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Mortadella Chicken Meatballs

The owners of acclaimed NYC restaurant Don Angie share a recipe for mortadella chicken meatballs from their acclaimed 2021 cookbook.

By Angie Rito & Scott Tacinelli

9:00 AM EDT on September 14, 2023

mortadella and chicken meatballs.

Mortadella and Chicken Meatballs in chicken broth with pastina, from Italian American: Red Sauce Classics and New Essentials: A Cookbook by Angie Rito & Scott Tacinelli

We developed this mortadella chicken meatballs dish as part of a special-occasion Japanese-inspired pasta omakase menu, feeling inspired by tsukune, the juicy chicken skewers popular as a drinking snack in izakayas. But it was so delicious that we now make these meatballs all the time, mixing ground chicken (ideally dark meat) and mortadella, the Italian-American version of bologna, which adds an extra dose of fat and flavor.

SERVING NOTE: These meatballs are great when rolled into a smaller size and served in chicken broth with pastina and a scattering of fresh green scallions and herbs on top, or in a sandwich with stracchino cheese and pesto.

Editor's Note: Appetito loves Don Angie, a critically acclaimed NYC Italian-American restaurant from Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli. This recipe and adapted preface are from their book Italian American: Red Sauce Classics and New Essentials: A Cookbook.

Mortadella Chicken Meatballs

Mortadella Chicken Meatballs

Recipe by Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli
0.0 from 0 votes

8 (24 meatballs)

Prep time


Cooking time




  • 2 cups 2 nickel-sized chunks bread, crust removed (from about half an Italian-style loaf or small baguette)

  • 1 cup 1 whole milk

  • 1/2 pound 1/2 mortadella, roughly chopped

  • 1/2 pound 1/2 ground chicken (preferably dark meat)

  • 3 tablespoons 3 Roasted Garlic puree

  • 1/3 cup 1/3 finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  • 1 tablespoon 1 kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 cayenne pepper

  • 1/3 cup 1/3 thinly sliced scallions, whites only (4 to 6 scallions)

  • 1 large 1 egg


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray the paper with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the bread and milk and soak until the bread is thoroughly saturated, about 15 minutes.
  • Squeeze the bread in a clean kitchen towel to wring out as much milk as possible and discard the liquid. You should have about 1¼ cups of wrung bread.
  • Meanwhile, in a food processor, process the mortadella into small pieces, the same size as the ground chicken.
  • In a large bowl, combine the chicken, mortadella, bread, roasted garlic puree, parmesan, salt, black pepper, cayenne, scallion whites, and egg and mix by hand until well incorporated.
  • Form into 1½-inch meatballs (about 2 tablespoons each) and place on the lined baking sheet.
  • Bake the meatballs until golden brown and firm, and a thermometer poked in the center reads 160°F, about 15 minutes.
  • Serve immediately (and see also Serving Note for more suggestions). Leftovers keep, tightly covered in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.

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