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Baked chicken meatballs are one of those foods that work well for many types of meals. Dinner? Definitely. Appetizer? Yep. Snack? Sure, why not? These healthy ground chicken meatballs in creamy sauce are a nice flavor twist to a classic.
And the best part? These are naturally low carb chicken meatballs that you can make using common pantry ingredients! You don’t need any special flours.
Read on to see how easy it is to make chicken meatballs at home…
Can You Use Ground Chicken For Meatballs?
Yes, of course you can! You can do it for any meatball recipe, but be careful not to make them too dry. My Italian-style beef keto low carb meatballs recipe and keto Swedish meatballs actually work great with ground chicken if you want to try it.
But, today I’m sharing a different baked chicken meatballs recipe with creamy sauce instead…
Are Ground Chicken Meatballs Healthy?
Yes, ground chicken meatballs are healthy! They are packed with protein and pretty light on calories.
However, there are a few issues to watch out for if you want to make your oven baked chicken meatballs healthy:
- The binder – Regular meatballs usually use breadcrumbs, which are not really healthy. And definitely not low carb.
- The sauce – No point to have healthy ground chicken meatballs if you load them up in a sauce filled with artificial ingredients!
- The moisture – This isn’t so much an issue with the health aspect, but ground chicken gets dry easily since it’s so lean. So, your recipe and technique needs to account for this.
The good news? This healthy ground chicken meatballs recipe will take care of all 3 of these!
The Trick To Easy Ground Chicken Meatballs Without Breadcrumbs
So, how to make chicken meatballs without breadcrumbs? You just need another binder. Low carb meatball recipes often use low carb flours, like almond flour, but this one uses a common pantry ingredient that doesn’t require buying any specialty flour.
The secret ingredient? Sunflower seeds!
Yes, really. If you grind up sunflower seeds, they make a great replacement for flour or breadcrumbs for low carb chicken meatballs! And, they are naturally low carb, keto friendly, paleo friendly, and even nut-free.
(Don’t worry – I promise your baked chicken meatballs in creamy sauce won’t taste like sunflower seeds!)
It takes just a couple of minutes to blitz sunflower seed kernels in a food processor or high-power blender to make sunflower seed meal. I love that you can do it with such a common ingredient found at any grocery store.
Here is what the ground sunflower seeds look like:
How To Make Chicken Meatballs and Sauce
Once you’ve ground the sunflower seeds, you’re ready to see how to prepare chicken meatballs with them.
How To Prepare Chicken Meatballs
Mix the seed meal with egg, rosemary, garlic, salt, pepper and ground chicken.
PRO TIP: For tender ground chicken meatballs, don’t over-mix the meat! This means stir in the chicken last, and mix only until just combined.
Form the ground chicken mixture into 1-inch balls and place them onto a baking sheet. (You can line it first if you’d like.)
Of course, this is for 1-inch meatballs, so feel free to make them a different size if you want to. The baking time would change if you make them bigger or smaller.
PRO TIP: Work quickly while the ground chicken meat is still cold and use only your fingertips to shape the balls. If possible, use a cookie scoop. All of these things are to avoid warming up the meat, which would result in tougher meatballs.
How To Bake Chicken Meatballs
Now, just pop the ground chicken meatballs in the oven. Check the section below on how long to bake chicken meatballs for more tricks on that!
How To Make Chicken Meatballs With Creamy Sauce
While the meatballs are baking, make the creamy sauce. Simply combine heavy cream, fresh rosemary, ground thyme, minced garlic, sea salt and black pepper in a saucepan. Simmer until the sauce thickens.
The time needed to thicken will vary based on the temperature and size of your saucepan, but usually it’s about 10 to 15 minutes.
How to tell the sauce is done: it will coat the back of a spoon!
How Long To Bake Chicken Meatballs
How long do I bake chicken meatballs? What temperature to bake chicken meatballs? These two questions are related!
I like to use a higher temperature, so that they are done faster and there is less time for moisture to seep out. This healthy ground chicken meatballs recipe bakes at 425 degrees F, for about 10 to 12 minutes.
PRO TIP: Take the meatballs out when they are almost, but not quite, done! If you use a meat thermometer, that’s around 155 degrees F inside.
Wipe off the liquid on the sides of them, then pop them under the broiler for a couple of minutes. This browns them a bit without overcooking them.
How to Make These Easy Chicken Meatballs Paleo
These are already pretty healthy ground chicken meatballs, but some people would question if the heavy cream is healthy enough.
If you want to avoid heavy cream – whether that’s because of what it is, or because you are paleo or dairy free – simply use coconut cream in the sauce as well! The time to thicken might vary a bit, but otherwise it will work just as well.
What To Have With Chicken Meatballs
Keto chicken meatballs in creamy sauce work equally well as an appetizer or an entree!
- Serve them as an entree – They are delicious over zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash!
- Serve them as an appetizer – Just add little appetizer skewers!
More Healthy Chicken Recipes
If you love chicken as much as I do, here are some of my other healthy chicken recipes:
- Greek Chicken Meal Prep Bowls
- Crock Pot Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken
- Low Carb Chicken Piccata
- Coconut Chicken Tenders
Want more? Check out all my low carb chicken recipes here!
More Low Carb Meatball Recipes
Tools To Make Healthy Chicken Meatballs
Tap the links below to see the items used to make this recipe.
- High-power blender or food processor – For grinding the sunflower seeds. If you’d like, you can buy sunflower seed meal like this instead. Or just use almond flour.
- Baking sheet – Anything simple will do. This set has cute handles!
- Small cookie scoop – Works great for forming the meatballs. Touching them with warm hands less means they’ll be more tender.
- Saucepan – For making the creamy sauce with rosemary and garlic
- Appetizer skewer forks – These are great if you’ll be serving your healthy chicken meatballs as appetizers!
Baked Ground Chicken Meatballs Recipe
Healthy Ground Chicken Meatballs in Creamy Sauce
A healthy ground chicken meatballs recipe with common ingredients + no flour! These low carb baked chicken meatballs in creamy sauce with rosemary and garlic make satisfying appetizers or a main dish.
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Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them. Please turn Safari reader mode OFF to view ingredients.
Ground Chicken Meatballs:
Creamy Sauce with Rosemary and Garlic:
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (218 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Grease it if using foil.
In a high-power blender or food processor, pulse the sunflower seeds until they are a fine "meal" consistency. Be careful not to over-process, or you'll make seed butter.
Transfer the sunflower seed meal to a bowl. Whisk in the egg. Stir in the rosemary, garlic, sea salt, and black pepper.
Add the ground chicken. Use your hands to mix until just incorporated. Do not over-mix.
Form 1-inch (2.5 cm) balls and place onto the lined baking sheet. (A small cookie scoop works well for this.)
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until barely cooked through. Switch to broil and broil for 3 more minutes.
While the meatballs are baking, make the sauce. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until thick and reduced in volume by half. The sauce should easily coat the back of a spoon. If it becomes too thick, you can thin it out with more cream. Adjust salt to taste.
When the meatballs are done, skewer with appetizer forks and drizzle the sauce over them. It comes out to about 3/4 tsp (4 mL) of sauce per meatball. Alternatively, toss the meatballs in the sauce for a meal.
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Serving size: 5 meatballs with sauce
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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