Take your homemade chicken meatballs up a notch by slowly cooking them in a chipotle-flavored sauce that is sure to leave everyone wanting seconds. Use this healthy chicken meatballs recipe as a main course cuisine paired with our serving suggestions below for a well-rounded meal that will be absolutely delicious.
What are chipotle peppers?
- Contrary to popular belief, the chipotle pepper isn’t an entirely new pepper. In fact, it’s simply a ripe jalapeno chili pepper that has been smoke-dried. This is where the dark – almost burgundy – color comes from.
- They are a well-known ingredient in Mexican (and Tex-Mex) dishes because of the distinct smoky, hot, and sweet flavors. For a sweeter flavored chipotle pepper, it is best to let them ripen to their natural deep red color.
- Although you can have a go at making them yourself, this healthy chicken meatballs recipe calls for chipotle peppers in a can and chipotle powder.
- Ground Chicken: Typically made from ground skinless boneless chicken thighs or ground chicken breast, using chicken makes this a healthier alternative to other types of meat.
- Cream of Chicken: Used as part of the sauce base, cream of chicken also adds an additional chicken flavor.
- Chicken Broth: Since cream of chicken soup typically calls for a can of milk or water, the chicken broth works as a perfect substitution.
- Heavy Cream: Using heavy cream in a recipe like this will help produce a richer, more creamy sauce.
- Bread Crumbs: Mixed with the ground chicken to help keep the meatballs intact.
- Cream Cheese: Combined with a few other ingredients to make the chipotle sauce.
- Mayo: Also used as a primary ingredient for the chipotle sauce.
- Other Dry Ingredients: chipotle powder and minced onions are used for the chicken meatballs and the chipotle peppers are ground and used in the sauce.
- Cilantro: Used for garnish.
Step One – In a large bowl, add ground chicken, bread crumbs, egg, minced onions, and chipotle seasoning to make the ground chicken meatballs.
Step Two – Gently mix the chicken mixture until well combined.
Step Three – In another large bowl, add the cream cheese, cream of chicken, coarsely chopped chipotle peppers, mayo, chicken broth, heavy whipping cream, salt, and pepper.
Step Four – Whisk to combine and make the chipotle sauce.
Step Five – Add a small amount of the chipotle sauce to the bottom of the slow cooker (enough to cover the bottom) and add the ground chicken meatballs on top.
Step Six – Pour the remaining creamy chipotle sauce into the crockpot. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3.5 hours or LOW for 5 hours.
How to serve
- These incredibly delicious chicken meatballs can be served as an appetizer by themselves. Simply put them in a large serving bowl alongside mini forks, toothpicks, or another bite-size utensil.
- Chipotle chicken meatballs also make for great sub sandwiches. Use deli-bought hoagie buns or Italian sub bread for creating a delicious lunch or dinner.
- They can also be served as-is alongside roasted veggies like bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms. They would also be yummy served with or on mashed potatoes.
- And since this chicken meatball recipe has a Tex-Mex flavor, you can’t go wrong with serving them with Mexican rice, beans, and/or tortilla chips.
Chipotle peppers are spicy, but not overwhelming. The dominant flavor is a smoky one, followed by a bit of heat and sweetness.
Yes. The cooking time may be a bit longer if you put them into the slow cooker in their frozen state. To cut back on a longer cooking time, allow the frozen meatballs to defrost before cooking.
Store any leftover meatballs in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Yes! Ground turkey and ground beef are excellent substitutions. Use ground turkey (or beef) to make the meatballs as directed.
Slow Cooker Chipotle Chicken Meatballs
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp. dried minced onion or 1/4 cup fresh minced white onion
- 1 tsp. chipotle seasoning (or chili powder)
- 5 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 8 oz. softened cream cheese
- 1/4 cup mayo
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- cilantro garnish
- Make the chicken meatballs. In a large bowl, mix ground chicken, bread crumbs, egg, minced onions, and chipotle seasoning until well incorporated.
- Make the chipotle sauce. Coarsely chop the chipotle peppers and add to a bowl with cream cheese, mayo, cream of chicken, chicken broth, heavy whipping cream, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine. Add a small amount to the slow cooker, enough to cover the bottom.
- Form chicken into 1” balls and place into the slow cooker.
- Pour creamy chipotle seasoning into the slow cooker.
- Cover, and cook on high for 3.5 hours or low for 5 hours. Once cooking is complete, stir well to blend the sauce as some elements may separate.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately. Enjoy!
- Chipotle peppers are spicy, but not overwhelming. The dominant flavor is a smoky one, followed by a bit of heat and sweetness.
- Ground turkey and ground beef are excellent substitutions. Use ground turkey (or beef) to make the meatballs as directed.
- Frozen meatballs can be used instead of the homemade ones. The same cooking time will apply.
- Store any leftover meatballs in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Nutrition info is auto-generated. This information is an estimate; if you are on a special diet, please use your own calculations.