4.88 from 8 reviews

Juicy Chicken Meatballs and Broccoli

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Chicken meatballs with broccoli and orzo in a bowl.

Once you make this chicken meatball recipe, you’re not going back to any other recipe! Buuuut if you are going to try another meatball recipe, you have to make my spaghetti and meatballs and ground turkey Swedish meatballs! They are reader favorites and on regular rotation in my house too.

These juicy chicken meatballs are an easy-to-make and flavorful dish made with ground chicken and mixed with a combination of common pantry ingredients to create moist and tender meatballs. They really do have the perfect balance of moisture and juiciness thanks to a couple key ingredients; the panade made with half and half, olive oil, and the egg!

Once you make the meatballs, you can scoop them right onto a baking sheet, toss some seasoned broccoli around them and bake everything together on the same sheet pan. It’s easy peasy.

chicken meatballs and broccoli on a sheet pan.

The meatballs are delicious on their own thanks to the seasonings that add depth and enhance their flavor, but while they bake I love to make a simple sauce to spoon over them. It’s made with butter, chicken broth (or white wine if you have it), shallots, Dijon mustard, and a little lemon juice.

This sauce is just one way to elevate and change up your meatballs! You can also serve them with red sauce and spaghetti, pesto, teriyaki sauce, etc. I have more ideas listed down below for you under variations!

Why this recipe works

  • The panade is key for this juicy chicken meatball recipe. It’s made simply by soaking the panko breadcrumbs in half & half (or milk) for a few minutes and this helps keep your meatballs moist!
  • A little olive oil adds fat into the recipe. Since ground chicken is a lean option, the olive oil helps prevent the meatball from becoming dry and helps create a juicy and tender meatball.
  • The meatballs and broccoli get made on the same sheet pan, so it’s easy clean up and great for meal prep.
chicken meatballs with broccoli and orzo in a bowl.
ingredients needed to make chicken meatballs in small glass bowls.

Ingredient Notes

For the ingredient measurements and entire recipe, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the blog post where the recipe card is located.

  • Ground chicken: I usually buy a 96% lean, 4% fat ground chicken. I have not tested this recipe with any other ground meats, but I am sure it would turn out delicious especially ground turkey.
  • Garlic: be sure to buy fresh garlic cloves and mince or press through a garlic press yourself for best flavor.
  • Olive oil: Once again, the olive oil is key for best texture and to keep the meatballs moist. 1-2 Tbsp. is plenty.
  • Parmesan cheese: buy a block and grate it into the meatball mixture for best results.
  • Panko breadcrumbs: typically, panko breadcrumbs are used in recipes to add crunch, but we’re soaking these breadcrumbs in a little half and half to create a panade to keep these chicken meatballs super moist and tender.
  • Egg: the egg acts as a binder and also helps add some moisture into the meatballs.
  • Seasonings: in this recipe I am using Italian seasoning, onion powder, salt and pepper. You can feel free to use different seasonings based on what you like.
  • Broccoli: 12 ounces, or about 3-4 cups. I only tested this recipe with fresh broccoli.
  • Pan sauce: It’s optional, but I absolutely love these meatballs with a little sauce on top. You’ll need butter, shallots, chicken broth, thyme, heavy cream, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper and lemon juice.
ingredients to make chicken meatballs in a white mixing bowl.
cooked chicken meatballs and roasted broccoli on a sheet pan.

Step by Step Directions

Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe instructions.

  1. Soak the panko breadcrumbs in the half & half for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Mix together all ingredients for the meatballs in a bowl.
  3. Scoop and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
  4. Sprinkle broccoli florets around meatballs and bake.
  5. Meanwhile, you can make the pan sauce.
  6. Serve with the sauce and pasta, rice, etc.
pan sauce in a saute pan.
sauce being spooned onto a chicken meatball.

Expert Tips

  • For the panade, it’s important that the panko is completely moist throughout; after letting it stand for several minutes, mash it with your fingers or a spoon to make sure.
  • You can use bread for the panade too, you’ll need 1/2 cup breadcrumbs or ~1-2 slices of white bread. I usually cut the crust off but you can also leave it on if preferred.
  • Mix Gently: When combining the ingredients, mix the ground chicken and other ingredients gently. Over mixing can lead to dense and tough meatballs. I usually just use my hands to gently mix it all together.
  • Cookie scoop: These meatballs can be a bit sticky so it’s helpful to use a cookie scoop. Also, it’s great to use a cookie scoop to create uniform meatballs. This recipe will make ~18 meatballs.
  • Try not to let the meatballs bake longer than necessary, it can dry them out.
  • Double the recipe: Make a big batch of chicken meatballs and freeze them for quick and easy meals in the future. They will last up to 3 months properly stored.
a fork taking a bite out of a chicken meatball with broccoli and orzo.


  • You can use whole milk, buttermilk, heavy cream or half and half for the panade. I just wouldn’t recommend water.
  • Serve the meatballs with your favorite Alfredo sauce and pasta.
  • Drizzle your favorite teriyaki sauce over the meatballs and serve with rice, green onions and sesame seeds.
  • Dip the meatballs in your favorite pesto!
  • Turn these into a Mediterranean inspired meal and serve with your favorite tzatziki sauce.


  • Cool and store in an air tight container for 3-4 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Before You Begin! If you make this, please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.

Chicken meatballs with broccoli and orzo in a bowl.
4.88 from 8 reviews

Juicy Chicken Meatballs and Broccoli

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 6 servings (~16-18 meatballs)
You will love my easy to make, mouthwatering juicy chicken meatballs made on a sheet pan with crispy roasted broccoli. The meatballs are bursting with flavor, so tender and perfect for busy weeknight dinners or for meal prepping (you'll want to double this recipe, trust me!) Serve it with my shallot dijon sauce and your favorite pasta or rice.


For the meatballs and broccoli

  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup half and half, milk, buttermilk, or heavy cream
  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed with a garlic press
  • 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3-4 cups broccoli florets (tossed with a little olive oil, salt and pepper)

For the sauce

  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp. finely minced shallots
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth (or white wine)
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, parsley or sage, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Last step! If you make this, please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. and line a sheet pan with parchment paper, set aside.
  • Make the panade: combine the panko breadcrumbs and the half and half in a small bowl and soak for 5-10 minutes. The panko should be moist throughout, you can mash it all together after it soaks to make sure.
    1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup half and half, milk, buttermilk, or heavy cream
    Panko breadcrumbs mixed with half and half in a small white bowl.
  • Mix together the rest of the chicken meatball ingredients, along with the panko mixture, together in a large mixing bowl.
    1 lb. ground chicken, 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed with a garlic press, 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil, 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, 1 egg, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, 1 tsp. kosher salt, 1/2 tsp. onion powder, freshly ground black pepper
    Ingredients to make chicken meatballs in a large white mixing bowl.
  • Careful not to over mix, I just use my hands or a wooden spoon until it all comes together.
    Ground chicken meatball mixing in a white bowl with a wooden spoon.
  • Use a 2 Tbsp. cookie scoop to scoop into meatballs and place on prepared sheet pan, you should get ~18 meatballs.
    ground chicken meatball mixture in a white bowl with a cookie scoop scooping some of the mixture out.
  • Sprinkle the seasoned broccoli florets all around the meatballs.
    3-4 cups broccoli florets
    chicken meatballs and broccoli on a sheet pan.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until broccoli is roasted and chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
    baked chicken meatballs and roasted broccoli on a sheet pan.
  • While the meatballs bake, you can make the pan sauce. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat and add the shallots. Saute for 2 minutes or until shallots become translucent, then add in the broth and lemon juice and turn the heat down to low and simmer for ~2-3 minutes.
    4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, 2 Tbsp. finely minced shallots, 3/4 cup chicken broth (or white wine), 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
    Shallots and melted butter in a sauté pan.
  • Add the mustard, cream, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir. Allow to simmer again or ~5 minutes. It isn't a thick sauce, but it will thicken as it cools.
    2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard, 2 Tbsp. heavy cream, 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, parsley or sage, chopped, salt and pepper, to taste
    Shallot and butter with fresh thyme and mustard in a sauté pan.
  • Serve sauce over the meatballs and broccoli with your favorite pasta of choice, or rice, potatoes, etc.
    Chicken meatballs, broccoli and orzo in a bowl with sauce on top.



  • Store meatballs in the fridge for 3-4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. 

Nutrition Information

Serving: 3meatballs, Calories: 180kcal (9%), Carbohydrates: 8g (3%), Protein: 19g (38%), Fat: 9.8g (15%), Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Fiber: 2g (8%), Sugar: 1g (1%), Calcium: 161mg (16%), Iron: 2mg (11%)

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is automatically calculated. It should only be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Kroll’s Korner can’t make any guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

Krolls Korner

Krolls Korner

Welcome to my tiny “korner” on the Internet! I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who loves cookies as much as kale. (OK, maybe I like cookies a little bit more but shh, don’t tell anyone). I am so glad you’re here! Follow along for hassle free, realistic and approachable recipes.

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4.88 from 8 votes (2 ratings without comment)
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These are must make. I’ve made the meatballs alone for so many different recipes. I think I messed up the sauce, it came out thinner and brothier than it should but the flavor was still good. Regardless the meatballs are definitely in the 1-2 week line up now!

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Absolutely outstanding! My husband and I were left speechless. The only thing I had to change was chicken to turkey because it’s all my grocery store had but it was still amazing. Incredible recipe!!

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Delicious! I used garlic instead of shallots in the sauce but sooo good.

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This was amazing!! The whole family loved it. Easy for a week night. Was trying to nurse my 4 month old while cooking so I forgot the parm but it was still delicious!

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Susan Moore

This was absolutely delicious! Great flavor and came together fairly quick.

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Gail Dowling

Just made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious, I do not like mustard so I left it out .i just drizzled the sauce over the meatballs and orzo/ broccoli and I rate it a 10 !
Sorry we ate it so fast I forgot to take a picture!

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I want to make this it looks so good I was wandering if I can use Italian breadcrumbs instead of panko thank you for this recipe

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