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.

Make-Ahead Tip:

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 Appetizer Recipe
Crispy Cheesy Chicken Bites Appetizer Recipe

Crispy Cheesy Chicken Bites

Yield: 30 to 36 pieces
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 38 minutes

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.


  • 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)


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Combine the remaining panko crumbs with the remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese on a dinner plate.
  4. 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.
  5. Bake until lightly browned, 15 to 18 minutes.
  6. 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.