, sour cream, and salt. Season with black pepper, to taste. Mix the mixture by hand just until combined. Do not over work the mixture, or else the meatballs will be dry and tough. Let mixture rest for 10 minutes before forming into balls.
  4. Lightly oil the palm of your hands with olive oil, form the chicken mixture into 18 meatballs and place on the prepared baking sheet. 
  5. Bake 20-25 minutes.

Notes

  1. You want the onion pulp like consistency. You can achieve this by using a box grater or running the onion through a food processor. 
  2. The sauce pictured, is simply store-bought marinara with fresh herbs and parmesan cheese. 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 3 meatballs
  • Calories: 169
  • Sugar: 1.4 g
  • Sodium: 519.8 mg
  • Fat: 7.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 8.1 g
  • Protein: 16.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 96.8 mg

Keywords: chicken meatballs, baked meatballs, healthy meatballs