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Air Fryer Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken Meatballs

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These Air Fryer Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken Meatballs are savory, spicy, and perfect for serving as a main course, appetizer, or snack! Made with 9 simple ingredients, they cook in less than 15 minutes for a crowd-pleasing recipe you’ll love! 

Air Fryer Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken Meatballs with a bite taken out of one.
Keep a batch of Air Fryer Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken Meatballs on hand for snacks, appetizer, and easy dinners!

Name a better appetizer than meatballs. We’ll wait! Bite-sized, poppable, easy to make, and super versatile, you can seriously never go wrong. Whether you’re preparing an appetizer for a holiday party, snacks for a graduation or special celebration, or simply want an easy weeknight meal, they always hit the spot. 

We’ll never say no to saucy varieties. However, recently, this Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken Meatballs recipe has been on repeat in our home. Served on their own without a sauce, their flavor speaks for itself. Juicy chicken combined with fresh herbs, tangy red onion, and spicy jalapeños for a bold flavor that’s out of this world. Stuffed with lots of cheddar cheese, they’re full of gooey goodness and completely irresistible! 

Why You’ll Love Air Fryer Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken Meatballs

  • Budget-friendly, they come together with just 9 ingredients, most of which you probably already have on hand. 
  • They cook in the air fryer in less than 15 minutes
  • High-protein, they’re naturally gluten-free and nut-free to fit a variety of dietary needs. They can even be made dairy-free, too! 
  • You can serve them as part of a complete meal or as a tasty appetizer or snack.

Key Ingredients 

Unlike many meatball recipes that require lots of ingredients, these chicken meatballs are made with just a handful of simple items. Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • Chicken – Boneless skinless chicken breasts work well as the base of the recipe as their mild flavor absorbs the taste of the rest of the ingredients well. Ground chicken works well, too. 
  • Jalapeños – Use as little or as much as you’d like to adjust the spice level. Just make sure they’re seeded! 
  • Parsley – The bright, peppery taste helps balance out the heat from the jalapeños. 
  • Red Onion – Diced super finely to add a slight crunch and a bit of tang. 
  • Cheese – We love the sharp flavor of Cheddar, but and shredded cheese you like best would taste great.
  • Egg – This acts as a binder and is crucial to help your meatballs hold their shape! 
  • Garlic – Fresh garlic cloves add a pungent, sweet, and slightly savory flavor. For the best results, use whole garlic cloves, not minced garlic! 

How to Make Easy Chicken Meatballs

This chicken meatballs recipe comes together in no time and clean-up is a breeze. That means you can get in and out of the kitchen fast! 

  1. Prepare. Preheat the air fryer, and grease the basket with cooking spray. 
  2. Prepare the Meatball Mixture. Slice the chicken into small pieces, and add them to the bowl of a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients. Pulse to combine. 
  3. Air Fry. Use an ice cream scoop to portion out the mixture into equal-sized balls. Arrange them in an even layer in the air fryer basket, leaving a little space between each chicken meatball. Work in batches if needed! Air fryer until they’re browned on the outside and cooked all the way through. Serve warm, and enjoy!
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05/29/2023 12:29 am GMT

Serving Suggestions

If you want to serve these chicken meatballs as an appetizer, try pairing them with your favorite dipping sauce! For instance, we love to pair them with ketchup, barbecue sauce, Ranch, tzatziki, or toum

Or, to make them a complete meal, try serving them over Vermicelli or Chicken and Broccoli Rice. They’re also great stuffed into pita or paired alongside all your favorite stand-alone sides

A hand holding an Air Fryer Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken Meatball with a bite missing from it.
Serve your Air Fryer Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken Meatballs right away while they’re warm!

How to Store

We highly recommend making lots of extra meatballs! They’re a lifesaver on busy days and store super well. 

  • Refrigerator: Once fully cooled, leftover chicken meatballs can be transferred to an airtight container or sealable bag and stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. 
  • Freezer: Arrange your meatballs in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place them in the freezer for about 30 minutes or until they’ve hardened. Then, transfer them to a sealable bag, and keep them frozen for up to 3 months
  • To Reheat: Let frozen leftovers thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, reheat them in the oven, air fryer, or microwave just until heated through. 

Common Questions About Air Fryer Chicken Meatballs

Why are my Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken Meatballs tough? 

Meatballs turn out tough when they’re packed too tightly. You want the mixture to be tight enough to hold its form but not so packed that it’s heavy and dense. Lightly using an ice cream scoop will prevent this. However, if you’re rolling them with your hands, wet them first to prevent the meatball mixture from clinging to your fingers. 

How do you keep chicken meatballs from falling apart? 

Meatballs need some sort of binder to hold them together. Many recipes use a combination of breadcrumbs and eggs. However, just an egg should be enough for this chicken meatball recipe. Plus, omitting the breadcrumbs will help keep your meatballs moist! 

Can I use ground turkey? 

Yes! Ground turkey works really well with this recipe. Just be careful not to over-process it. Otherwise, your meatballs may turn out a little mushy. 

More Tasty Meatball Recipes

Looking for more meatball recipes? The options below have you covered for every occasion! 

A hand holding an air fryer jalapeño cheddar chicken meatball with a bite taken out.

Air Fryer Jalapeño Chicken Meatballs Recipe

Food Dolls
Make these Air Fryer Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken Meatballs in minutes for an easy, crowd-pleasing recipe perfect for every occasion!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Course Appetizer, appetizer party, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 65 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 jalapeños (seeded)
  • 1/3 cup parsley
  • 1/2 red onion (sliced)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup Cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cloves garlic

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the air fryer to 380° F, and spray the basket with oil spray.
  • Cut the chicken breasts into small pieces, and add them to a food processor.
  • Add the seeded jalapeños, parsley, red onion, salt, pepper, Cheddar cheese, egg, and garlic to the food processor with the chicken.
  • Pulse to combine until the ingredients are well mixed.
  • Use an ice cream scoop to portion out equal-sized balls.
  • Place the meatballs in the air fryer basket, leaving a little space between them. Work in batches if needed!
  • Air fry the meatballs for 12-14 minutes or until they are cooked through and browned on the outside.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Notes

To Freeze: Let the meatballs cool completely. Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze for 30 minutes or until solid. Transfer the meatballs to a freezer-safe container or sealable bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 65kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 427mg | Potassium: 150mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 0.4g | Vitamin A: 360IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 0.5mg
Keyword air fryer recipes, chicken meatballs, chicken meatballs recipe, easy chicken meatballs, meatballs

Equipment

1 Cookie Scoop
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