If saucy, cheesy, and comforting is what you’re after, look no further. I have a feeling these meatballs will win the prize for one of the most satisfying dinners you’ve had in long time. A fun twist on classic chicken Parmesan, these meatballs eschew spaghetti in place of extra marinara and a whole lot of melty mozzarella. Did I mention the entire thing comes together in just one skillet?
The Most Flavorful Chicken Meatballs Are Also the Easiest
While many meatball recipes call for the meatballs to be cooked separately from the sauce — whether in the oven or pan-seared on the stove — here, they cook directly in it. The benefit of this is two-fold.
First, it makes for easy cooking (and cleanup). You’ll simply drop balls of the meatball mixture into the skillet of gently simmering sauce, making this a one-dish recipe. Second, since chicken is leaner than beef, chicken meatballs run the risk of being dry. Cooking the meatballs in the sauce keeps the meatballs tender and moist, and infuses them with extra flavor.
This skillet is so hearty, you don’t need much besides a simple green salad to call it dinner. That being said, adding garlic bread to sop up any remaining sauce would hardly be a bad idea.
Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
- 1 (24-ounce) jar
marinara sauce, such as Rao’s
- 1 pound
ground chicken, preferably dark meat
- 1 cup
panko breadcrumbs, divided
- 1/2 cup
finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup
coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 3 cloves
- 1 teaspoon
- 1/2 teaspoon
- 1/4 teaspoon
freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons
- 1 1/2 cups
shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 2 tablespoons
chopped fresh basil or parsley leaves, for serving
Bring the marinara sauce to a simmer over medium heat in a 10 or 12-inch cast iron or oven-safe skillet. Meanwhile, place the chicken, 1/2 cup of the breadcrumbs, half of the Parmesan cheese, parsley, egg, garlic, salt, oregano, and black pepper in a large bowl. Mix lightly with a fork until just combined.
When the sauce is simmering, form the meat mixture into 1 1/2-inch wide meatballs (about 2 tablespoons each), wetting your hands with water as needed to keep the mixture from sticking, and carefully drop the meatballs into the sauce in a single layer as you go.
Cover and simmer gently, flipping the meatballs over halfway through cooking, until cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes total. Meanwhile, arrange a rack 6-inches from the broiler and heat to broil. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, olive oil, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl; set aside.
Uncover and sprinkle the mozzarella evenly over the meatballs. Sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture and remaining Parmesan cheese. Broil uncovered until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the breadcrumbs are golden-brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the herbs and serve.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
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