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 chicken meatballs 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 meatballs were out, and chicken meatballs were in.
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 meatballs. But they make up for that with their wonderfully tender and fluffy texture. And when you add the sweet-spicy sauce, they are fabulous.
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 meatball 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 meatballs or to meatloaf. I find that they’re unnecessary. In some recipes, such as this keto meatloaf, I use Parmesan cheese or almond flour (or both). In other recipes, such as these pork meatballs, I simply don’t use any fillers.
What to serve with baked chicken meatballs
I usually serve these tasty meatballs on a bed of cauliflower rice or mashed cauliflower. Then I add a vegetable that I can roast in the same 400°F oven as the meatballs, such as roasted asparagus or roasted mini peppers.
What to do with the leftovers?
Keep leftovers of these baked chicken meatballs in the fridge, in a sealed container, for up to 4 days. Gently reheat them in the microwave, covered, on 50% power.
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 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.