Everyone's favorite recipe from my website felt like it needed a moment in print. These meatballs are everything you love about chicken Parm but in smaller bite-size form. They're moist, flavorful, quick to come together, and delicious whether you're tossing them with pasta or tucking them into a sub. You can stretch them all week as multi-purpose leftovers, and they even freeze well. What can I say? It's truly one of my favorite recipes of all time.
Technique Tip: Cooking these in a cast-iron pan will give you the best sear around the meatballs.
Swap Option: Any ground meat will work —chicken, turkey, beef, etc.!
For the basil vinaigrette:
In a blender, puree the shallot, basil, garlic, crushed red pepper, oil, vinegar, and salt for 1 minute, until very smooth. Season with salt and black pepper and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
For the meatballs:1.
In a large bowl, combine the chicken, Parmesan, breadcrumbs, egg, salt, pepper, oregano, parsley and crushed red pepper. Carefully combine everything with your hands until the ingredients are evenly mixed.2.
Form the ground chicken mixture into small meatballs, each the size of a golf ball. Insert a small bocconcini ball into the center of each meatball, taking care to reform the meatball around the cheese once it's been inserted. The mozzarella should be completely hidden from sight. Dredge each meatball in the flour to lightly coat and gently tap off any excess flour.3.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.4.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add half of the meatballs and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, turning every so often to brown the outside. Once the meatballs are browned, remove them to a plate lined with a paper towel and repeat the process with the remaining meatballs. Once all meatballs are browned, drain off any excess oil, add the tomato sauce to the skillet, and place the browned meatballs on top of the sauce. Transfer the skillet, meatballs and all, into the oven and let the meatballs continue to bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until cooked through.5.
Remove the skillet from the oven and season with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of basil vinaigrette, and finish with fresh basil and freshly grated Parmesan if desired. Serve immediately.