Chicken Meatballs with Tomato-Balsamic Glaze

Chicken meatballs 6

These light and elegant meatballs topped with a tangy and sweet tomato-balsamic glaze are made with ground chicken, which is a great alternative to ground beef and so much more flavorful than ground turkey. I typically serve them as a main course with buttered noodles and a vegetable but you can also serve them as an hors d’oeuvre — just make them smaller and spear with toothpicks.

Chicken Meatballs with Tomato-Balsamic Glaze

Print Recipe
Servings: Makes 14 meatballs (or 28 hors d'oeuvres size meatballs)
Total Time: 45 Minutes


For the Meatballs

  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground chicken (preferably Purdue, not extra lean all breast meat)
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Italian seasoned bread crumbs

For the Glaze

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the egg, parsley, tomato paste, garlic, milk, salt and pepper. Mix well with a wire whisk, making sure the tomato paste is completely dissolved.
  3. Add the ground chicken, grated cheese and breadcrumbs. Use your hand to mix the ingredients together; it will be somewhat wet. Form medium size balls (I think it's easiest to use a 3-tablespoon ice cream scooper with a wire scraper) and place onto an ungreased baking sheet or very large baking dish.
  4. Make the glaze by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Brush evenly over the meatballs. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball registers 160 degrees. Remove from the oven and serve.
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  • Patricia Brady

    Made these last night for a pool-side dinner with friends in our community. I did double the amount of glaze. They were such a hit….folks kept going back for more! I even had two friends ask for the recipe, which I am giving them along with your website address. Told them everything I have tried from your website has just been delish!

    • Jenn

      Thank you, Patricia!

  • Jenn– my daughters (Alexis and Abbe) told me about your beautiful blog– been cooking for 45 years and I’m amazed that I’m still picking up helpful tips from your simple explanations about the “how’s and whys” of each recipe and your responses to each question asked.
    The chicken meatballs are outstanding, even though I didn’t have fresh parsley or garlic( had to use freeze dried) on hand. Very moist and flavorful. And yes– double the glaze– it’s so good.
    Can’t wait to start on another recipe — thanks.

    • Jenn

      That is so nice to hear, Judi. Thank you! I’m a big fan of your daughters, and your grandchildren too :)

  • Rebecca

    I just made these tonight for tomorrow night’s dinner. Only things I changed were that I made six times the amount of sauce, as I plan to serve the meatballs with wide egg noodles and wanted some extra sauce for them. I made the sauce for basting the meatballs as per your recipe, but put the leftover sauce into a saucepan with some red wine, chicken broth, cream, crushed red pepper flakes, crumbled gorganzola, and freshly chopped basil from my garden. This is an excellent recipe for leaner meatballs… they are AMAZING! The sauce just needed a bit more uummph for me if serving over pasta. I love your recipes and blogs!! Keep up the great work! :-)

    • Jenn

      Hi Rebecca, thanks for sharing your modifications. The sauce you made sounds delicious!

  • Melinda

    I made this two months ago, and I didn’t have that many to serve for dinner because I ate most of them while I was waiting for my sides to finish. I plan to make a double batch next time.

  • Mo

    I didn’t love this recipe…at first! I only covered half of the meatballs with the sauce because my balsamic vinegar was getting a little skunky! I had hoped the meatballs would be a hit with everyone, but the picky eater didn’t like it (he opposes green flecks in his food) and our daughter wasn’t blown away with it (bummer because both kids have enjoyed the other recipes I’ve made from the site). My wife and I enjoyed the glazed version. Turns out the skunky balsamic wasn’t such an issue when cooked.

    I took the plain meatballs to lunch the next day and had it with spaghetti sauce and penne: HELLO! It was delicious and amazing and I can’t wait to make these again! I actually think both kids will enjoy that. The only change I would make would be to add a bit more garlic.

    * I saw that you have another meatball recipe. I’ll try that one also but I really enjoyed these!

  • carol

    These meatballs are incredible–so much flavour. My husband keeps asking me to make them!! Thanks Jennifer for sharing this recipe….

  • Maureen S.

    Made these for a quick Saturday lunch. They are outstanding. Great ingredients and directions. A keeper recipe. Thank you for adding another recipe to my tool belt!

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