Chicken Meatballs Recipe

Chicken Meatballs

Chicken Meatballs

I use my own simple whole wheat bread to make fresh crumbs in a food processor so use a soft whole wheat bread, crusts removed. No food processor? Just cut the bread into small pieces. For the softest meatballs it's best to cook them in spaghetti sauce. - Jenny Jones

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Makes: 12-14 meatballs

Chicken Meatballs


  • 1 cup fresh whole wheat bread crumbs (2 slices)
  • 1/4 cup milk (I use 1%)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian spices (try my seasoning mix)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt + pepper to taste
  • 1 pound ground chicken breast


  1. Have your spaghetti sauce cooking on the stove. (try my Quick & Easy Sauce)
  2. In a food processor pulse bread to make soft crumbs.
  3. Place crumbs in a bowl and add remaining ingredients (except chicken) starting with milk. Combine well.
  4. Add chicken, mixing gently by hand. Shape into 2-inch balls and place gently into the sauce. Cook, covered or uncovered, for 20 minutes. If meatballs are not submerged, gently turn them after 10 minutes. They are done at 165° F.

Notes: For more on this recipe, including a link to my homemade sauce and how to pan-fry or oven-bake, Click here.

45 Comments on "Chicken Meatballs"

  1. Connie ONeill

    I love to make meatballs and love to make your chicken or turkey meatballs in sauce but do not have a food processor to grind the whole wheat bread for breadcrumbs. Can i just crumble the bread with my hands?

    • Jenny Can Cook

      I suggest cutting the bread into very small pieces.

    • Cathy Smith

      I use my vita mix or any blender and pulse the bread 2 cups at a time. works well and not a whole food processor to clean up.

  2. Chris

    Looking for recipes that have no cheese or dairy. I can substitute milk with silk or almond milk. I’ve found no substitute for the cheeses

    • Samona

      I make meatballs all the time i just skip cheese!

  3. Tony Trapp

    Thanks Jenny for the simple recipes thats what I want simple not complicated

    I want to make whole wheat bread and after that I want to make whole wheat pasta but I could not find the recipe.

    If you have a simple recipe, please post it, thank you….huuugs

  4. Barbo

    Dear Jenny,

    I had a lb. of frozen chicken tenders from Cost Co. I defrosted them in fridge,
    then put in Cuisinart with 1/4 c. peanut oil and ground them.
    Followed your recipe from that point on. What a delicious soft meatball
    dish. Thanks for your continuing work. I am 84 and still cooking and looking
    for new ways.

    • Lisa

      While this was very different from the recipe, I can see how it would work pretty well. No need for bread crumbs, since the tenders were breaded already. Intriguing.

  5. aniket

    it didn’t work

    • Jenny

      Please let me know all of the ingredients you used and your method and I should be able to figure out why. I make these all the time with consistent results and I want everyone to have success with my recipes.

    • Lori

      This is my third time making them. They are beyond delicious!!


    Jennry its my first time lookin at one of ur videos i saw the meat loaf one and i was eager to make it and then i also saw this one of the meatballs and i couldnt decide what to pick what should i do 🙂 thnx ur the best…

  7. Roslyn

    Fabulous chicken meatballs! Made this especially satisfying recipe last evening and they went over like a rocket to the moon! Cannot thank you enough for all your tips and information, and your diverse, healthy recipes (I especially appreciate the recipe transcripts). Hope all is well with you; you were missed . . . .

  8. Tami Lynn

    Hi Jenny, I cant believe your back I am so excited to see another fabulous recipe from you. I cant wait to make it. I think you have really great amd exciting recipes. Please keep your recipes coming.

  9. Kryshia

    Hi Jenny so glad your back was wondering if your ok ? was so refreshing to see your email , I will make the chicken meatballs , they look so good , missed you tons .

  10. Patti

    Girl, your pierogi recipe rocked!! As a polish princess, it was a must have! Best dough ever! I made the most beautiful pierogis I have ever made, thanks to you. Thank you!

  11. Gerri

    I’m so glad you’re back . I’m 73 when I see your recipes it wants me to keep cooking, their easy.

  12. Mary Kumuda Sujay

    I am from Bangalore, India. I am so glad you are back with more recipes. Love your videos! I have tried your lemon brownies and the family have enjoyed them. Thank you and looking forward to more!

  13. Earlee

    So glad you’re back missed you and your recipes and looking forward to seeing more of your recipes including the salmon croquettes

  14. Yoly T.

    Looks good. Having company this week end, that will be my dish. Thank you Jenny.

  15. Mary

    I love using ground chicken in recipes. I will be making this soon as I recently purchased a pkg. of grd. chicken. Thank you for the recipes, they are all great!

  16. Laura

    When I commented, I applauded your lemon brownies, but I must tell you my friends and family love your salmon croquettes,
    Glad that you are back, and really appreciate your recipes.

  17. Julia


  18. Christina

    Look delicious, will try and thanks.

  19. Maureen

    Can you use ground turkey instead of the chicken? Or will it change the taste? Thanks, missed you…love your recipes and videos!

    • Jenny

      I have only made this recipe with chicken breast so it may depend on the type of turkey, white or dark. I guess you will just have to test it out.

  20. Pam

    Glad to see you back!! Will definitely try this recipe!

  21. pat jacobson

    can i use beef instead for the same result

  22. SGB

    Love your videos!

  23. Terri

    Thanks Jenny!!! Glad to see you back, missed you!

  24. Sharon

    Thanks and glad you’re back! I look forward to your posts.

  25. Monica

    So great to hear from you again 🙂 Thanks for this meatball recipe!

  26. Kellie65

    Hey…great to see an email from you!!
    The meatballs look awesome–will try them soon. Thanks!!

  27. Jeanne

    I wondered where you were and missed you! Now you are back! Yeaaaaa. I forgot about those wonderful Lemon Brownies. Going to whip up some. I have never cooked with Ground Chicken. Giving these a second look!

  28. snperch

    In place of milk, use reconstituted non-dairy coffee creamer.

  29. delicious

    Thank you so much ,I was looking for something different from beef, I will certainly try this ,,I’m french so excuses the faults, please

  30. Laura

    I am so glad that you are back,
    I will try the recipe and I do change your recipes because I do not mix meat with dairy.
    All of us need great recipes for the chicken breast, I will use some water to make it moist.
    Out here, there is a craze of beef/chicken blend of chopped meat, but it is not has healthy as yours.
    I have some chicken breasts in the freezer, could I defrost and put in the Cusinart?
    Love Love Love your lemon brownie recipe, it has, been a big hit here!

    • Jenny

      I have never ground my own chicken so check online to see if it should be thawed or partially thawed.

  31. Joy

    This looks like a good recipe.
    Do you think I can make the meatballs out of ground beef, also?
    Would cooking time need to be longer?


  32. olinda

    so glad you are back missed your great recipes

  33. Nita

    This sounds wonderful, can hardly wait to try the recipe

  34. Meg

    Those meatballs look so good! ?

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