Whether you need a healthy appetizer for your next hootenanny or a high protein meal prep recipe, these bbq ground chicken meatballs would be a worthy addition to your repertoire. Each meatball has 9 grams of protein with only 5 grams of carbs and 95 calories. It’s a simple recipe and can easily be doubled, tripled, or dare I say, sextupled to make a beaucoup of chicken meatballs in bulk. But enough math for now, let’s get to the good stuff.
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BBQ Chicken Meatballs Recipe Walkthrough
I’ve included a visual recipe walkthrough below with a few extra tips and ingredient notes. If you’re a meatball making master, you can hit the jump to recipe button above if you haven’t already. In case you have a recipe question I don’t cover anywhere in the post, drop a comment at the bottom of the post.
Mix ground chicken, shredded parmesan, breadcrumbs, smoked paprika, garlic powder, cumin, bbq sauce, and one large egg together.
These chicken meatballs draw inspiration from the seasoning blend of my pulled bbq chicken thighs, with a smoky and earthy flavor profile that goes perfectly with Trader Joe’s sriracha garlic bbq sauce. If you’re using another bbq sauce, you can always add a little sriracha if you’d like. I’d add about a tablespoon with the same amount of bbq sauce the recipe calls for.
As for the ground chicken, the recipe calls for 92% lean. You could go leaner or even use a lean ground turkey instead, but you’ll lose a bit of the tenderness and moisture. So if you’re okay with the 4 grams of fat per meatball, I’d stick with the 92% lean.
Form 12 chicken meatballs weighing about 50 grams each.
A food scale makes life so much easier. I make perfectly even meatballs by placing the bowl on a food scale, picking up the entire meat mixture and pressing “tare” to zero out the scale, placing the meat mixture down to see its total weight, and dividing by the number of meatballs I’m planning to make. If your meat mixture weighs 600 grams, for instance, 12 meatballs should weigh 50 grams each.
You can also eyeball each meatball to make them pretty even and everything will be just fine.
Bake in a 400ºF oven for 18-20 minutes until fully cooked before glazing the chicken meatballs with more BBQ sauce.
The recipe calls for brushing OR tossing the entire meatball in the sauce. I’m a fan of the latter because you may have some rendered fat around the chicken meatballs that gets mixed into the sauce and makes an ultra-sticky glaze once baked again.
Bake for an additional 5 minutes and serve!
You’re looking for the bbq sauce to thicken and form a sticky glaze on the exterior of the meatballs. You can top with sesame seeds like in the photos here to serve with rice or as an appetizer, or you can leave them plain to go with other dishes. I’ve included some meatball pairing ideas below.
Healthy Chicken Meatballs Pairing Ideas
Potatoes are always a great idea. You could make do potatoes and meatballs together like my Greek chicken meatballs and potatoes. I’d toss a pound and a half of quartered baby gold potatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper before baking in a 450ºF oven for 25 minutes. Then add the meatballs and finish them off.
Mashed potatoes or cauliflower mashed potatoes would also be great. Or you could take it up a notch with something like my air fryer twice baked potatoes, citrusy garlic green beans, air fryer roasted carrots and potatoes, or garlic parmesan keto potatoes (aka roasted radishes).
However you end up serving your bbq meatballs, I’d love to hear about it. Recipe reviews are always appreciated and the perfect place to let me know what you did with your chicken meatball masterpiece. Hope you enjoy!
- 1 lb Ground Chicken (92/8)
- 1/4 C (30g) Breadcrumbs
- 1/4 C (30g) Shredded Parmesan
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 tsp Cumin
- 1 large Egg
- 2 Tbsp (36g) Trader Joe's Sriracha and Roasted Garlic BBQ Sauce (or your choice of BBQ sauce)
- 1/4 C (72g) Trader Joe's Sriracha and Roasted Garlic BBQ Sauce
- Preheat oven to 400ºF and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Mix all the ingredients except the 1/4 cup of bbq sauce for glazing together in a large bowl. Divide the mixture into 12 50-gram meatballs and place on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the meatballs are fully cooked (165ºF internal temperature).
- Glaze the cooked meatballs by either brushing the remaining sauce on top or placing the sauce in a large bowl and tossing the entire meatball in the sauce. Place back on the baking sheet and bake for an additional 3-5 minutes.
Each chicken meatball has 3 WW SmartPoints (blue).
Air Fryer, Stovetop, and Smoker Prep
If you wanted to make these in the air fryer or make a sweet chili version, check out my air fryer meatballs recipe. For a stovetop version, check out my pan fried firecracker chicken meatballs. And if you have a smoker, my Traeger smoked chicken meatballs.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Meatballs Serving Size: 1 Meatball
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 95Total Fat: 4gCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 9g