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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. Hey Jules,
      Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am thrilled to hear that it was enjoyed! Sure, I don’t see why that wouldn’t work for you. Have a great day:) xxT

  1. 5 stars
    These are sooooooo good! I ended up subbing ground chicken for ground turkey, but these came out great! So juicy! I’d made them for a Sunday dinner at my friend’s home, and my friend’s son who is the pickiest eater loves them so much he was like “ohhhh my god!”. Thank you for sharing all of your amazing recipes!!

    1. Hey Alison,
      Fantastic!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks so much for making it! xTieghan

    1. Hey Sasha,
      Happy Sunday! I am thrilled to hear this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! xTieghan

  2. I’m excited to try this recipe tonight! Can you sub breadcrumbs for the slices of bread? If so how much? Thanks!

    1. Hi Krista,
      Sure, that should work well for you, I would use 1/2 cup. Please let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xTieghan

    2. These are FABULOUS! Thanks so much for sharing your recipe. Made them tonight, even down to using your chicken sausage recipe. In the future, I will use half the amount of cayenne (used 2 TBSP). They weren’t TOO spicy, I just think it was slightly overpowering. Can’t wait to make these again!

    1. Hi Jill,
      I really appreciate you giving the recipe a try, so glad to hear that it was enjoyed! Have a great week! xxT

  3. These are delicious!! I cut back a little on the cayenne, red pepper flakes, and pepperoncinis since I was making dinner for my toddler and we LOVE these meatballs. I ate them alone with garlic bread and he had pastina. He barely even touched his bread because he enjoyed the meatballs so much. Definitely recommend this simple yet so so good recipe😍

    1. Hi Brianna,
      Wonderful! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for making it. Have the best weekend:) xTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    Made these meatballs this evening for dinner and they are absolutely AMAZING! The pepperonis are such a great addition to the meatball, subtle but impactful flavor. This
    Will be my forever go-to meatball recipe! Due to issues sourcing ground chicken Italian sausage, and ground
    Chicken period, I used 1lb of Wholefoods spicy Italian sausage (pork) and 1 lb of ground beef. Thank you for such amazing recipes so that I may be a good cook. 😉❤️

    1. Hi Theresa,
      Sure, you could do ground beef or ground pork or even ground turkey! I hope you love the recipe, let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  5. Hi Tieghan – I made this dish a few weeks ago and it was AMAZING! So good, that I’m making it for my whole family for Xmas eve dinner tonight. Going to add a side of veg to go with it too 😉 Thank you SO much for all your wonderful recipes! I’ve made SO many of them – you’re always my go-to to find something delish to make! Merry Christmas! 🎄

    1. Hi Tamara,
      Happy Holidays! Thank you so much for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!🎄🎁 xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    outstanding! Was planning to make this for Christmas Eve dinner but we will be skiing all day so I made it today instead (23rd) and it was AMAZING. My store didn’t have the chicken sausage so I made it per the “notes” section and it all tasted so good. I can’t wait to have it again tomorrow!

    1. Hi Kelly,
      Happy Holidays! Thank you so much for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!🎄🎁 xTieghan

    1. Hi Katie,
      Really any pasta will work here, whatever your favorite it. I don’t typically add more sauce, I just use the sauce from the meatballs:) Please let me know if you give the recipe a try! xTieghan

      1. Looks Yummy
        When we baked meatballs it’s surrounded with fat. How do I make in the oven . Help. Thank You in advance
        Eileen

        1. Hi Eileen,
          So sorry, I am not sure what you mean? You can follow this recipe as is. Please let me know if you give the recipe a try! xTieghan

        2. Eileen, I worried about too much grease, too, the first time I made them. I baked them in one pan and then after baking the first 15 minutes, I moved them to another pan, then poured the sauce over. BUT, I realized it was just making more work and dishes for myself. There wasn’t that much grease in the baking pan, so now, I just make the recipe as written and don’t worry about the grease.

  7. Made this the other night and the whole family loved it! Saved some of the raw meatballs in the freezer for future use. Do I need to thaw them before baking them? Thank you for such a lovely recipe!

    1. Hi Belinda,
      Wonderful! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for giving it a try! Yes, I would thaw before baking. Happy Holidays! xTieghan

      1. Hi Tieghan Happy New Year!

        I make a lot of one pot dishes for several full time working moms, but need to do make-aheads so they can just pop in the oven.

        Would this recipe work?
        Also could you possibly include that option in your future recipes if applicable?

        Thanks so much!

        PS: My daughter and I are cooking through your new cookbook together…awesome recipes!

        1. Hi Linda,
          Yes, you could definitely make this ahead of time and then share the baking instructions. I hope you love the recipe! xTieghan

        2. Linda, I’ve been wanting to do this! I’m a low income single mom who loves to cook. Can you pls share specific details… how you advertise and what you say, do you include pics, etc? And how you charge… I am very intrigued!! I hope to hear back from you!!

  8. 5 stars
    Made this for a mini Christmas party, doubling the recipe was easy.
    I am celiac so we subbed with gluten free bread and it was still absolutely amazing. No one detected a thing.
    And everyone wanted seconds.

    1. Hey Alexia,
      Wonderful! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for giving it a try! Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  9. This recipe was a huge hit with my family including my picky eater! I couldn’t find chicken sausage. I loved you included the note to make it. The spices were perfect. This is going into my dinner rotation. Thanks!

    1. Hey Gretchen,
      Thanks so much for trying this recipe, I am so glad to hear it was enjoyed! Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  10. Hi!

    In step #4, you mention: 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! I’m just a bit confused – does the 1/4 cup of fresh oregano go in with the cheese, then you top it with additional fresh oregano? Or is there another oregano that goes in with the cheeses?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Joan,
      You can save a little of the 1/4 cup of oregano and just top with a little sprinkle:) Please let me know if you give the recipe a try, I hope you love it! xTieghan