If you’re stuck in a dinner rut and looking for a new recipe to try, meet these healthy chicken parmesan meatballs! They’re filled with all the flavors of traditional chicken parmesan, but even easier to make on those busy weekday nights!
I kind of hate myself for not making these chicken parmesan meatballs earlier because they’re SO GOOD! Serve them in a hoagie roll, with a side of spaghetti, or with a side salad and you’ll have a delicious, healthy dinner in no time!
There’s something to be said for a little twist on traditional flavors. Some things are just so good, they don’t need to be messed with! In this case, the marinara sauce and cheesy blanket on top of these Italian style chicken meatballs brings you right back to all the delicious flavors of chicken parmesan, yet this still feels like a completely different dish thanks to the way it’s all cooked and assembled!
You can pan-fry these meatballs, or bake them in the oven! I love the crispy exterior you can achieve from pan-frying, but I don’t necessarily love standing over the stove rotating the meatballs to brown them on all sides. To get the best of both worlds, I bake the meatballs in the oven BUT I use my cast iron skillet so they’ll still get a little crispy!
Ingredients you’ll need for healthy chicken parmesan meatballs:
- Ground chicken: feel free to use ground turkey as well!
- Egg: This helps bind the meat mixture to told the meatball shape!
- Grated parmesan cheese
- Italian-style breadcrumbs
- Marinara sauce: I like Raos but use whatever you’re favorite brand is. Of course homemade works too!
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
- Mince garlic
- Dried oregano
- Dried basil
- Salt and pepper
My top tips for the best baked parmesan meatballs:
- Try to not over mix the meat mixture! This is where your hands come in as the best tool. Mixing the meat mixture with your hands is the most efficient method that still prevents you from over-mixing.
- Add a little olive oil to your hands before rolling the meatballs. This makes it easier to roll the meat without it sticking all over your hands! A little oil can go a long way so just add a few drops to your fingertips and get to rolling!
- Bake the meatballs in a cast iron pan. Not only does this help the exterior get a little crispy, it also keeps your cleanup to a minimum because you can pour on the marinara and top with cheese all in the same pan to off finish the last step of cooking!
- Watch the broiler! Once you top the meatballs with sauce and cheese, you want to broil it so the cheese becomes beautifully melty and golden brown. Be careful though! The broiler is very hot and burns things quickly. It should only take a minute or two to do it’s job!
Sure! I like italian breadcrumbs because of their fine texture and herby flavor but you can substitute for panko breadcrumbs and just add some dried herbs to amp up the flavor!
Sure! You can add 1 tsp of italian seasoning in place of the dried herbs.
My favorite ways to enjoy these meatballs are by adding them to a hoagie roll, enjoying alongside pasta, or with a side salad! They can also work as a fun party appetizer if you insert a toothpick into each one!
Healthy Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
For the meat mixture:
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 1/2 cup italian breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup marinara sauce I like Raos but use your favorite!
- 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- olive oil for your hands and the pan!
- remaining jar of marinara sauce
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meat mixture.
- Drizzle your pan with olive oil, then lightly coat your fingertips in olive oil too.
- Roll the meat mixture into 2 inch balls, transferring them to your pan as you go.
- Bake for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Top the meatballs with remaining marinara sauce and more mozzarella cheese. Set under the broil for 2 minutes and enjoy!