Smart Chicken Meatball Appetizers With Marinara Sauce

Not only are these Smart Chicken meatballs incredibly delicious, they are healthier for you than the beef meatballs. You can also add them to your favorite spaghetti sauce or even make meatball subs by placing them in hoagie buns and topping with Marinara sauce and some provolone cheese.

For the Meatballs:

1 1/2 pounds ground Smart Chicken

1 Tablespoon grill seasoning blend (I like Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick)

1 large egg

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs

Handful of chopped parsley leaves

Extra-virgin olive oil, for serious drizzling

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place ground Smart Chicken in a bowl and season with grill seasoning. Add egg, garlic, cheese, bread crumbs, parsley, and a serious drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil to the bowl. Mix the meat and with a small or medium cookie scoop form meatballs. Place on cookie sheet and bake meatballs approximately 12-15 minutes until golden and firm. Makes approximately 20-24 meatballs.

Simple Marinara Sauce:

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more if you like the heat, optional

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 small onion, diced

1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, (I like San Marzano tomatoes when I can find them)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Pinch grated nutmeg

8 to 10 leaves fresh basil, torn or shredded

  • While your meatballs are baking, heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 or 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and garlic and cook 5 minutes then remove the cloves. Add crushed red pepper flakes, if using, and Italian seasoning, then the crushed tomatoes. Season the sauce with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add in the basil.
  • Simmer about 10 minutes, adjust seasonings. Remove the meatballs from oven and loosen with a thin spatula. Spoon meatballs and sauce into your crockpot and serve.

Note: If sauce tastes too acidic for your taste, add unsalted butter a tablespoon at a time to round out the flavors.