These easy Baked Chicken Meatballs are juicy and flavorful with sauteéd shallot, garlic and healing spices. Served over creamy spiced coconut rice with baby spinach for comforting, healthy meal in just 30 minutes. Dairy-free and perfect for meal prep!
How to make the best oven-baked chicken meatballs
I love cooking meatballs in the oven. It’s so much easier and cleaner than pan-frying, especially for low fat proteins which have a tendency to fall apart in the pan. For this recipe, you can use ground chicken or ground turkey. Whichever you choose, aim for something with about at least a 7% fat content. This will ensure the meatballs don’t dry out in the oven.
To make these Baked Chicken Meatballs, start by sautéing a shallot, a few garlic cloves and spices in olive oil. Cooking the aromatics before adding them to the meat mixture helps unlock their flavor.
Once the aromatics are cooked, transfer half to a large mixing bowl. The other half that’s left in the pan will become the base for the rice later on.
Add in some fresh chopped cilantro, panko breadcrumbs and a generous amount of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle a little olive oil on your hands and form the mixture into balls.
Bake the meatballs on a sheet pan until they’re golden brown and no longer pink in the center. You can also air fry the meatballs! See the recipe card at the end of the page for air fryer instructions.
My favorite creamy golden rice
While the meatballs bake, return to the stove where you left half of the sautéed shallot mixture in the pan. Bring the heat back up and add in the basmati rice. Toast for a couple minutes before pouring in low-sodium chicken stock, full-fat coconut milk and seasoning with kosher salt. Bring everything up to a boil, cover with a tight-fitting lid and reduce the heat to low.
Cook the rice for about 15 minutes or so, until almost all of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. It’s okay if you slightly overcook the rice. We’re going for more of a creamy, porridge consistency as opposed to fluffy grains.
If the rice looks a little dry or undercooked, simply add more chicken stock until it becomes tender and creamy. Turn off the heat, stir in the some chopped baby spinach and allow it to wilt into the rice. Remember to taste the rice, it will probably need more salt!
Serve up the creamy golden rice in shallow bowls with a few chicken meatballs. Garnish with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to really make the flavors pop. I highly recommend a pinch of flaky sea salt if you’re feeling fancy.
If you end up with leftovers, these Baked Chicken Meatballs taste delicious the next day! Everything should last in the fridge for about 4-5 days when sealed in an airtight container. To reheat, I like to place the meatballs and rice in a microwave safe dish covered with a wet paper towel. Microwave at 70% power on 30 second increments until heated through.
Add another squeeze of lemon juice and some chopped cilantro and you won’t even be able to tell you’re eating leftovers!
More easy dinner recipes
- Sheet Pan Chicken Burrito Bowls
- One Pot Tuscan Pasta
- Lemon Risotto with Herb Roasted Chickpeas
- Miso Blackened Salmon
- Harissa Meatballs with Fregola and Lemong Yogurt