Lemon chicken meatballs, whipped ricotta with basil and fresh lemon

Lemon Chicken Meatballs with Basil Ricotta

My most recent recipe for Borscht is definitely not a last-minute dish. So, to balance it out, I am sharing a recipe that only has 4 ingredients – including salt! These meatballs are made with ground chicken, and even though they are light, they are filling. Originally, I had planned to make these with fresh herbs inside as well – dill and basil are my go-to summer flavor enhancers.

However, I couldn’t taste them next to the bright lemon flavor. They truly shine mixed in with the ricotta instead, and served on the side.

To go straight to the recipe for Lemon Chicken Meatballs with Basil Ricotta, click here.

Together, it is a very fresh, light, easy summer dish that doesn’t require a lot of prep, or ingredients.

Much like my other recipe for meatballs, you can certainly add the spices you like most or omit them altogether. Except for salt, of course. I made these with the lemon zest from one whole lemon. In my case, I got one full tablespoon from one whole lemon and it was just right.

If you choose to mix ricotta by hand, the olive oil may separate from it shortly. It still looks beautiful, in my opinion. If you would like to create a more smooth look and taste for it, use a hand mixer, or even a food processor.

Lemon chicken meatballs, whipped ricotta with salt and pepper and fresh lemon
Here I have basil in the meatballs, and simple whipped ricotta with just salt, pepper, and olive oil.

You can also use pesto in place of basil, olive oil, and pepper. Basil alone is much milder than the pesto, so you should expect a stronger taste. But that doesn’t mean worse!

How have you been handling the transition to partial re-opening? What was the place or activity that you missed the most? Let me know in the comment section! If you have any questions or feedback on this or any other of my recipes, you can always find me on Instagram (@babushkacooking), Facebook (Babushka Cooking), or e-mail me at yana@babushkacooking.com

From Kitchen, With Love –


Lemon Chicken Meatballs with Basil Ricotta

Yana, babushkacooking.com
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2


  • Hand mixer



  • 1 Lb ground chicken
  • 1 Tb freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tb olive oil


  • 1/2 C whole milk ricotta
  • 2 Tb olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tb fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • salt to taste I prefer mine without any salt, as it gives it a sweeter, fresher taste


  • Mix the ground chicken, lemon zest, oregano, and salt in a bowl. I prefer doing this with a hand mixer and use a cookie scoop to measure and form the meatballs. You can do it by hand, if you prefer.
  • Preheat the olive oil and butter over medium-low to medium heat in a nonstick pan. You can use cast iron, but it will smoke.
  • Using a cookie scoop or your hands, form the meatballs and place them carefully on the hot pan.
  • Cook the top and bottom for 4-5 minutes, and all sides for 1-2 minutes each. They are done when the thermometer reads 165 F when inserted into the thickest part of the meatball.
  • If you like them more browned, you can broil them on high for 2-3 minutes to give them a richer, more highlighted color.
  • When thoroughly cooked, transfer meatballs to a paper towel lined plate.
  • In a bowl, mix ricotta with olive oil, basil, and pepper. Season with salt, if desired.
  • Using a spoon or a spatula, lightly spread the ricotta mixture on a plate. Add the meatballs.
  • Serve and enjoy!

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