Spicy Poppin’ Meatballs

Many low carbers like to meal prep on Sundays and have foods available for breakfast, lunch and snacks (and sometimes dinner) throughout the week.  I thought I’d create a recipe that can serve as both a delicious lunch or snack option but is also easy to make before a party or holiday gathering as an appetizer.  I love how versatile meatballs are, too.  They can be as simple as eaten plain or with a dip, cut up and served on a refreshing salad, included in a zoodles dish or served inside a low carb, high fiber wrap as a tasty sandwich.  The options and flavor combinations for meatballs are really endless!

I started by gathering my ingredients and pre-heating the oven to 350°F.  Prior to this photo I took pork rinds, salt and pepper and ground them in my food processor to create a breadcrumb-like texture as shown above.  This is one of my favorite low carb tricks and is a great substitution in many recipes.  Pork rinds have zero carbs and their flavor is not typically detected in recipes.

Next I started on the meatball mixture by finely dicing onions.  You could mince these or omit them entirely, if you prefer.

I added the onions to the ground chicken, an egg and the pork rinds in a large mixing bowl and sprinkled with salt and pepper.

Using a spatula, I mixed the ingredients together until fully combined.  Be careful not to over-mix or the meatballs will be tough after baking.  I recommend sticking this in the fridge for 15-20 minutes at this stage as well.

Next I finely diced two small jalapeños.  I tried to demonstrate the easiest way I’ve learned how to do this.  After removing the seeds from the inside, I like to slice long, thin strips vertically through each half while keeping them attached at the end as seen in the upper-left of the above photo.  From there I run my knife across the strips and it creates perfectly diced jalapeño pieces!

I added the jalapeños to cream cheese, which I already softened in the microwave for 30 seconds, and shredded cheddar cheese.

Using a spoon, I stirred until all three ingredients were thoroughly combined.

To form the meatballs, I put a generous portion of meatball mixture into the palm of my hand, flattened slightly and pressed a small indent into the middle.  From there, I scooped about a teaspoon of cream cheese mixture into the center.  I folded the sides up around the cream cheese and then rolled the meatballs between my hands.  They are slightly larger than golf balls in order to completely cover the cream cheese mixture.

I baked the meatballs for 30 minutes until the chicken was fully cooked.  The bottoms will brown but the meat is still juicy and tender.  The inside is creamy and tastes just like a jalapeño popper!  There is a little sweetness from the onion which mixes perfectly with the spice from the jalapeños.  I love how easy these are to make and how delicious and well-balanced they come out.  I prefer to serve them with a bit of ranch dressing, so long as it is relatively low carb.  These would be great to make on Sunday and portion out into containers in order to munch on them throughout the week as they re-heat really well!

Spicy Poppin’ Meatballs

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 15-16 meatballs

Serving Size: 4 meatballs

Spicy Poppin’ Meatballs


  • 1lb ground chicken
  • 1 egg
  • 14g pork rinds, ground
  • 1/4c yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 small jalapeños
  • 4oz cream cheese
  • 1/4c shredded cheddar cheese
  • To Taste
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Pre-heat the oven 350°F.
  2. Finely dice the yellow onion and grind the pork rinds into a breadcrumb-like consistency.
  3. To a large mixing bowl, add the ground chicken, onion, pork rinds, egg, salt and pepper; mix until thoroughly combined, then refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Finely dice the jalapeños.
  5. Soften the cream cheese in the microwave, then add the jalapeños and shredded cheddar cheese; stir until fully combined.
  6. Place meatball mixture in your hand, flatten and add a slight indent in the center.
  7. Add about a teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture to the center.
  8. Fold the sides up around the cream cheese and then roll into a meatball shape, slightly larger than a golf ball.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes until chicken is fully cooked and slightly browned on the bottom.

Nutrtional Information

Per serving: 368 calories, 2g total carbs, 1g net carbs, 26g fat,, 31g protein (Note: Please remember these numbers are based on the brands I used and may vary slightly with other brands.)


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  1. Brian

    I am going to smoke these in a smoker!

    I wonder if the pork rinds are even necessary? I know people use them a lot, but I can taste them and I’m not a big fan.

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