These Ground Chicken Parmesan Meatballs have a crunchy, cheese crust and are full of fresh basil and garlic flavor. The grated Parmesan cheese coating on these tender meatballs crisps up beautifully when they’re seared in a skillet. They taste incredible on their own as a party appetizer, or served over a bed of pasta with marinara sauce!

Chicken meatballs are cooked in a skillet.

Parmesan Crusted Chicken Meatballs

Inspiration struck one weeknight recently… 

“What if we coated a ground chicken meatball recipe in grated Parmesan cheese and then fried them in a skillet?”

Y’all… I didn’t know this crunchy and tender combo was even possible?!

Why This Will Be Your Favorite Chicken Parmesan Meatballs Recipe

But the cheesy Parmesan coating turned into this gorgeous, golden crust, while the inside of the meatballs cooked up beautifully and was bursting with fresh basil, garlic, and Italian flavors.

We initially served these morsels over this Creamy Pesto Risotto, but since then have paired them with our favorite marinara sauce for more of a unique spin on the traditional Chicken Parmesan. It’s one of those easy weeknight meals the whole family will be begging for.

Any way you serve them, be prepared to watch these chicken parm meatballs disappear before your eyes!

Ground chicken, breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, basil, and seasonings are the main ingredients for this dish.

Ingredients

  • Ground chicken. Chicken is tender while still holding it’s shape and being good for you. You can sub in ground turkey or ground beef, but the flavor will change.
  • Parmesan cheese. Either buy a bag of grated Parmesan cheese or grate a block yourself. Shredded cheese won’t work nearly as well.
  • Breadcrumbs. Italian seasoned breadcrumbs are perfect for holding the meatballs together without changing the texture. Panko won’t have as much flavor. You can also choose a gluten-free breadcrumb variety if needed.
  • Italian seasoning. Either make a homemade Italian seasoning or buy a bottle at the grocery store.
5 Secrets to Healthier Family Dinners
Tips & recipes for getting yummy — and healthy — meals on the table.

How to Make Ground Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

Please see the recipe card below for ingredient amounts and more detailed instructions.

1. Combine Meatball Ingredients

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground chicken, bread crumbs, ½ cup Parmesan cheese, whisked egg, basil, garlic, lemon zest, Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper, and red pepper flakes. (Save the remaining cheese for later.)

Use a spatula or your hands to carefully mix the ingredients until everything is incorporated. Be careful not to overwork the meat mixture or the meatballs will turn out tough.

A spatula stirs a ground chicken mixture in a glass bowl.

2. Measure Meatballs

Scoop out about 2 tablespoons of the ground chicken mixture. Use your hands to roll it into a ballIf it’s sticking to your hands, spray or drizzle your clean hands with olive oil or a non-stick cooking spray.

You should end up with 20 meatballs.

Meatballs are scooped from a ground chicken mixture.

3. Coat in Parmesan

Add the last ¼-cup Parmesan cheese to a medium-sized bowl. Carefully set one meatball into the bowl and roll it around until it’s completely covered in cheese.

Repeat with the remaining meatballs.

A chicken meatball is rolled in grated Parmesan cheese.

4. Cook in Skillet

Add enough oil to fully cover the bottom of your large skillet. Turn the heat to medium and wait a couple of minutes until the oil starts to sizzle.

Place the meatballs in a single layer across the bottom of the pan and cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side. Use tongs to rotate the meatballs. It should take about 7 to 8 minutes until all of the sides have crisped up. The cooking time will vary slightly based on the size, but the small meatballs should be golden brown on the outside.

Serve the browned meatballs right away with some extra grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

Tongs turn chicken meatballs cooking in a skillet.

How to Freeze Chicken Meatballs?

The best way to freeze cooked meatballs is to let them cool completely, then spread them out on a baking sheet. Freeze the meatballs for a few hours, then transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container. Don’t forget to label the bag, and they should last for about 2 months.

To reheat, let them thaw in the fridge, then warm them back up in a skillet with a little bit of oil.

FAQs

What makes meatballs stick together? 

To ensure your meatballs stick together, you need a binder in the mixture. Both eggs and breadcrumbs do an excellent job keeping the meat packed.

Why are my chicken meatballs tough? 

Your chicken meatballs might be tough if you overmix the batter or cook them for too long.

How do I know when Parmesan chicken meatballs are done? 

Parmesan chicken meatballs are done when they are cooked through to an internal temperature of 165℉.

Recipe Tips

  • Make it work. If you can’t use ground chicken, ground turkey is the best alternative.
  • Just enough. Be sure not to overmix the meatball mixture or they’ll be tough.
  • Get it hot. Let the oil completely heat up before adding the meatballs.
  • All around. Rotate the meatballs as they’re cooking so each side gets nice and crispy.
  • Make it fancy. Learn how to chiffonade cut the basil for an impressive presentation.

What to Serve with Chicken Parmesan Meatballs?

These easy and flavorful meatballs are perfect as an appetizer or paired with a healthy side dish for dinner.

Serve them with your own Pomodoro Sauce or Bolognese Sauce.

To make a complete meal, add a grain like White RiceInstant Pot Wild RiceCoconut Rice, or Mango Coconut Rice.

For veggies, add some simple recipes on the side, like Air Fryer BroccoliGreen Beans Almondine, or Herb Roasted Carrots. Of course, you can’t go wrong with a green salad with a Healthy Salad Dressing.

More Meatball Recipes

Meatballs can be served as an appetizer or main dish—you choose! These delicious recipes are perfect for any occasion.

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 3 votes

Ground Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

These Ground Chicken Parmesan Meatballs have a crunchy, cheese crust and are full of fresh basil and garlic flavor. The grated Parmesan cheese coating on the outside of these tender meatballs crisps up beautifully when they're seared in a skillet.
Chicken meatballs are cooked in a skillet.
Yield 20 meatballs
Prep 20 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
Total 30 minutes
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Ingredients 

  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • ½ cup bread crumbs Italian
  • ¾ cup Parmesan cheese grated, divided
  • 1 egg whisked
  • ¼ cup basil chiffonade
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • ½ tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper to taste
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2-3 Tbsp. oil avocado or olive

Instructions 

  • Combine Ingredients: Add all ingredients to a large bowl except for ¼ cup Parmesan cheese. Mix together by hand or with a spatula until everything is well incorporated.
    1 lb. ground chicken, ½ cup bread crumbs, ¾ cup Parmesan cheese, 1 egg, ¼ cup basil, 2 cloves garlic, ½ tsp. lemon zest, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, 1 tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. black pepper, ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Measure Meatballs: Scoop out 2 tablespoons of mixture and roll into a ball. (Spray a bit of non-stick cooking spray on your hands or a drizzle of oil if you’re having trouble with the mixture sticking.) Repeat with the remaining meat mixture until you have 20 meatballs.
  • Coat in Parmesan: Add the remaining ¼ cup Parmesan cheese to a medium-sized bowl. Place one meatball at a time into the bowl and coat completely with cheese. Repeat until all meatballs have been coated.
    ¾ cup Parmesan cheese
  • Cook in Skillet: Add enough oil to fully cover the bottom of a large skillet. Turn the heat to medium and wait 1-2 minutes, or until the oil begins to sizzle. Place the meatballs into the skillet in a single layer. Cook for 1-2 minutes per side before using tongs to rotate the meatballs. Repeat this process over the course of 7-8 minutes, or until almost all sides of the meatballs have crisped up.
    2-3 Tbsp. oil
  • Serve the meatballs immediately with additional grated Parmesan cheese and basil, if desired. Enjoy!
Last step! If you make this, please leave a review letting us know how it was!

Tap stars to rate!

5 from 3 votes

Video

Notes

Prep-Ahead Instructions:
Assemble the meatballs outside of rolling them in Parmesan cheese up to 2 days in advance. Simply finish the recipe when you’re ready to serve.
Storage Directions:
Leftover chicken meatballs will last for up to 3-4 days if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Place them on a large sheet pan and flash-freeze for 3-4 hours. Once firm, add the meatballs to a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. These meatballs will freeze well for up to a year but frozen meatballs do start to lose their quality after 3-4 months. You can warm up meatballs in the microwave, in a skillet, or back in the oven.
Recipe Tips:
  • Make it work. If you can’t use ground chicken, ground turkey is the best alternative.
  • Just enough. Be sure not to overmix the meatball mixture or they’ll be tough.
  • Get it hot. Let the oil completely heat up before adding the meatballs.
  • All around. Rotate the meatballs as they’re cooking so each side gets nice and crispy.
  • Make it fancy. Learn how to chiffonade cut the basil for an impressive presentation.

Nutrition

Calories: 76kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.02g, Cholesterol: 30mg, Sodium: 193mg, Potassium: 138mg, Fiber: 0.3g, Sugar: 0.2g, Vitamin A: 80IU, Vitamin C: 0.3mg, Calcium: 58mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Made this recipe?Leave a comment below!
5 Secrets to Healthier Family Dinners
Tips & recipes for getting yummy — and healthy — meals on the table.

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