Cheesy Chicken Meatballs

I've made lots of different kinds of meatballs over the years and many are pork and beef based versions that rarely, if ever, dry out while cooking. But chicken is a different case and I've generally veered away from making meatballs with such finicky meat. But then I discovered two things that really helped my chicken meatball game: adding sour cream and cheese to the meat mix and brushing the meatballs with mayo before baking them. No more dry meatballs!

Of course, I did not mention baking them in a muffin tin, but you already knew I did that, didn't you? Using a muffin tin gives you a less messy prep and baking process, plus the tins trap juices that are created during the baking process, leaving your meatballs with a juicy blanket to help keep them moist in the oven and, ultimately, on your plate.

I like using panko because the size and texture work well with meatballs, but toasted breadcrumbs or crushed crackers will also work. Sometimes, I even use crushed pita chips! You can use whichever kind of cheese floats your boat, just do add some. It helps with moisture and adds a lot of flavor! The eggs bind it all together - do not skip it! And, of course, the bit of mayo brushed over each meatball gives them a little heat shield and helps keep a lot of the moisture that would otherwise be lost right where you want it - in your meatballs!

These versatile meatballs are great with your favorite pasta dishes, tucked into sandwiches & wraps, and make a great addition to classics like Italian Wedding Soup. My daughter likes to just put some in a bowl, grate some cheese over the top (we live in Wisconsin - more cheese seems like a birthright!), and dig in! However you choose to use them, enjoy!

Cheesy Chicken Meatballs

  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • ⅔ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 small onion, minced or grated
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • ½ cup shredded cheese - I used a cheddar variety
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise

Preheat the oven to 400° F.

Combine all of the ingredients together, except the mayonnaise. Form the mixture into meatballs using a standard ice cream scoop (¼ cup) and place each meatball into an oiled cup of a muffin tin. Repeat until all of the chicken mixture is used.

Brush the tops of the meatballs with mayonnaise.

Bake the meatballs in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.

  • Yields: About 24 meatballs
  • Preparation Time: 25 minutes

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