These gluten-free baked chicken meatballs are easy to make and freezer-friendly! These delicious, tender meatballs can be made ahead and are perfect for quick weeknight dinners the whole family will love.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
This easy recipe for baked chicken meatballs will surely become a dinner staple in your house. They are a fun way to take an ordinary spaghetti night to the next level.
Serve with your favorite sauce, homemade gluten-free spaghetti sauce, or even homemade gluten-free pasta and your family will flip for this dinner! If you need more convincing, here are a few more reasons why I think you'll love them!
- Ground chicken meatballs are quick to throw together, start to finish in under an hour. You can prepare some pasta while the meatballs bake.
- This recipe uses simple ingredients and items readily available at the grocery store.
- Easily make a double batch and save some for later with this freezer-friendly recipe! Great for meal prep and last minute dinners!
- Using ground chicken makes this delicious recipe a cinch to make!
- These healthy chicken meatballs use lean protein instead of beef or pork.
Meatball Ingredients and Substitutions
- Ground Chicken: Using ground chicken is part of what makes these meatballs so simple to whip up, but if you can't get your hands on it, you can use ground turkey as well. You can also use boneless, skinless chicken breast and grind everything up in a food processor.
- Dried spices: Italian seasoning, parsley, and red pepper flakes.
- Worchestershire sauce: There are many gluten-free Worcestershire sauces, such as Lea & Perrin's brand. Always check the label.
- Egg: Helps hold the meatballs together and makes them a little less dense. It can be omitted if necessary.
- Gluten-free panko breadcrumbs or almond flour: Pretty much any gluten-free breadcrumbs will work here. Even almond flour or almond meal will work as well!
- Ricotta cheese: This ingredient is optional but I'd suggest giving it a try! It makes the meatballs so light and fluffy!
The best part about this easy meatball recipe is that you can change things up based on the ingredients you have on hand and how much effort you want to put forth. Here are some variations I often make:
- Mince a small shallot and use that instead of onion powder.
- You can use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic.
- As noted above, ricotta cheese is a surprisingly nice addition, but not required. It does make them even more tender though!
- Sometimes I'll add in a tablespoon or two of refrigerated pesto.
- You can add dried fennel for that classic 'Italian sausage' flavor you often find in pork meatballs.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, Worcestershire sauce, oil, and remaining wet ingredients.
- Stir in the spices and parmesan cheese.
- Using a spoon or your hands, mix in the ground chicken. Blend until the mixture looks evenly mixed.
- Scoop 1 tablespoon of the meatball mixture and roll into a ball.
- Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake meatballs until golden brown and an internal temperature of 165°F. While they bake, the delicious smell coming from the oven will tell you all you need to know!
How to Serve Chicken Meatballs
There are many ways to turn these tasty gluten-free chicken meatballs into a complete meal.
- Once removed from the oven, serve the baked chicken meatballs with your favorite pasta (or even zucchini noodles) and your favorite homemade or store bought sauce.
- Make them into a meatball sub with melted cheese and pesto or pasta sauce.
- Enjoy them plain straight from the pan!
- These meatballs are also delicious dunked in tomato sauce, buffalo sauce, or even ranch or barbecue sauce! The perfect lazy dinner or lunch for when you just can't muster up any more energy!
Make Ahead and Freezing
These gluten-free meatballs can easily be made ahead. Here are some options:
- You can refrigerate formed meatballs up to 24 hours before baking.
- Baked or leftover meatballs can be refrigerated up to 3 days. Enjoy cold or reheated, either in sauce or in the microwave.
- To freeze meatballs, bake the meatballs for half of the indicated time in the recipe card. Allow them to cool and then place the meatballs in an airtight container or freezer bag. Freeze up to 3 months. Frozen meatballs can then be bake until browned, right from frozen, when you're ready to eat them!
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Gluten-Free Baked Chicken Meatballs
- 1 lb ground chicken, or turkey
- 1 egg
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup Ricotta Cheese, optional *see notes
- ¼ cup gluten-free panko breadcrumbs, gluten-free Italian breadcrumbs, or almond flour
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon dried fennel, optional
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. (Use convection setting if you have it.). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk the egg, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, and ricotta cheese together in a large bowl.
- Whisk in the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, minced garlic, herbs and spices.
- Mix in the ground chicken with your hands or a spoon until mixture is evenly combined.
- Scoop 1 Tablespoon-sized portions of the mixture and roll into a ball. Place the meatball on a parchment lined baking pan. Continue forming meatballs until you've used up all of the mixture.
- Bake the meatballs at 425°F, 20-25 min, or until the meatballs are golden brown and cooked to 165°F internal temperature.