Chicken Parm Meatballs with Hot Honey
This dish was inspired by the chicken parm pizza at Quality Italian, an amazing restaurant in New York. The chicken parm comes out in a large round shape on a silver pizza tray and is served slice style, just like a pizza. Except it’s a delicious, decadent chicken parm made up of heavily breaded, crispy chicken topped with sauce and a generous portion of melted cheese. My family typically gets this as an appetizer to share, and we’re rarely hungry for our mains.
One of the best parts of this dish is that it comes with a spicy honey to top your chicken parm slice with. I was skeptical to try this at first. Doesn’t chicken parm have enough flavor on its own? But something about the combination of saucy, cheesy breaded chicken topped with spicy-sweet honey is truly amazing.
I wanted to re-create this dish so it’s not only easier to make (how do they get that chicken into a perfectly round circle anyway?) but also lighten it up a bit while still delivering the key flavors. Enter – chicken parm meatballs with hot honey!
I use a combination of ground chicken, spices, egg, and a hidden vegetable to add some more nutrition to these meatballs – zucchini! Zucchini is high in vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps to repair cells and boost immunity. Zucchini is also a good source of potassium, which can help control blood pressure. The meatballs have a slight green hue due to the zucchini. No worries though, you can’t taste it at all!
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup finely grated onion (about half an onion)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup finely grated zucchini (1 small zucchini), liquid squeezed out
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2/3 cup marinara sauce, plus more for plating
- 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/3 cup shredded parmesan
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 jalapeños, chopped
- Add honey to a sauce pan and bring to a simmer on low heat.
- Add the jalapeños and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, let stand for another 10 minutes, and strain out jalapeños.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, mix together chicken, oregano, basil, garlic, onion, egg, zucchini, salt, and pepper.
- Using wet hands, form chicken mixture into balls, about an inch and a half each in size. Place meatballs on a parchment lined baking sheet. You should have about 21 balls.
- Bake meatballs for 6 minutes. Remove from oven, then distribute the marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese on top of each meatball. Place meatballs back in oven for another 7-9 minutes until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
- Plate meatballs with additional marinara sauce (if desired), drizzle with hot honey, and serve!
- You will likely have hot honey left over. I store mine in the fridge and enjoy it over pizza, roasted vegetables, yogurt, etc.
- If you like things extra spicy, feel free to use 3 jalapeños in the hot honey.