Chicken Pesto Meatballs

Chicken Pesto Meatballs on bed of pasta

These Chicken Pesto Meatballs are made with ground chicken, delicious pesto and parmesan cheese! They make the perfect easy weeknight dinner!

Summer is quickly coming to a close (wait, did I really just type that sentence?!) Wow. I can’t believe we are halfway through August. And while we still have a most likely very hot month waiting for us in September here in North Carolina…I am so looking forward to cooler temps. 

Chicken Pesto Meatballs in bowl

One thing I’m not looking forward to is losing all of the delicious fresh Summer produce! Specifically, the fresh herbs and summer fruit! So, for this recipe, I wanted to shine a light on pesto! Yes, pesto. Full disclosure: I used my favorite go-to store bought pesto for this recipe. Yes, I do have an amazing delicious cashew pesto recipe on the blog, however, there are many days during the week I don’t have the energy to whip out the food processor and make a sauce from scratch. Just being real here! I wanted to make this recipe as easy as possible!

However, whether using fresh or store-bought, these Chicken Pesto Meatballs are a total breeze to make! I usually use ground chicken in recipes like pad thai or chicken burgers so I was excited to challenge myself and make these into a more Italian cuisine! 

side angle of Chicken Pesto Meatballs on pasta with golden fork

These meatballs are loaded with delicious pesto flavor, filled with parmesan cheese, and are baked to keep them on the “healthy-ish” side. They are super juicy, moist and just so easily poppable into your mouth! Ha! They are perfect on top of a delicious bed of buttery pasta OR they could make the absolute perfect appetizer! Let’s get into how to make them! 

Ingredients You Need for Chicken Pesto Meatballs: 

  • ground chicken 
  • egg
  • panko breadcrumbs
  • pesto (homemade or store-bought) 
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese 
  • fresh basil 
  • fresh garlic and onion 
  • salt and pepper 

How to Make Chicken Pesto Meatballs: 

These meatballs couldn’t be easier to make! First, go ahead and preheat your oven to 400. Next, prepare a baking sheet with either aluminum foil or a silicon mat. Set this aside for now.

Get everything prepped for mixing into meatballs. Finely mince the fresh garlic and onion. (If you don’t like small chunks of onion in your meatballs, I would omit them completely or use onion powder in place!) Chop the fresh basil and grate about ¼ cup of parmesan cheese!

Chicken Pesto Meatball ingredients in glass bowl

In a large bowl, add in 1 lb of ground chicken, panko breadcrumbs, 1 large egg, pesto, garlic, onion, basil parmesan and salt and pepper. Use your hands (or a wooden spoon!) to mix all of this together to combine. I highly recommend using your hands to make sure everything is evenly incorporated. 

Chicken Pesto Meatballs ingredients mixed in glass bowl

Once everything is mixed together, begin making meatballs! I used a tablespoon to measure mine out and roll them with my hands. Place them on a silicon mat. My mixture yielded about 15 medium size meatballs. 

Chicken Pesto Meatball on silicon mat pre-bake

Once the meatball mixture has been used up, place your meatballs in the oven and bake them for about 20-25 minutes! If desired, once done, place them on broil for 1-2 minutes for an extra crispy top! SO good! Just be sure to keep an eye on them though…you know how broiling can go! 

bite taken out of Chicken Pesto Meatball

And the meatballs are done!! Eat them by hand, place them on top of pasta…the world is yours! 

My Favorite Way to Eat Chicken Pesto Meatballs: 

While the Chicken Pesto Meatballs are cooking, make some fresh al dente linguine pasta. Once it’s done cooking, add a pat of butter, about 2 tablespoons of pesto and salt and pepper. Mix until buttery and pesto-y delicious. Add the chicken meatballs right on top and enjoy! SO good! 

white bowl of Chicken Pesto Meatball pasta

Hope you enjoy this recipe, y’all. I’d love to hear if you’re ready for Fall or want Summer to stick around a little longer in the comments below. XO!

Did you enjoy this recipe? Here are a few more you might like: 

Cheesy Pesto Spaghetti Pie 

Pesto Sweet Potato Hash with Crispy Egg 

Pasta Bolognese

Thank you so much for following along here, friends! Want to see more? Be sure to follow ourbalancedbowl on Instagramand tag me with your photo if you end up making a recipe! You can also post a photo of your recipe to the Our Balanced Bowl Facebook page! Like a recipe that you saw? Follow me on Pinterest here! I always love to see your re-creations! If you do make a recipe, it would make my whole day if you were to rate and comment so I can get your feedback! Lots of love! – Haylie

5 from 7 votes
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Chicken Pesto Meatballs

Course Main Course, pasta
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword chicken meatballs, chicken pesto, chicken pesto meatballs, healthy meatballs
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Haylie

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup pesto (homemade or store-bought)
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped basil
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Next, prepare a baking sheet with either aluminum foil or a silicon mat. Set this aside.

  2. Finely mince your fresh garlic and onion. Chop the fresh basil and grate about ¼ cup of parmesan cheese! (If you don’t like small chunks of onion in your meatballs, I would omit them completely or use onion powder in place!)

  3. In a large bowl, add the ground chicken, breadcrumbs, egg, pesto, garlic, onion, basil, parmesan and salt and pepper. Use your hands to mix all of this together to combine.

  4. Begin making the meatballs! I used a tablespoon to measure mine out and roll them with my hands. Place them on the baking sheet. My mixture yielded about 15 medium size meatballs. 

  5. Place your meatballs in the oven and bake them for about 20-25 minutes! If desired, once done, place them on broil for 1-2 minutes for an extra crispy top!

  6. Serve with fresh buttery pasta! If desired, mix freshly cooked pasta with 1-2 tbsp of pesto, 1 tbsp of butter, add salt and pepper to taste. Add the freshly cooked chicken pesto meatballs on top. Delicious! Enjoy!

14 comments / Add your comment below

  1. 5 stars
    Homemade meatballs are the best and these look spectacular! No going wrong with chicken and pesto if you ask me! I can’t believe how fast the summer is going by either. The fall is my fave season so looking forward to that…though, not the snow that follows, lol.

    1. Oh yes!! Homemade meatballs are the bomb! And ooooh, we usually only get a couple rounds of snow here…still not looking forward to the super cold. Love Fall though! Thanks for commenting, Dawn! XO

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