Cheesy Chicken Meatballs

These juicy chicken meatballs are baked in the oven and have a golden cheesy topping. They’re small, cute and so tasty. It’s so convenient to bake them all at once.

Baked Cheesy Chicken Meatballs

Baked chicken meatballs may not seem very exciting, but with golden, crisply melted cheese on top they are so much more special. The meatballs are really moist, flavorful and don’t taste heavy at all. I love how cute they look since I make them small. The cheese gives them such a pretty golden color and makes them so much yummier too.

Baking meatballs is awesome. It just makes so much sense. There’s no standing at the stove cooking multiple batches of meatballs, they all bake at the same time in the oven. There’s no oil splatters either, which is another big plus.

They are also great for meal prepping. You can easily prep them ahead of time, store in the refrigerator, and then bake when you’re ready. My favorite times to make prep them is Sundays before church or when we have company for dinner. Put them in the oven, and by the time you make a side dish and salad, the meatballs are bubbling merrily and ready to be served.  

They reheat really well too, so feel free to make an extra batch and then all you have to do is warm them up.  

Ingredients:

  • ground chicken
    • a combination of both white and dark chicken is best; ground chicken breast can be too dry. Instead of ground chicken you can also use ground turkey or any other ground meat, like pork or beef.
  • panko breadcrumbs
  • milk – for soaking the breadcrumbs. You can use any type of milk, even dairy free milk.
  • onion, minced or grated
  • sour cream
  • egg
  • salt, ground black pepper, dry herbs, garlic powder
    • for the dry herbs, I like a mix of dry chives, granulated onion, dry parsley, thyme, etc.
  • mayonnaise
    • Instead of mayonnaise, you can use plain Greek yogurt or omit it completely.
  • grated cheese
    • Use any cheese that melts well. I like using a combination of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, but you can also use monterey jack, colby, cheddar, swiss, etc.
  • oil, for brushing on the baking sheet
Ingredients for baked cheesy chicken meatballs.

How To Make Baked Chicken Meatballs

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Brush the bottom with oil.
  2. Grate the onion on the fine holes of a box grater or finely mince the onion.
  3. Pour the milk over the breadcrumbs. Beat the egg.
  4. In a bowl, combine the meatball ingredients, the ground chicken, onion, breadcrumbs + milk, egg, sour cream, garlic powder, dry herbs, salt and ground black pepper. Mix to combine.
  5. Form the meat mixture into meatballs. I like to make them small, about 1 – 1 1/2 Tablespoons each. Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Drizzle the top of the meatballs with the mayonnaise, just enough to cover the top. It’s very easy to do that by putting the mayonnaise into a small ziplock bag and cutting off a tiny hole in one of the corners.
  7. Top each of the meatballs with grated cheese.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, then turn on the broiler to 475 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for an additional 3-5 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown. (If you make the meatballs bigger, you will need to bake them longer.)
How to make baked chicken meatballs step by step tutorial.

Helpful Tips and Frequently Asked Questions

Make these baked chicken meatballs even healthier by skipping the grated cheese.

Chicken is such a lean protein, that this recipe would be awesome if you want a healthier option. Don’t add the mayo and cheese and brush the meatballs with oil before baking.
Bake them at 425 F for 10 minutes, then broil for 3-5 minutes to give them a bit more color and crispness.

Don’t like mayonnaise? No problem.

You can skip the mayonnaise completely. I personally like the combination of mayo and cheese, but if you don’t, you can either use Greek yogurt or don’t use it at all. Just place the cheese on top of the meatballs. The mayo does help the cheese adhere better, so you may want to brush the meatballs with a little bit of oil before adding the cheese.

What’s the best way to store and reheat the meatballs?

Store the leftover meatballs in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat them in the microwave, but for the best results, do it on the stove. Cook them on low heat, with a tiny bit of water, just enough to create steam in the skillet, just until heated through.

Can you freeze the meatballs?

Yes! Meatballs freeze really well. Freeze the meatballs in a freezer ziplock bag or an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Juicy baked chicken meatballs with a cheesy topping.

What To Serve On the Side

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Baked Cheesy Chicken Meatballs

These juicy chicken meatballs are baked in the oven and have a golden cheesy topping. It’s so convenient to bake them all at once.

  • Author: Olga’s Flavor Factory
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 30 meatballs 1x
  • Category: Entree

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 lb ground chicken (use a combination of white and dark chicken)
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/41/3 cup milk
  • 1 small onion, minced or grated
  • 1 Tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/41 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry herbs (such as dry parsley, chives, thyme, Italian seasoning, granulated onion/garlic, etc.)
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup finely grated cheese, such as Mozzarella with Parmesan or any cheese that melts well – Monterey Jack, Colby, cheddar, Swiss, Gruyere, etc.
  • 1/2 Tablespoon oil, for brushing on the baking sheet

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or
  2. Grate the onion on the fine holes of a box grater or finely mince the onion. Pour the milk over the breadcrumbs.
  3. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs together, the ground chicken, grated onion, breadcrumbs, milk, sour cream, egg, salt, pepper, garlic powder and dry herbs. Mix until evenly combined.
  4. Form into meatballs, about 1 – 1/2 tablespoons each. You should have about 30 meatballs.
  5. Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet about 1/2 – 1 inches apart.
  6. Put mayonnaise in a Ziploc bag and cut a tiny hole in one corner.
  7. Apply a small amount of mayonnaise to the top of each meatball, then top with the grated cheese.
  8. Bake, uncovered, in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes. Then, turn on the broiler (at 450 degrees Fahrenheit) and bake for another 3-5 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown.
  9. Serve warm. Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze up to 3 months.

Keywords: baked chicken meatballs, cheesy chicken meatballs

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 This recipe was originally published on December 30, 2011. I have updated the photos and clarified the instructions, but we are still enjoying this recipe so many years later.

67 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!

    • Olga K.

      Hi Mimi,
      My favorite side dish is pasta or mashed potatoes. Rice and couscous are great choices too. These meatballs go well with almost anything.

  • 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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