Move over classic meatball recipe because there is a new favorite meatball recipe in our house. These marsala chicken meatballs were that “unicorn” recipe where everyone agreed on how delicious dinner was. Served with angel hair pasta, a green salad and some good bread for dipping in the sauce, this dinner recipe was a 10/10.
Marsala chicken meatballs are easy to make and lean enough to be a healthy (if you can keep your portion control in check.) The meatballs are a combination of ground chicken and chopped mushrooms which gives them a less dense texture without losing any of their typical heartiness. I guarantee they are filling enough to leave everyone satisfied.
Savory and simple is exactly how I would describe this marsala chicken meatball recipe. So grab a bottle of marsala wine, some ground chicken and a container of mushrooms next time you’re at the market and do your family a favor by introducing them to their new favorite weeknight dinner.
About the Ingredients
Ground Chicken – one pound of chicken meat or turkey will work too.
Mushrooms – baby Bella mushrooms. Some chopped small to mix into the meatballs and some sliced for the sauce.
Meatball bindings and seasonings – seasoned bread crumbs, eggs, chopped parsley, salt and pepper
Butter – a little for sautéing and 2 tablespoons for finishing the sauce.
Onion – one small sweet onion, sliced.
Marsala wine – you should be able to pick this up in your local liquor store. Some markets even sell small bottles of marsala for cooking in the oil and vinegar section.
Chicken stock – about 2 1/2 cups for the marsala sauce.
How to Make Chicken Marsala Meatballs
Start by assembling the meatballs while the oven is warming up to a hot 450 degrees. In a mixing bowl combine the ground chicken, about 1/2 cup of chopped mushrooms, an egg, breadcrumbs and seasonings. Using your hands is always the best way to mix meatballs so don’t be afraid to get a little messy.
Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment, for easy clean up, and spray it with cooking spray. Form the meatballs and place one inch apart so the air can circulate around all sides. Bake the meatballs for about 18 minutes; depending on size cooking time can vary so keep an eye on them.
Prepare the marsala sauce while the meatballs are baking. Sauté the mushrooms and onion in a large pan. Add a little garlic and then the marsala wine. Let the wine simmer while stirring for about 3 minutes. Pour in the chicken stock and bring everything to a boil until the sauce begins to thicken a little. Mix in 2 tablespoons of butter and toss the sauce with your favorite kind of pasta or serve over mashed potatoes with the meatballs on top.
Recipe Substitutions & Variations
Marsala wine isn’t an ingredient we all just keep in our pantry. If you don’t have marsala on hand or have a hard time picking it up don’t sweat. Try substituting the sherry wine for the marsala. To add a little sweetness to the sherry flavor I would also swap out the onion for 2 sliced shallots.
When I think of sherry I always think of cream sauce. Try adding a little heavy cream to the pan when you’re finishing off the sauce. After you’ve boiled the chicken stock, lower the heat and whisk in about 1/4 cup of cream.
FAQ’s and Recipe Tips
Yes. Make the meatballs, not the sauce, according to the recipe and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Make the sauce when you’re ready to serve.
Toss the marsala sauce with pasta and top with the meatballs. You could also served over mashed potatoes, a grain such a couscous, or if you want to be carb conscious you could just served the meatballs and sauce together with a side of roasted green beans.
The Recipe for Chicken Marsala Meatballs
The recipe is attached below for easy downloading and printing. If you test it out be sure to leave a note in the comments below. I’d love to hear what you thought and if you tried a different vegetable combination. Enjoy!
Chicken Marsala Meatballs
For the meatballs:
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 12 oz Baby Bella mushrooms divided
- ½ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 3 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
For the sauce:
- 4 tbsp butter divided
- 1 sweet onion sliced
- 3 tsp minced garlic
- ½ cup marsala wine
- 2½ cups chicken broth
- 1 lb angel hair pasta cooked according to package directions, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Chop 7 mushrooms finely. Combine the chicken and chopped mushrooms with the next 5 ingredients (through salt and pepper) in a mixing bowl. Using your hands, mix until evenly combined.1 lb ground chicken, 12 oz Baby Bella mushrooms, ½ cup seasoned breadcrumbs, 1 egg, 3 tbsp fresh parsley, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the chicken mixture into meatballs, it should make about 20 small/medium meatballs and place the meatballs on the baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake for 12 minutes or until cooked all the way through.
- While the meatballs bake, make the marsala sauce. Slice the remaining mushrooms.12 oz Baby Bella mushrooms
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the onions and mushrooms and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes.12 oz Baby Bella mushrooms, 1 sweet onion, 4 tbsp butter
- Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Pour over the marsala wine and let simmer for one more minute.3 tsp minced garlic, ½ cup marsala wine
- Pour in the chicken broth and bring everything to a boil. Let bubble for 5-8 minutes while the sauce thickens.2½ cups chicken broth
- When the meatballs are cooked add them to the sauce and toss to coat. Place the pasta in a large serving bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of butter. Then pour over the sauce and meatballs and gently toss before garnishing with chopped parsley.1 lb angel hair pasta, 4 tbsp butter