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Ground Chicken Meatballs

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These ground chicken meatballs from The Meatball Shop are a fun way to get the family eating something that’s pretty good for them. Subs or tiny little slider buns and melty cheese are a perfect way to get those meatballs in your mouth.

Two ground chicken meatballs on slider buns with a toothpick skewered through them.

Adapted from Daniel Holzman | Michael Chernow | The Meatball Shop Cookbook | Ballantine Books, 2011

These easy ground chicken meatballs are the sleeper hit at The Meatball Shop and the star in our Chicken Parm Slider. Guests are always surprised by the moistness and rich taste of them. The secret is ground thigh meat. Chicken thighs are packed with flavor and are a better choice than the usual dry breast meat. You can substitute ground turkey if you can’t find ground chicken.–Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow

Ground Chicken Meatballs FAQs

How should I serve ground chicken meatballs?

Subtly but surely flavored, these baked chicken meatballs need little, if anything, in terms of embellishment. Of course, if you want to serve them as sliders you’ll need, at minimum, a bun. Maybe a touch of simple marinara. Cheese, if you please. But back to that bun. It’s the foundation of the sandwich, so it needs to be both pillowy yet sturdy, effusively flavorful on its own without overwhelming the meatball, and able to be made into wee buns that are just dainty enough for these wee sliders. We’ve got just the beautiful burger bun for you.

Can I use ground chicken breast for this recipe?

We don’t recommend it, for a couple of reasons: moisture and flavor. Chicken thighs have more fat than breast meat, and that fat will help to ensure that your meatballs don’t become dry. And, we all know that fat equals flavor. The ground thigh meat is just going to have a better taste. If you’re looking to cut calories, skip the bread and serve these atop zucchini pasta or alongside a lovely salad.

Ground Chicken Meatballs

Two ground chicken meatballs on slider buns with a toothpick skewered through them.

Not only are these ground chicken meatballs easy to make, they can be gussied up any way you (or your toddler) desires.

Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow

Prep 15 mins

Cook 30 mins

Total 45 mins

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C). Drizzle the olive oil into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and use your hands to evenly coat the entire surface.

  • Combine the chicken, eggs, bread crumbs, parsley, wine, salt, fennel, and pepper in a large bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated. The mixture may seem quite moist; this is okay.

  • Roll the mixture into meatballs about 1 1/2 inches in diameter (roughly golf ball size), making sure to pack the meat firmly. Place the balls in the prepared baking dish, being careful to line them up snugly and in even vertical and horizontal rows to form a grid. The meatballs should be touching one another.

  • Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, until the meatballs are firm and cooked through. A meat thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball should read 165°F (74°C). Allow the meatballs to cool for 5 minutes in the baking dish before serving.

Serving: 1meatballCalories: 82kcal (4%)Carbohydrates: 2g (1%)Protein: 7g (14%)Fat: 5g (8%)Saturated Fat: 1g (6%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 48mg (16%)Sodium: 93mg (4%)Potassium: 220mg (6%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 129IU (3%)Vitamin C: 2mg (2%)Calcium: 12mg (1%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Originally published January 28, 2013

© 2013 All rights reserved. All materials used with permission.

#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.



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