Chicken Meatballs with Marinara

5 from 47 votes

This Chicken Meatballs with Marinara recipe is juicy, tender and full of garlicky flavor - a delicious dinner recipe for anyone who loves chicken Parmesan!

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

These Chicken Meatballs with Marinara are deliciously flavored with garlic and Italian herbs! They have a juicy texture with a rich, hearty and garlicky flavor! It’s a perfect easy family dinner that everyone will love! Serve them on their own or on top of your favorite pasta.

Chicken mixed with the marinara and angel hair pasta along with parmesan cheese

How to make this chicken meatball recipe

To make these chicken meatballs, you’ll basically mix together all the ingredients in a bowl until it’s sticky and well blended. That includes ground chicken, parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, an egg, garlic and herbs/spices. You can vary the spices you use, but I like the mix of oregano, parsley and paprika, which gives them a great color after cooked.

Process shots showing the ingredients for the recipe in a bowl before and after mixing

Next, form the mixture into small 1-2 inch balls and place them carefully on the heated olive oil in a large pan. Cook the chicken meatballs for 2-3 minutes per side until browned. You don’t want to fully cook them at this point since you’ll add the marinara sauce at the next step and fully cook them then.

Chicken meatballs in a pan with olive oil before cooking

When you start to see color on both sides of the chicken meatballs, add the marinara sauce over the skillet and reduce the heat to low. You’ll want to simmer the chicken in the sauce for about 15 minutes to fully cook them. You can move them around in the sauce as you’re cooking them, but it’s not necessary.

And then you can pretty much serve them as is topped with some fresh herbs.

Chicken meatballs simmering in marinara sauce in a large saucepan

Tips for making chicken meatballs

  • If you can’t find ground chicken, you can make it using a food processor. Simply place the chicken breast or chicken thighs in the food processor until it’s ground. Then add the remaining ingredients to the food processor and pulse lightly just to combine.
  • Use your hands to combine the chicken mixture. It’s tempting to use a spoon, but your hands will mix the ingredients much more efficiently without over-mixing the ingredients.
  • Use wet hands (with water or oil) to form the mixture into meatballs. This makes it much easier to handle the mixture without your hands becoming a sticky mess!
  • Sear the chicken meatballs on a pan with olive oil before adding the marinara. This step is not always common in this type of recipe. However I prefer it because it adds so much more flavor to the chicken, as opposed to simply simmering them in the marinara.
Chicken meatball recipe with marinara served over pasta

Frequently asked questions

Can I bake these chicken meatballs instead of frying?

Yes, if you prefer to bake, I would recommend baking them at 400°F for 25-30 minutes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure to turn them at the halfway point.

How can I make this recipe low carb?

The recipe itself is made with few basic ingredients and doesn’t have a lot of carbs. If you wanted to make it even lower in carbs, you can swap the ¼ cup of breadcrumbs for panko breadcrumbs or almond flour. These will help to bind the mixture but have a lower glycemic index.

What do you serve with chicken meatballs?

I think these are best served over spaghetti or angel hair pasta, and they are also traditionally served in sandwiches. If you’re looking more more low carb options though for serving the chicken meatball recipe, try it with quinoa, cauliflower rice or roasted vegetables.

More similar dinner recipes:

Chicken meatball recipe in a ball with angle hair pasta and fresh basil

I’m all in for these juicy, tender and flavorful chicken meatballs! It’s a great way to switch up pasta night by serving it with something that’s high in protein and satiating. It also makes for a beautiful presentation when garnished with fresh herbs during a special family dinner. And the best part is that you don’t need any fancy ingredients or equipment to make them!

If you’ve tried this feel good Chicken Meatballs with Marinara recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!

Chicken Meatballs with Marinara

This Chicken Meatballs with Marinara recipe is juicy, tender and full of garlicky flavor – a delicious dinner recipe for anyone who loves chicken Parmesan!
5 from 47 votes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 227
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes




  • In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, grated Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, egg, garlic, oregano, parsley, paprika, salt and pepper.
  • Using wet hands (with either water or olive oil), combine everything until the mixture is well blended. Form the mixture into small 1-2 inch meatballs. It will yield about 12-15 balls.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Transfer the meatballs to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, until they get lightly browned, but not fully cooked
  • Pour the marinara sauce over the chicken meatballs, reduce the heat to low, and simmer uncovered for 12-15 minutes, turning the meatballs around once.
  • Toss in cooked spaghetti and serve with fresh basil, if desired.


Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 3-4 days in the fridge.
Freezing Instructions: You can also freeze the chicken meatballs before or after cooking them.
  • To freeze them prior to cooking, lay the the formed balls on a flat baking dish in the freezer for at least 4 hours. When frozen, place them in an airtight bag. Thaw in the fridge overnight and cook per instructions.
  • To freeze them after cooking, simply store them in an airtight bag after they’ve cooled. To re-heat, thaw in the fridge overnight and re-warm for a few minutes with the marinara sauce on the skillet when ready to eat.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However here are some common substitutes that would work well in this recipe.
  • Instead of ground chicken, you can use ground turkey, ground beef or sausage.
  • Instead of marinara sauce, you can use crushed tomatoes, but be sure to season them with salt and pepper as they can be bland on their own.
  • Swap the breadcrumbs with panko breadcrumbs or almond flour for a lower-carb option.


Calories: 227kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 18g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 96mg, Sodium: 797mg, Potassium: 820mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 649IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 84mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine Italian
Course: Main Course

Rate and comment

Recipe Rating


  1. OH MY GOSH!! Best meatballs ever!! We will definitely be having these more often! Thank you!!

  2. I found this recipe a couple years ago and absolutely love it! It is easy to make and put over some pasta.

  3. I made these exactly as indicated in the recipe with the exception of another 1/2jar of marinara sauce. They were perfect! We had them with spaghettini the first time and then as meatball subs (with toasted buns, Parmesan and mozzarella) the next day. So good! I wouldn’t chance a thing.

  4. Would these do well as an appetizer in a crockpot with marinara sauce? How long could they simmer on low in the crockpot?

  5. I enjoyed this recipe. My first voyage into cooking with ground chicken and will definitely do it again. I prefer a bit of spice and I accidentally left tge garlic out of the meatballs, but added red pepper flakes, sautéed onions and a couple sliced jalapenos. I added all the garlic to the sauce and made Ronzoni Veggie noodles. It was a hit with us and the kids. Definitely a keeper recipe. Thank you!