These chicken meatballs with spinach are healthy, extremely flavorful, and a fantastic alternative to beef or pork! This is bound to be your new go-to baked chicken meatballs recipe.
Prefer ground turkey? Try my Easy Turkey Meatballs.
Why you'll love them
I'm a huge fan of having these easy chicken meatballs with spinach in my freezer at all times. It's just such a great way to have a quick and healthy meal on the table fast! You can dress them up in any way you'd eat Classic Meatballs, but they're awesome tasting on their own too.
These can be made using two methods. Both are super simple! You can pan sear them first and then put 'em in the oven, or they can go straight into the oven without the browning step. Easy peasy and delicious either way.
Ingredients you'll need
- Ground chicken - aim for as lean as possible, at least 90%
- Egg - to bind all the ingredients together
- Panko breadcrumbs - helps to bind and adds a bit more moisture. Panko is less dense than regular breadcrumbs, and you'll find it next to regular breadcrumbs at the grocery store.
- Parmesan cheese - adds more moisture and gives an irresistible cheesy dimension. Swap it out for asiago if that's all you have. Always grate your own cheese.
- Worcestershire sauce - gives a savory depth of flavor. Don't skip it!
- Lemon juice - for a pop of brightness
- Garlic powder and onion powder - this aromatic duo is an effortless way to infuse loads of savory flavor
- Salt & pepper - it's important to season generously
- Parsley - parsley adds freshness. Feel free to use up whatever herbs you have on hand as well!
- Spinach - use more or less depending on your preferences
- Olive oil - for the frying step and for your hands when forming them
How to make chicken meatballs
This is an overview, and full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
- Mix the meatball ingredients together in a prep bowl. Form into approximately 20 1" meatballs, and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet for easy clean-up.
Cooking Method 1
- Brown them in an ovenproof skillet in batches (this gives the best browning), and then add all of the browned meatballs back into the skillet. Transfer it to the oven to finish cooking them through.
Cooking Method 2
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and entirely cook them that way without the skillet step, but keep in mind the meatballs won't be as well browned as the ones in the photos.
Tips for success
- These do taste quite spinach-y, so if you're not a fan of spinach, I probably wouldn't recommend making them. There's nothing "hidden" about the spinach!
- You could swap the chicken for ground turkey if you prefer, but I find that lean ground chicken works very well for these and is moist.
- Ground chicken can be a bit wet/sticky, so it's best to not make these in a rush. You may want to put a little olive oil on your hands to help keep the mixture from sticking to them as you're forming the meatballs.
Tools for this recipe
- I always recommend having an oven-proof skillet in your kitchen. It's wonderful for a variety of recipes since it goes seamlessly from the stove to the oven. This is the 12" skillet pictured.
- An instant read meat thermometer is an inexpensive way to be confident that the meat is cooked through.
- I love using these cooking tongs to turn the meatballs in the skillet.
- Freshly grated parmesan is key for moisture, and I like to use this Microplane to grate it myself.
Leftovers and storage
- Chicken meatballs can be frozen (after they're cooked and cooled) for up to 3 months. They'll also be fine in the fridge for a couple of days.
- I like to add individual portions, about 4-5, to small plastic bags and then put the bags in a larger Tupperware container in the freezer.
- To reheat on the stove, add them to a saucepan, cover, and warm over a low heat until they're heated through (or add to sauce and reheat until hot). In the oven, add them to a baking/casserole dish, cover with foil, and reheat at 350F for about 10 to 15 minutes.
What to serve with chicken meatballs
- Try them with Homemade Marinara Sauce to make spaghetti and meatballs, or you can use your favorite jarred pasta sauce.
- Serve them as an appetizer with dipping sauces like this Easy Ranch Dressing.
- They'd be great in this Meatball Soup.
- They are always delicious with Mashed Potatoes. You could even pair them with rice and some Homemade Tzatziki for something lighter and a little different!
Questions about these baked chicken meatballs? Let me know in the comments below! Let me know if you made them as well. You can also find me on Instagram.
Chicken and Spinach Meatballs
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or use less if you don't want them lemony)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped finely
- 2 cups (loosely packed) fresh spinach chopped
- 2 tablespoon olive oil for frying
- Preheat oven to 375F and move the rack to the top third of the oven.
- Add the ingredients (except for the olive oil) to a fairly large bowl. Using your hands, mix together (but don't overwork the mixture). Mixture will be quite wet. Form 1" meatballs (it'll make about 20). Add them, one-by-one, to a parchment paper lined baking sheet for easy clean-up.
- Choose from one of the cooking methods below:
Method 1 Skillet & Oven (Preferred):
- Add the olive oil to a large, oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add half the meatballs. Fry the meatballs in 2 batches until they're browned all over (approx. 5 min/batch). Use tongs to turn them easily. They will brown quite fast, so turn them often. Add another splash of olive oil to the skillet for the second batch if needed. Transfer first batch of meatballs to a plate once they're browned.
- Once the meatballs have all been browned, add them all back into the skillet and pop it in the oven for 5 minutes or until they're cooked through (an instant read meat thermometer will indicate they're 165F in the middle).
Method 2 Oven Only:
- With this method, the meatballs won't brown as much, so they will be a bit less flavorful and much paler in color. Place the baking sheet with the meatballs in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until they're 165F in the middle.
- This recipe is easiest with an oven-proof skillet if you're using method 1, but you can certainly transfer the meatballs to a baking sheet and finish them in the oven that way. Another option is to complete the skillet browning step and then finish cooking the meatballs in a sauce if you don't want to finish cooking them in the oven.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.