Chicken Meatballs in a Cream Sauce (Tefteli)
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.
These chicken meatballs are tender, juicy and swimming in a super flavorful creamy sauce that coats each one just so. I know what you’re thinking, “I want these in my mouth now!” I don’t blame you. Now imagine a few of these lofty meatballs over a hefty bowl of buttered egg noodles… or atop a mountain of creamy mashed powtaters… or on toothpicks slowly making their way to your chops (don’t let the sauce hit your shirt on the way!).
Fun fact: In our weekly slang study (which doesn’t exist), we learn that calling someone a “meatball” is like calling them clumsy. So don’t be a “meatball” while eating your meatballs in the hood. I’m not sure I like where this is going… (please ignore the last few sentences).
Tefteli are like the Slavic version of Swedish meatballs. You’ll be happy to know these meatballs are quick and easy to whip up and they were a big hit with the kiddos! And they re-heat well. And you should buy a jar of crunchy baby dills to go with these.
Watch How To Make Tefteli:
Ingredients for Chicken Meatballs (Tefteli):
1 – 1 1/4 lb ground chicken (I used ground chicken thighs)
1 cup cooked white rice, cooled to room temp or colder
1 large egg
1 small onion, grated
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/2 tsp salt (I used sea salt)
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup flour for dredging
2 Tbsp oil (I used extra LIGHT olive oil)
Ingredients for the Sauce:
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup sour cream (or greek yogurt, or heavy cream)
1/2 to 1 tsp paprika (more if you like a little spice in your life)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Freshly chopped parsley for garnish
How To Make Chicken Meatballs in a Cream Sauce:
1. In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, 1 cup cooked rice, 1 egg, grated onion, 1 pressed garlic clove, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Mix well. Roll the meat into 1 to 1 1/4″ balls, then roll the balls in flour, dusting off excess.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 2 Tbsp oil. Transfer meatballs into the skillet and saute 4 minutes on the first side, then flip them over with tongs, cover and cook another 3 minutes or until golden brown on all sides and cooked through, then remove to a plate.
3. In the same pan over medium heat, melt 2 Tbsp butter then whisk in 2 Tbsp flour and continue mixing until golden in color. Whisk in 2 cups chicken broth and stir until it starts to thicken. Add 1/4 cup sour cream and season to taste. I added: 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp sea salt 1/8 tsp black pepper.
4. Bring sauce to a simmer and stir until sauce thickens enough to lightly coat a meatball then stir in the meatballs, turning them to coat (keep in mind sauce will thicken more as it cools). Once the meatballs are warmed up, remove from heat and sprinkle with fresh parsley or dill.
Serve over mashed potatoes or egg noodles. I loved them with pickles (there’s just something amazing about baby dills – let me know if you agree!).
Notes: I used my own KitchenAid meat grinder attachment and ground up some organic chicken thigh, but if you don’t have a meat grinder, you can use a good food processor or pre-ground chicken meat.
Chicken Meatballs in a Cream Sauce (Tefteli)
For the Meatballs:
- 1 - 1 1/4 lb ground chicken, I used ground chicken thighs
- 1 cup cooked white rice, cooled to room temp or colder
- 1 large egg
- 1 small onion, grated
- 1 garlic clove, pressed
- 1/2 tsp salt, I used sea salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup flour for dredging
- 2 Tbsp oil, I used extra LIGHT olive oil
In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, 1 cup cooked rice, 1 egg, grated onion, 1 pressed garlic clove, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Mix well.
Roll the meat into 1 to 1 1/4" balls, then roll the balls in flour, dusting off excess.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 2 Tbsp oil. Transfer meatballs into the skillet and saute 4 minutes on the first side, then flip them over with tongs, cover and cook another 3 minutes or until golden brown on all sides and cooked through, then remove to a plate.
In the same pan over medium heat, melt 2 Tbsp butter then whisk in 2 Tbsp flour and continue mixing until golden in color. Whisk in 2 cups chicken broth and stir until it starts to thicken. Add 1/4 cup sour cream and season to taste. I added: 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp sea salt 1/8 tsp black pepper.
Bring sauce to a simmer and stir until sauce thickens enough to lightly coat a meatball then stir in the meatballs, turning them to coat (keep in mind sauce will thicken more as it cools). Once the meatballs are warmed up, remove from heat and sprinkle with fresh parsley or dill. Serve warm.
I used my own KitchenAid meat grinder attachment and ground up some organic chicken thigh, but if you don't have a meat grinder, don't let that stop you! You can use a pre-ground chicken meat.
P.S. Here’s our other Tefteli recipe (which you all seem to love so much).
So, what’ll it be? Noodles or mashed potatoes? Or maybe you’re a baby dills type?
Thankyou for sharing the recipe, made the sauce and felt it needed a kick(not sure if I did something wrong 🙄)but added abit of Parmesan cheese and Dijon mustard and thoroughly enjoyed it😊
Hi Barb! You’re welcome. I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe still. 🙂
Another delicious recipe! Love your blog! I had ground turkey on hand so I used that. Turned out delicious. I put it over egg noodles with a side of seasoned baked carrots. 😋
Hi Kristy! So glad you loved the recipe. Thank you for sharing.
Have you tried heating them in the oven? After frying put them in a baking dish pour sauce over and bake? Yay nay 😬
Hi Tanya, I haven’t tried that method, but it’s worth experimenting with. If you test with that, let me know how you liked the recipe.
They were delicious, the gravy kinda disappeared, dried out 🤷🏻♀️ in the oven so
I’ll try your method next time 👍🏻
Can you cook the meatballs and sauce then freeze them together?
Hi Nicola, I haven’t tried freezing these, but I do think that could work. Although, I’m not sure how the sauce would freeze.
Great recipe….we do not have a grinder and our local store did not have ground chicken but they did carry ground turkey…sooooooo… we tried it….tasted wonderful. Will double the sauce recipe next time. Thank you for a delicious dinner.
That’s great, Jim! Thank you for sharing your experience.
I’m wondering if I can substitute brown rice? I have some in the fridge I would like to use up.
Hi Kate, I haven’t tried that to advise. If you do an experiment, please share with us how it goes!
I made the chicken meat balls today 👏👏👏👏very nice ,thanks for your recipe 🇪🇸🍷
So glad you enjoyed this recipe! Thanks for sharing, Carmen.
Made this tonight and swapped out the sour cream for coconut cream (avoiding dairy). It was excellent. I served it with mashed potatoes and a side of Harvard beets, and the husband told me I need to make it all again.
That’s great to know. Thank you for sharing, I’m so glad to know you enjoyed this recipe.
I made this recipe for dinner tonight. Super easy to make, but there is prep involved. I served it over egg noodles with a side of broccolini. It was delicious!!
Good to know that you enjoyed this recipe, Cindy!
I am making these for dinner but I’ve made the sauce and it looks nothing like the picture, it’s almost white, even with the paprika. I haven’t poured it on the meatballs yet. It doesn’t seem to have much flavor. I followed every step and ingredients. Not sure what I did wrong.
Hi Christine, I’m sorry to hear that. This sauce should be super flavorful. I would look over the recipe and instructions and make sure nothing was missed. After I cook my meatballs, I use the same pan to melt the butter (I use salted butter) then whisk in 2 Tbsp flour and continue mixing until golden in color. This is where it will get most of its color from. From there, I whisk in the chicken broth ( I use reduced sodium, not unsalted) which will add additional color, and stir until it starts to thicken. Then I add 1/4 cup sour cream and season to taste. I added: 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp sea salt 1/8 tsp black pepper. You may need to add more until you get to the desired flavor. I hope this helps.
Can you send me the nutritional value and serving size on this recipe?
Hi Michele, The serving size can be found at the beginning of the print-friendly recipe card (located at the bottom of the recipe post). The nutrition label shows counts “per serving” and can be found at the bottom of the post. Hope that helps!
Hi Michele, when I need a quick answer, I have used Calorie Count (their recipe analyzer is free).
Could this recipe be made ahead and reheated the next day? Or freeze?
Yes- you can make it ahead, they reheat well.
Omg, did we love this and I even omitted the garlic since my body hates it. Your recipes are really great and I love that you have some new (to me) ways to combine spices while keeping things streamlined. Most recipe sites lean heavily on garlic for flavor so it’s really great to have access to your recipes where it’s not mandatory.
Hello Kathy, thank you for sharing this review with us. I’m happy to hear that you loved this recipe, I hope you’ll enjoy all the other recipes that you will try!
Super delish! We’ve had our dinner today and I made these later in the evening for tomorrow – everybody run out of their rooms to have a taster – were willing to brush their teeth the second time just to have a bit. This has never happened before! They are indeed very yummy! Thank you Natasha for winning recipes every time! For example, your white chicken lasagna is to die for! I am making your vinegret too! Meal prep with Natasha is a breeze!
That is awesome feedback, Diana. Thank you so much for sharing that with us! I’m glad the recipe was a hit.
Absolutely loved this! Whole family said it is a keeper!! Served it with French fries!! Soooo good!!
That is a great combo, Koula and I’m glad it was a hit!
Very good. Big hit at our house last night!
Great to hear that everyone enjoyed it, Sue!
Every time I add sour cream it curdles, even if I temper it. What am I doing wrong?
Hi Lee, make sure you are just bringing it back to a simmer without boiling it. Also, make sure to try the recipe exactly as written. For example, omitting the flour may cause the sauce to curdle since it doesn’t have a thick enough base for the sour cream to incorporate into.
How many meatballs does this recipe make please?
Hi Deborah, I never really counted how many it makes, but this recipe serves 6 -8.
Didn’t have leftover rice so i used breadcrumbs instead. Was a bit skeptical as the mixture looked a bit wet but it held together after frying them! It is sooo moist and yummy. Great recipe 🙂
That’s great! Glad it was a success, thanks for sharing your good feedback with us.
Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe😊 I also used breadcrumbs and substituted beef stock, but it came out yummy. My husband really enjoyed it, so I’ll be making it often!
Great to hear that, Joanne. Thank you for your good review and feedback!
Can these two be combined in a slow cooker?
Hi Rashmi, I haven’t tested this in a slow cooker, but I imagine that may work. If you experiment, I would love to know how you like that.
Do you think these could be made with cauliflower rice?
Hi Deanne, I haven’t tried that substitution to advise. I looked through the comments, and it doesn’t look like anyone else has tried it either. If you happen to experiment, I would love to know how you like it.
As always thank you, Natasha, for the great recipe, my 2 years old son loves these meatballs too! You solve his picky taste.💖
I’m very happy to hear that. Thanks for sharing that with us and for giving this recipe a great review!
I just made this for dinner with mashed potatoes, and it was a huge hit! My 5 year old son even said “mummy I LOVE THIS!” Which of course, means the world coming from picky kids. Thank you for this recipe and all your recipes, they are all amazing and always a winner!!
It’s so good to hear those words from kids! Thanks for sharing that with us, I’m glad your family enjoyed this recipe.
Haha, baby photo bombing at the end of the video. Love it, and love your recipes
I’m so glad you’re enjoying our videos, Janice!
I am unable to get heavy cream (due to winter storm). I do have non-fat Greek yogurt. Will this work? I’ve made this before with the heavy cream and we LOVED it!
Hi Christina, plain Greek yogurt will work well too.
This is my go to recipe with any dinner guests, and also super easy to make gluten-free. For GF I did GF bread crumbs instead of flour for meatballs, and I want to say starch (or tapioca?) for the sauce thickening, didn’t notice any taste difference.
Since I mostly do this for small crowds I usually double or triple the recipe, cooking part takes a really long time, so I usually do it the day before, and sauce day of. I’ve considered baking to save time, but I’m afraid it won’t be the same.
Thank you for sharing that with us, Galya! I bet our readers will find this helpful.
Hi every recipe I made from your kitchen are super delicious
Love,love your kitchen recipes
Hello Agnes, that is so nice of you. Thank you and I’m happy that you’re enjoying my recipes!
My meatballs keep falling apart ! Help ! Lol
Hi Brooke, make sure to sautee in a non-stick skillet which helps keep meatballs together. Also, if your mixture seems too wet, you can add some breadcrumbs.
Hi Natasha, I had the same problem with the meatballs falling apart. Next time I will try adding breadcrumbs. I am also thinking of baking them because I think it might hold together better and possibly use less oil. I forgot to lay in a supply of good paprika so all I had was the dull stuff that doesn’t taste of much. Any ideas about how I could brighten up the taste? I wondered about chili powder.
Thank you so much for sharing that with me, Megan. I haven’t tested baking these meatballs but you could probably do a similar baking method as we did with the teriyaki meatballs. I probably would not roll them in flour if baking but you will need to add just a little more flour to the pan for the sauce to thicken if not coating the meatballs in flour. If you experiment, let me know how it goes!
I’m just finishing this up. I used Basmati rice and I made a ton of gravy. I also added a lil whiskey to the sauce and some spinach. The house smells awesome!!!!! I did have to eat the runt of the litter…..(so to speak) and I almost ate the all. Next time I may use lamb!!
Love it! Thank you so much for sharing your experience and feedback with us, Amy. We’re so glad you enjoyed it!
Thank you for sharing this recipe, it looks delicious. What kind of rice did you use? I have basmati and calrose (short grain). Also, I always soak and rinse the starch out of the rice before cooking. Should I skip this step for the meatballs?
You’re welcome, Mia. You can use any cooked white rice, I prefer using jasmine rice.
Thank you for your quick response! I look forward to trying this soon. I’m thinking of serving with roasted veggies or a salad for a low carb, healthy meal.
That’s a great idea! Thank you for that wonderful review Mia!
Does ground white meat chicken work? Do I need to make any adjustments to assure it turns out moist?
Or does it have to be chicken thighs for this recipe to work? Thanks!
Hi Lama, thighs will work but we’ve made it with white meat chicken just fine. I hope that helps!
Natasha you mention serving the meatballs over noodles or mashed potatoes and also say or with baby dills! I like dills but can’t imagine it. Tell me more please.
Hi Janice, I just love the crunch and tang of baby dill pickles paired with meatballs.
Hi Natasha! I’m excited to make these for dinner tonight! However, all I have are two boneless, skinless chix breasts…not sure how to know if I have too much or too little meat if I use my food processor to grind it. Your thoughts please! Thank you, I know my hubby will love these!
Hi Mimi, you can grind chicken breast in a food processor like I did for our chicken nuggets recipe. Sizes can vary quite a bit but 2 chicken breasts are usually about a pound and should be sufficient.
What a fabulous recipe! I must admit I was a bit skeptical about adding the rice, but oh my goodness the meatballs are heavenly!
I added mushrooms and also seasoned the sauce with pepper steak seasoning- absolutely delish!
Thank you Natasha
I’m so glad you enjoyed that Michell!
Just made these for dinner and they were delicious! I served them with mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce. The rice sounded weird at first but I ended up really liking it. It made the meatballs more moist and soft, and it allowed me to make more meatballs. I skipped dredging the meatballs in flour (because I’m lazy) and instead refrigerated them for a few hours so that they were a bit firmer when I fried them. They still held their shape well. I didn’t have a whisk so my sauce was quite lumpy for a while but I kept pressing my silicone spatula against them and eventually the sauce was smooth enough. Thanks for the recipe!
Thank you so much for sharing that with us, Sandra. This is really useful information!
Delicious meatballs with a yummy sauce. They were gone in a blink of a eye. Thank you these recipes are fun and easy to follow. i love you watch your videos.
Awww that’s the best! Thank you so much for sharing that with me! I’m all smiles
The chicken meatballs are delicious with the sauce and even with a Mariana sauce! Wonderful recipe! Do the cooked meatballs freeze well?
I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe Karen! I haven’t tried freezing these but I do think that could work. Although, I’m not sure how the sauce would freeze.
Hi Natasha love all your recipes thank you! Question can I use turkey instead of chicken?
Hi Naomi, I think that would work well to use ground turkey instead.
We absolutely love this recipe. I’m planning on making up a bunch today to freeze. I’ll let you know how the sauce freezes.
Sounds like a good plan, please update us as we also love to hear your feedback.
How would this be served over polenta?
Hi Trish, I haven’t tested this over polenta but I bet that would work. If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe.
Definitely a new family favorite! I added some mushrooms to the sauce and served over some grechka and it was delicious 😋 thank you so much!
Sounds yummy! Thanks for sharing and for the tip!
Excellent meatball and cream sauce recipe! I mixed and formed the meatballs earlier in the day using lean ground chicken and saved the dredging step for right before frying. I served the dish over buttered spaghetti since I didn’t have any egg noodles. The results were heavenly with tender, flavorful meatballs and a velvety sauce that coated the meatballs, spaghetti and my tongue. It was so wonderful with the spaghetti that I might try angel hair pasta next time. Thanks, Natasha!
YOu’re welcome, Trixie! I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe!
Meatballs=5stars; Sauce=unratable because all advice was great except it should have been only 1 cup of chicken broth NOT 2-it never thickened.
I’m so glad you enjoyed the meatballs Emily. It could be due to using a smaller pan. I used a larger one that had a larger surface area which will cause a sauce to thicken faster as it evaporates. Also be sure to roll the meatballs in all-purpose flour as well as don’t skip it in the sauce.
I’ve cooked a lot of your dishes and love them they are so good and easy to follow , keep them coming
Thank you for the wonderful feedback! I’m so glad you’re enjoying our recipes.
I’m a senior citizen who loves making your recipes. Made this chicken meatball recipe today and it was delicious. Keep them coming.
Awww that’s the best! Thank you so much for sharing that with me! I’m all smiles
I made these today but I forgot to take a photo before we ate them. They were very tender and moist. The sauce was delicious and I’ll definitely make these again! Thanks for the great recipe!
You’re welcome! I’m so happy you enjoyed it, Maureen!
I want to try this in my kitchen today to serve for dinner but I was thinking about substituting chicken for meatballs (done by following your JUICY Meatballs recipe), the paprika for curry and serve it with Egg Noodles instead of rice… Do you think that’s a good idea?
Hello Katie, I haven’t tested that to advise but if you want to do an experiment, please share with us how you liked that version.
Natasha, your family must love you, as much as your recipes !
Rightfully so !I’m a devoted follower & have most all your recipes. Keep’em comin’ !
God Bless you & yours…….
You’re so nice! Thank you for that thoughtful feedback. I’m happy you’re enjoying our recipes.
This looks like a great recipe. I will try it this week. I am wondering if I could bake the meatballs instead of frying them?
If so, any idea of how long an at what temperature? Thanks.
Marg from Canada
Hi Marg, I haven’t tested baking these meatballs but you could probably do a similar baking method as we did with the teriyaki meatballs. I probably would not roll them in flour if baking but you will need to add just a little more flour to the pan for the sauce to thicken if not coating the meatballs in flour. If you experiment, let me know how it goes!
This was delicious!!!
I’m so glad you enjoyed that Tanya!
I used arrow root powder instead of flour to make it gluten free meal, and it was great. Thanks, Natasha.
Thank you for that great tip! I bet our readers will find this helpful!
Looks so delicious! Just wondering, do you think this recipe would freeze well? Planning to make it with greek yogurt btw.
Hi Signe, I haven’t tried freezing these but I do think that could work. Although, I’m not sure how the sauce would freeze.
I want to try makingthis recipe but I only have ground beef, can I use it instead of the chicken? Or would it be твердое?
Thank you 🙂
Hi Nina, I haven’t tried substituting beef in this recipe but a couple of readers have reported good results with beef. Some have also mentioned great results with mixing beef and pork.
Love this recipe! One thing I had a question about was the sauce – every time I make it I can’t seem to get it to thicken up, although I measure everything out and follow each step perfectly. Any ideas what I could be doing wrong?
Hi Alyssa, it could be due to using a smaller pan. I used a larger one that had a larger surface area which will cause a sauce to thicken faster as it evaporates. Also be sure to roll the meatballs in all-purpose flour as well as don’t skip it in the sauce.
Can these be made without egg?
The egg helps to hold the meatballs together. I think it would still work without it but I would suggest using slightly less rice in the mixture.
These are the bomb! Thank you for such a delicious recipe!
I’m so happy you loved the meatballs recipe! Thank you for sharing your great review.
Made a double batch with double sauce over egg noodles. Added fresh thyme to chicken, and fresh thyme and spicy mustard to sauce. It was a huge hit. Stroganoff with a twist. Thanks for the terrific recipe.
I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us!
Great recipe have made these a few times
Thank you so much for sharing that with me.
These meatballs are amazing!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it Tammy!
So good! Sauce adds so much flavor:) will be making again for sure! My super picky brutally honest husband who critiques all the food I make loved these!! And so did my 1.5 yr old 🙂
I’m so happy you all enjoyed that! That is the best when kids love what we moms make. That’s so great!
Could you use ground turkey in place of the chicken for this recipe?
Hi Melony, I think that would work well to use ground turkey instead.
How do you do it every time? Absolutely delectable! Thank you, Natasha!
I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us!
Love this recipe! Made this several times and it’s a hit with the whole family! I always gotta double the cream sauce since my family loves it so much!
I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us!
Would it be okay to leave out rice?
Hi Kristina, You may need to adjust a few things but that should work! Here is what one of our readers posted “I love this recipe and it’s on my Rolodex of family favorites. One thing different I do, instead of rice (because one day I didn’t have leftover rice handy) I drain and finely chop 1 can of sliced mushroom. It adds great flavor and works perfectly as a binder for the ground chicken. I’ll also mix in another drained can of sliced mushrooms into the sauce. Delicious both ways!”
Just made this and I’m so impressed!!! It was super easy to make and tastes delicious! I love all your recipes!
That’s just awesome!! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review 🙂
Since grated onion has a LOT of liquid in it (which can cause balls to be lose, wet, and fall apart), I strained it with a muslin cloth. (You could use cheese cloth, a tea towel, etc). There was at least a cup of liquid, and I didn’t squeeze all of it out either! This meant that my balls were tacky (as ground chicken will do) but firm. Easy to handle, no falling apart!
That being said, I loved the sauce – we used a mix of sweet Hungarian paprika and hot Hungarian paprika (to give it a little kick). But I think next time I will add some kind of seasoning to the meatballs themselves- jst a little too plain for my taste. Served with parmesan roasted acorn squash- was a lovely meal!
Thank you for sharing that with us Kate!!
My whole family loved it! I made it with mashed potatoes and green beans. They were literally fighting over the meatballs. Lol
Thank you so much for sharing this with me, Janella!
Thanks for this recipe. I Happened to buy some fresh Poulet balls and wasn’t in the mood for traditional tomatoe sauce. I made your sauce only but OMG. I’m going to make your balls next time. The sauce was so good. Served over egg tagliatelle. Had to go back to find your recipe to save it! I added some fresh thyme to the sauce. Love!
Thank you for the great review Magulo!
What are the macros for this meal?
Due to time constraints, I don’t typically include nutritional info, but check out this nutrition analyzer – you can plug in the ingredients from any recipe, select the serving size and it will give you nutritional info, calories, etc. I hope that is helpful to you
Turned out great and gave me the chance to pay with th mincer attachment on my Kenwood. My hubby was concerned that the rice in the meatballs would spoil the dish but he’s converted after trying them. I made the meatballs ahead of time and then just left them in the sauce to warm through whilst waiting for the mashed potatoes to be done.
We’re going to try this with beef mince next time as my hubby thought the sauce a little too rich for the meatballs. After trying this sauce and finding out how easy it is to make we will stop buying the packets of sauce from Ikea (which we usually have with meatballs) as we preferred this and knew just what was going into it. Thanks for sharing this!
I’m so happy you enjoyed that. Thank you for sharing that with us!
Hi i would like to ask how much 1 cup en grammes or lb?
Thanks a lot
Hello Victoria, We are working on adding metric measurements on all of our recipes. It’s a slow process since it is one recipe at a time. Until all of the recipes are updated, check out this measurement conversion tool. I hope that is helpful to you!
These were so yummy. Since I don’t have a meat grinder and can’t buy minced chicken, I chopped the chicken thighs in a food processor and added the rice right at the end to chop it up a bit, too. The meat was tender and very flavourful. I think I’d double the sauce next time because it was so good!
I’m glad to hear the recipe was a huge success Holly! Thanks for sharing your fantastic review with other readers!
Can these be baked first rather than fried?
Hi Galina, I haven’t tested baking these meatballs but you could probably do a similar baking method as we did with the teriyaki meatballs. I probably would not roll them in flour if baking but you will need to add just a little more flour to the pan for the sauce to thicken if not coating the meatballs in flour. If you experiment, let me know how it goes! 🙂
My meatballs fell apart! I followed the directions exactly but they were sticking to my hands as i tried to roll them into balls. Do you know where i went wrong? What do i do to ensure they do not fall apart next time? The meal was really lovely and my boys (6 and 9) demolished it. I doubled the sauce ans served it over fettuccine.
Hi Lucinda, I’m so glad your boys loved it! 🙂 A non-stick skillet might help. Also, be sure the proportions of meatball ingredients are the same – having too much rice and not enough meat might make them more likely to fall apart. .
A tip as I adore Natasha’s recipe so much! (It’s on our monthly rotation!) I use a tiny ice cream scoop (like the ones you use for cookies). I scoop up some chicken mix and plop in right in the flour. I’ll sprinkle flour over it, the scoop it up with a slotted spoon or fish turner, shake off the excess flour and then set in a the hot skillet. Once cooked, they’ll hold together. Ground chicken is very mushy so you can’t work it with your hands much like beef.
Great suggestion Monica, thanks for sharing!
Would buckwheat work instead of rice?
Hi Natalie, I think that would work really well. We love buckwheat. If you try it, let me know how you like it 🙂
Would ground chicken breast work for this, instead of thigh? Any suggestions on how to keep them tender with ground chicken breast?
Hi Oksana, I think that should still work well with ground chicken breast without additional modifcations. I hope you love the recipe!
I use ground chicken breast when I make this. I substitute canned mushrooms which I then mince instead of the rice and it keeps it very moist and juicy. Recommend using a small ice cream scoop to help form the balls as the mix is very very soft.
Thanks for the recipe. I do beef and pork very often but could never get the chicken ones right, they were always to dry. I guess rice was the answer to great tefteli. Thanks 🙂
My pleasure Elena! I’m glad you enjoy the recipe, thanks for sharing!
Loved these! I have loved many of your recipes, thank you!
My pleasure Trycia! I’m glad to hear how much you’re enjoying the recipes. Thanks for following!
Hi Natasha! Can you specify what kind of rice do you use in this recipe? I don’t like using basmati since it has a very strong flavour. Would Italian short type of rice work? Thank you!
Hi Nadia, almost any cooked white rice would work in this recipe, you can use your favorite 😬
Que tudo ! Vou experimentar.
I was going to try riced cauliflower as a binder , do you think this would work ? Also has anyone tried corn starch instead of flowe for a thickener or Greek yogurt instead of sour cream ? Thanks !
Hi Tracy, I haven’t tried those substitutions but I’m loving all of your ideas!! If you try that out, please do let me know how it works out. It sounds like the healthier version of this dish 🙂
I made this last night for my family. We all loved it! So much lighter texture than traditional ground beef meatballs. Thanks for a great recipe!
You’re welcome Sharon! I’m glad to hear your family enjoys the recipe as much as mine does. Thanks for sharing your great review!
Everything you make is outstandingly delicious. One question: Can I not add rice to the chicken balls?
Hi Siham, yes that would work :).
Love this foolproof recipe! I add finely chopped shipach inside so that my kids can have some extra nutrition:) Even my pickiest water goobles this up.
Kristina, thank you for the nice review and for sharing that with us 😁
Is there another binder other than rice you can use in this recipe?
Hi Leigh Ann, I think it would work to leave out the rice and add some bread crumbs or one of my readers reported this great idea: “One thing different I do, instead of rice (because one day I didn’t have leftover rice handy) I drain and finely chop 1 can of sliced mushroom. It adds great flavor and works perfectly as a binder for the ground chicken. I’ll also mix in another drained can of sliced mushrooms into the sauce. Delicious both ways!”
Am sure mushrooms would give it a great taste too
I think that would taste great!
I love this recipe and it’s on my Rolodex of family favorites. One thing different I do, instead of rice (because one day I didn’t have leftover rice handy) I drain and finely chop 1 can of sliced mushroom. It adds great flavor and works perfectly as a binder for the ground chicken. I’ll also mix in another drained can of sliced mushrooms into the sauce. Delicious both ways!
Great suggestion Monica! I’m glad you enjoy the recipe! Thanks for sharing your great review with other readers!
if you have about 3 pounds of ground chicken thighs do you double the servings …like about how much eggs will have to go for that portion
Hi, yes for 3 pounds, I would double everything in the recipe i.e. 2 eggs, 1 medium grated onion, etc.
Hi Natasha. I am from the UK and I am trying Slavian cuisine for the first time. I have noticed you have kept your measurements in cups – could you kindly convert them into grams for me?
Hi Tasneem, Welcome to our blog! 🙂 We are working on adding metric conversions to our recipes but it is a slow process since it has to be done one recipe at a time. In the mean time, I would suggest checking out this post on how we measure ingredients for various recipes which should help :).
these were super delicious all my family loved it ! Thank you! It’s a great take to new mom meal 👌🏻
I’m glad to hear the entire family enjoys the recipe! Thanks YOU for sharing your great review!
Absolutely lovely! Really awesome flavour, a total favourite with everyone. I added heaps more paprika and some dill to the sauce plus pure cream instead of sour cream.
Yum, that sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing your wonderful review Donna!
On my to cook list for next week, will grind chicken thighs as well (most flavorful part) and the sauce sounds wonderful, will post a report once made, thank you again for a great recipe.
You’re welcome Lee! Please let me know, I’ll be looking forward to your VIP photo!
Do you think these would freeze well? I’m thinking of making and placing in mini-muffin tin and baking and then freezing once cool. Do you think that would work? I’ve made all sorts of meatballs before and frozen them, but never any with rice in them (which sounds REALLY good!!).
Hi Jayne, I haven’t tried freezing these but I do think that could work. Although, I’m not sure how the sauce would freeze.
Hi Jayne, I think freezing just the meatballs after they are cooked would be fine, just prepare the sauce on the day you are going to serve. Meatballs with rice, common, do a search for Porcupine Meatballs 🙂
Lee: There you go, and I love Porcupine Meatballs too.. Great comment.
My toddler loves these and it is very hard to get her to eat meat. Thank you!
You’re welcome Katie! I’m happy to hear the recipe is “picky-eater” approved! Thanks for sharing your great review!
I made this last night and it was delicious! This will definitely be in my rotation of recipes now! My only question is that my sauce did not come out as brown colored as pictured. Any tips on achieving that?
Thank you so much for the amazing review!! I’m so happy to hear you loved the recipe :). The color of the sauce is from 2 things: the paprika and the browned bits on the bottom of the pan so if you are using a non-stick pan, you probably won’t get much browning, but it definitely won’t compromise the flavor 🙂
Thank you so much for getting back to me! That must have been it! I must invest in a new pan 🙂 Thanks for all the great recipes! I have shared your site with a few friends who have loved when I made your recipes.
My pleasure DeAnna! I’m glad you’re enjoying the recipes! Thanks for following and spreading the love! 😀
These are SO good, and always a hit! They reheat well, and are a family favorite. <3
I’m happy to hear that Olivya! Thanks for sharing your fantastic review! 😀
Yummy! Had it spicy and it was great!
Jane, thank you for sharing such a nice review, I’m glad you liked them 😬.
I’ve made this recipe so many times I’ve lost count. Best thing I’ve made on Pinterest (and I use it a lot). My family loves this dinner. Not kidding….delicious!!
That’s great to hear! Thanks for sharing your fantastic review Marcy!
Made this recipe a few weeks ago, it was good! Will definitely make again
I’m happy to hear that Faye! Thanks for sharing 😀
Made these and they were delicious – and my husband (who doesn’t like sour cream) didn’t know the recipe had sour cream…he also loved them!
My daughter had no ground chicken so she used ground beef with beef broth and also said it was delicious!
Thank you for another family favourite….
You’re welcome Marilyn! I’m happy to hear your family enjoys the recipe as much as mine does! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Can these be made ahead of time?
Hi Nadia, yes that would work, just reheat slowly over lower heat on the stove so the cream stays smooth.
Absolutely DELICIOUS! Thanks for the awesome recipe. This one is definitely going into my meal rotation. Easy to make, sauce is awesome!
You’re welcome Petra! I am so glad to hear you enjoy the recipe that much!
Oh my Lord these were heavenly! Natasha you have the most wonderful recipes – I cannot thank you enough! Made it exactly as written and they are outstanding!!! So easy to do and they come out perfectly!
You’re very welcome Rosie! I am glad to hear how much you enjoy the recipe!!
This is a nice recipe, but the chicken meatballs can be a little dry. Be careful not to overcook. I used Smart ground chicken, and perhaps if I’d ground chicken thighs, the result might have been moister. Another thought is to use half pork and half chicken. I also thought the sauce recipe looked a little bland so I deglazed the pan with white wine and added thyme, a little nutmeg and a bit of heavy cream. Mushrooms would also be good in the sauce – but then you have a different dish. Sigh.
Having said that, I would probably make this again when Smart ground chicken is on sale.
Thanks for sharing your modifications! I always love to try new variations on recipes 🙂
I made this tonight with quality pre-ground chicken from a good meat market. Loved this! I even made it gluten free by using GF flour blend Only change I made was to simplify by using minced dry onion, garlic powder and a healthy dash of Tastefully Simple Spinach and Herb (because I had it and love it) in the meatball mix, and cut back on salt because I only had regular chicken broth. Thanks for an amazing recipe. Def making again. Picky husband even loved it instead of saying “it’s okay”.
This is great to hear! I am so glad you enjoyed the recipe! 🙂
I made this recipe for my husband and picky toddler. It was a big hit with both. My ghusband requested that I make it again soon.
Hi Katie, I am so happy to hear that! 🙂
Amazing recipe! Didn’t change a thing. Even served it with your recipe (henceforth my go-to) for mashed potatoes. The leftovers tasted even better. Thank you for adding another meal to our rotation of favorites!
I am so happy to hear that!! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review! 🙂
I just tried this for the first time with mashed potatoes. I had an American couple coming over for dinner and they just could not stop gushing over the deliciousness. I can’t believe something can be so easy to make (I am not a good cook) and so delicious. Thank you for the great recipe and video!
Side note: I had to make it gluten free so I substitutes flour for gluten free bread crumbs on meatballs, and potato starch for flour in the sauce.
I’m so glad to hear that Emma, thank you for such a nice review and you are welcome 😀.
Glad to have read your gluten-free substitutes. I have celiac so have to do a gluten-free version of my favorite childhood memories recipes. Can’t wait to try it!
Wow! Just made this dish for my husband and I. I think the best part is the sauce! Just have a patience to make it, it was worth it!!! Absolutely amazing! I made a few changes to the meat: half ground chicken, half ground pork and no rice. Turned out delicious! I served it with mashed potatoes and kosher dill pickles!!! ❤️ OMG!!!
You’re welcome Marina! I’m so happy you enjoyed it 😀.