Last night was the first night of the NFL Draft, which for most people means nothing, unless you are a football obsessed family like mine. I have been a Giants fan my whole life and this past season for my Gmen was less than stellar (read: horrible)…but with a bad season, comes a great draft pick (second pick to be exact)… so with the excitement of an early draft pick, and the optimism of getting a great addition to our team, my husband and I decided to do a Draft Cook Off to celebrate.

I knew immediately what I wanted to do. To me, the best kind of tailgate/football food is some form of comfort food….wings, burgers, mac n cheese, anything deep fried, etc – so last night I went with a classic Italian comfort food and made my version of Chicken Parmesan:

A deep fried Chicken Meatball stuffed with melty Mozzarella Cheese and served with a Marinara Dipping Sauce.

I will preface this by saying I oddly enough do not like Chicken Parmesan….I like all the elements of Chicken Parm (the fried chicken cutlet, the mozzarella cheese and the Marinara sauce) but I don’t really like them all together the way Chicken Parm is served….. don’t ask me why, but this is just me. However, I thought making this otherwise kinda sloppy looking dish into something cute and bite-sized would be a total win, and spoiler alert: it was.

I highly suggest trying this recipe out for your next party, tailgate, dinner, whatever! Next time I may experiment with ground beef instead of chicken and see how it turns out….maybe make it more of a deep fried Hamburger stuffed with Cheddar Cheese (ok now I’m getting hungry)…


Deep Fried Chicken Meatballs

Prep Time

15 Minutes
Cook Time

15 Minutes
Total Time

30 Minutes

Makes 10 Meatballs


  • 1 Pound Ground Chicken
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 1/4 Cups Breadcrumbs (divided)
  • 2 tsps Salt (divided)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 T Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 2 Mozzarella Sticks (each stick cut into 5 equal sized pieces)
  • 2 T Parmesan Cheese (grated)
  • Marinara Sauce (for serving)


  • In a bowl combine your ground chicken, egg, 1/2 cup of your breadcrumbs, 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper, oregano, and garlic powder. Mix together with your hands until fully combined.
  • Take about 2-3 Tablespoons of your chicken and make into a little 1/2" thick patty. Place a piece of your mozzarella in the center and then fold the chicken around the mozzarella and form into a ball so that the mozzarella is in the center of the ball. Repeat with all your chicken.
  • In a small bowl combine the rest of your breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese and 1 teaspoon of salt - mix together. One by one, roll each chicken ball in the mixture until the outside is fully coated - place on a plate.
  • In a small dutch oven, heat up some canola oil to 360 degrees. In batches, fry up your chicken meatballs until golden brown. Remove the meatballs from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain. Serve hot with Marinara Sauce and more sprinkled Parmesan Cheese.