Flavor-filled and oh so saucy, you’ll love these Chicken Piccata Meatballs! They’re extra tender and loaded with big flavor. We can’t forget about the lip-smacking lemon butter pan sauce that accompanies these meatballs, whew. Such a staple when it comes to easy weeknight meals and it’s sure to be a chicken dinner winner!

chicken piccata meatballs in large yellow skillet

We’re diving into yet another weeknight stunner this week, peeps! I’ve been having a moment with meatballs lately, they’re such a favorite. I’d say some sort of meatball recipe gets made at least a few times a month in my home. To me, meatballs are typically effortless and always seem to hit the spot. These new chicken piccata meatballs are so dang good, I can’t get enough!

Chicken piccata, with an Italian-based origin, is a classic dish with chicken breasts, lemon juice, and capers being at the forefront. This recipe takes all the main components of signature chicken piccata but with a meatball-y twist.

Saucy Chicken Piccata Meatballs 😛

These meatballs are so tender and light and packed with heaps of flavor as well. Bright pops of zippy lemon notes are abundant here, of course. The capers add a briny/salty punch that really adds great contrast. The chicken meatballs swim in a rich lemon butter pan sauce that soaks beautifully into them, yum.

⇢ More recipes: jerk meatballs in coconut curry, creamy lemon butter ravioli, one-pan spinach artichoke chicken, my blackened salmon with mango salsa, saucy sausage kale pasta, and this filipino chicken adobo– so very good! ♡

chicken piccata meatballs with mashed potatoes and green beans on white plate with wine being poured into glass on the side

Ingredients You’ll Need For The Recipe

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card directly below.)

  • Ground chicken: Can’t make chicken piccata without chicken- if you can’t find ground chicken, ground turkey will work in a pinch!
  • An egg: Just one to help bind these chicken meatballs together.
  • Garlic: Big, bold garlicky notes throughout this dish, yasss.
  • Parsley: Use freshly chopped parsley for that fresh, herby flavor.
  • Ricotta cheese: Just a little to ensure nice moisture in the meatballs.
  • Parmesan cheese: Nutty parmesan for cheesy dreaminess, check.
  • Breadcrumbs: I use panko breadcrumbs; these help to bind the meatballs.
  • Seasonings: Basics like salt/pepper, smoked paprika, and red pepper flakes.
  • Olive oil: To sear/brown the chicken meatballs.

…& Items For The Pan Sauce

  • Butter: Nothing like a slick, buttery sauce, #butterbeready! 🧈
  • Shallot: Kinda like an onion but has a more delicate and sweeter flavor.
  • Garlic: Yup, garlic in the meatballs and in the sauce, delish.
  • Flour: Just a touch to help thicken the pan sauce. For gluten-free needs, feel free to use gluten-free 1:1 baking flour or arrowroot flour.
  • Chicken broth: To provide sauciness and deepen the chicken flavor.
  • Lemon Juice: Big lemony flavor all over, freshly squeezed is best.
  • Capers: These briny and salty little buds are crucial to chicken piccata.
ingredients for chicken piccata meatballs laid out on beige surface

Making Chicken Piccata Meatballs

(Note: please see the recipe card directly below for the complete written instructions.)

  1. Mix all (but 1) ingredients: In a large bowl, lightly beat the egg with a whisk. Then add in the garlic, parsley, ricotta + parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, and seasonings. Stir everything together to fully combine.
  2. Add in the ground chicken: Lastly, add in the ground chicken and use a rubber spatula to bring the meatball mixture together until just combined.
  3. Scoop & roll. Shape the chicken meatball mixture by rolling into balls.
  4. Brown ’em: Heat oil in a skillet and work in batches to sear the meatballs. After browning all the meatballs, set them aside.
  5. Prep the sauce: Melt the butter, sauté the shallot, and add in the garlic. Sprinkle flour over the mixture and stir. Slowly add in the broth and then the lemon juice followed by the capers, stirring to combine. Reduce the heat and let the sauce come up to a simmer.
  6. Bring it all together: Add the browned meatballs back into the skillet, gently toss with the sauce to combine. Let the meatballs cook with the sauce to finish and meld together for 10-15 minutes more.
  7. Serve the chicken piccata meatballs immediately. Enjoy!

Tips + Tricks For Meatball Handling

  • DON’T OVER MIX. In order to prevent tough meatballs, don’t over mix. After adding in the ground chicken, mix the meat and other ingredients only until the mixture begins to come together, then stop mixing.
  • MOIST HANDS. I find it helpful to dampen my hands with a bit of water while rolling these meatballs. This will prevent the meatball mixture from sticking to your hands while you shape/roll the mixture into balls. Keep a little bowl of water next to you while rolling, and wet your palms, as needed.

⇢ While I do love me a good beef/pork meatball, these chicken meatballs are so dreamy. Just like I mentioned earlier, they’re so tender and absorb the pan sauce so well. You’ve got chicken piccata without any dredging, ha!

Notes & FAQs About This Recipe

You may have additional questions about these chicken piccata meatballs. Like other BBR recipes, I always advise sticking to the recipe as it is written in the recipe card directly below. However, here’s some extra info:

  • Can I use x, y, z type of meat? These are chicken piccata meatballs, y’all. However, if you can’t access ground chicken, ground turkey is a good sub.
  • What binds these meatballs? The panko breadcrumbs and the egg are the elements that bind these meatballs together to hold their shape.
  • Ricotta alternative? The touch of ricotta here is for moisture, swoon. Feel free to use sour cream/plain Greek yogurt (whole milk) in place of.
  • A note on parsley. Fresh herbs in these chicken piccata meatballs are chef’s kiss. If you’re not a fan of parsley, swap for fresh basil or tarragon maybe.
  • I don’t like capers. Say what now? 🤔…I kid, I kid. Real talk, if you’re not a fan of capers, use green olives. I’d go for a green olive like castelvetrano olives that mimic the salty/briny vibe of capers- just chop them up. Or omit altogether!
closeup of chicken piccata meatballs in skillet

Why This Chicken Meatball Recipe Works

Here’s why you’ll love these chicken piccata meatballs, friends:

  1. Low-effort, high-reward…I know you enjoy an easy-to-make meal; reader stats tell me this lol. Well, that’s what we have here. A dish that can be easily made on weeknights when all is busy in your life and you want a quick, but homemade dinner. While these chicken piccata meatballs are easy, there’s no compromise. A true low-effort dish with a high-reward! 😏
  2. Hello flavorrr…When you think of quick + easy recipes, you might assume the flavor profile of said recipe will lack. Nahhh, there’s a whole lotta flavor-filled depth here, boo. Juicy, tender meatballs coated with a mouthwatering lemon butter sauce. The flavors are not lacking in the least.
  3. Leftover or make-ahead stunner…One of my favorite things about this recipe is how well the leftovers hold up. They truly reheat like a boss (just as good as same-day!). If you need to feed a crowd, this recipe can easily be scaled up (doubled/tripled). This is perfect for parties, events, and all else.
  4. So versatile…What to do with your chicken piccata meatballs? My goodness, the pairings and options are plenty. More on that, below.
black hand taking with gold fork piercing into chicken piccata meatball on white plate

What To Serve With Chicken Piccata Meatballs?

Gahhh, my favorite part! These meatballs pair so nicely with many things:

  • Mashed potatoes, mashed cauliflower, couscous, quinoa
  • Pasta: bucatini, spaghetti, wide egg noodles, zoodles (zucchini noodles)
  • Veggies: broccoli, green beans, asparagus, brussels sprouts
  • Brown rice, white rice, cauliflower rice, fried rice w/ veggies

Make-Ahead Meatball Prep?

Yup! Make the meatball recipe as written (up until searing them), and then cover the shaped meatballs tightly with a sheet of foil. These prepped meatballs can be stored for up to 1 day in the refrigerator. This is a great way for the meatballs to be made in advance, giving you less steps on the day-of serving. Plus, the meatballs will develop more flavor from sitting, too!

How To Store, Freeze, & Reheat Meatballs

If you don’t want to make all the chicken meatballs at one time, freeze a portion of the raw meatballs. Uncooked meatballs will keep for about 2 months in the freezer- thaw in the refrigerator overnight and proceed with the recipe.

You can store any leftover chicken piccata meatballs (in an airtight container) in the refrigerator, they’ll keep for 3-4 days. Otherwise, freeze the completed recipe and it’ll keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.

When ready, let the cooked recipe thaw in the refrigerator overnight (if previously frozen). Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop over medium-low heat until warmed through. You may need to add a splash of extra broth, as needed, to help loosen the sauce because it does thicken as it sits.

chicken piccata meatballs with mashed potatoes and green beans on white plates

Cannot recommend these Chicken Piccata Meatballs enough, y’all! They’re simply scrumptious and a must-make. Be sure to tag @butterbeready in your BBR recipe creations, I sure love to see it when you do. Until next time! 🤟🏾

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chicken piccata meatballs in large yellow skillet

Saucy Chicken Piccata Meatballs

  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 15m
  • Cook Time: 30m
  • Total Time: 45m
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Dishes
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian American

Description

Flavor-filled and oh so saucy, you’ll love these Chicken Piccata Meatballs! They’re extra tender and loaded with big flavor. We can’t forget about the lip-smacking lemon butter pan sauce that accompanies these meatballs, whew. Such a staple when it comes to easy weeknight meals and it’s sure to be a chicken dinner winner!


Ingredients

Scale

For the meatballs:

  • 1 large egg
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs, plain or seasoned
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 12 tablespoons olive oil

For the pan sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons capers, plus more to preference

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, crack open the egg and lightly beat. Then add in the garlic, parsley, ricotta and parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, and salt/pepper- to taste. Stir everything together until combined. 
  2. Lastly, add the ground chicken in and use a rubber spatula or a fork to bring the meatball mixture together until just combined- careful not to over work the meat mixture to prevent tough meatballs. 
  3. Set aside a parchment paper-lined baking sheet or large plate/platter. Use a medium spring-loaded scooper to scoop each individual meatball. Then roll the meatball in the palm of your hands just until the shape comes together. Place the meatball onto the prepped baking sheet or large plate/platter and repeat this process until all meatballs are shaped, you should end up with about 20 meatballs.
  4. In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, warm up the oil. Once the oil is shimmering, gently swirl the skillet to evenly coat the bottom. Add the meatballs into the skillet, careful not to overcrowd the skillet, work in batches (I usually fit about 10 meatballs in).
  5. Sear the meatballs for 5-6 minutes, turning them to brown on all sides for even cooking. The meatballs will not be fully cooked but will finish in the pan sauce later, use a slotted utensil to set the browned meatballs aside. Repeat the process with remaining half of meatballs, adding the other tablespoon of oil into the skillet, only as needed.
  6. With all browned meatballs set aside, add the butter into the skillet. Once melted through add in the shallot and cook, stirring often, until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Then add in the garlic and continue cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute. Sprinkle the flour on top of the mixture and stir together to coat until the flour dissolves, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. 
  7. Then slowly stream in the broth with one hand, while stirring constantly with your other hand. Then add in the lemon juice and capers, stirring to combine. Let the sauce come up to a simmer.
  8. Reduce heat to the lowest setting, add in all the browned meatballs, and gently toss to coat with sauce. Let the meatballs continue cooking with pan sauce for 10-15 minutes, gently swirling the skillet every few minutes. The sauce will thicken nicely and the meatballs will finish off and meld with the pan sauce. Then remove from heat. Serve these chicken piccata meatballs immediately with a garnish of fresh chopped parsley, and alongside your favorite sides, if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. The pan sauce thickens a bit as it sits, feel free to use an extra splash of broth to help loosen the dish when reheating, as needed.
  2. Please read the blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.

Keywords: meatballs, chicken piccata, chicken piccata meatballs, chicken dinner, chicken meatballs, easy chicken recipe