These Cheesy Chicken Meatballs are packed with fresh basil, garlic, and mozzarella. Baked in a delicious marinara sauce and topped with even MORE mozzarella, they are the most addicting meatballs you'll ever have! This one-pan recipe is ready in just over a half hour.
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As I mentioned in my Chicken and Avocado Burgers recipe, we have a LOT of ground chicken in our freezer. I'm really enjoying that ''problem" and I think Aldo is too. 😛
This week I made Cheesy Chicken Meatballs, and they turned out so good!!
These Chicken Meatballs are stuffed with cheese and topped with cheese. That's double cheese, for those of you who are counting.
Let me tell you why this Cheesy Chicken Meatballs Recipe rocks!
The chicken meatballs are made with tasty Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs and fresh garlic and basil. That already sounds amazing, right?? But then they also have pieces of mozzarella in the meatballs themselves - so that every bite has delicious, melty, cheesy goodness. But wait, IT GETS BETTER. I top the meatballs with mozzarella and bake the meatballs in marinara sauce until everything is melty, bubbly, and oh-so-perfect.
This meatball recipe is definitely for the cheese lovers. If you can get your hands on good, fresh mozzarella then this recipe will be OUT OF THIS WORLD DELICIOUS. If you can't find fresh mozzarella, then honestly the packaged kind will also be great. I've made this cheesy chicken meatball recipe with both kinds of mozzarella and it always turns out amazing.
I love using chicken in meatball recipes because then the additional herbs and flavors really shine through, as opposed to beef meatballs where the beef flavor often overpowers the subtle herb flavors. So this chicken meatball recipe is amazing because the fresh basil and herb flavors really come through.
Chicken also makes for a healthy chicken meatballs recipe, since chicken breast is so much lower in fat than beef.
And yes, this Chicken Meatballs recipe is easy to make!
This chicken meatball recipe can be a one-pan recipe if you have a cast iron skillet or another oven-proof skillet.
You'll quickly brown the meatballs in the skillet, then add sauce and cheese on top and pop the skillet in the oven to bake for a few minutes. The baked chicken meatballs will be swimming in tasty marinara sauce and oozing with melted mozzarella cheese.
What to serve with these Cheesy Baked Chicken Meatballs?
Eat them like you would eat regular meatballs - over your favorite pasta or in a meatball sandwich. The marinara sauce from the baked meatballs is perfect for topping pasta or for dipping crusty bread.
Cheesy Chicken Meatballs
- 1 lb ground chicken breast
- 1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs (see notes)
- 2 garlic cloves , minced or crushed
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons tightly packed chopped basil leaves , divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded or finely diced mozzarella
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 28 oz marinara sauce
- 30 1/2 inch slices of fresh mozzarella for topping meatballs
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs - ground chicken breast, breadcrumbs, minced garlic, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons chopped basil (reserve 1 tablespoon for later!), salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup diced mozzarella. Mix well.
- Form the meatballs: Use your hands or a tablespoon measure to form small 1-inch meatballs. If using a tablespoon measure, it helps to spray it with non-stick spray. To keep the ground chicken mixture from sticking to your hands, have a bowl of cold water nearby and dip your hands in it in between each meatball.
- Heat the olive oil in an oven-safe skillet. Gently place the meatballs in the pan and cook about 2-3 minutes, until they are lightly browned. Use tongs to gently turn each meatball over and brown them on the other side. You may need to brown the meatballs in two batches if they don't fit in the skillet.
- Set the meatballs aside on a plate. Add the marinara sauce to the skillet and gently place the meatballs into the marinara sauce. Top each meatball with a small slice of mozzarella cheese.
- Bake the meatballs for 5-10 minutes, or until the meatballs are fully cooked (165F in the center). Garnish with remaining fresh basil.