Smothered Chicken Meatballs

Similar to Swedish meatballs, smothered meatballs over rice is a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs dish with roots in the American South. Typically made of seasoned meatballs in a thick brown pan gravy, served over white rice, this recipe features meatballs made of ground chicken instead of red meat for a lower fat content. This meal makes a warm and filling dinner for any night of the week.
 Course: Main Course
 Prep Time: 10 minutes
 Cook Time: 30 minutes
 Total Time: 40 minutes
 Servings: 4
 Author: @therealistfoodblog



  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cracked black pepper
  • ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 large cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp shallots minced
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil for cooking



  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • ½ tsp shallots
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ¼ tsp salt more to taste
  • 1/8 tsp pepper


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine ground chicken and all spices and seasonings except olive oil. Then, use clean hands or a fork to evenly distribute spices into ground chicken.
  • Once all spices are evenly distributed, divide meat into 4 quarters and roll 1-inch pieces to form ~7 meatballs per quarter. Once formed, set each meatball aside.
  • Prepare rice per directions on package. Keep covered until ready to serve.
  • Meanwhile, heat olive oil (1-2 tbsp) in a large, non-stick pan on a medium-low heat. Working quickly, add half the meatballs to the pan, ensuring they’re spread at least 1 inch apart for even cooking. Cover and allow to cook halfway. After each meatball looks cooked on the outer layer all the way around, use a wooden spoon to flip each meatball to cook on the other side and cover until fully cooked. Repeat with second batch of meatballs until all are fully cooked, place in a clean bowl, cover and set aside.
  • Heat olive oil (2 tbsp) in pan used to cook meatballs on a low heat. Add flour and whisk constantly until fully incorporated, then add garlic and shallots and continue to whisk until mixture turns a light brown color. Whisk in first half of chicken broth until fully combined, then add remaining broth and whisk again until fully incorporated. Season with salt and pepper (adding more or less to taste), then add meatballs into gravy, cover and allow to cook for 3-5 mins until fully combined.
  • Divide rice among 4 plates, then spoon an even number of meatballs and gravy on top of each bed of rice. Serve immediately.


If meatballs are cooking too quickly, turn down the heat.
Be sure to have all gravy ingredients prepped in advance to prevent burning. If there’s a thick coat of burnt pieces on the bottom of the pan after cooking the meatballs, you may need to clean the pan before making the gravy.