Chicken Meatballs with Tomato-Balsamic Glaze

Tested & Perfected Recipes

These baked chicken meatballs make a quick, easy, and kid-friendly supper.

Chicken Meatballs

If you’re looking for an alternative to saucy, rich beef meatballs, these light and elegant chicken meatballs fit the bill.  I love them with mashed potatoes, puréed cauliflower, or buttered noodles for a quick and easy weeknight meal. They also make a delicious appetizer — just make them smaller and spear them with toothpicks.

What you’ll need to make chicken meatballs with tomato-balsamic glaze

ingredients

When purchasing ground chicken, stay away from extra-lean all breast meat; if the meat is too lean, the meatballs will come out dry and lacking in flavor.

Tomato paste can be purchased in a small can or tube. While I use canned here, the tubed variety is more practical because you can use just what you need and store it in the fridge until you need it again.  To preserve canned tomato paste longer, freeze it in tablespoon-sized portions (use an ice cube tray or put tablespoon-sized portions on a cookie sheet).  Once frozen, transfer these portions into a freezer-safe plastic bag for future use.

The recipe calls for Pecorino Romano cheese, a hard Italian sheep milk cheese. It is similar to Parmigiano Reggiano, in that both cheeses have salty, umami-rich flavors, but Pecorino Romano is saltier, tangier, and stronger in flavor.

How to make chicken meatballs with tomato-balsamic glaze

To begin, combine the egg, parsley, tomato paste, garlic, milk, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

how to make chicken meatballs

Mix well with a wire whisk, making sure the tomato paste is completely dissolved.

whisking ingredients

Add the ground chicken, grated cheese and breadcrumbs.

adding ground chicken

Use your hand to mix the ingredients together; it will be somewhat wet.

how to make chicken meatballs

Using wet hands, form medium-sized balls and place into an ungreased 9-x-13-in baking dish.

in baking dishNext, make the glaze by combining the tomato paste, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small bowl.

how to make chicken meatballs

Whisk to combine.

how to make chicken meatballs

Brush the glaze evenly over the meatballs.

how to make chicken meatballs

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball registers 160°F. Remove from the oven and serve.

how to make chicken meatballs

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Chicken Meatballs with Tomato-Balsamic Glaze

These baked chicken meatballs make a quick, easy, and kid-friendly supper.

Servings: Makes 12 meatballs (or 24 appetizer-sized meatballs)
Total Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients

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

  • 1-1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar

Instructions

  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-sized balls and place into an ungreased 9-x-13-in 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°F. Remove from the oven and serve.
  5. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The cooked meatballs can be frozen, with their glaze, for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to serve, reheat them, tightly covered with foil, in a 300°F oven, until hot in the center.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Serving size: 1 meatball
  • Calories: 119
  • Fat: 7 g
  • Saturated fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 4 g
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 10 g
  • Sodium: 161 mg
  • Cholesterol: 54 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • We loved this. I made as directed with the exception of doubling the garlic as we love garlic. The meatballs are so tender and the glaze is so easy. Served with roasted broccoli and orzo. There are just 2 of us but I made a double batch and froze the meat mixture in serving portions in vacuum bags. Easy dinners to pull out of the freezer on busy days. These will also work nicely with mild sauce and pasta. Thank you for another great recipe.

    • — Kathie on January 16, 2021
    • Reply
  • You really need to read the importance of eating organic for well being and the planet. Also Perdue is the epitome of animal cruelty.

    • — OrganicChick on January 14, 2021
    • Reply
  • These meatballs are a family favorite! I have made them to eat by themselves with a salad or in a pasta dish. Delicious!

    • — jackie tuckerman on November 12, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    I noticed you recommend Perdue chicken for this recipe, but I can’t find it in my area. What fat percentage would you recommend if I subbed turkey? Thanks so much!

    • — Sarah Penny on November 9, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Sarah, While I really like Perdue ground chicken, if your store carries another brand, it’s fine to use that. That said, if you want to use turkey, I’d recommend 93/7. Hope that helps and that you enjoy! 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 10, 2020
      • Reply
      • Thanks Jenn! Love all your recipes and your cookbook is divine. I plan to make these tomorrow – can’t wait! 🙂

        • — Sarah Penny on November 12, 2020
        • Reply
  • My husband told me that this recipe is a keeper. Accidentally put too much balsamic vinegar in it but it did not change the outcome.The hardest part was finding ground chicken!

    • — Doris on September 24, 2020
    • Reply
  • Delicious! Our picky toddlers gobbled this up and got thirds. But I will admit I put more breadcrumbs than the recipe called for because it was a bit watery.

    • — Val on September 18, 2020
    • Reply
  • Can I substitute ground parmesan for the pecorino romano?

    • — Sona on September 16, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure – hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on September 17, 2020
      • Reply
  • Can you suggest a way to make this recipe without milk?
    Would chicken broth work?
    Thanks…
    And every recipe of yours that I try is always delicious and successful…

    • — Sandra B on September 16, 2020
    • Reply
    • Yes low-sodium chicken broth would be a good option.

      • — Jenn on September 16, 2020
      • Reply
  • How do I make these dairy free? Can I use almond milk instead, and eliminate cheese?

    • — Naomi on August 12, 2020
    • Reply
    • Yes, I think both of those tweaks would work. Please LMK how they turn out!

      • — Jenn on August 13, 2020
      • Reply
  • I’ve made these meatballs a few times now, but with ground turkey and they are truly wonderful. I don’t usually make the balsamic glaze and instead have plopped them in homemade marinara sauce for spaghetti and meatballs or meatball subs. I’ve tossed them in pasta with veggies and a garlic butter sauce, and have eaten them right right from the oven. They are so yummy. I have to admit, I don’t miss the meat version. Great recipe.

    • — Allison W. on June 7, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! Will anything bad happen if I use a silicone whisk instead of a wire one? (Sorry if this is a silly question!! I’m an amateur and after some other really silly mistakes on other cooking adventures, I just wanna be extra careful…)

    • — Sarah on May 28, 2020
    • Reply
    • Not a silly question! Sure, a silicone whisk is perfectly fine to use. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 28, 2020
      • Reply
  • I thought these were really great, and quick too. Thanks for a wonderful recipe.

    • — Caitlin H. on March 30, 2020
    • Reply

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