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.
If you enjoy meatball recipes, then you’ll also like our Slow Cooker Grape Jelly Meatballs, Porcupine Meatballs or Meatball Subs.
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.
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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.
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