I don’t know any kids out there (and lots of grown ups too!) who don’t like Chicken Parmesan or Chicken Parm, as it is affectionately called in our house. When it became infinitely harder to get dinner on the table after we had our son this past January, I knew that this was one recipe that needed a make over. I really needed something that I could mix up with one hand while holding the baby. (And if I could just put it into the oven versus sautéing it on the stovetop that would be even better.) Voila! Baked Chicken Parmesan Meatballs were born. This is an incredibly versatile recipe that you can easily make gluten and/or egg free to accommodate allergies. Ground turkey or pork would make a fine substitution although I prefer using chicken thigh meat. Glazed with tomato sauce and topped with cheese you can serve these with a side of pasta and some steamed veggies. Be sure to reinvent the leftovers as Chicken Meatball subs the next day –your family will love you for it.
Baked Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
350F oven, preheated
1 pound ground chicken thigh meat
½ cup panko style bread crumbs (substitute an equal amount of gluten free panko crumbs for a gluten free meatball.)
½ milk (soy or rice milk work here too, as does chicken stock.)
1 egg (Allergic to eggs? Use 1 Tbsp flax meal mixed with 2 Tbsp. water.)
1 clove of garlic, grated or pressed
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
1/3 cup grated (not shredded) parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste thinned with 1 Tbsp. water or you can use whatever Marinara sauce or tomato sauce that you have on hand.
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
To make the meatballs:
1. Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk for 15 minutes. Mash to a paste.
2. Add the egg, garlic, salt, pepper, chicken and cheese to the breadcrumb paste and mix to combine.
3. Using a standard ice cream scoop, scoop out portions of meatballs onto a greased or parchment lined baking sheet.
4. Brush the meatballs with the glaze and top with a scant tablespoon of shredded mozzarella.
5. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes.