Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Parm Meatballs

At all times, I have at least 3 varieties of mozzarella in my fridge. Bocconcini, shredded, sliced, mozzarella di bufala… it’s all got its place in my heart and in my meals (especially since I learned how to make my own fresh mozzarella). I could –and would– eat mozzarella in everything, but I try to save it for dishes where it will really shine.

You know, like Mozzarella-Stuffed Chicken Parm Meatballs.

I bought ciliegine (bite sized mozzarella balls) a week or so ago, thinking I would use them in a recipe that never wound up happening. I don’t believe in wasting food, so I had to come up with something quick when I realized that my precious (think Gollum from the Lord of the Rings– I’m serious about my cheese) mozzarella would probably be going bad if I didn’t use it up soon.

The horror. I couldn’t allow it.

It didn’t take me long to come up with meatballs stuffed with mozzarella, but I was thinking I’d make my typical Italian meatballs until my mom requested that I make them using ground chicken or turkey.

Ground chicken, mozzarella cheese, and red sauce? Chicken Parm Meatballs all the way.

So I made a chicken-based meatball mixture with some Italian herbs and breadcrumbs, stuffed in the mozzarella balls, rolled them in flour, pan fried them, and finished them off in the oven. Then I topped them with warm red sauce and some fresh basil, and served them hot.

They’d also be great over pasta, if you’d like to make a full meal of them! I thought about making some pasta to go with mine, but they got picked off before I could bring the pot of water to a boil.

I also think these would make great appetizers for a party! Two of my favorite apps are mozzarella sticks and cocktail meatballs, and these Mozzarella-Stuffed Chicken Parm Meatballs are like the love child of them both. It doesn’t get much better.

Try them out and let me know what you think in the comments!

INGREDIENTS
1 lb ground chicken
2 large eggs
⅓ cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
⅓ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Bite-sized mozzarella balls (I used ciliegine)
½ cup flour
Olive oil, for pan frying
Tomato sauce, to top
Fresh basil, to garnish
DIRECTIONS
In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, eggs, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, salt, pepper, basil, oregano, parsley, and garlic powder. Mix until well combined.
Shape the meatball mixture into small balls, and then press a ball of mozzarella into each. Reseal the meatball mixture around the mozzarella, making sure to cover it completely. You don't want any mozzarella to be visible, or it will ooze out while you cook the meatballs.
Once all of the meatballs have been stuffed, roll them in the flour., one at a time, to coat. Shake off any excess and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high.
Once the oil has warmed, add in half of the meatballs and cook until browned, turning often.
Once the meatballs brown, remove them from the skillet and add your second batch of meatballs.
When those meatballs have also browned, remove them from heat and transfer all of the browned meatballs into a baking dish sprayed with nonstick spray (or, if your skillet is oven safe, simply transfer that into the oven). Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes.
While the meatballs cook, heat up your sauce in a small saucepan.
When the meatballs are finished, spoon warm tomato sauce over the tops, garnish with basil, and serve.

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