Recipe Review

The Cheesy Skillet Chicken Meatballs My Family Can’t Get Enough Of

published Apr 20, 2023
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

I love a good meatball, and so do my kids. We make all kinds of meatballs at my house, from cumin-spiced lamb meatballs to hoisin-glazed pork meatballs to classic Italian meatballs coated in tomato sauce. They’re super flavorful and easy enough to pull off on a weeknight. Plus, nothing beats leftover meatballs sandwiched in a crusty roll for lunch the next day. 

Ever since I heard about these cheesy skillet chicken Parmesan meatballs (which was the same week I started working here), I couldn’t stop thinking about them. They had all the qualities I look for in a great meatball: cheesy, saucy, and weeknight-friendly. Shortly after, I hightailed it to the grocery store to pick up the ingredients I needed and dinner was on the table in less than an hour. 

That night, I received high praise all-around for dinner. Served with garlic bread and a simple green salad with cucumbers, croutons, and ranch dressing, my husband and kids went back to the skillet for second and third helpings. These meatballs have made it into my coveted monthly meal rotation and I honestly can’t wait to make — and eat — them again. 

Why I Love Chicken Parmesan Meatballs 

These particular meatballs have a couple of important details that benefit the recipe two-fold: You cook the meatballs in the sauce, and the entire thing comes together in one skillet. 

Traditionally, most meatball recipes will tell you to cook the meatballs separately, either in the oven or pan-frying in a skillet before adding them to the sauce. Sheela Prakash, our senior contributing food editor, calls for simmering the meatballs directly in the sauce. This is a stunningly easy move that delivers moist and tender chicken meatballs, limits the recipe to a single pan, and makes cooking and the eventual cleanup a breeze.  

Credit: Joe Lingeman

How to Make Chicken Parmesan Meatballs 

To make these ridiculously easy and outrageously good meatballs, start by bringing marinara sauce to a simmer in a large oven-safe skillet. While that’s heating, you make the meatballs by combining ground chicken, chopped onion, panko breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan, parsley, egg, minced garlic, dried oregano, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Form the mixture into meatballs, gently drop them directly into the sauce, and cook for 25 minutes. 

Sprinkle shredded mozzarella, panko breadcrumbs moistened with olive oil, and more grated Parmesan over the top. Stick the skillet under the broiler until the cheese is melty and bubbly and the breadcrumbs are a lovely golden-brown. Sprinkle with chopped basil or parsley, then let your family have at it! 

If You’re Making Chicken Parmesan Meatballs, a Few Tips 

  • Grab the good marinara (or make your own). Make sure to use a marinara sauce that you really like here, as it infuses the meatballs with extra flavor. 
  • Use a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop to easily form the meatballs. You can use your hands to roll the meatballs, but to make it even easier, I reach for my 2-tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop the mixture and release them directly into the sauce. 
  • Stick close by when broiling the meatballs. Anytime a recipe calls for broiling, don’t walk away! Stay nearby and keep an eye on them, pulling the skillet as soon as the cheese is melty and the breadcrumbs are golden-brown.