Delicious baked chicken meatballs are made without breadcrumbs. The sweet-spicy sauce is optional and wonderful.
My mother in law introduced me to these tasty meatballs. With the exception of turkey meatballs, I almost always make mine with beef (these spicy meatballs are wonderful). But when I tasted her recipe, I was hooked!
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 absolutely fabulous.
The ingredients you’ll need
You’ll only need a few simple ingredients to make these tasty chicken meatballs. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here’s an overview of what you’ll need:
Ground chicken: I highly recommend using ground chicken thighs and not chicken breast. Chicken breast is too dry.
Chopped cilantro: I love the flavor of cilantro, but I know not everyone does. If you’re not a fan of cilantro, parsley works too.
Egg: I use large eggs in most of my recipes, this one included.
Minced garlic: Mince it yourself or use the stuff that comes in a jar. Borth work.
Coconut flour: This excellent flour substitute is what I use instead of breadcrumbs. Don’t worry, the meatballs do NOT taste like coconut! If you don’t mind breadcrumbs, I believe a comparable amount would be about 1/4 cup.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the dish could end up too salty. A teaspoon of kosher salt weighs less than a teaspoon of regular salt.
For the sauce: Unsweetened ketchup, maple syrup (or a sugar-free 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:
1. Mix the ingredients and form the mixture into 20 meatballs.
2. Bake the meatballs in a 400°F oven until fully cooked, about 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, combine the glaze ingredients in a saucepan and heat them.
4. When the meatballs are done, toss them in the sauce and serve.
No need for breadcrumbs
I make these 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?
You can keep the 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 Diamond Crystal 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.