Chicken Parmesan Meatballs


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My Chicken Parmesan obsession runs deep. We kicked off the week with a classic chicken parmesan recipe and today we’re getting fancy with Chicken Parmesan Meatballs!!


My cooking skills were somewhat limited in college. If you came over for dinner it was either chicken parm or a roasted chicken with salad. That’s it. The only options you got! You could say I’ve expanded my repertoire a bit since then (with over 1000 recipes on this site I think culinary school has officially paid off), but I always come back to chicken parm. My classic chicken parm recipe is a winner, but I wanted to jazz things up a bit today.

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs from (@whatsgabycookin)

So I took each and every ingredient from the chicken parm recipe, and turned it into mozzarella stuffed chicken parmesan meatballs. So all those herbs – into the meatballs! The parmesan and breadcrumbs – into the meatballs. The mozzarella, well, you get the point! There’s even a bit of flour on the outside of every meatball to give it a bit of a crust.

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs from (@whatsgabycookin)

I kinda of hate myself for not making these earlier, because to say I’m obsessed would be an understatement. I practically licked the skillet clean when I made these. You absolutely, positively, must try these!

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs from (@whatsgabycookin)

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

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Gaby Dalkin
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  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cups flour
  • bocconcini mozzarella balls
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 jar marinara sauce
  • handful of basil leaves torn


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the chicken, parmesan, breadcrumbs, eggs, salt, pepper, oregano, parsley and red pepper flakes. Carefully combine everything with your hands until the ingredients are evenly mixed.
  • Form the ground chicken mixture into small meatballs, each the size of a golf ball.
  • Insert a small bocconcini ball in the center of each meatball, taking care to reform the meatball around the cheese once it’s been inserted. The mozzarella should be completely hidden from sight.
  • Dredge each meatball in the flour to lightly coat it and gently tap off any excess flour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add half of the meatballs and sauté for a 3-4 minutes, turning every so often to brown the outside.
  • Once the meatballs are browned, remove them from the oil and repeat the process with the remaining meatballs.
  • Once all meatballs are browned, add the tomato sauce to the skillet and place the browned meatballs on top of the sauce.
  • Transfer the skillet, meatballs and all, into the oven and let the meatballs continue to bake for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
  • Remove the skillet from the oven and dusting with salt, pepper, freshly chopped basil and extra bocconcini if desired. Serve immediately.
Chicken Parmesan Meatballs: Chef Vision

Photo by Matt Armendariz / Food Styling by Adam Pearson / Recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking

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  1. Jaymee

    Hi Gaby, huge fan of your recipes! Was wondering if you had any suggestions on turning these into eggplant parm “meat”balls? Im vegetarian and LOVE your eggplant parm recipe, but my husband loves these chicken parm meatballs – would love to find a way to combine the two and not be cooking two separate dishes!

    • Gaby

      I haven’t done any eggplant style meatballs! If I think of anything, I’ll absolutely post it!

    • Celia

      Dom DeLuise has a recipe for eggplant balls in his cookbook Eat This …It’ll Make You Feel Better! (Father Orsini’s Eggplant Balls). We’ve been making them for years. They’re pretty soft, so I don’t think you could put mozzarella in the middle, but they have cheese in them. I swap out the parsley in them with spinach.

  2. Marianna

    I’m about to make these! I just realized that the cheese is stuffed into the meatballs, which, no matter how gooey and delicious that sounds to me, will be a deal-breaker for my ridiculous little kids. Would it be easy enough to serve the cheese on the side and cook the meatballs the way you instructed above?

    • Gaby

      you can just melt it on the top if you prefer!

  3. Mel

    Hi.. the recipe was good. . But wondered if it could have been outstanding if I had used that pan you cooked your chicken meatballs in? Can you source the pan in the picture for me please?

    • Gaby

      it’s vintage – from my grandma from 60+ years ago

  4. Samantha

    This sounds delicious! Is there a reason for panko over reg breadcrumbs? Can it be substituted or will it change the texture too much? Thanks!

    • Gaby

      you can substitute! I just like the consistency of panko better

  5. Cindy

    Made this for my family tonight. It was a hit. The kids loved the “surprise” cheese inside. It will definitely go into our dinner rotation.

  6. Jen

    This recipe is a keeper for sure! As others have commented, 2 eggs made the mixture a bit too wet and I had to add more panko. I’ll try one egg next time. Otherwise, these meatballs turned out perfectly and my family is already asking me to make them again. Thanks!

  7. Barbara

    I made these and…..ohhhh…my God!!!!! So freaking good. It’s a keeper! Thanks so much for this!

    • Gaby

      bocconcini balls – they are the little fresh mozzarella balls! Most stores carry them – I know whole foods, trader joes and ralphs have them out here on the west coast. Not sure where you are based but they should be by the feta / mozzarella / burrata section of your cheese section at the market

    • Heather

      At my local store, the bocconcini balls were HUGE! Bigger than a golf ball! But luckily I had seen your video and knew the size I needed, so I grabbed the ones called “ciliegine.” These are SOOO good (amazeballs, as my husband says!) And whaddya know, my kids like ’em too!!

  8. Steph

    These look so delish! Thinking of freezing some – any thoughts if they would be better frozen raw or cooked or if I should leave out the cheese?

  9. Rebecca Cooper

    Hi Gabby. Do you have a favorite jarred marinara sauce that you use?

  10. Dana B.

    These were delicious! I made it with ground turkey sausage instead. It was a bit spicy but my marinara may have had some heat too. But, oh so good! Everyone loved them! Costco has a really nice bit tub of marinated mozzarella balls.