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These Simple Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken Meatballs are best for cold fall and winter nights when you want easy comfort food at home. All mixed in one bowl, these meatballs come together easily and are so flavorful. This dish is warm, saucy, cheesy, and so amazing. Add some crusty bread or pasta on the side for a delicious hearty meal. Perfect as a simple family dinner. Yet equally great as an appetizer for upcoming holiday entertaining.

Simple Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken Meatballs | halfbakedharvest.com

The thing about this past year and a half that I actually love is the fact that’s it’s made time with our families even more special and more valuable. We’ve been able to spend more time with family than ever before. And personally, I’ve loved having my brothers and cousins around to cook for on a more daily basis.

My oldest brother, who has been living with us since covid began, has inspired quite a few recipes. And to no one’s surprise I’m sure, he very much influenced this meatball recipe.

Simple Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken Meatballs | halfbakedharvest.com

Creighton loves any form of meatballs, but meatballs covered in sauce and cheese? Oh yeah, I could probably get him to do just about anything for me. When he found out these were for dinner, his excitement was like a kid on Christmas morning.

Meatballs are something I’ve actually come to love to make. I use a trick my grandma taught me to keep them juicy and flavorful…but still super simple.

You guys are going to love how easy these are, and of course how delicious too!!

Simple Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken Meatballs | halfbakedharvest.com

The process is simple, here are the steps

Start with the bread. My grandma used to wet the bread, then ring out the excess water and tear the bread into super fine pieces. This is the key to a juicy, non-dry meatball.

Add the bread to a bowl along with a mixture of spicy Italian chicken sausage and ground chicken. I love to use spicy chicken sausage for added flavor and heat, but use what you like best.

Simple Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken Meatballs | halfbakedharvest.com

If you’re having a hard time finding ground chicken sausage, you can of course use regular pork sausage. Or make your own ground chicken sausage, which I often do. It’s simple, just take ground chicken and mix it with plenty of dry spices and herbs. I included my recipe below in the notes so you guys can make it too!

Next, add shallots, garlic, eggs, and parmesan to the ground chicken and spicy sausage. Mix that all together, and you’re ready to roll your meatballs.

Now bake! I love baking meatballs. It’s so much easier and cleaner, not to mention healthier, than frying them up in a skillet.

Once the meatballs are crisp and cooked, I pour over some jarred marinara sauce. Then top with a mixture of mozzarella and provolone cheese and a handful of fresh oregano.

Simple Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken Meatballs | halfbakedharvest.com

Finish it up

Bake the meatballs until the cheese is super melty and browning on top and the sauce is bubbling.

At this point, your kitchen is going to smell pretty amazing, which always leaves everyone excited for dinner.

It’s such a great dish for an easy family dinner. Or use these meatballs as appetizers for your next dinner party with friends.

I’m already planning to make these again for Halloween night. These meatballs and sauce will be so delicious over a plate of spaghetti with a big side salad. Especially after trick-or-treating in the cold! Crusty bread on the side is also a must for soaking up all that sauce.

Simple Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken Meatballs | halfbakedharvest.com

Looking for other easy fam dinner recipes? Here are a few ideas: 

30 Minute Coq au Vin Chicken Meatballs

Spicy Pumpkin and Pesto Cheese Stuffed Shells

Slow Cooker Mustard Herb Chicken and Creamy Orzo

Roasted Garlic Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats

Lastly, if you make these Simple Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken Meatballs, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Simple Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken Meatballs

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 475 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Instructions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 450° F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with olive oil.
    2. Take the bread and run it under water until dampened but not soaked. Gently squeeze the excess water out of the bread and then crumble the dampened bread into pieces.
    3. In a bowl, combine the sausage, chicken, bread crumble, eggs, parmesan, shallots, garlic, pepperoncinis, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Coat your hands with olive oil, then roll the meat into 2 tablespoon size balls, and place them into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes or until the meatballs are crisp on the outside, but not yet cooked through on the inside.
    4. Remove from the oven and pour the marinara over top the meatballs. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 15 minutes longer, or until the meatballs are cooked through. Remove the foil and add the cheeses and oregano. Bake until the cheese is melted and golden, about 10 minutes. Serve topped with fresh oregano and your favorite pasta!

Notes

Ground Spicy Italian Chicken Sausage: I buy ground chicken sausage at Whole Foods. If you can’t find it, you can make your own by adding the following spice mix to 1 pound ground chicken:
1 tablespoon each of fennel seed, dried thyme, dried basil, dried oregano, salt, and pepper; 2 teaspoons each of cayenne (or less, if you don’t want it too spicy), paprika, and garlic powder; and 1 teaspoon each of smoked paprika and crushed red pepper flakes. 
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Simple Baked Cheesy Italian Chicken Meatballs | halfbakedharvest.com

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve made these twice already! My kids love them. I really enjoy all your recipes . Very inspiring. Im a chef myself and love your view on food . Thanks!

    1. Hey Raquel,
      Awesome!! Thanks a bunch for making this recipe, I am so glad to hear that it was enjoyed! xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    Delicious, only switched up the meat to what was available to me using 1 lb ground turkey with 1 lb hot turkey breakfast sausage and they turned out amazing! I did the first 15 min browning on a large cookie sheet covered in parchment, then transferred to a baking dish for the remaining steps. I felt this allowed you to leave any greasy fat layer behind. Great flavor and very easy! Thanks!

    1. Hi Jody,
      Wonderful! Love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks for making it! Have the best week:) xTieghan

      1. Hi Tieghan I froze the raw meatballs to make it later. Do I need to defrost it by putting it in the oven to bake? I made this once already the whole family loved it!

        1. Hi Belinda,
          You can certainly bake from frozen, you will just need to increase your bake time. I hope you love the recipe!! xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    I made this tonight and it was a hit! Even my 2 year old enjoyed it and was asking for more. I used mild Italian chicken sausage instead of the spicy and it turned out great!

  4. 5 stars
    I made these after searching for something I thought my picky 3-year old would eat. My husband and I loved it and agreed it will go into regular meal rotation. The 3YO still wouldn’t touch his food! 🙁

  5. 5 stars
    From a weird person who isn’t a pasta lover, this recipe is life-changing! It’s so simple and foolproof. I made a few adjustments for convenience and to use ingredients I had, but it followed the same idea. Instead of baking in the oven for my son and I, I stuck the meatballs on some parchment paper and baked them in the air fryer at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then put them on a smaller baking dish and cooked them at 375 degrees for a little less than 10 minutes, until the cheese was perfectly melted/browned. I was going to freeze the leftover meatballs but we had unexpected company and so I baked the second batch for them. The dish was a hit! Can’t wait to eat my leftovers today.

  6. 5 stars
    Loved these! I used some slices of leftover no-knead bread and they were a perfect consistency. I’ve usually soaked the bread in milk, but tried the wetting with water method which seemed to work well.

  7. the recipe ingredients lists both 1 lb of ground chicken and 1 lb of ground chicken sausage, so 2 lbs of meat to make these meatballs?
    Most of your recipes to make meatballs list only 1 lb of ground meat, I just want to be sure I have this correct? I enjoy your recipes, especially the slow cooker ones 🙂
    Hope you can find the space and allow yourself to not stress during the holidays!
    You are an inspiration to my cooking…
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Jackie! Yes, that’s correct 🙂 Sorry for the confusion! Thanks so much, so glad you’re enjoying these recipes! xTieghan

  8. 5 stars
    This was really good!!! About how many meatballs does this make though? I had to use 2 9×13 pans for all of them 😂

    1. 5 stars
      This recipe was simple to follow and delicious! I’m not a meatball person but was intrigued by the recipe and very happy with the result. Next time I’ll add crushed red pepper to my meatball mixture as the WF spicy chicken sausage wasn’t as spicy as I expected. Other than that I wouldn’t change a thing!

  9. Is the parmesan supposed to go IN the meatballs or on top of the meatballs? After the ingredient list, it’s not specifically mentioned in the directions. The only time cheese is mentioned in the directions is when you put it on top at the end – I’m assuming that means the Parmesan too?

      1. I made the same mistake, just today. I don’t know why you wouldn’t update the recipe after a reader pointed out a mistake. Everyone will continue to make this recipe incorrectly if you don’t take the time to make the correction.

  10. 5 stars
    These were easy and delicious! I used ground turkey. Added quite a bit of fennel, the parm does go in the meatball, and about 2 tsp of an imported spicy italian seasoning I use. I did not go that heavy on the cheese. I will adopt this for any future meatball needs!!

  11. Hello, maybe a silly question but is this recipe for 1lb ground chicken and 1lb ground chicken sausage, and if we cant find the ground sausage buy 2lbs ground chicken and add the seasoning to one of the pounds. Haha sorry~ Can you please let me know I want to make this ASAP!

    1. Hey there! Yes, that is correct! If you don’t have sausage buy 2 lbs of ground chicken and mix in the seasoning with 1 lb of ground chicken in order to imitate the flavor of sausage 🙂 xTieghan

  12. In the middle of making these….and they were SUPER sticky….then I noticed the recipe itself never said to add the parmesan to the meatballs. If you read the story about making them, it says to add parm. So….we’ll see how these turn out, but there’s no parm in my meatballs. 🙁