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4.8 from 5 votes
Italian Chicken Meatballs with Marinara
Prep Time
45 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
These Italian Chicken Meatballs are made from boneless, skinless chicken breasts, not ground chicken. They're lean, light, tender, juicy and full of flavor!
Course: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: chicken meatballs, Italian Chicken Meatballs, Quick Easy Marinara
Servings: 6
Calories: 168 kcal
Author: Chris Scheuer
For the chicken meatballs:
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic finely minced
  • ½ cup panko crumbs
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • ¼ cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes (the kind in oil)
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • olive oil for brush
  • basil leaves for garnish, if desired
  • shaved or shredded parmesan cheese at the table, if desired
  1. Place chicken breasts in the freezer until they are slightly firm to the touch. (30-45 minutes, they won’t be frozen solid.)
For the marinara sauce:
  1. Prepare the marinara sauce according to this recipe.

  2. https://thecafesucrefarine.com/quick-easy-marinara-sauce/
For the chicken meatballs:
  1. While the sauce is simmering, prepare the meatballs.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450˚F with a rack near the top of the oven. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper for easier cleanup.
  3. Using a sharp chef’s knife, slice the partially frozen chicken lengthwise into thin slices. Set 3 or 4 of the slices on top of each other and, again, slice thinly into long strips. Turn the strips 45 degrees and cut again into a small dice (smaller than a pea). As you dice the chicken, add it to a medium-large bowl.

  4. Add the egg, parmesan cheese, onion, garlic, panko, chopped herbs, sun-dried tomatoes, Italian season, salt and pepper to the bowl with the chicken.
  5. Mix with your hands (or with a sturdy spatula) until everything is well blended.
  6. With an ice cream scooper or a spoon, scoop the chicken mixture up into 12 portions.
  7. Using wet hands, roll the chicken into balls and place on the prepared pan. Brush each meatball with olive oil.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes.
  9. Once the marinara has finished simmering, drop the meatballs in and bring to a simmer again. Simmer gently for another 10 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.
  10. Serve over pasta or polenta, as desired. Garnish with fresh basil.
Recipe Notes

See Café Tips above for more detailed instructions and tips.

Recipe will serve 4-6 with 2-3 meatballs per person.

Nutritional information is for 2 of the chicken meatballs. It does not include the marinara. See that recipe for its nutritional info.

Nutrition Facts
Italian Chicken Meatballs with Marinara
Amount Per Serving
Calories 168 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 105mg35%
Sodium 648mg28%
Potassium 299mg9%
Carbohydrates 6g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 20g40%
Vitamin A 193IU4%
Vitamin C 5mg6%
Calcium 134mg13%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.