Chicken Meatballs coated in a Marsala cream sauce have been our summer favorite. A healthy dinner that feels decadent with this amazing sauce. Make a double batch and freeze for later.
We discovered this recipe earlier this summer while trying to find a new way to cook chicken, and it has been a favorite. I adapted it from one of Deb Perelman’s recipes, I don’t know how she comes up with so many show stoppers. You can find her recipe for Chicken Marsala Meatballs in her newest cookbook, but you can also check out her blog, Smitten Kitchen for more fabulous recipes.
How do you make chicken meatballs
The recipe doesn’t take much time, it’s basically two steps.
Step 1: Cook some onions and then add them to ground chicken, an egg and panko.
Step 2: Using a small ice-cream scoop, form meatballs.
Step 3: Brown the meatballs and remove them to a plate. When browning chicken, the meatballs will stay together better if you let them brown on one side before trying to move them around. Once they have started to cook they’ll stay together better.
Step 4: Make a béchamel sauce using Marsala wine, butter, flour and chicken broth. At the end add just a bit of cream. If the sauce is too thick, add a little more chicken broth.
Step 5: Add the meatballs back to the pan and simmer. These are best served over egg noodles.
If you’re tired of chicken breasts, this is a great way to serve chicken, they are delicious all by themselves. If you can’t find ground chicken at the grocery, Fresh Market will grind it for you if you ask. We love this dish over egg noodles which is the perfect base for this amazing sauce. If you love the sauce as much as we do, try creamy pork marsala with mushrooms.
Can you freeze Chicken Marsala Meatballs
Natalie loved these so much that she asked for a double batch when she was home last week so she could freeze the leftovers and take them with her to stock up her freezer in her new apartment. In order to avoid freezer burn, I put a single serving with some sauce in a vacuum seal bag and flash freeze them. Once frozen, I vacuum seal them. This way you don’t have to worry about the liquid being sucked out. Now all she has to do is cook some egg noodles and she has a home cooked dinner. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, you can freezer them in freezer bags with the sauce.
Are Chicken Meatballs hard to make
If you haven’t made chicken meatballs before, I think you’ll be surprised at how delicious they are even without a sauce. The only difference in making chicken meatballs is that you need to let them cook in the skillet without moving them around. Once they have started to cook through a bit, you can move them and they will stay together. If you try to move them around before they have started to cook, they can fall apart.
If you like chicken meatballs, then try Chicken Parmesan Meatballs for more of an Italian flare.
I predict that once you try these, you’ll add them to your weekly rotation. I have to make a double batch every time either of the girls come home, one to eat for dinner and a batch for them to take home.
FAQ’s and recipe tips
Nothing will give you the unique Marsala flavor, but Madeira or red wine could be used instead. Marsala is a fortified wine so it will last in your pantry for a long time. Go ahead and pick up a bottle, you’ll need it for all the batches of chicken meatballs you’ll be making. You can also use it for chicken marsala and steak marsala.
These are so good, you will want to double the recipe. You will need a very large skillet or I just use two.
These meatballs freeze wonderfully. When reheating, add a little water or milk to the sauce to thin it. You can reheat in the microwave or oven.
If you can’t find ground chicken, ask at the meat counter and they can grind chicken breasts for you.
Since you don’t have the fat in chicken that you do with pork or beef meatballs, they can easily fall apart. To avoid this, let them cook without touching them for a few minutes. Once they have started to cook they will keep their shape and you can turn them to brown on all sides.
More chicken dinners you’ll love
- Filipino Chicken Adobo
- Chicken with dates
- Bourbon chicken sliders
- Coq au vin in the slow cooker
- Chicken taquitos with peaches
- Caprese chicken
- Chicken with sun dried tomatoes
- Chicken with a mustard sauce
- Prosciutto wrapped chicken
- Chicken galette
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Chicken Marsala Meatballs
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 onion minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup Marsala wine
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 ¼ cups chicken broth
- ¼ cup cream
- salt and pepepr
- egg noodles
- chives chopped, optional
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add half of the olive oil and butter and once melted, add onion with a sprinkle of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly.
- Add ground chicken to a bowl with panko, egg, 1 teaspoon of salt and several grinds of pepper. Add slightly cooled onions to the mixture and combine. Using a 2 tablespoon ice-cream scoop, scoop out the meatballs forming them with your hands if needed into round balls and place on a plate.
- Add the other half of the olive oil and butter to the pan over medium heat, and when hot, add the meatballs. Let them cook without moving them for a couple of minutes. Once they have started to cook, they will hold together and you can turn them so that all sides are brown. You can use a meat thermometer to check when they are done. (They will cook a little bit more at the end but if you’re going to nibble on them, cook to 160º) Remove to a clean plate.
- Add the Marsala wine to the pan and scrape up all the brown bits. Cook until it has cooked off. Add butter to the pan and when melted whisk in flour, stirring for about a minute, then slowly add the broth whisking the whole time. It should be slightly thick. Add cream and salt and pepper to taste and then add the meatballs back to the pan and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes until your meatballs are heated through.
- Cook egg noodles per package instructions, Drain and toss with a little butter. Serve with meatballs and sauce and some chives.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- When browning chicken meatballs, let them cook without touching them for a few minutes, so that they are browned completely on one side before turning.
- You can substitute Madeira or red wine for Marsala but it will not have the unique Marsala flavor. Marsala can be stored for a long time after opening in the pantry.
- This can easily be doubled, you will just need a very large skillet or two 10 inch skillet.
- Chicken meatballs freeze very well. When re-heating, add a little milk, chicken broth or even water to them to thin down the sauce which will have thickened while frozen.
If you make Chicken Marsala Meatballs, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! I would love to see your creation.