Cheesy Chicken Meatballs + Roasted Red Pepper-Garlic Sauce
Cheesy, saucy, GUILT-FREE chicken meatballs?! Oh yeah, we’re going there.
Meatballs just don’t get the love they deserve.
They can be classy or casual. Turkey, beef, chicken, pork or lamb. They’re perfect for meal prep, spaghetti, rice, appetizers, main course… You name it! But most importantly? You can make them FAST!
Despite the great flexibility of a meatball, they rarely make it onto our dinner menus. And that, my friend, is a shame.
Meatballs are great because you dump everything in a bowl and mix it together, then throw them in the oven and forget about them until you’re ready to serve dinner. You can even freeze them for later use. Also YOU CAN STUFF THEM WITH CHEESE. I really like cheese. We may not have ever met, but I’m willing to bet that you like cheese too. (For my dairy-free friends, you are welcome to omit the cheese in this recipe.)
These herbed chicken meatballs with feta cheese baked inside and a comforting roasted red pepper-garlic sauce make for a healthy, comforting, fun dinner that’s easy enough for weeknights. ? Super savory and a little tangy with mouthwatering sweetness from the roasty red peppers and garlic. Feta is packed with calcium and lower in fat than other cheeses, which is a plus.
They’re even beautiful naked ?
I’m so excited to share this recipe because 1. well, it’s delicious and 2. this roasted red pepper-garlic sauce is in my regular weeknight dinner rotation. It’s a colorful, flavorful, simple, spoon-licking-good sauce with a few clean ingredients. I love to put this on pasta or Buddha bowls.
This recipe makes plenty of sauce to coat your chicken meatballs, with some leftovers for pouring on pasta or whatever starch you might be serving this dish with. You can NEVER have enough sauce.
How To Serve These Chicken Meatballs
As you can see from the photos, I went with a clean eating vibe and made a bowl with the meatballs, quinoa and spinach. I poured in some extra sauce and let it get alllllll soaked up in the quinoa ? Quinoa is a plant-based protein, so this dinner was extra protein-packed.
Like I said before, this sauce is absolutely wonderful with pasta. A classic spaghetti and meatballs situation would be delicious with this dish.
You could also go with rice or farro. Meatballs are totally flexible, so use whatever you want!
For the chicken meatballs:
- Ground chicken
- Breadcrumbs (I prefer Panko)
- Italian parsely
- Garlic powder
- Sea salt
- Feta cheese
For the sauce:
- Red bell peppers
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven.
First, roast the bell peppers and garlic on a sheet pan.
While they bake, prepare the meatballs. Super easy: Combine all ingredients, except the feta cheese, together in a bowl. When everything is thoroughly combined, gently fold in feta crumbles.
Roll into approx 1” to 1.5” meatballs and spread out on a sheet pan. You should have about 12 to 15 meatballs.
When red pepper and garlic have finished roasting, place meatballs into the oven to bake. While the meatballs bake, prepare the sauce.
Throw all sauce ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until fully combined. Add more salt or pepper to taste.
Be sure to check that the meatballs have fully cooked. Split one in half and make sure that the center is cooked.
Next, toss meatballs in sauce and serve with your favorite sides! Definitely serve with lots of parsley and feta on top ?
Storing Or Saving For Meal Prep
If you are one of those people who cooks five days’ worth of meals every Sunday, God bless you. I applaud you. Also, you are in the right place!
When I used to meal prep, meatballs were one of my favorite things to make in advance because they store in the fridge or freezer so well!
If you’re meal prepping, store in an airtight container. If you’re freezing, you can toss these in a plastic bag and call it a day.
Just be careful that you don’t dry the meatballs out when you reheat your meals in the microwave. You can ensure this doesn’t happen by placing a wet paper towel on top of your container/plate or adding a tiny splash of water to the dish before microwaving. Adding water creates a steamy effect.
Chicken-Feta Meatballs + Roasted Red Pepper-Garlic Sauce
- Sheet pan, food processor/blender
For the sauce:
- 2 red bell peppers halved and seeds/stems removed
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 lemon juiced
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- salt + pepper to taste
For the meatballs:
- 1 lb. ground chicken
- 1 egg
- 1/2 c. breadcrumbs I used Panko
- 1/4 c. Italian parsely chopped
- 1/2 tsp. each garlic powder and sea salt
- 1 scant c. feta crumbles
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Line a sheet pan with tinfoil for easy cleanup. Place bell pepper halves on pan. Add garlic cloves directly on or under red pepper to ensure garlic doesn’t dry out while roasting. Roast for 20-30 minutes, or until bell peppers are at your desired level of doneness.
- Prepare the meatballs while the peppers/garlic bake. In a medium bowl, add all meatball ingredients except the feta crumbles. Mix with fork or hands until fully combined, then gently fold in feta crumbles.
- Roll meatballs into approx. 1” balls and place on sheet pan, lined with tinfoil and greased with cooking spray or oil. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until tops have started to brown and inside is fully cooked. Cut one meatball open just to make sure it’s safe!
- Add sauce ingredients into a blender/food processor and blend until totally smooth. Coat meatballs in sauce and enjoy!
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