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Chicken Parm Pesto Meatballs

  • Author: Molly
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


These Chicken Parm Pesto Meatballs are a quick and easy yet super flavorful meal that comes together in one pan with the help of some store-bought ingredients. This recipe features tender, juicy chicken meatballs simmered in a marinara and pesto sauce, topped with cheese, and served alone or over pasta. These will become a family favorite for sure!


  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1/4 cup prepared pesto
  • 1 cup fresh mozzarella balls (or diced fresh mozzarella)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the panko, salt, pepper, spices, garlic, ketchup, milk, and parmesan cheese. Add the egg and mix well to combine.
  3. Add in the meat last, mixing it into the seasonings gently and until everything is well mixed. If the mixture is too gummy, add a few tablespoons of breadcrumbs and mix again. I sometimes have to add up to ¼ cup of additional breadcrumbs – it really depends on your meat. The mixture should be easy to roll into balls – not too sticky or wet.
  4. Set a large oven-proof skillet or braising dish over medium-high heat and add the olive oil.
  5. Form the mixture into 2-inch balls and place them in the pan. Cook the meatballs, shaking the pan every now and then, until they are beginning to brown.
  6. Pour in the marinara, stirring to coat all the meatballs. Dollop or swirl in the pesto.
  7. Once the marinara comes up to a simmer, add the mozzarella to the pan, distributing it evenly. Sprinkle a little additional parmesan over the top and then transfer the pan to the oven to bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Remove the pan from the oven, allow to cool slightly, and then serve the meatballs and sauce over pasta or alone while everything is still hot.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: meatballs

Keywords: Chicken Parm Pesto Meatballs, Chicken Parm Meatballs, one-pan meals, chicken parmesan meatballs, chicken parmesan pesto meatballs, chicken meatballs