Baked 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
1 lb ground chicken
1/2 -3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup milk
1 small onion, minced or grated
1 Tablespoon sour cream
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. Combine the two cheeses together and sprinkle about ½ tablespoon on each meatball. Of course, you can use whichever kind of cheese that you like. Bake 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.