30 minutes

Chicken Pesto Meatballs

Chicken pesto meatballs are a delicious summer dinner. Lean ground chicken is mixed with fresh basil pesto and panko breadcrumbs for moist, tender meatballs that your whole family will love.

Pesto pasta is a favorite for my family in the summertime. There is nothing quite so delicious as garden-fresh homemade pesto, and one of my favorite ways to serve it is with grilled chicken and a bed of hot pasta. This week, I decided to try pesto pasta with chicken meatballs, and oh my goodness this recipe is a keeper!

These easy pesto chicken meatballs are packed with pesto flavor. With only a handful of simple ingredients, these meatballs are juicy and tender. The cooking process is hands-off, so you can pop these delicious chicken meatballs in the oven to bake while you focus on making your favorite pasta, or zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash for a lighter option. Serve this with a side of broccolini or a big salad for a simple meal your whole family will love. Bonus points if you make an extra large batch and freeze half for later – your future self will thank you!

For more delicious summer pesto recipes, try this orzo pesto pasta saladpesto butter salmon, or creamy sun-dried tomato pesto chicken

A close up of a fork with a chicken pesto meatball and pesto pasta on it. A white dish and a skillet with more pasta and meatballs is in the background.

You Will Love This

  • This simple pesto chicken meatball recipe is packed with flavor with minimal ingredients. Serve tossed with extra pesto and sprinkled with parmesan cheese over your favorite type of pasta for a delicious meal.
  • You can make this recipe with homemade pesto or pesto from the grocery store. I have tried both, and both were delicious!
  • This recipe is a perfect addition to your meal prep routine. Make a double batch of meatballs and freeze half for a homemade dinner in minutes on a busy weeknight.

Ingredients

Ingredients for chicken pesto meatballs on a marble background.

To make these delicious chicken pesto meatballs, you need the following simple ingredients

  • Ground chicken: Feel free to substitute ground turkey. 
  • Small white onion
  • Kosher salt
  • Italian seasoning: You can substitute fresh herbs if you have them on hand. Any Italian herbs, like basil, rosemary or oregano, would be great in this recipe. 
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • Basil pesto sauce: Store-bought works just as well as homemade in this recipe. Use whatever you prefer!
  • Egg
  • Milk

Instructions

Step one: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. 

Step Two: Combine ground chicken with finely diced or grated onion, salt and Italian seasoning in a large mixing bowl. With clean hands or a wooden spoon, mix everything together.

A glass bowl on a marble background. The bowl contains ground chicken, onion and seasonings, not yet mixed together.

Step Three: Add the Panko breadcrumbs, pesto, eggs and milk to the seasoned meat mixture. Mix well until everything is combined.

A glass bowl on a marble background. The bowl contains ground chicken, topped with pesto, breadcrumbs, milk and egg.
A glass bowl on a marble background. The bowl contains pesto chicken meatball mix, with a baking sheet and cookie scoop to the side.

Step Four: Scoop the meatball mixture with a medium cookie scoop. Form meatballs into tight balls with clean hands. Place the meatballs in a single layer on a baking rack on top of the prepared baking sheet.

Note: I like to bake meatballs on top of a baking rack in a rimmed baking pan because it allows the fat to drip off the meatballs, rather than pooling around them. If you don’t have a baking rack, these meatballs will be just as delicious cooked directly on the parchment paper. 

Raw ground chicken pesto meatballs on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Step Five: Bake the meatballs for 12-15 minutes at 425 degrees F. Meatballs are done when the outside is browned, and a meat thermometer inserted into the center reads 165 degrees. Coat the meatballs with more pesto and serve with your favorite cooked pasta!

A black skillet containing chicken pesto meatballs with pesto pasta. Parmesan cheese, parsley and salt and pepper are to the side.

Storage

Store leftover meatballs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. For longer storage or meal prep, put meatballs in a freezer bag or glass storage container in the freezer. 

A white pasta bowl with chicken pesto meatballs on top of pesto pasta, sprinkled with parmesan cheese.
A white plate of pesto pasta with chicken pesto meatballs. A skillet with more pasta, and dishes of parmesan cheese and parsley are to the side.

Chicken Pesto Meatballs

Baked chicken pesto meatballs are a delicious summer dinner. Lean ground chicken is mixed with fresh basil pesto and panko breadcrumbs for moist, tender meatballs that your whole family will love.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 286 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/2 small white onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup prepared basil pesto
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. 
  • Combine ground chicken with finely diced or grated onion, salt and Italian seasoning in a large mixing bowl. With clean hands or a wooden spoon, mix everything together.
  • Add the Panko breadcrumbs, pesto, eggs and milk to the seasoned meat mixture. Mix well until everything is combined.
  • Scoop the meatball mixture with a medium cookie scoop. Form meatballs into tight balls with clean hands. Place the meatballs in a single layer on a baking rack on top of the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake the meatballs for 12-15 minutes at 425 degrees F. Meatballs are done when the outside is browned, and a meat thermometer inserted into the center reads 165 degrees. Coat the meatballs with more pesto and serve with your favorite cooked pasta!

Notes

Note: I like to bake meatballs on top of a baking rack in a rimmed baking pan because it allows the fat to drip off the meatballs, rather than pooling around them. If you don’t have a baking rack, these meatballs will be just as delicious cooked directly on the parchment paper. 

Nutrition

Calories: 286kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 23gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 141mgSodium: 898mgPotassium: 644mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 493IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 71mgIron: 2mg
Keyword baked meatballs, chicken pesto meatballs, pesto meatballs
Loved this recipe?Leave a rating below!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating