light italian chicken meatballs

a healthy twist on a classic recipe: light italian chicken meatballs. i feel the need to clarify that these are italian chicken meatballs because in my research, there are lots of meatballs.

swedish, spanish, turkish, polish, dutch. so many kinds of meatballs. but my favorite is, of course, spaghetti and a meatball. *kisses fingers*

but holy ravioli meatballs are heavy. dense. thick. juicy. yummy. saucy. meatballs are everything that’s right in the world.

the only problem is… is they aren’t so healthy. and, well, i’m on this health kick so i’m healthifying meatballs with a leaner protein: ground chicken.

you know, there’s nothing worse than making one of your favorite meals into something healthy and it just… it doesn’t pan out. but these italian chicken meatballs are not like that.

i mean… just look at them! these meatballs are juicy, tender, and flavorful. they pair excellently with a heavier red sauce or switch it up and go with some olive oil and parm. delicious.

and did i mention that you can have dinner on the table in under 30 minutes? because yeah, that’s a thing with these li’l bites here.

winner winner chicken (meatball) dinner.

light italian chicken meatballs

  • Yield: 5 servings (3 meatballs/serving)
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes


  • 1-lb ground chicken
  • 1/4c italian breadcrumbs (or plain breadcrumbs work!)
  • 1 egg
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp dried basil (fresh is good, too, but you'll need a bit more)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp avocado or olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350F and heat an oven-safe pan, with avocado oil, over medium heat.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground chicken, egg, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, basil, and garlic until it's all mish-mashed together nicely. Form the chicken mixture into balls and plop onto the stove top.

  3. After a minute or two on one side, flip the meatballs over and continue to cook for another minute. Once your minute is up, put the pan in the oven and cook for an additional 18-20 minutes until the insides of the meatballs are no longer pink (or they've reached an internal temperature of 165F).

  4. Serve atop your favorite pasta dish or along with veggies and rice. Yum!


Here is a food thermometer similar to the one I use.


  1. This looks amazing! I’m going to have to give it a try. I’m all about meals done in 30 mins! Do you think you could bake them in the oven instead? It seems like grease always gets all over the place when I try to use a pan like that.

    1. hey lisa! they are so yummy!! yeah, these would be excellent baked – i just like to get mine a lil browned, you know? i’d give them an extra 5 minutes or so in the oven and flip them halfway. thanks for your comment! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *