How many times have you made chicken meatballs in an effort to be healthy and ended up making something that is undeniably inedible? It’s okay, we’ve all been there. There’s that moment many of us can relate to when you hold your breath, before biting into a chicken meatball, and pray they are succulent, soft, and juicy – just as every meatball should be. But, too many times are we disappointed by the dry, tasteless, bland properties of ground chicken.
This was the first chicken meatball recipe that I obsessed over after making. I’ve made it at least a dozen times and each time it comes out as a crowd pleaser. I would argue it’s because of two superstar ingredients (that you likely already have in your kitchen) olive oil & ricotta cheese. This duo helps give the meatballs moisture so they’re nice and juicy.
The technique is also what helps the chicken retain a lot of the moisture; searing all sides of the meatballs first and baking them in the oven to fully cook inside.
Chicken meatball sauce recipe
You can’t deny the power of the perfect tomato sauce and this one packs in so much flavor. It also happens to be extremely easy and quick for a midweek meal. I would recommend making the sauce ahead of time and freezing it so you have it at hand whenever the craving strikes. A
Why these chicken meatballs are so good
- I really can’t stress how juicy they come out. They have completely changed my relationship with ground chicken. But what’s even better is that they are SO easy to make! ( I once made them in the morning getting ready for work because I craved them so much for lunch.)
- These chicken meatballs have longevity. You can make a huge batch and freeze for when the meatball moment strikes. Just defrost them and reheat in the oven at 350 for 5-7 minutes.
- They can be made with any pasta, chickpeas, or sauce.
- 1 pack ground chicken, I recommend using ground chicken thighs if you can find them
- 1 tbsp of ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp whole milk you can also use 2%
- 1 small-medium garlic clove, minced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp of finely chopped parsley
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- salt & pepper to taste
- 3-4 shakes of worcestershire sauce
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Heat up a large skillet under medium heat and drizzle with oil. Let that get hot. I recommend using a cast iron skillet.
- In a medium to large baking dish (I love this one from Le Creuset pour in your desired tomato sauce -- just enough to cover the bottom-- and set aside. Save the rest of your sauce, we'll need that later to cover the meatballs before putting in the oven.
- Mix all of your ingredients in a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon - or something similar.
- Once all ingredients are mixed together use a tablespoon, ice cream scoop to mold your chicken mixture into medium sized balls like the above photo. I recommend using two spoons to shape the mixture into balls as the consistency of the ground chicken will be sticky!
- Sear the outside of each meatball so all the sides get crispy – about 2-3 minutes per ball.
- Once all the meatballs are nice and seared, place them in the sauced baking dish. Use the remainder of the sauce to cover the meatballs and place in oven for 20 minutes.