Spaghetti meatballs are well-beloved worldwide for being a kid-friendly comfort food recipe, so we will show you how to make your own with this chicken meatballs recipe.
This recipe features all the common ingredients: spaghetti, creamy tomato sauce, and tender meatballs. To separate this dish from the original one, we replace beef with chicken for the meatballs.
Are Chicken Meatballs Healthy?
Yes, chicken meatballs are healthy.
Each serving of this dish contains only 488 calories and 3.8 g of saturated fat, which are decent amounts for a stacked dish.
The amount of sodium is affected by the cheese and seasonings. However, we keep it at 603 mg per serving, still within the limits of our nutrition guidelines. Lastly, chicken thighs, egg, and cheese combine for 30.4 g of lean protein in each serving.
Ingredients for Chicken Meatballs
The blend we use for the chicken meatballs has various ingredients. The main ingredient is ground chicken thighs for their tenderness and moisture from the fat.
Chicken allows you to add lots of seasoning because its flavor isn’t as bold as beef. In this recipe, we use onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, paprika, and garlic powder. The seasoning blend is diverse and brings a ton of flavors to the meatballs.
The egg helps combine the ingredients and helps you to form firmer meatballs. Flour and Panko breadcrumbs absorb the juices of the chicken and keep them inside the meatballs, essentially locking in moisture.
There is no reason to break up the dynamic duo of spaghetti and meatballs. Also, it is arguably the most popular pasta shape.
You can certainly choose other pasta shapes to customize your dish. We recommend using pappardelle, fettuccine, linguine, etc. Rice or egg noodles are also good options.
We opt for a simple tomato sauce with tomato paste, homemade tomato sauce, chicken broth, salt, and pepper. Tomato sauce naturally works well with pasta and meatballs, giving you a beautiful Italian meal.
The two ingredients we use for garnishing are incredibly popular in Italian cuisine: parmesan cheese and basil.
A pasta dish wouldn’t be complete without cheese, so we add parmesan on top. Lastly, the match made in heaven that is tomato and basil is reunited in this recipe to give this dish a hint of freshness.
Tips to Cook Perfect Chicken Meatballs
Season the meat well before mixing all the ingredients
Unseasoned meatballs will be rather boring. Adding your favorite seasonings to the meatball mix will make your dish flavorful and unique.
You can cook up a small test patty to check the seasoning before cooking the whole batch. Adjust the seasoning if needed.
Add moisture to the mix
Adding eggs or breadcrumbs to lock in moisture is vital because dry meatballs will turn tough when cooked.
Shape the meatballs properly
There are two things you should note. Firstly, do not form the meatballs too tightly because they can turn chewy. Secondly, form evenly-sized meatballs to make sure they cook at the same time.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Leftover chicken meatballs should last in the fridge for 2 to 3 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months. Store them in airtight containers or freezer bags.
To reheat the meatballs, place them on a lined baking tray, cover them with foil, and cook until warm.
What to Serve With Chicken Meatballs
A simple salad will be great alongside this satisfying spaghetti meatballs dish.
This chicken meatballs recipe is a familiar dish with the usual suspects of spaghetti, chicken meatballs, and a satisfying tomato sauce.
cook TIME 23 mins
prep TIME 12 mins
total TIME 35 mins
14 ozcooked spaghetti from 7 oz dry
14 ozskinless boneless chicken thighs ground
4 ozonion chopped
1 medium egg whisked
0.3 cupplain Panko breadcrumbs
2 tbspall-purpose flour
1 tbspgarlic minced
0.5 tbspItalian seasoning
0.5 tspgarlic powder
2 tbspolive oil
1 tbspHunt’s tomato paste
1 cuphomemade tomato sauce
0.5 cupunsalted chicken broth
0.5 tspground black pepper
0.3 ozshredded parmesan cheese
2 tbspbasil chopped
Grind the chicken: Cut the chicken thighs into small chunks. Add the chunks to a food processor in separate batches. Pulse until finely chopped.
Cook the spaghetti: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti for 1 minute less than the package instructions. Drain the pasta when done.
Chop the onion: Half the onion and peel off the skin. Make a crosshatch pattern on the onion half while keeping the root intact. Chop the onion into small cubes.
Whisk the egg: Crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk thoroughly.
Mince the garlic: Slice off the root and peel the skin of the cloves. Mince them with a knife or garlic mincer.
Chop the basil: Stack the basil leaves on top of each other and roll them tightly. Slice the roll thinly.
Make the meatball mix: Prepare a large mixing bowl. Add 14 oz ground chicken thighs, 2 oz onion, 1 medium whisked egg, 1/4 cup plain Panko breadcrumbs, 1 tbsp all-purpose flour, 1 tbsp garlic, 1/2 tbsp Italian seasoning, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp paprika, and 1/2 tsp garlic powder. Mix thoroughly until combined.
Form the meatballs: Use your hands and form the mixture into equal-sized meatballs.
Bake the meatballs: Place the meatballs on a lined baking tray. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes at 428 °F.
Caramelize the onion and add the tomato paste: Prepare a hot pan over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 oz onion. Stir for 2 minutes to caramelize. Then add 1 tbsp of Hunt’s tomato paste. Stir for 30 seconds.
Add the flour: Add 1 tbsp of all-purpose flour. Stir for 30 seconds.
Make the sauce: Add 1 cup Homemade tomato sauce, 1/2 cup unsalted chicken broth, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp ground black pepper. Stir for 1 minute.
Stir the meatballs in the sauce: Add the cooked meatballs to the sauce and let them cook over low heat for 2 minutes.
Add the spaghetti: Add 14 oz cooked spaghetti and cook for another 3 minutes.
Garnish and serve: Sprinkle with 0.25 oz shredded parmesan cheese and 2 tbsp basil. Enjoy.
Chicken Meatballs Recipe
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories Calories from FDA
% Daily Value*
Vitamin A 453IU
Vitamin C 3mg
Trans Fat 0g
Saturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 11g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.