Chicken Parmesan Meatballs


Total Time:

35 minutes



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)

Stuck in a dinner rut? Looking for new delicious dinner ideas?  Check out my roundup of 50+ easy dinner ideas here.

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

Your fav Chicken Parmesan recipe meets meatballs! These will be your new favorite weeknight meal no matter what your age!
5 from 87 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian, American
Servings 4 people


  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 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, egg, 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.

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

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Recipe Rating


  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. Creamy Cheesy Chicken Spinach Pasta Bake – What's Gaby Cooking

    […] a pasta bake that is part chicken parmesan, part spinach dip, part funky pasta shape and topped with all the cheese. Welp, that’s […]

  3. 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!

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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!!

  9. 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?

  10. Rebecca Cooper

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

  11. 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.

  12. Meghan Hawes

    5 stars
    One of the first recipes I ever tried of Gaby’s! Still my favorite! And so simple too!!!

  13. Kathy O’Brien

    5 stars
    Gaby’s Chicken Parm Meatballs are… AMAZING!!! They are SO easy to make and SO delicious! When I made them for the first time for my husband and a friend, the conversation just STOPPED immediately after the first bite! And then…?? Rave reviews… “OMG!” “What ARE these? They are amazing!!”

    Thanks Gaby for yet another interesting, delicious, and outstanding recipe! ❤️

  14. Jenna

    5 stars
    I love this recipe and it’s always a hit with guests! Admittedly, I am usually lazy and just do small scoops of burrata around the meatballs, instead of stuffing cheese inside.

  15. Jessica

    5 stars
    My kids’ favorite meal. Period! I’ve also made this for other families that we’ve had over and they have all loved this one too. My 5 year old loves helping me stuff the meatballs with cheese. We would have this every night if it were up to him. They are so good!

  16. Kristen

    5 stars
    This is a great recipe! I did make a few changes but I think it was a great starting point. I pre-browned the breadcrumbs so I could skip the frying portion and instead just rolled the meatballs in the toasted breadcrumbs and baked them for 20 minutes at 350. I also added heated sauce to everyone’s plates just before serving and then placed the meatballs on top, that way they could stay as crispy as possible vs. baking with the sauce. Thank you – I’ll be making this again 🙂

  17. Kay Gardali

    The chicken meatballs are delicious. We eat low carb so I tried half of the meatballs rolled in parmesan instead of flour. I did add the panko bread crumbs to the mix.
    I also use RAO’s Marinara Sauce and I discovered Sensitive Marinara Sauce. Lower in sugar, although most Rao’s sauces are lower in sugar anyway and it’s a yummy sauce.
    I will make these meatballs again.

  18. Monika

    5 stars
    Oh my.These looks absolutely amazing!! I just love these little stuffed bits of deliciousness!

  19. Sarah

    5 stars
    I would die for these meatballs. 100% picking it as my last meal on earth. Literally life changing. Also – seriously i’m a notorious meat over-cooker and finishing these in the sauce prevents them from getting dry.

  20. Kelly

    5 stars
    Upon trying one of these, my Irish/Italian husband declared, “I’m not just saying this because you’re my wife, but these are the best meatballs I’ve ever eaten!” I will definitely make these again and again!

  21. Steph

    5 stars
    My family is hard to please but my five year old and picky husband both had seconds! Thanks for the win Gaby!

  22. Allison S

    5 stars
    These were so delish! The mozzarella in the center puts them over the top – not your boring old meatballs! I used ground turkey because it’s what I had on hand and it was really flavorful.

  23. Brianda

    5 stars
    My top favorite recipe to make and eat. The ease of making it is incredible specially for somebody that always feared to make meatballs. Conquered and in love. Haha

  24. Kate Peterson

    5 stars
    Listen when I tell you that you have to make these. I’m serious! My entire (any picky) family LOVES these. I make at least 3 times a month. They are delicious and are great for leftovers.

  25. Torre

    5 stars
    I’ve been making this recipe at least once a week for the past 2 years. To lighten it up a little, I will sometimes omit the mozzarella in the middle (even though it’s so, so good).

  26. Heidi Ildhuso

    5 stars
    Was so easy and so delicious! Everyone enjoyed this recipe. I will definitely make it again.

  27. Amy Hopkins

    5 stars
    We’ve made this multiple times now. Has not disappointed once.

  28. Heather

    5 stars
    This is a family favorite! Requested often! So yummy and quite easy!

  29. Moriah

    Made these this weekend and they were easy to make and turned out so delicious! Didn’t have oregano but Italian seasoning was a perfect substitution. I skimped on the sauce, will def do full jar of marinara next time! Thanks for sharing, this will for sure be in the rotation for meal prepping.

  30. Marie C

    I’m not sure if my skillets are oven safe. Would it be too difficult to just make it in my skillet and then transfer to a casserole dish to bake in? This looks amazing!

  31. Hannah

    5 stars
    So good, so easy, just omg all around. I reduced the Parmesan to 1/3 cup and only used 1 egg and they were so perfect. I used cut up mozzarella string cheese and it worked great! Will definitely make these again and again.

  32. Kate

    5 stars
    These are so easy to make and SO GOOD! Chicken parm is hubby’s favorite, so he loved this variation (so did I!). We put them over a bit of pasta.

  33. Barbara

    These are soooooooo good! Made them a few times already. Changed it up and stuffed blue cheese in the middle and really liked it!

  34. Clark

    5 stars
    These are so lovely. Wondering at what step I can freeze them? Before flour and pan fry or after? Unsure how the fry will hold up in the freezer, and if the cheese will as well. Thoughts?

  35. Jeanine

    I have a brand new package of the wet mozarella logs from Costco. Do you think I could use those and cut them into smaller pieces similar to the size shown in the video?

  36. Kelsey

    5 stars
    First and foremost: OB-SESS-ED with these! Like they might actually be my favorite dinner to make!

    Second: do you have any tips on how not to kill yourself when pouring the marinara into your hot cast iron after browning the meatballs? Asking for a friend

    • Gaby

      very very carefully!! turn the heat down and then pour in and increase the heat

  37. Alyssa

    5 stars
    Oh my goodness, this is a winner! Oddly enough, I’ve had an easier time finding mozzarella than parmesan during quarantine, so I had to sub nutritional yeast for the parmesan. I’m gluten-free as well so I used gf bread crumbs in the meatballs and cassava flour in place of regular flour. Being that I made so many subs, I was a little worried about how these might turn out but they were AMAZING! The only thing I’ll change next time is the way I fried the meatballs; I fried them in batches and the first batch turned out beautifully golden brown but the second batch started to burn by the end because the oil was getting crazy hot at that point. I’ll be more mindful of this next time.

  38. Alyssa

    5 stars
    If I wanted to do this make-ahead for a dinner party, do you think I could do steps 1 through 8, cool, cover, and refrigerate, then bake it when my guests arrive?