Delicious and healthy baked chicken meatballs are made without breadcrumbs. The sweet-spicy sauce is optional and wonderful.
My mother in law introduced me to chicken meatballs. I almost always make beef meatballs (these spicy meatballs are wonderful). But she started making these after my father in law was diagnosed with heart disease.
Following the probably misguided advice they had received from his doctors, my father in law started a strict low-fat diet. So beef was out, and chicken was in.
Unnecessary perhaps, but tasty!
Even if the low-fat diet was unnecessary in hindsight, I am grateful for my mother in law for these very tasty meatballs!
They’re not as boldly flavored as beef ones. But they make up for that with their wonderfully tender and fluffy texture. And when you add the sweet-spicy sauce, they are fabulous.
The ingredients you’ll need
You’ll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty recipe. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here’s an overview of what you’ll need:
- Ground chicken thighs
- Chopped cilantro or parsley
- Minced garlic
- Coconut flour
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- For the sauce, you’ll need unsweetened ketchup, maple syrup (or a keto alternative), soy sauce (or a GF substitute), garlic powder, and cayenne pepper
How to make baked chicken meatballs
It’s so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
- Mix the ingredients and form into 20 meatballs.
- Bake in a 400°F oven until fully cooked, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the glaze ingredients in a saucepan and heat them.
- When the meatballs are done, toss them in the sauce and serve.
Chicken meatballs without breadcrumbs
I make these healthy meatballs without breadcrumbs. The egg and coconut flour hold them together just fine.
And no, you can’t taste the coconut! But it’s very good at absorbing some of the cooking juices and keeping them inside the meatballs.
I actually never add breadcrumbs to ground beef recipes. I find that they’re unnecessary.
What to serve with baked chicken meatballs
What to do with the leftovers?
Keep leftovers in the fridge, in a sealed container, for up to 4 days. Gently reheat them in the microwave, covered, on 50% power.
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Baked Chicken Meatballs
- 1 lb. ground chicken thighs, 85% lean
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro or parsley
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour (7 grams)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (not table salt)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened ketchup
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce (or use a gluten-free alternative and add salt as needed)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, use your hands to mix together the meatball ingredients. Mixture will be sticky, but this ensures tender meatballs.
- With wet hands, form the mixture into 20 (1.5-inch, 1oz) meatballs. Place the meatballs on the prepared baking sheet, not touching each other. Bake until fully cooked, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, whisk together the sauce ingredients. 5 minutes before meatballs should be done, heat the sauce gently over medium-low heat.
- When meatballs are done, use tongs to transfer them to the sauce. Gently toss to coat. Serve immediately.