Delectable cheese-stuffed chicken meatballs cooked in rich, herby tomato sauce is dinner perfection. Served with pasta or crusty bread to mop up the sauce.
My family and I LOVE meatballs. Which should come as no surprise to you since I have about eleventybillion meatball recipes on this blog. And these delectable cheese-stuffed wonders are a particular favorite. Not only are the meatballs soft and juicy but the molten cheese center is the stuff dreams are made of. They are pretty perfect cooked in a pan and served as they are as a snack but cooked in a rich tomato sauce and served over pasta? Woah mama!
How to make chicken meatballs
- Form the meatballs: Combine ground chicken (chicken mince), herbs, breadcrumbs, egg and seasoning. You can flavor these meatballs with any of your favorite seasonings. I like using herbs like parsley, thyme, oregano, rosemary and sage. Chilli flakes (red pepper flakes) add a nice kick of spice. Mix the ingredients together until just combined. Try not to overmix as the texture can become tough. Wet your hands, scoop a tablespoon of mixture into the palm of your hand and add a cube of cheese. Form the meatballs into balls just smaller than golf balls. Wet hands prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands. Place on a parchment-lined plate and continue until you’ve formed all the meatballs.
- Cook the meatballs: Heat a large, non-sticky frying pan over medium-high heat. Add a splash of oil then brown the meatballs. Depending on the size of your pan you might need to do this in batches to avoid overcrowding. Cook until the chicken is cooked throughout. At this stage you can serve them as they are. Alternatively, make a tomato sauce and allow the meatballs to warm through in the sauce before serving with crusty bread or pasta.
Making ahead and freezing instructions
- Make ahead: These meatballs can be made and kept in the fridge in a closed container for up to 2 days. Meatballs can be formed and refrigerated, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 24 hours before cooking.
- Freezing: Make and cook the meatballs then allow to cool completely. Place in a single layer on a sheet pan then freeze until solid. Transfer to a freezer bag. Bake from frozen at 200ºC/390ºF until warmed through.
- Greek meatballs
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Cheese-stuffed chicken meatballs
for the cheese-stuffed chicken meatballs
- 500 g chicken mince/ground chicken
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- 1 garlic clove minced
- ½ teaspoon chilli flakes optional
- 1 egg yolk
- ¾ cup fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 100 g firm mozzarella cubed
for the tomato sauce
- 1 red onion finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 x 400g 14oz cans chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar optional
- salt & pepper to taste
- fresh basil
- Parmesan cheese
- To make the meatballs, combine the chicken, parsley, chives, garlic, chilli flakes, egg yolk, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix well.
- With wet hands (this prevents the chicken from sticking to your hands), take tablespoons of chicken mix and add a cube of mozzarella to the center. Shape into meatballs.
- Place in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
- To make the sauce, saute the onion and garlic in a splash of olive oil until soft and translucent.
- Add the herbs and fry for another minute before adding the tomatoes, Balsamic, sugar, salt and pepper.
- Turn down the heat and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- To cook the meatballs, heat a large, non-stick frying pan over high heat and add a splash of oil.
- Fry the meatballs until golden brown and cooked through.
- Transfer the meatballs to the tomato sauce and allow to cook gently for 10 minutes.
- Season to taste and serve topped with fresh basil and Parmesan.