20 Ways to Prepare Poultry: Italian Chicken Meatballs

Kari Lund


Recipes, Nutrition


Chicken and turkey are popular for being high in protein and low in saturated fats making a mealtime staple for athletes as well as in many healthy eating households. Falling back on the same old recipes starts to become mundane and a little too routine. Finding new ways to cook up the standard bird and keep it interesting (and keep your taste buds dancing) is time-consuming but in this series of recipes, I will highlight many different ways to prepare your poultry so your meal rotation is anything but boring. So whaddya say? Let’s play chicken!


Italian chicken meatballs are a delightfully different version of a traditional meatball using Italian spices combined with ground chicken or turkey. Boiling the meatballs in a red tomato sauce makes them tender and enhances their flavor. The meatballs also season the sauce with Italian goodness so you can serve savory spoonfuls ladled over spaghetti squash, in a meatball wrap, or over your favorite noodles.



Typically, meatballs are formed by hand but ground poultry is really sticky to form into balls by hand. To remedy this and not have poultry perpetually adhered to your digits, use a cookie or ice cream scoop. Use a scoop that has a lever release to give you the best shape. You can also scoop these with a large spoon, like a drop biscuit, but they will have a more rustic appearance to them. No matter how you serve them, these chicken meatballs are sure to please everyone in your household.


Italian Chicken Meatballs

Italian Chicken Meatballs

Calories 395, Protein 47g, Carbs 35g, Fat 6g


Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 20 min

Serves: 4-6





  • 2 pounds lean ground chicken or turkey
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour or 1/2 cup rice flour or other gluten free flour blend
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons parsley
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt or sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes
  • 6 cups tomato sauce (about 2 large cans)


Preparation Instructions:


  1. Place all meatball ingredients except the tomato sauce in a mixing bowl and mix with clean hands or a fork.
  2. Form small balls with the meat mixture and place in a wide deep saucepan with a lid. Since raw ground chicken is pretty sticky, the best way to do this is with a large cookie or ice cream scoop that has a release lever. Otherwise, you can just drop them in by the large spoonful.
  3. Pour tomato sauce over meatballs so they are all submerged and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through. They can continue to simmer a bit longer than this if needed but be careful not to simmer so long that they start to get too tender and break apart.
  4. Serve meatballs with the sauce over spaghetti squash, your favorite noodles or in a sandwich/lettuce wrap.


Italian Chicken Meatballs


Note: You can cook these in a crock pot as well. Place meatballs in a slow cooker and cover with tomato sauce. Cook 6-8 hours until they are cooked through. Extra meatballs and sauce can be refrigerated and used within a week or can be frozen to reheat later.


If you want to kickstart your clean eating campaign, there is no better way than to start Kari's 28 Day Clean Eating Challenge now. It's designed for ordinary people who are busy and have a lot of demands on their time.
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