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Chicken Parmesan Meatballs with Polenta

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs with Polenta

My teenage son got a job and is working in the evenings several days a week. I like to feed him something before he goes to work if I can, so I have been trying to make more quick dinners. If you have been following my blog for very long, you know I love a big complicated cooking project that takes half the day 🙂 I am finding I also sometimes love a quick dinner that only takes me 30 minutes.

This recipe is as easy as it sounds. Make some flavorful meatballs, a quick tomato sauce or use jarred like I often do, serve with some polenta and top with cheese. Yum! You can use ground chicken or ground chicken breast for these meatballs. I actually had a package of ground turkey breast in my freezer, so I used that. If you use lean ground meat like chicken or turkey breast, the meatballs can get dry. You can combat this by adding some extra bread crumbs and liquid to the meat mix to keep it moist, as well as by not compressing the meat too much. If you use ground chicken or turkey, not as much of an issue.

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

For this dish I made a simple tomato sauce with crushed tomatoes, garlic, onions, red pepper flakes, garlic and onion powder, a pinch of sugar, grated parm and dried Italian seasoning.

I had some quick cooking polenta so made that according to the package instructions, and I topped each bowl with some shredded mozzarella and grated parmesan. This meal was easy and delicious!


Chicken Parmesan Meatballs with Polenta

garlic and parmesan meatballs in tomato sauce over polenta
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Chicken, Main Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings


For the meatballs:

  • 3/4 cup italian seasoned bread crumbs 1/2 cup if not using ground turkey breast or chicken breast
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup grated parm
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp italian seasoning
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 lb ground turkey or chicken or turkey breast or chicken breast
  • 2 tbsp oil

For the sauce:

  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp italian seasoning
  • pinch sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated parm

For serving:

  • cooked polenta prepared according to package
  • shredded mozzarella and grated parm for topping


For the meatballs:

  • Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix gently. You do not want to compress or overwork the meat. Form into whatever size meatballs you like. I did mine about 1 inch across.
  • Heat the oil in a deep skillet and fry the meatballs on all sides until golden brown. Remove to a plate. You don't need them fully cooked as you will add them to the sauce to finish cooking.

For the sauce:

  • Add a tbsp of oil to the same skillet. Add the garlic and onions and cook over medium heat, stirring so they don't burn for about 2 minutes. Add the sauce ingredients and allow to come to a simmer. Taste and adjust the salt and seasonings. Add the meatballs back in, reduce heat to low and cover the skillet and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes. This not only cooks the meatballs through but it allows all the flavors of the sauce to come together.

To finish:

  • While the meatballs are cooking, make the polenta. The polenta for this dish should have a creamy consistency. When it is ready, spoon into bowls and top with the meatballs and sauce. Add some shredded cheese and serve grated parm on the side at the table.
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