All the flavors of classic breaded chicken parm but much easier! This Chicken Parm Meatball Bake has marinara sauce, ground chicken meatballs, tons of mozzarella cheese, and a crispy bread crumb topping.
Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
This Chicken Parmesan Meatball Bake is a mashup of two different dinner favs (meatballs and chicken parmesan) but made easier thanks to the simple assembly style preparation, and an easy hands-off bake in the oven.
Tender chicken meatballs are baked in a store-bought marinara sauce with fresh and shredded mozzarella and crispy panko breadcrumbs to give you that chicken parm vibe without all the work.
Serve it simply with garlic bread and a salad for a dinnertime win. Need a little more? These meatballs pair perfectly with your family's favorite pasta.
So let's get to making it! The text below offers some tips for making it, or you can scroll down to the bottom for the complete recipe.
What Makes This Recipe Standout
- This chicken parm bake has all the vibes of the classic, without a lot of the time-consuming prep that comes along with it. No need to individually bread and fry pieces of chicken. Instead, this recipe relies on making a batch of meatballs and scooping them into marinara to bake up.
- Scooping the meatballs directly into the sauce in the baking dish allows you to skip the step of "rolling them" and nobody will be able to tell the difference. Using tools to make dinner prep easier is always a smart move.
- Breadcrumbs mixed with oil are sprinkled on top of the meatballs which crisp up in the oven to help give that breaded feeling in a classic chicken parm.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Here is a brief overview of the ingredients needed for this recipe. The full recipe with quantities is listed below this text in the recipe card. If substitutions are available for this recipe, they'll be listed here. If you don't see a substitution you are looking for, feel free to leave a comment below.
- ground chicken (you can use ground turkey too!)
- panko breadcrumbs (in a pinch, you can use regular breadcrumbs, but the panko are really nice here for the extra crunch on top of the meatballs)
- marinara sauce (store-bought or homemade)
- parmesan cheese
- herbs and spices (we're talking garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning and fresh basil, but feel free to switch it up if you want)
- fresh mozzarella and shredded mozzarella (you don't have to use both, but I highly suggest it)
- olive oil
Here are the tools used in this recipe. You won't necessarily choose to use them all, but sometimes tools make for quicker work in the kitchen! Some of these links may contain affiliate links.
- mixing bowl
- large baking dish
- 2 ounce scooper (this makes forming the meatballs super quick)
- your hands (ok, this is kind of a joke but seriously using your hands to mix the meatball mixture is truly the most efficient way of doing it)
- instant-read thermometer (always useful when checking the temperature of meat)
Making the Meatballs
The meatball ingredients are all mixed up together in a large bowl. The fastest way to do this is to use your hands. Kind of messy, but definitely the quickest and best way to be sure it has all mixed thoroughly.
As the recipe is written, these meatballs are a little on the larger side of about ¼ cup or 2 ounces of meat. You can make them any size you want, but the time needed to cook them will increase or decrease depending on if you make them bigger or smaller.
Also, using a scoop is the easiest way to portion out meatballs. For this recipe to save time, you don’t even need to roll them in a ball, but instead, scoop out the mixture and put it directly in the marinara sauce. Nobody will know the difference.
Make Ahead Tips
This chicken parm meatball bake can be assembled and refrigerated one day ahead prior to baking and assembled and baked up to 2 days ahead. However, it's best to leave off the breadcrumbs until you bake or reheat them so they don't get soggy.
When you are ready to bake, you'll likely need to add on additional baking time since the dish will be coming from the refrigerator.
And to reheat, place the bread crumbs on and bake in a 400 oven until the meatballs are warmed through and the breadcrumbs are crispy, about 15 minutes or so. An instant-read thermometer will help you to know when the meatballs are warmed through.
Making the recipe? Be sure to leave a comment with a star review on your experience! Have a question? Leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as quickly as I can!Print
All the flavors of classic breaded chicken parm but made easier! This Chicken Parm Meatball Bake has marinara sauce, ground chicken meatballs, tons of mozzarella cheese, and a crispy bread crumb topping.
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs, divided
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoons italian seasoning, divided
- 1.5 pounds ground chicken
- 3 cups marinara sauce, divided
- 8 ounce fresh mozzarella (see note)
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Fresh basil, for serving
- Garlic bread, for serving
- Preheat oven to 400ºF and place a rack in the lower part of the oven and one on the upper middle part of the oven.
- Adds eggs, ½ cup breadcrumbs, salt, parm cheese, garlic, onion, italian to a large bowl and whisk together. Add in the ground chicken and mix until fully combined.
- Add 2-½ cups of the marinara sauce to a large baking dish (approximately 9”x13”).
- Scoop ¼ cup of the meatball mixture and nestle into the marinara in the baking dish. Spoon remaining ½ cup marinara on top of the meatballs. Add sliced fresh mozzarella on top of the meatballs. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella over the top.
- In a small bowl, mix together remaining ½ cup breadcrumbs, remaining 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning, olive oil and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the meatballs.
- Bake in a preheated 400ºF oven on the bottom shelf for 15 minutes, and then move up to the topshelf for another 15 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through to a temperature of 165ºF.
- Serve with garlic bread and salad, or over pasta.
You can just use one type of mozzarella for this dish, but if you have both go ahead and use it as directed!
Why the top shelf? This is because the heat from the top of the oven will bounce down and help crisp up those breadcrumbs.
Keywords: Chicken Parm Meatball Bake