Busy cooks, you'll love this easy sheet-pan dinner with Italian Baked Chicken Meatballs, tomatoes and red onions. The secret is in the super juicy meatball mixture bursting with Italian flavors! 

baked chicken meatballs with tomatoes and onions

If you've made my baked meatballs or my Italian baked chicken recently, you'll want to try these chicken meatballs. An awesome new riff that my family has been absolutely loving!

I think of these baked meatballs as an "anytime" type dinner. You can make them any night of the week, and serve them up however you like--straight form the pan; with your favorite grain or pasta (I have a killer spaghetti dinner idea below). Or, for sandwich night, make Italian meatball subs!

What I love about this ground chicken meatballs recipe

1. Easy Sheet-Pan Dinner. Anytime I can toss everything on one sheet pan or baking sheet for a quick bake is a win! You may have seen some of my earlier dinners: sheet pan chicken and veggies; bajed eggs; sausage and peppers; baked shrimp, you name it!

2. Delicious. The secret is in the chicken meatball mixture with loads of Italian flavors (more on this later!)

3. Meatballs Made with Ground Chicken. Don't get me wrong, I will eat beef meatballs for sure! But like my earlier turkey meatballs, this recipe is a great alternative if you're looking for something different or a little lighter.

Chicken meatball mix prepared in mixing bowl

Meatball Mixture for Italian Chicken Meatballs

Okay, so what's in the flavor-packed mixture for this chicken meatball recipe? Clearly a meatball recipe starts with ground meat, and here the choice is ground chicken (or turkey). And as you guessed, some eggs and bread crumbs are used for binding. But there is more...Let's talk flavor makers!

Flavor Makers: We're talking Italian-style baked chicken meatballs, so the flavor-makers are decidedly Italian--a combination of garlic, fresh thyme and parsley, dried oregano and just a hint of paprika for depth. And yes, a little freshly ground Parmesan cheese! If you like heat, add a pinch of red pepper flakes.

Pro Tip: If you're looking for juicy chicken meatballs (or turkey meatballs) help the meatball mixture with some extra virgin olive oil. Quality Extra virgin olive oil is a healthy and important source of fat here, adding a bit of depth and moisture to the chicken meatballs.

But in addition to what goes in the meatball mixture, I love adding a little more Italian to the sheet-pan in the form of red onions and tomatoes. And why not roast the veggies with the chicken meatballs at once?!

How do you make chicken meatballs from scratch?

Making chicken meatballs from scratch takes one large bowl, one baking sheet or sheet pan (affiliate link), and four main steps:

  1. Prepare the meatball mixture. We talked about what's in this mixture already--ground chicken and a combination of spices, herbs, a little Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and an egg which helps bind everything together. Ground chicken is lean, so adding a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil as noted above helps lend it some fat and moisture. With clean hands, mix everything together until well incorporated (a pair of disposable gloves comes in handy here) .
  2. Shape the mixture into balls. The easiest way to arrive at the same size meatballs for even cooking is to use a tablespoon to scoop up 1 or 2 tablespoons of the mixture at a time and form into balls. Once you pick a size, stick to it.
  3. Arrange on lightly oiled baking sheet. If you're already baking the chicken meatballs, you might as well do as I have and add tomatoes and onions to the same baking sheet. I give the tomato and onion wedges a quick toss with some extra virgin olive oil and some seasonings before adding them to the sheet pan, then I add in the meatballs one by one making sure everything is arranged in one layer without crowding the pan. Should you use parchment paper to line the baking sheet? You can, but I find that it helps to expose the meatballs directly to the heat of the pan, as long as the pan is oiled so they don't stick.
  4. Bake! What temperature and how long to bake chicken meatballs? I heat my oven to 400 degrees F and the meatballs along with the tomatoes and onions will bake for about 30 minutes. And if you're like me and want to add color and a little extra crisp to your baked chicken meatballs, take the pan out and give the tops of the meatballs a brush of extra virgin olive oil, then return to the oven and bake at 450 degrees F for 5 minutes or so (but watch carefully, you don't want the meatballs to turn too dark or burn).
chicken meatballs in baking sheet

What can I serve with meatballs besides pasta?

I love this sheet-pan meal! You can eat the meatballs and veggies right out of the pan with for a low-carb meal. Add a salad or another side like these baked zucchini sticks!

OR serve them over your favorite grain. For sandwich night, you can simply make Italian subs using these baked meatballs and veggies! My simple tomato panzanella salad would make a great addition to start!

But if you really want an epic meatball and spaghetti dinner, here is what you do:

Cook spaghetti according to package and drain. While warm, toss spaghetti with more extra virgin olive oil and a bit of grated Parmesan cheese. Add the baked chicken meatballs with the tomatoes and onions and toss some more to combine. So good!

Gluten Free Option

For the gluten free option of this chicken meatball recipe, simply replace the bread crumbs with cornmeal. My friend who specializes in gluten free meals thinks cornmeal is the best option because it has a way of keeping the meatballs nice and tender. You can use maybe less cornmeal than the recipe requires for bread crumbs (about ¼ cup or so is okay.)

Similar Recipes to Try: 

Crispy Chicken Schnitzel

Easy Meatball Soup

Grilled Chicken Kofta

Eggplant Rollatini

You may also enjoy 50+ Top Mediterranean diet recipes. For all recipes, visit us here JOIN MY FREE E-MAIL LIST HERE. 

4.77 from 84 votes

Easy Italian Chicken Meatballs Recipe

Suzy Karadsheh
baked chicken meatballs with tomatoes and onions
You'll love these easy sheet-pan dinner with Italian baked chicken meatballs, tomatoes and onions. Loads of flavor in the meatball mixture from fresh herbs and spices to a bit of grated Parmesan. A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to keep the meatballs nice and juicy!
Prep – 20 minutes
Cook – 30 minutes
Cuisine:
Italian
Serves – 20 meatballs
Course:
Entree

Ingredients
  

  • 1 large red onion cut into wedges
  • 6 to 7 to Tomatoes Roma or tomatoes on the vine, quartered or cut into wedges
  • 3 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves divided
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil I used this Private Reserve olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 ½ lb ground chicken or ground turkey, if you like
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 raw egg beaten
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • cup plain bread crumbs see notes for gluten free option
  • 2 teaspoon dry oregano
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh chopped parsley

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. And lightly brush a large sheet pan with extra virgin olive oil.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the sliced onions and tomatoes. Sprinkle with kosher salt and about 1 ½ teaspoon fresh thyme (leave the rest of the thyme for later). Drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil and toss to combine. Transfer to the prepared sheet-pan and spread well.
    Tomatoes and onions quartered in a mixing bowl
  • In the same mixing bowl, now prepare the chicken meatball mixture. Add ground chicken, garlic, egg, remaining 1 ½ teaspoon thyme, Parmesan cheese, and bread crumbs. Add oregano, paprika, pinch of salt and black pepper, and 1 cup fresh chopped parsley. Drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil. Using clean hands (remove any rings, of course), mix well until the chicken meatball mixture is well-combined.
    Chicken meatball mix prepared in mixing bowl
  • Form the mixture into small chicken meatballs about 1 ½ tablespoon each (whatever size you choose, stick to it for even cooking.) Arrange the chicken meatballs on the same sheet pan with the tomatoes and onions (nestle them in between the veggies, making sure not to crowd the meatballs.)
    chicken meatballs arranged with tomatoes and onions on sheet pan before baking
  • Bake for 30 minutes or so, or until meatballs begin to turn a beautiful golden brown and the tomatoes collapse. (If after they've baked, you'd like a little more "crust" or color to your meatballs, you can remove them from the oven briefly and brush the meatballs with extra virgin olive oil. Turn oven heat up to 450 degrees F and return the meatballs to the oven for 5 more minutes or so, watch carefully.)

Video

Notes

  • Cook's Tips for Serving: You can serve these beautiful meatballs on top of your favorite grain or plain orzo pasta. If you'd like to turn it into a big chicken meatball and spaghetti dinner, cook spaghetti according to package and drain. Place warm spaghetti in a large serving bowl and add a generous drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil and some freshly-grated Parmesan cheese. Toss to combine. Add the baked chicken meatballs with onions and tomatoes on top, and mix again to combine. Enjoy!
  • Cook's Tip for Gluten Free Chicken Meatballs: You can obviously blitz a piece of gluten free bread in a food processor to make GF bread crumbs. A friend of mine who specializes in gluten free cooking mentioned  cornmeal. She found that it made lean chicken and turkey meatballs surprisingly tender and flavorful. You can try just ¼ cup of cornmeal in this recipe.
  • Leftovers? Store cooled leftover chicken meatballs with tomatoes and onions in tight-lid containers. Refrigerate for up to 4 days. Warm over medium heat, tossing as needed (adding a little liquid to your heating pan will help.)
  • Visit our Shop to browse our collection of excellent extra virgin olive oils and all-natural and organic spices.

Nutrition

Calories: 79.4kcalCarbohydrates: 4.1gProtein: 7.9gFat: 3.9gSaturated Fat: 1.3gCholesterol: 39.6mgSodium: 75.3mgPotassium: 300.2mgFiber: 0.9gSugar: 1.3gVitamin A: 627.3IUVitamin C: 10.1mgCalcium: 44.1mgIron: 0.9mg
Tried this recipe?

This post originally appreciated on The Mediterranean Dish in 2019 and has been recently updated with new information and media for readers' benefit. Enjoy!

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. Cp says:

    5 stars
    This dish was amazing! The next day, I used the leftovers as a filling for zucchini boats!

  2. Una says:

    Italian Chicken Meatballs simply delicous we loved them

  3. Una says:

    5 stars
    Just tried the Italian chicken meatball recipe, it was delicious will definitly make that again.

    1. Suzy says:

      Awesome! Thanks, Una!

  4. AJ says:

    5 stars
    Omg! Best chicken Italian meatball recipe hands down Suzy! Great recipe especially for summer season light with the protein being chicken, flavorful with the seasonings, and simple with just a few ingredients. I served ours with crusty Italian bread and spread the roasted tomatoes and red onions on top of our crusty Italian bread and yum! Thank you loved it! Keep doing what you’re doing

    1. Suzy says:

      Will do, AJ! Thank you so much for the kind review!

  5. She says:

    5 stars
    Great, simple ,& delish! My husband is on a low fat, low sugar, healthy carb. Diet for his health. I have made so many dishes from your site! It's always well received & looks so beautiful on the plate.
    When I need a new idea I go to your blog * am always inspired. Thank-you! We loved this. Used turkey instead of chicken & added mini peppers. Yum

    1. Suzy says:

      Thank you for such a kind message!! Totally made my day :).

  6. Lee says:

    5 stars
    Hi Suzy, I've always been afraid of attempting meatballs, but not anymore! Thank you for the clear and detailed instructions and tips. This turned out amazing and I can't wait to make it again.

    1. Suzy says:

      So glad you found this recipe helpful!

  7. Jeanne says:

    5 stars
    Just made this tonight. The meatballs were moist and flavourful. I served it over spaghetti squash to keep it low carb. Definitely making this again.

    1. Suzy says:

      Sounds delish!

  8. Hannah says:

    4 stars
    I have just found and prepared this dish - I used 'cornmeal' instead of breadcrumbs and found it very nice indeed.
    I shall definitely be repeating this in the near future.

    1. Suzy says:

      Thanks for sharing that substitution, Hannah!

  9. Jane says:

    Can I prepare this dish ahead of time? I am feeding a large crowd and don’t want to be in the kitchen the whole time. So, I had hope this could be prepared a day in advance and then reheated and served. Thank you!

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Jane. You can absolutely make the meatball mixture the day before, form into meatballs, place on a parchment lined baking sheet, then cover and refrigerate until you are ready to cook them.

  10. Karolina says:

    Will be trying this one soon! Looks delicious! Do you have a link for the salt container you have in this video for the chicken meatballs???? Thanks!

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Karolina! I picked those up at Crate and Barrel awhile back.

  11. debra says:

    1 star
    These were the driest meatballs ever.

    1. Nicole says:

      Maybe add more olive oil next time? I use ground turkey instead of chicken, and they turn out moist and delicious every time!

  12. Lee says:

    5 stars
    Made this for dinner and it was so delicious. I added some fresh green beans to the veggies - yum. Will definitely be making this again.

    1. Suzy says:

      Yay! Thanks, Lee!

  13. Peggy Smith says:

    This looks delicious!! Thank you so much!!!

  14. Emily Sheehan says:

    Is the nutrition per one meatball?? the recipe looks delicious

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Emily! The nutrition information is our best estimate using a nutrition calculator. This recipe will give you 20 meatballs and the calories would include 1 meatball plus a bit of the veggies.

  15. G Berzsenyi says:

    5 stars
    Loved your recipe for chicken meatballs. I love mint, so I added a good pinch of my own dried mint. Did however forget to add the parmesan cheese lol....next time!!! From NSW Australia
    Thank you Suzy

    1. Suzy says:

      Oops! Lol! Glad you still enjoyed the meatballs!

  16. Valerie says:

    5 stars
    Suzy, do you have any suggestions about how best to freeze the meatballs to use later?

    1. Suzy says:

      Sure, Valerie! I typically cook the meatballs fully and let them cool completely. Spread them on a sheet pan and freeze for 1 hour, then transfer them to a container or freezer safe bag and freeze until needed. This has worked well for me.

    2. Nicole says:

      5 stars
      It also works if you freeze them raw on a sheet pan and transfer them to a freezer safe bag or container (as Suzy suggests) then defrost and bake as directed.... less worries about the meatballs overcooking or drying out! 🙂