Rustic Chicken Piccata Meatballs
A new twist on the traditional chicken piccata! These chicken piccata meatballs are made with ground chicken and nuzzled in a rich lemon butter sauce. Serve it over pasta, quinoa, or with crusty bread on the side.
Oh sweet golden glory!
Chicken piccata meatballs are a REAL thing. They’re tender, seared chicken meatballs rolling around in a creamy, buttery lemon sauce speckled with capers and sprinkled with parsley to finish. The garlic is there. The meatballs are melt-in-your-mouth delicious. But for real though, that sauce. There may have been a moment (or two) of weakness where I slurped it with a spoon, straight from the skillet because it’s LEMON BUTTER sauce, and it’s so gosh darn good. But then there was also a moment when I went in with a wedge of crust bread. 🤷🏻♀️
Can you tell I’m still trying to cling to the last of winter comfort food while progressively venturing into springtime flavors? Is it blatantly obvious, I can’t make up my mind at this point? These chicken piccata meatballs are exactly that. Bright, beautiful flavors that are balanced.
Warm and comforting like a hearty winter meal should be.
Chicken Piccata Meatballs Video:
Holy guacamole! I’ve shared a ton of meatball recipes with you guys over the last 4 years. And I have to say, you guys have a place in your heart for chicken meatballs the way I do. Especially the firecracker meatballs! They’re always popular around Super Bowl time! A little sumthin’ for winter (try the Swedish meatballs) and then some for spring, like these chicken piccata meatballs. Before you know it, there’s a meatball recipe for every month out of the year.
And these are extra special because I can serve them over egg noodles for when I want a real weekend treat or with a side salad for days when I’m watching the carbs. And wasn’t there something called a ‘zoodle’ not too long ago? Are they out? Because that was quick. I mean, just five minutes ago errrrbody was getting a spiralizer and then all of a sudden the internet decided they didn’t make the cut this year.
The base for today’s chicken piccata meatball recipe is my go-to chicken meatball recipe I’ve been using for years. I’ll tweak it a little here and there to suit the flavors in the sauce.
What do you need to make chicken piccata meatballs?
- ground chicken (or turkey)
- panko breadcrumbs
- parmesan cheese (yas!)
- an egg
- garlic (because we heart it)
TIP: combine everything but the meat in a bowl first so you can ensure even mixing without overworking the meat. Once you add the meat, mix until it’s just combined. This way, you always end up with a tender meatball. When you overwork the meat, you almost always end up with dry meatballs. And I’ll be honest, there are times I throw it all in a bowl and call it a day too, but I almost always end up regretting it. The texture is so much better when you take an extra minute to do it right.
How to portion the chicken meatballs:
Once you’ve made the meatball mixture, just divide them into 20-22 portions. I use a medium cookie scoop so that all the meatballs are the same size. This also cuts out the guesswork because they cook in the same amount of time. We’ll sear them in a hot skillet, so they develop color. Then, we’ll let them finish cooking in the piccata sauce. This allows them to soak up all that lemon butter flavor.
What do you need for the sauce for chicken piccata meatballs?
- chicken stock (or broth)
- all-purpose flour
- lemon juice
- minced garlic
- knob of butter
Why do we use flour in the sauce for chicken piccata meatballs?
We’re using just a tiny bit so we can cut back on the butter a little. Normally to thicken the amount of chicken broth we’re using, you’d need way more than three tablespoons for butter. And those of us that are still hitting the treadmill hard need to save those butter calories for other things like peanut butter stuffed dates! Gah. It’s a gloopy-gloppy addiction. You have to try it.
And basically, what I’m trying to get at is that chicken piccata meatballs are the new way to eat chicken piccata. Listen, I don’t know about you, but I’ve always hated dredging chicken cutlets in flour.
- because who has the time to make cutlets
- because I hate dredging things in flour
So if you fall into one or both of those categories, as I do, my friend, these chicken piccata meatballs are for you.
Seared tender meatballs in golden sunshine sauce.
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup chopped parsley (plus more)
- 1 1/4 pounds ground chicken (or turkey)
- 1 teaspoon salt + 1/2 teaspoon pepp
- 4 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (scant)
- 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup capers (plus 2 tsp caper brine)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- MEATBALLS: In a medium bowl, using a fork, mix together all the ingredients except the ground chicken. When the ingredients are combined, add the ground chicken and mix until *just* combined. Just be sure you don't overwork the meat. Roll into 20-22 meatballs using a cookie scoop (affiliate link) or about 1 1/2 tablespoons each.
- SEAR: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle in a little oil. Add the meatballs to the skillet but do not overcrowd. Cook in batches if they don't all fit. Sear the meatballs for 4-5 minutes, flipping to brown all sides evenly. We'll finish cooking the meatballs through in the sauce later. Remove meatballs to a plate.
- SAUCE: Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet along with the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the flour and whisk. Once the flour cooks for 30 seconds, slowly drizzle in the chicken broth with one hand while you continue to whisk with the other hand. Add the caper brine, capers, lemon juice, and allow the sauce to gain a simmer. Then add the meatballs reduce the heat to medium and let thicken, about 5-7 minutes. Lower the heat to low, add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and allow them to slowly melt into the sauce as you stir. The butter will help thicken the sauce further. Serve with additional chopped parsley on top if desired.
- The sauce will thicken as it sits so I'd advise keeping a little additional broth on hand if you don't plan on serving this right away. Serve over egg noodles, zoodles, quinoa, rice, or with crusty bread!