These oven baked pesto meatballs are made with ground chicken, store bought jarred pesto, sun dried tomatoes, feta, and a few more pantry staples. They’re super flavorful, beyond easy to make, and they make the perfect protein-packed chicken dish to pair with your favorite pasta.
What is Ground Chicken Pesto Meatballs?
Get ready to elevate your mealtime with these baked ground chicken pesto meatballs.
They're a playful twist on my classic Mediterranean chicken meatball made of a delightful concoction of juicy, tender ground chicken that's infused with the aromatic allure of pesto.
The fragrant basil and sharp Parmesan in the pesto give the meatballs a refreshing yet deep flavor profile that's just begging to be savored.
Rolled to perfection and baked till they've achieved a beautiful golden hue, these meatballs are not just scrumptious, they're an absolute sensation.
The juicy interior encased in a slightly crunchy exterior promises an unbeatable textural delight... And the fact that they're easy to make is a bonus!
Simply pair them with your favorite pasta, or enjoy them as a standalone snack with some hot honey, these ground chicken pesto meatballs are sure to transform your meal times into a gourmet feast!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Ground Chicken - This recipe will also work with ground turkey!
- Seasoned Bread Crumbs - If you don't have seasoned bread crumbs, you can use regular breadcrumbs or even panko.
- Egg - No real sub for egg but I've heard you can apparently use mashed potatoes as a binder!
- Feta - I love the sharp tang of the feta but you could absolutely use another cheese like parmesan, mozzarella or even smoked provolone!
- Red Onions - Shallots can work in place of the red onions. If you don't like onions, feel free to leave them out completely.
- Sun Dried Tomatoes - I use the kind in oil because they have so much flavor but you could swap them for mushrooms or even olives if you're not a tomato fan.
- Pesto - Since Pesto is the main star of this dish, I don't recommend swapping out but you could absolutely try a diff kind of pesto like sun dried tomato pesto or even lemon pesto.
- Italian Seasoning - If you don't have Italian seasoning, you can use a little dried oregano, basil, garlic powder, rosemary, parsley, and thyme.
How to make it
Making these easy baked pesto meatballs takes minutes to prepare. Plus, you only dirty a bowl and a sheet pan so cleanup is minimal, too!
You'll want to begin by preheating the oven to 400F degrees.
Then Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix (with your hands or a big spoon) until all of the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
Now roll the seasoned meat into 15 golf ball sized meatballs and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
I recommend doing 5 rows of 3.
Bake the meatballs at 400F degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown on top and cooked through.
Serve immediately on top of pasta or dip them in hot honey if you’re serving them as an appetizer.
What goes with Ground Chicken Pesto Meatballs
Frequently asked questions
My meatballs came out dry. What did I do wrong?
Dry meatballs? We can't have that! The trick with chicken is that it can dry out pretty quickly so you'll want to add some fat - like olive oil or in this case -- PESTO! Also, try not to over mix your meatball mixture and, this is key, don't overcook them. You want these babies juicy and tender, not tough as a hockey puck.
Can I use gluten-free breadcrumbs in this recipe?
Absolutely! If you're living that gluten-free life, you can totally swap in GF breadcrumbs. Your meatballs will still be as tender and juicy as ever, and the breadcrumb police will not be knocking at your door.
Can I freeze these meatballs for later? Yes! These meatballs are like little gifts of love you can give to your future self. Let them cool, pop them in a freezer bag or container, and they'll keep for a few months. When you're ready, just reheat and eat.
Save this recipe for later
Want to save this Ground Chicken Pesto Meatballs recipe for another time? I got you!
You can pin any image on this page or use the pretty ones I made below specifically for your ground chicken or meatball pinterest boards.
And if pinterest isn't really your thing, you can always scroll down to the bottom of this post and print the printable recipe card.
Ground Chicken Pesto Meatballs
- 1 pound Ground Chicken
- ½ cup Seasoned Bread Crumbs or panko
- 1 large Egg
- ½ cup Feta Crumbled or parmesan
- ¼ cup Red Onions finely diced
- ¼ cup Sun Dried Tomatoes (in oil preferably) finely diced
- 2 tablespoon Pesto
- ½ teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- Hot Honey for dipping
- Preheat the oven to 400F degrees.
- Combine all ingredients (except hot honey) in a large bowl and mix with your hands until ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
- Roll the seasoned meat into 15 small golf ball sized meatballs and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. I recommend doing 5 rows of 3.
- Bake the meatballs at 400F degrees for 25 minutes or until cooked through.
- Serve immediately or dip them in hot honey if you’re serving them as an appetizer.