Cheesy Chicken Meatballs

Cheesy Chicken Meatballs-1-2Baked meatballs aren’t very exciting, but with golden, crisply melted cheese on top they are transformed into an elegant entree. The meatballs are so moist, flavorful and don’t taste heavy at all.

I also like to prep them ahead of time, store in the refrigerator, and then bake when I’m ready for them. My favorite times to make this is Sundays before church or in the morning after work. (I work at night, so I prep most dinners in the morning, sleep and when I wake up dinner is almost ready.) By the time you make a side dish and salad, the meatballs are bubbling merrily and ready to be served.  

Yield: 25-30 meatballs

Ingredients:

1 lb ground chicken

1 slice bread, about 1 cup fresh or panko breadcrumbs

¼ cup milk

1 small onion, minced or grated

1 Tablespoon sour cream

1 egg

3/4 – 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

¼ cup mayonnaise

¾ cup mozzarella cheese

¼ cup parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Toast the bread and pulse in the food processor to make crumbs.

You can also pulse the bread in the food processor and then toast in a skillet over med heat until golden brown. The important thing is to have toasted breadcrumbs; I think it adds great flavor to the meatballs. Cover in milk and allow to stand until all the milk is absorbed.

Combine all the ingredients together, except the mayonnaise and cheeses. Form into meatballs, about 1 tablespoon each.

Note: The meat mixture will be very moist. That is normal. I had to get used to working with them too, since most meatball recipes have a much stiffer consistency. Moisten your hands with water and toss them gently as you shape them into meatballs. This is what makes these meatballs so tender and juicy.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, spray with oil and place meatballs 1/2” apart on the sheet. Put mayonnaise in a Ziploc bag and cut a tiny hole in one corner. Apply a small amount of mayonnaise to the top of each meatball. IMG_0350Combine the two cheeses together and sprinkle about ½ tablespoon on each meatball. Of course, you can use whichever kind of cheese that you like. IMG_0354Bake uncovered for 15-20 min.

You may wish to broil for 2-5 at the end for the cheese to crisp up, instead of baking them longer at the same temperature. This will make sure that your meatballs are still moist and juicy.

IMG_0374IMG_0385Cheesy Chicken Meatballs-1-2

Cheesy Chicken Meatballs
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 slice bread, about 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 small onion, minced or grated
  • 1 Tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ - 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¾ cup mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toast the bread and pulse in the food processor to make crumbs.
  3. Cover in milk and allow to stand until all the milk is absorbed.
  4. Combine all the ingredients together, except the mayonnaise and cheeses.
  5. Form into meatballs, about 1 tablespoon each.
  6. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, spray with oil and place meatballs ½” apart on the sheet.
  7. Put mayonnaise in a Ziploc bag and cut a tiny hole in one corner.
  8. Apply a small amount of mayonnaise to the top of each meatball.
  9. Combine the two cheeses together and sprinkle about ½ tablespoon on each meatball.
  10. Bake uncovered for 15-20 min.
  11. Broil for 2-5 min to brown and crisp up the cheese.

64 Comments

  • Natalie

    I made these the other day and they tasted really good! They weren’t as pretty as yours though 😉 My mixture was just too soft and mushy to make meatballs out of by hand so I used a melon baller and just scooped onto a cookie sheet. My 3 and 1 year old loved them too! Thanks for sharing the recipe! Will definitely be trying more of your recipes in the near future.

    • Olga K.

      Hi Natalie,
      I ground my own meat for the ground chicken. I have noticed that if you use store-bought ground chicken, it tends to be much softer, so next time, try adding less liquid. Hope that helps:)

    • olgak7

      A melon baller is a great idea, Natalie:). My trick for shaping these meatballs is to use damp hands and to keep getting them slightly wet every so often. That helps a lot.

  • Mrs. Measurement

    Oh my! This looks delicious. I love cheese and I have some meatballs hanging out in the freezer somewhere. Love that you can enjoy cheesy meatballs sans pasta.

  • Danae

    I’m in love! I went ahead and made these with ground beef because that’s what I had on hand, but oh my goodness it’s like a cheese filled heaven!

  • Robin

    Hi Olga,

    These sure do look yummy! Do you use skinless chicken breast only when you grind the chicken or white and dark meat, with our without skin? Also, do you grind to a hamburger consistency or something chunkier?

    Thanks!
    Robin @ happilyhomeafter.blogspot.com

    • Olga K.

      Hi Robin,
      I use both dark and white meat without the skin and grind it to a regular hamburger consistency. I’ve even made ground meat in my food processor, and that worked great also.

      • Betty

        Ooh, nice addition on the chesee! I put chesee (I like grana padano, sharp but not overpowering) in the mix sometimes, myself, but I’ve never broiled them with chesee on top. Will have to try. After all, if Kenny was impressed wow cause that’s a man who REALLY knows his balls!

    • Olga K.

      We’ve never had enough to freeze:) I don’t think it should be a problem. I would unthaw them and then crisp them up again in the oven for a few minutes.

  • Heidi Mabie

    If I use store-bought bread crumbs instead of doing it myself, how much does 1 slice of bread come out to? 1/4 C?

    • Olga K.

      1 slice of bread is about 1 cup of fresh breadcrumbs. You may need to use less if you’re using store bought, since they are dry, not fluffy like fresh bread crumbs, the volume is decreased with drying. Hope they turn out well:)

  • Michelle

    I made these tonight. They are so easy to make. They taste wonderful! Like other posters I too had an issue with it being a bit too moist to roll into meatballs. I simply gently tossed a heaping tablespoon from hand to hand and dropped on the baking sheet. This recipe will be our new favorite.

    • Olga K.

      I’m so glad you liked them, Michelle!
      They ARE very moist, and much softer in consistency than most other meatball recipes. I had to get used to making them. That’s why they turn out really juicy, though:)

  • Jenna C.

    Made them for dinner last night and they were delicious – had to make a few tweaks to go with what I had on hand but essentially the same recipe. They are definitely going into the rotation! Thank you!

  • Brian

    These look really good, but I am seriously averse to using mayo. Can you recommend a substitute? Or would they still be ok without the mayo? Thanks!

    • Olga K.

      I’m not really sure. I’ve never taken note. It really depends on the size of the chicken pieces and how much you cut away(bone, skin, etc) and also the type of chicken (breast vs. thighs, etc). I usually grind a lot of chicken at the same time and portion out the meat into 1-1 1/2 lbs of ground chicken to use in various recipes.

  • Hannah

    We love these… making them for the second time right now. I am buying ground chicken on purpose just for this recipe now. 🙂

  • Mimi

    How do you sprinkle the cheese directly on the meatballs? Every time I’ve made these, the excess cheese falls onto the aluminum and then ends up burning in the oven

    • Olga K.

      Roza and Mimi,
      I’ve never had a problem with the cheese burning. I just sprinkle the cheese on top of each meatball and then pick up any that fell and put it back on top of the meatballs. Chicken cooks really quickly, so even if I miss some, it doesn’t have tine to burn. I don’t bake them for more than 15 minutes, and at that point just broil for 2-5 minutes to brown.

  • The Hsinru Social

    I am totally going to use this recipe! Thanks for the wonderful post. Do you think this will work well in a tagine and with an over easy egg?

    • olgak7

      I don’t see why not! I’ve never made it this way myself. Let me know how it turns out if you try it:)

  • Natalie G

    I made the meatballs and added shredded granny smith apple to it.(saw that in another meatball recipe) Came out delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Debra

    Just a FYI. I used a cookie scoop and it was no problem at all with stickyness. I found them to be less stickier than ground beef:)

  • Liza

    Yum! These were amazing! I used dried breadcrumbs instead and they still came out really moist. The only thing I would do differently is that I left them on broil a tiny bit longer than I should have — oops! But luckily I didn’t burn them, just made the cheese a little more crispy than I would prefer. They were still so good! I’m definitely making these again and again! 🙂

  • Jacqui

    These are so yummy! I made them with beef instead of chicken and substituted panko for the bread crumbs. AWESOME!

  • Olga I

    Olga. Thank you for the recipe. It’s the best I ever tried from chicken. Love to read your blogs. It’s like talking to you. Seems like you are an amazing person. Thanks for all your blogs.

  • Kelly

    These were great! I made them for dinner last night. Usually chicken meatballs come out much drier, but these were moist and tasted wonderful! I did not have sour cream, so I added the tablespoon of mayo to the meatball mix and it was awesome!!!!! Didn’t use cheese, (trying to be healthier) but a great recipe!

  • Vita

    Oh man these look amazing 🙂 Will definitely make next. Do you think a tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt would be alright in substitution for the TBS of sour cream?

  • Vita

    Thank you, Olga, for a great recipe that just made me look good in front of my boyfriend 😉 I can confidently say that not only did these turn out great, but that this recipe will definitely be made again and again. I’m a beginner cook, so I’m still learning and have limited experience, especially with meat dishes! I basically followed your recipe to the letter, my cheese topping was a shredded “Italian” blend that included mozzarella, provolone, asiago, parmesan.

    • olgak7

      That’s so awesome for me to hear, Vita! I love it:). I’m all for making people look good in front of their boyfriend, husband, in-laws, friends, etc.

  • Valentina

    Hi Olga,
    I want to make these for dinner and was wondering after you bake them do they release some drippings into the pan? We like to pour drippings on top of our pasta as a side dish..

    • olgak7

      Hi Valentina,
      I never have any drippings with this recipe. Ground chicken is very lean. If you use ground pork or ground beef, those meatballs will definitely have drippings after baking.

  • Jenny

    I honestly thought you were exaggerating when you described how delicious and moist these were. After all, how great can baked meatballs get? I made these today when I felt like making something fast and simple and was I in for a surprise. These are the best meatballs I’ve ever made! So juicy and flavorful and the crispy cheese on the outside was so good! And super easy, the side dish took longer to make than these. Thanks for the tip about keeping your hands wet when forming these, it wasn’t difficult at all. I love your site, I visit almost daily! Thank you.

  • Lu

    Hi Olga, thanks so much for your blog! I just love it:-) I made those meatballs today, and they were SO good!!! They were the most delicious meatballs I EVER tried! I just can’t brag enough about them! Lol my sister in law was dancing when she tried them – they were just the most delicious little things, the whole family LOVED them😋 Anyways, I give you 10 stars for those and will definitely make them again and again, and would recommend them to anyone who want to make an easy meat dish! Thank you!!!!😊

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