These Air Fryer Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken Meatballs are a tantalizing blend of savory and spicy, ideal for rocking the main course, stealing the show as an appetizer, or satisfying snack cravings. With just 9 simple ingredients, these crowd-pleasers cook up in less than 15 minutes – it’s a recipe that’s sure to win everyone’s hearts (and taste buds)!

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 break the mold by requiring just a handful of simple ingredients. Here’s the lowdown on 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

No need to stress about time or cleanup – this chicken meatballs recipe is a speedy assembly, and the cleanup is a breeze. So, you can get in, get cooking, and get out of the kitchen in a flash!

  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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03/13/2024 02:04 pm GMT

Serving Suggestions

If you’re planning to showcase these chicken meatballs as appetizers, take it up a notch by pairing them with your favorite dipping sauce! Our personal favorites to pair them with are 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 absolutely delectable stuffed into pita and they pair perfectly with 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

Do yourself a favor – whip up a surplus of these meatballs! They’re like a kitchen superhero on hectic days and they store like a dream.

  • 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

Hungry for more meatball goodness? Check out these other recipes for meaty deliciousness:

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

Air Fryer Jalapeño Chicken Meatballs Recipe

4.84 from 18 votes
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Make these Air Fryer Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken Meatballs in minutes for an easy, crowd-pleasing recipe perfect for every occasion!


  • 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


  • Preheat the air fryer to 380 degrees Fahrenheit, and spray the basket with oil spray.
  • Cut the chicken breasts into small pieces, and add them to a food processor.
    1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Add the seeded jalapeños, parsley, red onion, salt, pepper, Cheddar cheese, egg, and garlic to the food processor with the chicken.
    2 jalapeños, 1/3 cup parsley, 1/2 red onion, 1 teaspoon salt, Optional: 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/3 cup Cheddar cheese, 1 large egg, 2 cloves garlic
  • 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.


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. 

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Serving: 1serving | Calories: 135kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 493mg | Potassium: 379mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 377IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this recipe?Please leave a comment!

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Meet Alia & Radwa

Welcome to Food Dolls! We’re so glad you found us. We are Alia and Radwa, sisters who want to share simple and easy recipes with you. We hope you find recipes here that you enjoy making as much as we do! Learn more about us!

4.84 from 18 votes (15 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


    1. Sorry to hear this, Jamie! You can always add more herbs and spices to suit your preferences. 😊

      Alia & Radwa

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you very much for sharing these wonderful recipes. They are all quick and easy yet great recipes.

    1. You’re so welcome, Shermila! Thank YOU for trying them out and following along. 😊

      Alia & Radwa

    1. We don’t recommend to slow cook these. You can bake them at 375 degrees F. for 20-25 minutes, making sure to flip half way through baking!