Tender, garlicky baked chicken meatballs are combined with a simple pesto cream sauce for one scrumptious ground chicken recipe! Whether it’s for a comforting weeknight supper or casual entertaining, these homemade chicken meatballs always hit the spot.
Man, oh man, these chicken meatballs are yummy! On their own, they kinda smell and taste like roast chicken (in my opinion). Combine them with pesto cream sauce, and it just takes them to another level. Talk about delicious!
And, when you look at the ingredient list, you’ll see why! When you have ingredients like lean ground chicken, lots of garlic, Parmesan, butter, cream and pesto, you know there’s going to be tons of flavour.
Before the meatballs even hit the sauce, I was devouring them straight off the pan. No joke. Do you get excited about food like me? I sure hope so!
How To Make Ground Chicken Meatballs
- In a bowl, combine the ground chicken, panko bread crumbs, Parmesan, parsley, egg, garlic, onion powder, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper.
- Mix to combine everything.
- Using a small cookie scoop, portion the meatballs.
- Roll with your hands to form a ball.
- Place the meatballs onto a parchment paper-line sheet pan.
- Bake until fully cooked through. (Full recipe ingredients and instructions are in the recipe card below.)
How To Make Pesto Cream Sauce
- Melt some butter in a pan.
- Add minced garlic and cook for a minute or so to get that lovely aromatic flavour going.
- Pour in heavy cream, salt and black pepper.
- Simmer the cream for just a bit, until it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Add Parmesan cheese and pesto.
- Stir to combine. (Again, full recipe ingredients and instructions are in the recipe card below.)
Tip: The sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remember, when you add the Parmesan cheese, the sauce will thicken a little more. If you overthicken your cream sauce, you can add a touch more cream or chicken broth to thin it out.
Combining the Meatballs and Sauce
Once the chicken meatballs are baked and the pesto cream sauce is ready, now it’s time to combine the two!
Place the baked meatballs into a clean bowl, pour over the sauce and stir well to coat. If you want to add some freshly chopped parsley and Parmesan cheese upon serving, go for it! There ya have it, yummy chicken meatballs in sauce that you’re going to want to make on repeat.
Can I Use Ground Turkey Instead?
Absolutely! You can make these baked meatballs with ground turkey instead of ground chicken if that’s what you have on hand or prefer.
How To Serve It
These homemade chicken meatballs are so so yummy (especially with that pesto cream sauce). Heavenly, I tells ya!
Aside from devouring them as is (which, to be honest is, like, 99% of the time), I love serving them with a side salad (like a green salad or Caesar salad), on a sub sandwich or with pasta and garlic bread (total carb lover over here, if ya couldn’t tell!). If serving with pasta, I always like to reserve a little pasta water to mix in with the sauce to thin things out a little.
More Yummy Meatball Recipes
If you make these baked chicken meatballs with pesto cream sauce, be sure to leave a comment below!
Chicken Meatballs With Pesto Cream Sauce
- 1 pound ground chicken
- ½ cup unseasoned panko bread crumbs
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, about a heaping ½ cup or 1 ounce
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 large egg
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pesto Cream Sauce
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ¾ cup heavy cream (whipping cream)
- pinch salt, or to taste
- pinch freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1.5 tablespoons pesto
Garnish Ideas (optional)
- Chopped fresh parsley, garnish to taste
- Grated Parmesan cheese, garnish to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine ground chicken with panko bread crumbs, Parmesan, parsley, egg, garlic, onion powder, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined.
- Form chicken mixture into meatballs, about 1.5 tablespoons per meatball, yielding about 21 to 22 meatballs. Place them onto the prepared sheet pan as you roll them.
- Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until the meatballs are fully cooked through (the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit in the centre of the meatballs when checked with an instant-read meat thermometer).
- Once meatballs are done, transfer them to a clean bowl.
Pesto Cream Sauce
- Melt butter in a non-stick fry pan over medium low heat. Once melted, add garlic and stir until fragrant, about a minute or two.
- Pour in cream, salt and black pepper and simmer until thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes. (You want the sauce to coat the back of a spoon).Note: The sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. When you draw your finger through it, the line stays in place. Remember, when you add the Parmesan cheese, the sauce will thicken a little more. If you overthicken your cream sauce, you can add a touch more cream or chicken broth to thin it out.
- Stir in Parmesan cheese and pesto.Tip: Again, if your sauce is too thick, you can always thin it out with a tiny splash of heavy cream or broth.
Combine the Chicken Meatballs and Pesto Cream Sauce
- Pour the pesto cream sauce over the meatballs, stirring to coat.
- Transfer meatballs to a serving dish and garnish with parsley and more Parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy!
A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are estimates only.
Tried this recipe?
If you do make this recipe, thank you!! It would mean so much if you could leave a comment below. Love to know how you enjoyed it, and it helps other readers too!