This easy, cheesy chicken bites appetizer recipe is a great way to turn leftover or a store-bought rotisserie chicken into tasty party fare.
Made with chicken, cream cheese, mozzarella, Parmesan, a bit of garlic and a crispy coating of panko crumbs, these little one-bite gems can be served plain or dipped in marinara sauce for a little Italian flair.
This appetizer recipe can be made ahead and frozen until ready to use. There’s no need to defrost either. Just place the frozen bites on a baking sheet and heat in a 375°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
Crispy Cheesy Chicken Bites
Our Cheesy Chicken Bites appetizer recipe combines cooked chicken, cream cheese, mozzarella, Parmesan, fresh garlic and parsley into bite-sized little morsels that are coated in crispy panko crumbs and baked until golden.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 18 minutes
- Total Time: 38 minutes
- Yield: 30 to 36 pieces
- Category: Appetizer
- Cuisine: Italian
- 2–1/2 cups cooked chicken, minced (see tip below)
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup shredded Italian blend or mozzarella cheese (fine shred)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
- 3/4 cup panko crumbs, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil cooking spray
- Marinara sauce for dipping (store-bought or homemade)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Set a grid-style baking rack (see notes) on a baking sheet and coat it with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place the chicken, cream cheese, shredded cheese, 1/4 cup of the parmesan cheese, and 3 tablespoons of the panko crumbs in a mixing bowl. Add the garlic, parsley and a few grinds of black pepper and combine thoroughly.
- Combine the remaining panko crumbs with the remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese on a dinner plate.
- Form the chicken-cheese mixture into 1-inch balls then roll them in the panko crumbs, set them on the prepared baking rack and coat them with the olive oil spray.
- Bake until lightly browned, 15 to 18 minutes.
- Serve with warm marinara for dipping.
About the chicken:
We’ve found that the easiest way to mince the chicken is in a food processor. Measure 2-3/4 to 3 cups of diced, cooked chicken and place it into the work bowl of your food processor. Pulse until finely minced.
About the baking rack:
If you don’t have a grid-style baking rack, you can bake the chicken bites directly on the baking pan, but be sure to turn them over mid-way through the baking time so they don’t get overly browned on the bottom.