Chimichurri Chicken Meatballs with Feta Cream

4.88 from 8 votes
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Chimichurri Chicken Meatballs with Whipped Feta Cream is a restaurant-worthy appetizer or entree. High in protein and packed with flavor, these baked chicken meatballs are a winner!

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Chimichurri chicken meatballs over feta cream topped with chimichurri on a gold plate.
Read more: Chimichurri Chicken Meatballs with Feta Cream

In this house, we are bonafide meatball lovers.

And we certainly don’t discriminate when it comes to beef, poultry, or bean balls. I equally adore my family’s classic Italian meatballs AND these 20-minute Chickpea Meatballs.

These baked chicken meatballs, however, are currently reigning supreme.

Here is what makes this recipe worth a second look:

  • The meatballs are lean, yet mega moist and flavorful.
  • Baked instead of pan-fried.
  • Served over a luscious feta cream for extra richness.
  • Endless flavor from the chimichurri sauce.

How to Make Chimichurri Chicken Meatballs

Made with lean ground chicken, spices, and extra-virgin olive oil, this baked chicken meatball recipe is simply the BEST.

Prepare a batch for a crowd-pleasing appetizer, or serve as an entree with your choice of sides. (I love pairing them with this Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower and Lemon Orzo Salad).

You can also prep a double batch to freeze for a lightning-fast dinner later in the month!

The Ingredients

Recipe ingredients in separate bowls arranged on a blue surface.
  • Ground Chicken: I like 93% lean here. It has just enough fat content to keep these chicken meatballs moist and juicy. Alternatively, you can use ground turkey!
  • Egg: No tough or dry chicken meatballs here! Egg not only binds the meatballs together but also adds moisture and fat to help tenderize them.
  • Panko: To bind the baked chicken meatballs together, I prefer classic or gluten free panko. You can also coarsely ground gluten free rolled oats for another gluten free option.
  • Spices: I love using garlic powder in the meatballs, and a mix of oregano and sumac in the chimichurri. If you can’t find sumac, however, paprika also works.
  • Feta: Look for a block of feta cheese in brine instead of the crumbles. The blocks hold in way more moisture, which will create a creamier consistency once whipped.
  • Whole Milk: You need a little milk or half-and-half to the feta mixture to get the blade churning.
  • Lemon: To perk up the feta cream with brightness and a touch of acidity.
  • Parsley: The star ingredient of this chimichurri sauce.
  • EVOO: Use a good quality extra-virgin olive oil here since it’s one of the main chimichurri ingredients.
  • Garlic: For extra zip and bite!
  • Vinegar: I like using white wine vinegar, which isn’t as harsh as other varieties.

For a complete list of recipe ingredients and quantities, see the recipe card below.

Substitutions and Additions:

  • Use Turkey or Beef: These baked chicken meatballs also work great with ground turkey or beef. For a vegetarian alternative, make my Chickpea Meatballs.
  • Make Cilantro Chimichurri instead of using parsley – both are delicious with the feta cream!
  • Make Dairy-Free: Use firm tofu instead of feta cheese (whip with your favorite dairy-free milk) along with a squeeze of lemon juice and smattering of nutritional yeast. Make sure you season this mixture well with salt and pepper!
A spoon scooping up a chicken meatball on a gold serving platter.

The Directions:

Step 1: Prepare Chicken Meatballs

Combine chicken, egg, panko, spices, and olive oil in a large bowl. Gently mix everything until combined. Don’t overwork the meat! Form into golfball-size balls and arrange on a baking sheet.

Ground chicken, egg, panko, and spices being mixed in a bowl.

Step 2: Bake at 400ºF for 16 to 20 minutes.

Chicken meatballs arranged on a baking sheet and baked until golden.

Step 3: Prepare Chimichurri

In a medium bowl, combine parsley, vinegar, garlic, spices, and EVOO; mix well.

Chimichurri ingredients added to a white bowl and mixed with olive oil.

Step 4: Whip Feta Cream

To a food processor, combine feta, milk, and lemon; whip until smooth.

Feta, milk, and lemon juice being whipped until smooth in a food processor.

Step 5: Assemble Chimichurri Chicken Meatballs

Spread feta cream on a serving platter and arrange meatballs overtop. Spoon chimichurri overtop, and serve!

Serving Suggestions:

These recipe can be enjoyed as an appetizer or entree. If enjoying as an entree, I suggest any of these side dishes:

Storage Tips:

  • Store: Store the feta cream, chimichurri, and chicken meatballs separately, if possible! The feta cream and chimichurri can be refrigerated up to 1 week, while the meatballs will last 3 days.
  • Reheat: Let the feta cream and chimichurri sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour before enjoying. (This will help soften the sauce and cream, making them more spreadable.) The chicken meatballs can be rewarmed in the microwave or in a skillet over medium heat. (Cover the skillet and add a splash of water to help steam the meatballs.)
  • Freeze: Place cooked and cooled meatballs in a freezer-safe zip-top storage bag (remove as much air as possible) and freeze for up to 3 months. If reheating frozen meatballs, preheat your oven to 350ºF. Arrange the meatballs in a baking dish coated with nonstick spray. Then, bake directly from frozen (no need to thaw) until hot, 20 to 30 minutes.

Recipe FAQs

How to Know when Chicken Meatballs are Done:

Chicken meatballs are fully cooked when evenly golden, firm to the touch, and register an internal temperature of 160ºF.

How to Make Chicken Meatballs in the Air Fryer:

Preheat the air fryer to 400°F, and generously coat the basket with non-stick spray. Arrange meatballs in a single layer, ensuring they do not touch so air can circulate (you will need to cook them in two batches). Mist the tops with non-stick spray (I use avocado oil spray), and air fry for 7 to 9 minutes, until cooked through. Repeat with second batch.

Why are my Chicken Meatballs Tough?

To avoid chicken meatballs being tough, use 93% lean meat and be sure to not overcook them. It’s also important to not overwork the meat mixture, which can create a tougher meatball.

A baked chicken meatball being sliced into to reveal inside texture.

More Healthy Meatball Recipes:

If you give this recipe a try, snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations. Also, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates!

4.88 from 8 votes

Chimichurri Chicken Meatballs with Feta Cream

Chimichurri Chicken Meatballs with Whipped Feta Cream is a restaurant-worthy appetizer or entree. High in protein, packed with flavor, and baked instead of pan-fried.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • Large rimmed baking sheet
  • Food processor
  • Mixing bowls

Ingredients  

Chicken Meatballs

  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil (or avocado oil)
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 lb. ground chicken or turkey
  • 1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs (Use Aleia's brand if making gluten free)
  • Non-stick spray for baking (I use avocado oil spray)

Chimichurri

  • 1/2 cup very finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 grated or minced garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. ground sumac (or paprika)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Feta Cream

  • 1 (6-oz.) block feta cheese*
  • 1/3 cup whole milk (or half-and-half)
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
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Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, and lightly spray with non-stick spray.
    Prepare Chicken Meatballs: In a large bowl, combine egg, oil, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper; whisk well to combine. Add ground chicken and panko, and mix until just combined (do not overwork).
    Divide the mixture into 16 to 18 golfball-size portions. Lightly oil your hands with olive oil (this helps the meatballs develop a more golden sheen during baking) and gently roll into balls, placing 1 to 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
    Bake meatballs for 16 to 20 minutes, until firm to the touch.
  • Meanwhile, prepare Chimichurri by combining parsley, vinegar, garlic, salt, oregano, and sumac (or paprika) in a medium bowl. Add olive oil and mix well to combine. Set aside.
  • Prepare Feta Cream by combining feta, milk, and lemon juice in a food processor. Blend, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed, until the mixture comes together to form a smooth, thick cream consistency.
  • Assemble by spreading Feta Cream on a serving platter or plate. Scatter chicken meatballs overtop, and spoon chimichurri over the meatballs.

Notes

    • Store: Store the feta cream, chimichurri, and chicken meatballs separately, if possible! The feta cream and chimichurri can be refrigerated up to 1 week, while the meatballs will last 3 days.
    • Reheat: Let the feta cream and chimichurri sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour before enjoying. (This will help soften the sauce and cream, making them more spreadable.) The chicken meatballs can be rewarmed in the microwave or in a skillet over medium heat. (Cover the skillet and add a splash of water to help steam the meatballs.)
    • Freeze: Place cooked and cooled meatballs in a freezer-safe zip-top storage bag (remove as much air as possible) and freeze for up to 3 months. If reheating frozen meatballs, preheat your oven to 350ºF. Arrange the meatballs in a baking dish coated with nonstick spray. Then, bake directly from frozen (no need to thaw) until hot, 20 to 30 minutes.
 
  • Avoid using crumbled feta, which doesn’t hold as much moisture as the blocks.

Nutrition

Serving: 4to 5 meatballs with feta cream and chimichurri | Calories: 439kcal | Carbohydrates: 6.5g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Sodium: 990mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g

I calculate these values by hand to ensure accuracy, however expect up to a 10% variable depending on food brands.

If you love this recipe, please leave a star rating and review below!
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4.88 from 8 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




5 Comments

  1. Cheryl says:

    5 stars
    This recipe is so simple and so good!!! It is now on my top favorite recipes. Easy to give kids just the plain meatballs and adults a flavorful meal. Highly recommend.

  2. Meredith says:

    5 stars
    I feel compelled to review this recipie for all you who dislike feta, like I do. This is a delicious dish, including the feta. Don’t skip it, especially if you dislike feta, you will be pleasantly surprised how good it is and how much it adds to the dish! Delicious!!

  3. Tina Weer says:

    5 stars
    We loved this one!! The meatballs were tender and the flavors fantastic.

  4. Cami says:

    4 stars
    Easy and different! Hubby didn’t like the feta sauce but I loved it! I added some sautéd onions to the meat to add flavor, and no salt cuz we have a low salt diet and feta has plenty. The meatballs were tender and flavorful—such and easy meal! Definitely will use for an appetizer—most folks will love the feta cream sauce!

  5. Carolyn Weaver says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious!!! Dishing out Health recipes never steer me wrong!