Appetizers & Snacks

Chicken Liver Meatballs (Tasty and Good For You)

at a glance
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 5 -7 servings
4.7 — Votes 3 votes

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Packed with superfood ingredients, these Paleo chicken liver meatballs are finally a way to get the nutrition powerhouse on the table in a delicious, family-friendly dish.

overhead of view of a cast iron skillet filled with chicken liver meatballs

I debated (too heavily) on the name for this recipe. A part of me wanted to sneak the chicken-liver in there with an implied “superfood” title. Sneaking-it-in is essentially the name of the chicken liver game, after all. Another part of me figured that I’d just go ahead and call a spade a spade with a name that screamed: “HERE YE, HERE YE, these meatballs right here have actual chicken liver in them!” Obviously, I settled for the latter.

I’m calling it out because I want chicken liver to come out from hiding and for us to address it directly: as the (dare I say) tasty superfood worth adding into our diet.

Let me start off by saying I am NOT one of those people who just loves chicken liver. I was not raised on it and, therefore, never developed the taste for the unique protein. Chicken liver was out of sight and out of mind. THEN, I started my life as a nutrition science-fascinated professional. Because of the IMPOSSIBLE to ignore abundance of fabulous nutrients found in chicken liver, I conceded their addition into my diet. It was not a decision I made lovingly. It was a decision, akin to deciding that it’s finally time to do my taxes, that I must incorporate these powerful little healing blobs into our regular rotation.

The list of chicken liver benefits is long and impossible to ignore, you see. Because the liver is meant to help our body filter toxins, it is armed (if you will) with a true arsenal of powerful nutrients. Especially healthy livers (think those that are from pastured chickens) are profoundly stocked with vitamins A, B12, and folate (new research even suggests the presence of methylated folate).

 a cast iron skillet filled with chicken liver meatballs

overhead of view of a cast iron skillet filled with chicken liver meatballs

I started my chicken liver recipe development as simply as possible: marinated and then grilled. I don’t think I’ve ever not enjoyed a meal more in my life. Between the flavor and the texture, I was OUT. I think I barely stomached 3 ketchup-drowned bites before I threw in the towel.

After my attempts at a super simple recipe bombed, I got busy with more creative routes. After many trials and tribulations (emphasis on the taste bud tribulation), I finally NAILED IT.

This loud-and-proud chicken liver meatball recipe is just absolutely delicious. Made possible by a few surprising ingredients, I’m beyond thrilled to finally have a tasty way to incorporate chicken livers in our diet.

These chicken liver meatballs are made possible (and by possible, I mean they made chicken liver craveable) with two helpful ingredients: caramelized onions and (bear with me) sauerkraut. The use of caramelized onions is a favorite old kitchen trick of mine that always helps to bring delicious flavor to any dish. The sauerkraut, on the other hand, works unexpected magic. It helps to lighten the meatball texture while also adding a really nice briny brightness. There isn’t any sauerkraut flavor in the finished dish, as its ingredient assistance is much more subtle. Note that you CAN make these chicken liver meatballs by omitting either the onions or the sauerkraut. That being said, if you’re like me and you’re chicken liver resistant, I suggest using both.

a cast iron skillet filled with chicken liver meatballs

I recommend serving these meatballs over zoodles, mashed potatoes, gluten-free pasta, or even solo next to some roasted vegetables. Note that meatballs are a GREAT food to prep-then-freeze in bulk. I recommend freezing first on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan and then transferring to a large freezer-safe bag. This way, you can easily pluck your desired serving of meatballs out for a quick defrost.

Note: I suggest defrosting directly in a pan on the stove with fresh butter/olive oil or by baking them at 350 until hot.

I hope you enjoy these meatballs and make them your own! (Check out THIS episode of the podcast where I talk about liver as a first food for baby Gray!)

Chicken Liver Meatballs

By: Cassy
4.7 — Votes 3 votes
Prep Time: 40 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Servings: 5 -7 servings


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 yellow onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 pound pastured chicken livers blended until smooth
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 cup sauerkraut drained
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  • Melt half of the butter in a large skillet. Add the onions, stir, and then let them simmer for 10 to 15 minutes over medium heat, or until reduced in size caramelized in color.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the caramelized onions (leaving the butter behind in the pan), the blended livers, the beef, the drained sauerkraut, the salt, and the pepper. I suggest using your hands to incorporate the ingredients into an even mixture.
  • Add the rest of the butter to the original skillet and turn the heat to medium. Form the mixture into meatballs and place them in the pan. Cook the meatballs on each side for 3 to 4 minutes, or until slightly charred.
  • Stove top variation: Continue to rotate each meatball 3 to 4 times so that you have a nice char on all sides. Add more butter/olive oil to the pan, if needed.
  • Oven variation: After charring on one side, flip the meatballs over once and transfer to the oven. Cook at 350 for 20 minutes, or until  cooked through.
  • Stove top variation: Continue to rotate each meatball 3 to 4 times so that you have a nice char on all sides. Add more butter/olive oil to the pan, if needed.
  • Oven variation: After charring on one side, flip the meatballs over once and transfer to the oven. Cook at 350 for 20 minutes, or until  cooked through.
  • Garnish with additional salt (as you like) and serve warm!
Meet the Author
Cassy Headshot

Cassy Joy Garcia

HOWDY! I’m Cassy Joy and I am just so happy you’re here. I’m the founder, Editor-in-Chief, and Nutrition Consultant here at Fed and Fit. What started as a food blog back in 2011 has evolved now into so much more.
Get to know Cassy

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    Recipe Rating

  1. Haneul says

    Haneul —  04/30/2017 At 20:49

    I can’t wait to try this recipe! I always try to sneak liver into recipes and fail miserably. My husband can stomach the taste of liver better than I can so he will pretend to enjoy it, but I usually give up after a few bites (and trying to not vomit). Thanks for posting such a beautiful and nutrient-dense recipe!!

    • Cassy says

      Cassy —  05/02/2017 At 05:35

      I’m with you, Hanuel!! Make sure the meatballs get crispy 😉

  2. Sarah says

    Sarah —  05/07/2017 At 17:25

    I just happen to have all of these ingredients ready to go in my fridge, can’t wait to give these a try… had to feed my last chicken liver attempt to the dogs!


  3. Bethany says

    Bethany —  05/10/2017 At 05:18

    Never would have thought to add sauerkraut. I cannot wait to try these!

  4. Nelly says

    Nelly —  05/23/2017 At 16:28

    OMG, these were amazing! I asked my husband to make these for me. He had it prepped and ready for me to roll the meatballs. I hadn’t read the recipe, so I was a little suprised my the liver prep…lol. But these were Ah-maz-ing!

    • Cassy says

      Cassy —  06/11/2017 At 15:24

      I’m so thrilled to hear that you liked them, Nelly!!

  5. Alana says

    Alana —  03/17/2018 At 18:03

    Where would you recommend getting a clean source of chicken liver?

  6. Kayla Hudsonyla says

    Kayla Hudsonyla —  08/01/2018 At 15:18

    OMG! I am a believer. I adjusted because we had beef liver in the freezer from our bulk cow. I also used pork because that’s what I had around. But these taste amazing. Thank you!

  7. Jess Reynolds says

    Jess Reynolds —  08/05/2018 At 19:30

    Have you ever tried cooking with pork liver? We buy whole hogs from local farmers and I find myself giving the liver to the dog, but buying chicken liver. Any thoughts? Pregnant momma here, looking for more ways to get in nutrients. Thanks, LOVE your recipes!

  8. Jessica Marshall says

    Jessica Marshall —  07/21/2020 At 13:09

    Can you use this with beef liver or do you have to make other adjustments?

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  07/21/2020 At 13:38

      You shouldn’t need to make any adjustments for the beef liver, Jessica. Enjoy!

  9. Lynn says

    Lynn —  11/02/2020 At 13:37

    5 stars
    Yeah! Will be trying this one today!

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  11/02/2020 At 15:01

      Can’t wait to hear how you liked it, Lynn!!

  10. Colleen Forton says

    Colleen Forton —  07/07/2021 At 12:57

    Can this be frozen once cooked? Or maybe once rolled into balls could they be frozen raw?

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  07/07/2021 At 14:52

      I’d cook and then freeze, Colleen!

  11. Carla says

    Carla —  07/28/2021 At 13:05

    Nice recipe! Do you blend the raw livers?

    • Brandi Schilhab says

      Brandi Schilhab —  07/28/2021 At 15:16

      Yes, blend until smooth! Enjoy, Carla!

  12. afra says

    afra —  01/24/2022 At 14:36

    5 stars
    Super tasty! I cannot remember the last time I cooked with liver but was so inspired to use it again. I increased the liver ratio and added 1 egg white and 2 tbsp panko – no idea if it was necessary, but the mix looked so moist. Baked them in the oven for 20 min. Wow they were tasty! Will certainly make them again. Thank you so much for this inspiration

    • Melissa Guevara says

      Melissa Guevara —  01/26/2022 At 22:17

      I’m so glad to hear you found new inspiration and enjoyed the meatballs! Thank you for taking the time to share with us! ~Melissa