Chicken And Feta Meatballs With Crispy Chickpeas Recipe

Meatballs are one of the most versatile foods out there, though, for some reason, they get easily overlooked. Many people think that you can only enjoy meatballs alongside a heaping plate of spaghetti, and while spaghetti and meatballs may be an absolutely classic dish, you can veer outside of the pasta realm to find so many delicious and interesting dishes that call for meatballs. 

Take this chicken and feta meatballs recipe, for example. Recipe developer Jessica Case opts to serve these hearty chicken and feta meatballs over a fresh plate of arugula, along with some crispy chickpeas for textural contrast. Of course, because of the versatile nature of meatballs, you can enjoy these chicken meatballs and crispy chickpeas in just about any context, and the arugula isn't strictly necessary. 

"These meatballs make a fantastic party appetizer or can be served as a main course for a relaxed dinner that the whole family will enjoy," Case says. "The meatballs are filled with robust spices, the tangy, salty feta cheese, smooth, rich olive oil, bright lemon juice, and fresh mint that all work together." If that isn't a highly successful take on a classic dish, then we don't know what is.

Gather the ingredients for chicken and feta meatballs with crispy chickpeas

For the crispy chickpeas portion of this dish, you'll need canned chickpeas, olive oil, cumin, garlic powder, and salt. For the chicken meatballs, you'll need ground chicken, feta cheese, fresh mint, parsley, breadcrumbs, plain yogurt (Greek will work well), dried oregano, coriander, red pepper flakes, and some more olive oil for brushing the pan. To serve, Case opts for a fresh bed of arugula and some fresh lemon juice to squeeze over top.

Season and bake the chickpeas

Get your oven preheating to 425 F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Meanwhile, spread your drained and washed chickpeas out onto a clean kitchen towel, then pat them dry, removing as much moisture as possible. Add the chickpeas to a medium-sized bowl along with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, cumin, garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix until the chickpeas are evenly coated in the seasoning.

Transfer the seasoned chickpeas to the prepared baking sheet and pop them into the oven to bake for 20–25 minutes. Make sure to toss the chickpeas about halfway through baking to ensure an even crispiness and color. If you are the type who likes to plan ahead, Case notes that you can make the crispy chickpeas ahead of time, and finish up the rest of these meatballs the next day.

Make the chicken and feta meatball batter

Now you can turn your attention to the meatballs. Start by combining a ½ cup of the feta, about half of the mint, the parsley, breadcrumbs, yogurt, oregano, coriander, red pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon of salt in a large bowl. Add in the ground chicken and mix until just combined, taking care to not overmix. 

Grab your baking pan or sheet and brush the remaining olive oil over the surface to help ensure that the meatballs won't stick. Use a scooper or simply use your hands to form meatballs that are about 1½-inch thick. Place the ready-to-go meatballs on the oil-brushed baking pan and make sure to leave plenty of space in between each one. 

Bake the meatballs then serve over arugula with the chickpeas

Bake the meatballs for 15–20 minutes or until they're no longer pink and the internal temperature reaches 165 F. Then, create a bed of arugula in a bowl and place a few meatballs on top, followed by the crispy chickpeas. For extra brightness, squeeze some lemon juice over top, drizzle on a bit of olive oil, and sprinkle on the remaining feta cheese and mint. 

In case you're not a big fan of arugula, note that you aren't limited to the green for serving. "You can serve this over couscous or zucchini noodles instead of arugula," Case says.

Chicken And Feta Meatballs With Crispy Chickpeas Recipe
5 from 31 ratings
While spaghetti and meatballs is a classic dish, explore meatballs outside of the pasta realm with this delicious chicken and feta meatball recipe.
Prep Time
Cook Time
salad with chicken meatballs
Total time: 55 minutes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ cup finely crumbled feta, divided
  • ¼ packed cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped, divided
  • ¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon plain thick yogurt, Greek or Icelandic yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 3 cups fresh arugula
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Spread the chickpeas onto a dry, clean kitchen towel. Pat them dry with a paper towel.
  3. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the chickpeas, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, cumin, garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon of salt and mix until coated well.
  4. Transfer the chickpeas onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20–25 minutes, tossing and shaking the pan every 10 minutes to get them a golden color and crispy.
  5. Using a large bowl, combine ½ cup of feta with half of the mint, the parsley, breadcrumbs, yogurt, oregano, coriander, red pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon salt, breaking up any feta chunks with your hands.
  6. Add the ground chicken and mix together just enough to get everything evenly combined. Don't over-mix.
  7. Brush some olive oil onto the bottom of the pan to avoid it from sticking and being able to move them around. Use a 1½-inch scoop to form the meatballs and use your hands to shape them. Keep the meatballs spread out.
  8. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the meatballs are no longer pink.
  9. Serve warm on top of arugula and sprinkle the roasted chickpeas on top. Squeeze the lemon over the chicken, drizzle with some olive oil, garnish with the remaining mint leaves and feta cheese.
Calories per Serving 523
Total Fat 29.2 g
Saturated Fat 8.2 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 123.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 34.5 g
Dietary Fiber 8.8 g
Total Sugars 5.8 g
Sodium 734.5 mg
Protein 33.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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