These juicy and delicious Chicken Pesto Meatballs are full of fresh basil flavor, easy to make, and perfect a quick weeknight dinner. Serve the meatballs in a hearty bowl with plenty of veggies for the ultimate healthy meal!
Y’all know I love a meatball (especially achicken meatball) and these delicious chicken meatballs with pesto are going to be your new favorite recipe.
The meatballs are packed with flavor from basil pesto and grated Parmesan, cooked quickly, and can be served in a variety of ways. Not only are they delicious, these juicy meatballs are perfect to meal prep in advance for a great reheat and eat option that you can enjoy for an easy lunch or dinner.
If you’ve loved any of my other meatball recipes then get excited for this recipe that I know you will love!
Step One: Add the meatball ingredients to a small mixing bowl and use your hands to mix until well combined. Next, use a cookie dough scoop or tablespoon to scoop out the chicken mixture and use your hands to form the mixture into meatballs.
Step Two: When the meatballs are formed, heat a large skillet over medium heat and then add a tablespoon of oil. Next add the meatballs to the hot skillet and cook for roughly 3-4 minutes per side until browned and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. You may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your skillet.
Step Three: Serve the meatballs in a bowl over arugula with orzo, pepperoncini, tomato, thinly sliced red onion, fresh basil, toasted pine nuts, shaved warm, and dollops of fresh pesto.
My Favorite Meatball Tips and Tricks
When forming the chicken meatballs try using a cookie dough scoop to scoop the meat mixture and then roll in between your hands. This helps each meatball to have a uniform shape and size which means they’ll cook evenly and take around the same amount of time to reach the correct temperature.
Before rolling the meatballs lightly wet your hands with water to prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands.
For perfectly cooked meatballs, every single time, use a meat thermometer. Temperature check the meatballs after the suggested cooking time to ensure that each meatball has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees before removing them from the pan.
Want to make your life even easier? Try making a double batch of the meatball mixture. After everything has been mixed, but before scooping and rolling, transfer half the ground chicken mixture to a freezer safe storage container and freeze for later. The next time you want to make a batch of meatballs just let the ground meat mixture thaw and then scoop, roll, and cook the meatballs.
Use a splatter shield! If you’re worried about a little oil splatter getting on your stove when cooking the meatballs then you can use this handy splatter shield to help prevent that.
How to Bake the Meatballs
Yes! If you prefer you can bake these pesto meatballs instead of cooking them on the stovetop. Place the meatballs on sheet pan that has been lined with parchment paper and sprayed or drizzled with olive oil. Bake them at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
Air Fryer Instructions
If you have an air fryer, you can easily use it to make your chicken meatballs.
To Make in the Air Fryer: place the formed meatballs in your air fryer basket. You can line the basket with an air fryer safe liner to help prevent any sticking. Cook the meatballs at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. I like to give the air fryer basket a shake halfway through to help the meatballs cook evenly.
How to Serve the Pesto Meatballs
Make a delicious orzo salad bowl! I love serving these meatballs in a bowl because everything is better in a bowl, am I right?! Start with a bed of fresh arugula and then add a bit of perfectly cooked orzo pasta, pepperoncini, tomato, sliced red onion, toasted pine nut for crunch, shaved parmesan, and fresh basil. For even more flavor, you can add a few dollops of fresh pesto to finish it off!
Serve them over pasta! Toss the meatballs in your favorite marinara and serve them alongside your favorite cooked pasta for a hearty weeknight dinner.
Serve them as an appetizer or party snack! These Pesto meatballs are perfect to serve at a dinner party or as a fun appetizer for a crowed. Try making a double batch and then serving with a bit of homemade pesto and marinara sauce on the side.
How to Store Leftovers
Store your chicken pesto meatballs in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
How to Freeze and Reheat
There are two different ways you can freeze these meatballs:
freeze the meatball mixture – make the meatball mixture and then transfer to a freezer safe storage bag. Squeeze all of the air out of the bag and then place the bag in the freezer. When you’re ready to make a batch of meatballs, remove the mixture from the freezer and let it defrost in the fridge before rolling the meatballs and cooking.
cook the meatballs and then freeze – cook the meatballs according to the recipe instructions. Let the meatballs come to a complete cool before transferring to a freezer safe storage container and then transferring to the freezer for up to 3 months.
Reheat: To reheat the cooked meatballs from frozen, place them in an ovenproof pan or baking dish and cover with foil. Bake the meatballs at 300 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until completely warmed through. Alternatively, you can let the meatballs defrost in the fridge and reheat in the microwave until warmed through.
I hope you give these Chicken Pesto Meatballs a try! They are so easy to make and delicious!
If you do give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @allthehealthythings on INSTAGRAM. Your reviews and ratings help support All the Healthy Things and make it possible for me to continue to create the recipes you trust and love.
Add the meatball ingredients to a small mixing bowl and use your hands to mix until well combined. Next, use a cookie dough scoop or tablespoon to scoop out the chicken mixture and use your hands to form into meatballs.
When the meatballs are formed, heat a large skillet over medium heat and then add a tablespoon of oil. Next add the meatballs to the hot skillet and cook for roughly 3-4 minutes per side until browned and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. You may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your skillet.
Serve the meatballs in a bowl over arugula with orzo, pepperoncini, tomato, thinly sliced red onion, fresh basil, toasted pine nuts, shaved warm, and dollops of fresh pesto.