As a food enthusiast, I am always looking for ways to elevate my dinner game. One dish that has become a staple in my household is Chicken Parmesan Meatballs. These delicious meatballs are a twist on the classic Italian dish and are sure to impress any dinner guest. In this article, I will share with you my go-to recipe, tips and tricks for making the perfect meatballs, serving suggestions, variations, and the health benefits of this dish.
To make these mouth-watering meatballs, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
- 24 ounces marinara sauce
Step-by-step instructions to make Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
- Preheat your oven to 375°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground chicken, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, egg, garlic, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
- Using a cookie scoop or your hands, form the mixture into 1 1/2-inch meatballs.
- Place a cube of mozzarella cheese in the center of each meatball and roll the meatball to enclose the cheese.
- Place the meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the internal temperature of the meatballs reaches 165°F.
- While the meatballs are cooking, heat the marinara sauce in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Once the meatballs are cooked, add them to the marinara sauce and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
- Serve the meatballs with additional grated parmesan cheese and fresh basil.
Tips and tricks for making the perfect Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
- Use fresh ground chicken for the best texture.
- Don’t overwork the meat mixture, as this can lead to tough meatballs.
- Make sure to fully enclose the cube of mozzarella cheese in the center of each meatball to prevent the cheese from oozing out while cooking.
- Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meatballs to ensure they are fully cooked.
- If you want a crispy exterior on your meatballs, try pan-frying them in a small amount of oil before adding them to the marinara sauce.
Serving suggestions for Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
These meatballs are a versatile dish that can be served in many ways. Here are some serving suggestions:
- Serve over spaghetti or your favorite pasta.
- Make a meatball sub by placing the meatballs on a hoagie roll and topping with marinara sauce and additional mozzarella cheese.
- Serve as an appetizer with toothpicks and a side of marinara sauce for dipping.
- Pair with a side salad for a complete meal.
Variations of Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
While these meatballs are delicious on their own, you can also switch up the recipe by adding different ingredients. Here are some variations:
- Use ground turkey instead of chicken for a lighter option.
- Add chopped spinach or kale to the meat mixture for some added nutrition.
- Make mini meatballs and serve as a party appetizer.
- Use different types of cheese, such as provolone or fontina, in place of the mozzarella.
- Add red pepper flakes for some added heat.
Health benefits of Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
Chicken Parmesan Meatballs are a healthier alternative to traditional beef meatballs. Ground chicken is lower in fat and calories than beef, making it a great choice for those watching their weight. Additionally, the addition of herbs like basil and oregano provides antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. The use of fresh ingredients like garlic and parmesan cheese also adds flavor without adding unnecessary calories.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I use frozen ground chicken? A: Yes, you can use frozen ground chicken. Just make sure to fully thaw it before using.
Q: Can I make these meatballs ahead of time? A: Yes, you can make the meatballs ahead of time and store them in the fridge for up to 2 days before cooking.
Q: Can I freeze these meatballs? A: Yes, you can freeze the meatballs before or after cooking. Just make sure to store them in an airtight container or freezer bag.
Chicken Parmesan Meatballs are a delicious and versatile dish that is sure to impress. With just a few simple ingredients and some easy steps, you can create a meal that your whole family will love. Whether you serve them over pasta or as an appetizer, these meatballs are sure to be a hit. So, next time you want to elevate your dinner game, give these meatballs a try and enjoy!