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.
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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.
Looking for other easy fam dinner recipes? Here are a few ideas:
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
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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- 1 pound ground spicy Italian chicken sausage (see note)
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 2 slices soft whole grain bread
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 small shallots, grated
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 1 jar (32 ounce) marinara sauce
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup shredded provolone
- 1/4 cup fresh oregano
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, shallots, garlic, 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!
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.