These Parmesan-crusted chicken muffins are quick and easy and meant to remind you of chicken Parmigiana. Take a simple ground chicken mixture, make them into a savory muffin, and stuff them with mozzarella.
Serve them with a simple marinara sauce and a green salad, and you’ve got dinner. Or take these meatloaf muffins for lunch as a high protein snack.
Key Technique: Meatloaves and Meatballs
This recipe uses my standard meatloaf ratio, which is one egg and a half cup of panko for every pound of meat. Soaking the breadcrumbs in a few tablespoons of milk adds moisture and a bit of fat and flavor when you are using ground chicken or ground turkey.
Key Ingredient: Ground Chicken
Ground chicken is typically a combination of ground or minced chicken breast and chicken thighs. You can even make your own with a food processor or just a sharp knife!
Tips and Tricks
Making the chicken muffin mixture
Add the breadcrumbs and milk to a large bowl and let them soak as you chop and add the other ingredients on top. Stir everything except for the egg and meat together with a spoon or spatula, and then add the egg and meat and mix it gently with your hands.
Pro Tip: Don’t knead the ground chicken for these chicken muffins or really for any ground meat dish. Over-mixing just gives you a dense meatloaf, meatball, or burger. Light and moist and flavorful is what we are going for.
Putting it all together
Once you’ve mixed the ground chicken, use a medium cookie scoop or spoon to add about two tablespoons of chicken mixture into the bottom of eight muffin cups of a standard 12-cup muffin tin (Panel #1 below). You do not need to grease the tins as there is just enough fat in the mixture so the chicken muffins won’t stick.
Add the mozzarella cheese (Panel #2) and top with the remaining chicken mixture (Panel #3). Pat them down gently and sprinkle with Parmesan (Panel #4).
Bake until the muffins reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees and the tops of the muffins are a light golden brown, about 20 minutes. If the muffins are cooked but the Parmesan crust hasn’t browned, you can broil the chicken muffins for a minute or two.
Any leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for a few days in an airtight container. Or let the chicken muffins cool and freeze them for three to six months.
How to serve chicken muffins
In addition to the tomato sauce, you could serve this with pasta. Or just go with a simple steamed green vegetable and a salad.
Variations and substitutions
This recipe also works perfectly as a Parmesan chicken meatloaf. Pack half of the ground chicken mixture into a meatloaf pan or as a free-form loaf on a sheet pan. Layer the mozzarella inside, then top with the remaining chicken mixture, making sure that the cheese is completely covered. Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about one hour, until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Feel free to top the meatloaf with the marinara sauce for the final 10 minutes or so of baking!
FAQs about these Chicken Muffins
Chicken Parmesan, or Parmigiana, is a dish of Italian immigrants. But chicken Parmesan is likely adapted from eggplant Parmesan (melanzane all Parmagiana), which has been around for centuries. You can see my simplified version of that eggplant dish here, which actually would be a great accompaniment to these chicken muffins!
Yes. These chicken muffins will freeze well. Remove them from the muffin tin and let them cool to room temperature. Store in the freezer in a freezer bag for three to six months.
Or, if you’re looking for savory muffins, try these spinach and feta muffins.
Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Muffins
- ½ cup panko or other dried breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons milk
- ½ cup (57 grams or 2 ounces) Parmesan grated and divided in half
- ¼ cup pine nuts toasted
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 pound ground chicken
- ½ cup (57 grams or 2 ounces) Mozzarella fresh or low-moisture, shredded or chopped
- marinara tomato sauce for serving
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- In a medium to large bowl, combine the panko and milk and let soak while you prepare the other ingredients.½ cup panko or other dried breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons milk
- Add half of the grated Parmesan, the toasted pine nuts, parsley, garlic, salt, basil, oregano, and pepper, and mix to combine.¼ cup pine nuts, ¼ cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped, 2 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon dried basil, ¼ teaspoon dried oregano, ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper, ½ cup (57 grams or 2 ounces) Parmesan
- Add the beaten egg and ground chicken and use your hands to gently mix everything together.1 egg, lightly beaten, 1 pound ground chicken
- Use a medium cookie scoop or spoon to add about 2 tablespoons of the chicken muffin mixture to the bottom of eight muffin cups. Sprinkle the mozzarella on top, and then top with the remaining chicken mixture.½ cup (57 grams or 2 ounces) Mozzarella
- Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan on top of the chicken muffins.
- Bake for about 18 to 22 minutes, until the muffins have reached an internal temperature of 165°F and the tops of the muffins are beginning to brown. You can broil for a minute if the muffins are done but the muffins not yet lightly browned.
- Serve immediately with the tomato sauce.marinara tomato sauce
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