Marry Me Chicken Meatballs 

This Marry Me Chicken Meatballs recipe surrounds Italian-seasoned chicken meatballs in a heavenly sun-dried tomato cream sauce. Perfect for date nights, family dinners, and dinner parties! 

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Looking for more creamy Italian-inspired recipes? You’ll love my Creamy White Bolognese Sauce, Creamy Tomato Tortellini, and Tuscan Creamy Gnocchi.

If you love meatballs as much as I do, you’ll jump at the chance to win over your loved ones’ hearts (and stomachs) with Marry Me Meatballs!

This easy meatball recipe is inspired by the popular Tuscan-flavored dish, Marry Me Chicken. Like the classic, it covers crispy on the outside and tender on the inside chicken meatballs in a rich and creamy sun-dried tomato sauce. They’re served with lots of fresh basil to make your dinner guests fall head over heels after the first bite!

What is Marry Me Chicken?

There are a ton of Marry Me Chicken recipes all over the internet, and for good reason. Imagine juicy chicken breasts simmered in a creamy, flavorful sauce made with sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and parmesan. The idea is that this dish is so good that it might just inspire someone to pop the question—hence the name!

My Marry Me Meatballs are inspired by this popular dish, the only difference being that the chicken breasts are swapped for chicken meatballs. It’s still every bit as dreamy, creamy, and luxurious as the original.

Ingredients 

Ingredients for marry me chicken labeled on counter.
  • Ground chicken – Look for ground chicken with a good balance of white and dark meat for the best flavor and level of moisture in the meatballs. Feel free to experiment with other types of ground meat as well! I’ve included a few ideas in the Variations section below. 
  • Bread crumbs – Regular or Panko bread crumbs work well. For a gluten-free option, use gluten-free breadcrumbs or crushed gluten-free crackers.
  • Egg
  • Parmesan cheese – Grate the parmesan from the block for the best flavor.
  • Garlic cloves
  • Herbs and seasonings – You’ll need fresh parsley, Italian seasoning, onion powder, salt, and pepper to season the meatballs.
  • Unsalted butter – For browning the meatballs. You can also use salted butter, but reduce the salt to 1/4 teaspoon in the meat mixture.
  • Sun-dried tomato cream sauce – The chicken meatballs are tossed in this Tuscan-inspired cream sauce before serving. To make it, you’ll need sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, garlic, tomato paste, chicken stock, heavy cream, parmesan cheese, and Italian seasonings.

How to make Marry Me Meatballs 

In a large bowl, mix all of the ground chicken meatball ingredients until just combined. Shape pieces of the meat mixture into approximately 30 meatballs.

Meatballs formed on baking sheet.

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until all sides are browned. Set the meatballs aside. 

Drain the fat and wipe the skillet clean before returning it to the stove. Heat some oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes in the skillet over medium heat, then add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Stir in the tomato paste. 

Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock and reduce the heat to medium-low. 

Stir in the heavy cream, parmesan, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes, and heat to a simmer for a few minutes. Add the cooked meatballs and sun-dried tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened and the meatballs are cooked through.

Season with salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with fresh basil before serving. Enjoy!

Marry me chicken meatballs in skillet with serving spoon.

Tips and tricks

  • Use your hands to gently mix the meatball mixture until all the ingredients have just come together. Avoid overworking the meat, as this can lead to tough, dense, and dry meatballs.
  • You can taste test the meatballs by cooking a small spoonful of the meatball mixture in the skillet. Give it a taste once cooked, then adjust the seasonings in the meat mixture as needed.
  • If you have the time, I recommend chilling the uncooked meatball mixture in the fridge for about 30 minutes before shaping the meatballs. Cold meat tends to hold its shape better and produces juicier results. 
  • Leave 1 inch of space in between each meatball in the skillet when browning. If your skillet is too small, brown the meatballs in batches to prevent them from steaming or undercooking.

Variations

  • Ground meat options – Instead of ground chicken, you can make these meatballs with ground turkey, beef, pork, or lamb. Or, use a mix of 2 or 3 different types of ground meat for extra flavor and moisture. 
  • Dairy-free Marry Me Meatballs – Brown the meatballs in vegan butter or olive oil, use dairy-free parmesan or nutritional yeast instead of real parmesan, and replace the heavy cream with coconut cream or coconut milk. 
  • Veggie-packed Feel free to mix finely grated zucchini, carrots, or spinach into the meatballs for more nutrition and flavor. Just remember to drain any excess moisture from the vegetables before adding them. 
Overhead close up of finished Marry me chicken meatballs.

Serving suggestions

The decadent meatballs and heavenly cream sauce make Marry Me Meatballs a dinner to remember. Make sure to have plenty of crusty bread or garlic bread on the side to soak up every bite!

While they can be served on their own, I much prefer these meatballs paired with a variety of complementary and Italian-inspired sides, like:

Another great way to serve this meatball recipe is as a party appetizer! Assemble the meatballs on a serving platter, pierce each one with a toothpick, and serve the cream sauce on the side for dipping.

Did you end up with leftovers? Stuff them into a toasted sub roll and top them with extra Marry Me sauce and melted cheese for an epic meatball sub.

Make ahead and storing

To make chicken meatballs ahead of time, place them on a lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. You can also freeze the uncooked meatballs for up to 3 months and thaw them in the refrigerator overnight before cooking.

Leftover Marry Me Meatballs and cream sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw the leftovers overnight in the fridge before reheating.

To reheat, place the meatballs and sauce in a saucepan and heat over low heat until warmed through. Add a splash of chicken stock or cream to slightly thin the sauce, if needed.  

Wine pairings for Marry Me Meatballs 

Marry me chicken meatballs in skillet with serving spoon.

More meatball recipes

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Overhead close up of finished Marry me chicken meatballs.

Marry Me Chicken Meatballs

This Marry Me Meatballs recipe surrounds Italian-seasoned chicken meatballs in a heavenly sun-dried tomato cream sauce. Perfect for date nights, family dinners, and dinner parties!
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

Meatballs:

Sauce:

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, bread crumbs, egg, parmesan garlic, parsley, Italian seasoning, onion powder, salt and pepper.
  • Shape mixture into tablespoon sized balls (you should have about 30).
  • Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook on all sides until browned (they’ll continue cooking in the sauce later). Transfer the meatballs to a plate, cover and set aside. Drain the fat from the skillet and wipe clean.
  • Return the now clean skillet to medium heat. Add 1 Tablespoon of the oil from the sun dried tomatoes. Once hot, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste and cook 1 minute longer.
  • Add the chicken stock, and deglaze the pan, scraping any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
  • Turn the heat to medium-low, and add the heavy cream, parmesan, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes (if using). Allow to simmer for a few minutes, then return the meatballs to the pan along with the sun dried tomatoes. Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes longer, until the sauce is thickened.
  • Garnish with the fresh basil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!

Equipment

Large Bowl
Large Skillet

Nutrition

Calories: 636kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 238mg | Sodium: 968mg | Potassium: 1280mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1780IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 293mg | Iron: 3mg

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