NOT YOUR MAMA’S KITCHEN: Soggy breading no more

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First Posted: 3/25/2013

Chicken parmesan is definitely a staple on most dinner tables, and, as wonderful as the dish is, I have a slight problem with the sauce causing super soggy breading on the chicken. I love the taste, but that texture throws me off a bit, so I was delighted when I found a recipe for chicken parm meatballs.

Not only does it put a little twist on a classic dish, it’s also incredibly easy and the perfect thing if you’re throwing a party and need to hammer out a good amount of eats in a short amount of time.

I say “easy” because you’re pretty much chucking ingredients into a bowl, mixing, forming balls, and baking.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Put ground chicken, breadcrumbs, chopped onion and parsley, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, minced garlic, fennel seeds, an egg, and half a lemon into a bowl. You can forego the fennel seeds if you wish, like I did.

Gently mix all these ingredients together until completely combined, and don’t be afraid to get a little messy. My grandmother always taught me that hands were the best mixers in a case like this, so dig right in.

Shape the mixture into balls that are a bit smaller than a tennis ball and place these two inches apart from one another on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Once all the balls are rolled, mix pizza sauce and olive oil in a small bowl. Brush this mixture on top of each meatball. (I went nuts and put a lot on each, so don’t be afraid to do that.) Put it in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

Remove the tray from the oven and brush some more sauce on the top again, then top each one with a slice of mozzarella. Broil them until the cheese is golden brown, about three minutes.

Serve each meatball with a side of sauce and enjoy, soggy breading free.

Chicken Parm Meatballs

(Courtesy of

Yields a dozen meatballs


1 1/4 pounds ground chicken

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons chopped onion

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

salt to taste

pepper to taste

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 egg, whisked

zest of half a lemon

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 14-ounce can pizza sauce

A dozen thin slices of fresh mozzarella


Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, gently mix together the first 11 ingredients.

Shape into balls that are slightly smaller than a tennis ball and line them up on a foil-lined baking sheet about two inches apart from each other.

In a small bowl, mix one spoonful of pizza sauce with olive oil and brush mixture on top of each meatball.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Remove the meatballs from the oven and put some sauce on top of each, then cover with a slice of cheese. Broil until cheese is golden brown, another 3 minutes.

Serve with a side of pizza sauce mixture.