It got late on Saturday night, and I didn’t quite have enough time to get my meatballs all finished up!
The bacon-wrapped, jalapeno popper chicken meatballs with cream cheese and red salsa sauce — were based on a recipe from a favorite blogger of mine, I Breathe, I’m Hungry — and a recipe I’ve been looking forward to making for awhile!
I’ve even featured these meatballs on the blog!
Late Saturday night, as I was finishing up my weekly cookup in the kitchen, I began this recipe by roasting up about 10 jalapeno peppers.
I tossed them into a bowl and coated them with coconut oil, before popping them into the oven in a baking dish for about 30 minutes, or until the skins start getting dark and they look roasted. Make sure to check on them frequently!
The recipe called for ground turkey — which the grocery store I visited on Saturday SADLY did not have — so I substituted ground chicken.
I wouldn’t advise doing this!
Ground chicken has a much different consistency than ground turkey, and making these meatballs was difficult!
I had intended upon following the recipe, and stuffing the meatballs with the cream cheese/salsa “filling” — but rolling these chicken meatballs was super difficult, and the “filling” ended up thinner than I had anticipated, so I modified the recipe a bit and just made the bacon-wrapped, jalapeno popper meatballs, to be served with the cream cheese/salsa on the side.
Not as creative, BUT IT STILL TURNED OUT. Thank goodness!
Back to Saturday night.
I tossed the ground chicken in a big bowl, added the sliced, roasted jalapenos (after cleaning out the seeds!), some eggs, almond flour and seasoning.
You may have to add what seems like A LOT of almond flour — especially if you are using ground chicken, in order to get the right meatball consistency!
Again, I highly recommend using ground turkey! 🙂
I also made the sauce Saturday night — by simply blending a package of cream cheese with some red salsa I picked up at the grocery store.
I found it incredibly difficult to get an attractive picture of this sauce!
I let the chicken mixture and the sauce sit in the fridge overnight, and all day Sunday.
On Sunday night, it was time to assemble the meatballs and get everything baked up!
NOT GONNA LIE — I was NERVOUS about this! I really wanted this recipe to turn out, and was nervous about how the ground chicken would hold up!
When the meatballs sort of started to finally look like meatballs via my repeated rolling of the ground chicken (with lots of help from the boyfriend!), I put them in an oven heated to 350-375 degrees and baked them for about 15 minutes.
Then, I pulled the tray out of the oven, and it was time to wrap my meatballs with bacon.
To do this — I took some tips from I Breathe, I’m Hungry!
She suggests cutting the bacon in half, placing the meatball on one half of the bacon, wrapping the bacon around the meatball, and then doing the same with the other half of the bacon — on the other side of the meatball — securing everything with toothpicks.
Makes perfect sense right?!
A really handy explanation with PICTURES is available via I Breathe, I’m Hungry!
Then, I baked the meatballs for about 15 more minutes — checking on them EVERY FIVE MINUTES!
When it looked like the meatballs were fully cooked (I checked to be sure, with a meat thermometer), I turned the oven on “BROIL” and put the meatballs on the top rack, hoping the bacon would get a little crispier.
Finally, I pulled the meatballs from the oven and allowed them to cool.
I really COULD. NOT. WAIT. to try these out and see how they turned out — and LUCKILY, I made a couple extras that were not bacon-wrapped.
As a late night snack Sunday, I enjoyed two meatballs with some cream cheese, red salsa sauce.
Dinner this work week shall consist of 2 meatballs slathered with cream cheese/red salsa sauce and a side of frozen vegetables.
I’m really glad I finally tried out this recipe! I’m definitely considering making this one again using GROUND TURKEY — and maybe I’ll be able to stuff my balls 🙂