My good friend Maegan of The Baker Mama is the queen of entertaining. She’s been sharing the best-ever, unique, FUN party and holiday recipes for years now, including her Beautiful Boards and Spectacular Spread cookbooks. I was so excited to get her latest creations in her brand new cookbook, Brilliant Bites, which is filled with 75 small bites recipes for any occasion!
This book is just filled with joy. You’ll find everything from “party bites” like charcuterie board cracker bites and elote bites, to “breakfast bites” like pancake taco bites and apple fritter bites, plus beautiful desserts, cocktails, and more. These recipes are guaranteed to impress friends and family over the holidays and really for any party or get-together.
I picked out the cutest chicken parmesan meatballs from her book to share and they turned out absolutely delicious. Little chicken meatballs get stuffed with mozzarella, coated in a crispy parmesan-bread crumb mixture, baked up, and topped with extra cheese and marinara sauce. I mean, what’s not to love?! This is the perfect recipe for sharing with kiddos and adults alike. Make these for your next football Sunday or even bring them as an app for Thanksgiving! Then remember to get your copy of Maegan’s book, Brilliant Bites, for yourself or anyone on your holiday gifting list.
Ingredients in these chicken parmesan meatballs
These crispy, cheesy chicken parmesan meatballs use super simple ingredients but seriously taste like a comforting plate of chicken parmesan (hold the pasta). Here’s what you’ll need to make them:
- Ground chicken: I like to use lean ground chicken in this recipe, but ground turkey should work just as well.
- Bread crumbs: you’ll need Italian-style bread crumbs for the meatball mixture and for coating the meatballs before baking.
- Parmesan: you’ll get that salty, sharp cheese flavor by mixing parmesan into the meatball mixture, plus using it in the coating and as a garnish.
- Mozzarella balls: my fav part of this recipe? The gooey mozzarella baked right into the meatballs! We’re adding a mini mozzarella ball (aka ciliegine) to the center of each meatball and on top of each baked meatball.
- Seasonings: we’ll be adding Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper throughout the recipe. You’ll also need some fresh garlic.
- Flour: you’ll need all-purpose flour to coat the meatballs before adding an egg wash and the crispy parmesan-bread crumb coating.
- Eggs: you’ll need eggs for the meatball mixture and for coating the meatballs before rolling them in a bread crumb mixture.
- Milk: don’t forget to whisk the eggs with a little milk to create an egg wash.
- Toppings: once the meatballs are baked, you’ll dollop a little marinara on top and serve the rest for dipping! Finish the meatballs with a little grated parmesan cheese and freshly chopped basil.
Can I make them gluten free?
I think that using gluten free bread crumbs and 1:1 gluten free all purpose flour should work well in this recipe.
How to make chicken parmesan meatballs
- Shape the meatballs. Start by mixing together all of the ingredients for the ground chicken mixture, then roll it into 20 equal portions. Flatten each meatball, place a mozzarella ball in the center, and re-shape the mixture into a ball to cover the cheese.
- Coat the meatballs. Roll each meatball in flour, dip it in your egg wash, then coat it in the bread crumb mixture and place it on a prepared baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake them up. Spray the meatballs with nonstick cooking spray so that they get nice and crispy, and bake them up!
- Top & broil. Remove the meatballs from the oven and add a little marinara sauce along with half of a mozzarella ball. Broil them for a couple of minutes until the cheese gets nice and bubbly.
- Garnish & serve. Top each of the finished meatballs with grated parmesan and basil, and serve with extra marinara for dipping. Enjoy!
Tip for rolling meatballs
I like to use my hands to combine the meatball mixture and shape them into balls easily, but you could also use a cookie scoop to help grab the mixture. To prevent the meatball mixture from sticking to your hands, keep a small bowl of water nearby to dip your hands in before forming them. So easy!
Make them ahead of time
These chicken parmesan meatballs can easily be made up to 24 hours ahead of time for parties! Here’s how to do it:
- Mix and form the meatballs, then roll them in the flour, egg & bread crumb mixtures.
- Place the meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Tightly cover the meatballs with plastic wrap and put them in the fridge until you are ready to cook them.
- Once ready to cook, bake as directed!
How to store & freeze chicken parmesan meatballs
- To store: store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. I recommend reheating the meatballs in the oven so that they get nice and crispy again.
- To freeze: place the chicken parm meatballs on a lined baking sheet and freeze so that they do not stick together, then transfer the frozen meatballs to an airtight glass container or reusable freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat them in the oven until they get nice and crispy again.
More appetizers you’ll love
Get all of my delicious appetizer recipes here!
I hope you love these baked chicken parmesan meatballs! If you make them be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked them. Get all of Maegan’s wonderful apps and party food in her book, Brilliant Bites!
Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
- 1 pound ground chicken
- ½ cup italian-style bread crumbs
- ¼ cup finely grated parmesan
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 20 mini mozzarella balls (ciliegine)
- Nonstick cooking spray, for greasing
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
- ½ cup finely grated parmesan
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Pinch of ground black pepper
- ½ cup thick marinara sauce, plus more for serving
- 10 mini mozzarella balls, sliced in half
- Finely grated parmesan, for garnishing
- Chopped fresh basil, for garnishing
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 13×9-inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
To make the meatballs: in a large bowl, stir together the ground chicken, ½ cup bread crumbs, ¼ cup parmesan, 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, garlic, egg, ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper until well combined. Scoop the meatball mixture into twenty 2 tablespoon-sized portions. Flatten each meatball and place a mozzarella ball in the center. Re-form into balls around the cheese to completely cover the cheese.
To coat the meatballs: fill a shallow bowl with the flour. In a second shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk until pale in color. In a third shallow bowl, stir together the 1 cup bread crumbs, ½ cup parmesan, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pinch of black pepper until well combined.
Working with one meatball at a time, roll the meatball in the flour to lightly coat it, gently tapping off any excess. Transfer the flour-coated meatball to the egg mixture and coat on all sides so that there are no visible flour spots. Finally, generously coat the meatball in the bread-crumb mixture. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining meatballs. Spray the meatballs all over with cooking spray to help them crisp as they bake.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Remove from the oven. Set a rack in the middle of the oven, then turn the oven to broil.
Scoop 1 teaspoon of marinara sauce on top of each meatball, then top the sauce with a mozzarella half. Return the meatballs to the oven and broil for 2-3 minutes, until the cheese is melty and bubbling brown in spots.
Garnish the meatballs with grated parmesan and chopped basil and serve with more marinara sauce for dipping.
Serving: 2meatballsCalories: 506calCarbohydrates: 23.8gProtein: 41.8gFat: 26.6gSaturated Fat: 16.1gFiber: 1.8gSugar: 2.8g