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Healthy Breakfast Meatballs

What do you get when you combine lean ground chicken with blueberries, sweet potato, oats, and maple syrup? Breakfast meatballs, of course! These little breakfast sausage balls are packed with protein and are perfect for pairing with fried or scrambled eggs, hash browns, or protein pancakes and waffles for an amazing healthy breakfast.

How to Make Breakfast Meatballs

You’ll find a complete recipe card at the bottom of this post. Between here and there you’ll find a visual recipe walkthrough with ingredient substitution notes and tips for alternative cooking methods like smoking and pan frying.

Ingredients for Breakfast Sausage Meatballs

grated sweet potato, rolled oats, dried blueberries, and breakfast sausage seasoning in a mixing bowl

You’ll only need six things:

  1. Ground Chicken or Turkey
  2. Dried OR Fresh Blueberries
  3. Grated Sweet Potato
  4. Rolled Oats
  5. Breakfast Sausage Seasoning
  6. Maple Syrup

I’ve included all the ingredients for the seasoning in the recipe card below, but you might want to make it in bulk to make things like chicken breakfast sausage patties and healthy sausage gravy.

I know not everyone has dried blueberries in the pantry, so I tested these breakfast meatballs with fresh blueberries as well. While the dried blueberries give you more sweetness and volume, fresh work just fine and provide really nice bites when you get a bursting blueberry. The fresh blueberries also reduce the overall calorie and carb content.

mixed ingredients in a bowl with ground chicken

For the meat, I used 97% lean ground chicken. You have to be careful not to overcook when using a leaner meat, as your breakfast meatballs will dry out quickly. If you’re okay with a little extra fat in your meatballs, I’d go with something like 92% lean ground chicken or turkey. The more fat in the meat, the more forgiving and moist your meatballs will be.

You also want to mix the meat and other ingredients with your hand once they’re in the bowl together. Mixing by hand prevents over mixing and turning the mixture into a paste.

meatball mixture before forming meatballs

You may also be wondering about the lack of egg. When it comes to making meatballs, eggs work as binding agents to hold everything together, not provide moisture. In the case of these breakfast meatballs, you don’t need an egg for binding. Everything should easily come together, and you should be able to form meatballs without any issues.

The Best Way to Cook Meatballs

In the recipe card below, you will find instructions for both air frying and baking. I think these are the two easiest methods for cooking meatballs, with air frying being my personal favorite. You get more browning with air frying as opposed to baking. It’s also easier to glaze meatballs in the air fryer by just popping open the lid for a few seconds.

maple glazed breakfast meatballs in an air fryer basket

If you’ve made my sweet chili air fryer meatballs, you’ll notice these breakfast meatballs don’t call for flipping and have a shorter cook time. Due to the difference in wet ingredients, these meatballs cook faster and don’t run the risk of browning too much on the bottom.

For two additional cook methods, check out my Traeger smoked chicken meatballs and pan fried firecracker meatballs. Just be careful not to burn the maple syrup using other cook methods.

smoked bbq chicken meatballs beside firecracker chicken meatballs
Smoked BBQ Meatballs and Pan Fried Meatballs

Pan frying is right up there with air frying in terms of browning, though you do add a few calories from the frying oil. And smoking is maybe the most unique, adding the smoky flavor that would go perfectly with these breakfast meatballs and is mostly impossible to replicate.

If you have any questions about how to cook your meatballs, drop them in the comments at the bottom of the post.

What to Serve with Breakfast Meatballs

Treat them like sausage patties and links, bacon, or other breakfast protein options. They’re the perfect accompaniment to eggs cooked any way. While the sausage meatballs have some carbs from the non-chicken ingredients, you should still have plenty of room for other breakfast fixin’s like grits, fresh fruit, or air fryer breakfast potatoes. Or you could go with something like these keto buttermilk biscuits to keep the carbs in check.

3 breakfast meatballs with fresh blueberries on a green plate with 2 fried eggs, hash browns, and maple syrup

And if you have a weekend or off-day coming and want a full spread, my 3-ingredient protein pancakes would be a great option.

I can’t wait to see what you come up with. Snap a pic of your breakfast meatballs and tag me on social media wherever you’re at. Or come back and let me know what you thought about the recipe in a recipe review!

Breakfast Meatballs

Breakfast Meatballs

Yield: 12 Meatballs
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Maple glazed ground chicken breakfast sausage meatballs stuffed with sweet potato, blueberries, and oats.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Ground Chicken or Turkey
  • 2 oz Sweet Potato, peeled and grated
  • 2 oz Dried OR Fresh Blueberries
  • 1/4 cup (20g) Rolled Oats
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) Maple Syrup

For the Seasoning

  • 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Rubbed Sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon Allspice

Instructions

  1. Mix the seasoning blend together in a large bowl. Add the grated sweet potato, blueberries, and oats to the bowl and mix everything together.
  2. Add the ground chicken and mix everything together, forming a large ball.
  3. Divide the mixture into 12 meatballs weighing about 53 grams each. Place the meatballs in an air fryer basket or on a parchment lined sheet pan.
  4. For the air fryer*, cook the meatballs at 400ºF for 10-12 minutes until they reach an internal temperature of 140ºF to 150ºF. Brush with the maple syrup and air fry an additional 2-3 minutes until the meatballs are 165ºF inside. For the oven, bake at 400ºF for 15 minutes before brushing the maple syrup on and baking an additional 3-5 minutes. Check the internal temperature and be careful not to overcook.
  5. Serve with fried eggs, hash browns, or your choice of breakfast fare.

Notes

*I used a 6.5-quart Ninja Foodi for air frying. Every air fryer is different so check internal temperatures early and often to avoid over cooking.

Nutritions facts are with 97% lean ground chicken and dried blueberries. With fresh blueberries, each breakfast meatball has 70 calories and 7g of carbs.

Each meatball has 2 WW SmartPoints (blue) with dried blueberries and 1 WW SmartPoint (blue) with fresh blueberries.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 Meatball
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 85Total Fat: 1gCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 9g

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