These apple jalapeno ginger chicken meatballs are delicious and juicy. If you’re looking for a nice healthy fall recipe for a weeknight meal or even for a weekend get together or potluck, these meatballs won’t disappoint.
We’ve been making a lot of fatty and indulgent recipes lately. So Sarah decided to make something healthy, seasonal, and packed with a lot of flavor.
But it wasn’t our easiest work. Sometimes we don’t figure it out and the recipe gets scratched (or put into a file for future development). Hey, some recipes come together better than others. This is one of those others. We tested 6 different variations. Finally, though, we did get it to work.
You see, ground chicken breast tends to be on the dry side. That’s because it has little fat. So going into this recipe we knew we needed to do something about that. But we didn’t want to make it too fatty.
That’s when we remembered this meatball recipe from Serious Eats. Particularly the secrets to making meatballs juicy.
The first step was to make a chicken stock gelatin.
You want to do this first because it takes a while for the gelatin to set.
The next step was to make the panade which is a bread soup. For this we took bread, soaked it in milk, and then mashed it into a sort of paste (follow the recipe below for better instructions).
Next, you want to get your apples, jalapeno, and ginger prepared.
Chop the apple into small cubes about the size of a kernel of corn.
Mince the jalapeno.
Grate the ginger.
Chop the gelled chicken stock.
Put all of the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and mix.
Take the gelled stock and chop it into small pieces. Add this to the mixture. Mix well.
Add the ground chicken breast.
Form the meatballs.
Now, we didn’t include a sauce with this recipe. We probably will in a future update. You can go with a simple honey mustard sauce. Heck, even ranch would work. But they taste just amazing on their own. That’s how we ate them after we finished taking pictures.
We really love that this is a healthier recipe that’s packed with so much flavor. Some so-called “healthy” recipes taste like old sweaty socks smell. This one taste amazing! You’re crowd will love them! Serve them up on a nice big platter and watch them disappear.
You can use toothpicks for self-serving. But there are cheap fancier options out there. You could check out your local party supply store, i.e. party city. We found some neat food picks.
Apple Jalapeno Ginger Chicken Meatballs
- ½ Cup Chicken Stock
- 1 Envelope Unflavored Gelatin
- 2 Slices Fresh White Bread Cubed
- 3 Tablespoons Milk
- 1 Pound Ground Chicken
- ½ Granny Smith Apple Peeling and Diced
- 1 Teaspoon Fresh Ginger Grated
- ½ A Medium Jalapeno Seeded and Minced
- ½ Teaspoon Ground Sage
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- ¼ Teaspoon Pepper
- 1 Large Egg
- ½ Cup Breadcrumbs I used Italian seasoning
- Start by adding the gelatin to the chicken stock in a small bowl. Stir until combined. Microwave for 1 minute until the gelatin has dissolved. Then add the mixture to a shallow dish and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Take the bread and cut the crust off and cut into small cubes. Add the bread and milk to a medium bowl (See note). Let it sit for about 5 minutes to allow the bread to soak up all the milk. After the 5 minutes are up take a fork and smash the mixture to ensure the bread is completely soaked.
- Grate the ginger and put it in the bowl with the bread.
- Cut the jalapeno in half and remove the seeds and rib then mince it and add it to the same bowl (See note).
- Peel the apple and dice it kind of small since this is going into a meatball you don’t want huge pieces of apple sticking out.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the medium bowl. Sage, salt, pepper, egg, bread crumbs.
- Take the stock out of the fridge and remove it from the dish. (See note) Take half of it and finely mince it. Then add it to the bowl with the other ingredients.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Mix all ingredients just until combined. Take 1 tablespoon of the mixture and form it into a ball. (See note) Place them on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 7 minutes. Then turn the broil on and broil for 4 minutes. The cooking time may vary based on how close the rack is to the broiler. Make sure to rotate the baking sheet to allow even browning. Let it them cool for 2 minutes and enjoy!
- The bread and milk mixture is called a panade which is used in meat mixtures to help keep it moist during cooking.
- If you like heat you can keep the seeds and rib in the jalapeno and just mince the half.
- When you take the stock out of the fridge and remove it from the dish it is going to look like jello stock. Lol This part was really cool to see.
- This mixture yielded 20 meatballs. You can make them bigger but if you do then you have to adjust the cooking time as well.
- These meatballs were also delicious at room temperature. You can store any leftovers in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat them in the oven at 300 for about 10 minutes just to heat through. The time can vary based on how many you are reheating and how your oven heats.
- If you want to add a little more heat, mince some of the seeds and ribs of the jalapeno and add them to the meatball mixture.
Hi! This recipe is very intriguing! They look incredible! I’ve never made meatballs with the chicken stock gelatin. Just to clarify, you only add half of the stock gelatin once out of fridge to the mixture, right? Curious what to do with the remaining half. Love the addition of the panade! My mom has made her meatballs with a panade for years, and it’s nice to see them in a recipe now! Any suggestions for an alternative to white bread? Totally understand why it is used since it sops up so much milk, though I don’t eat white bread often so would prefer to not buy a loaf for 2 pieces. Thanks!!
Yes I only used half of the stock gelatin. You could double the batch and use the whole thing but to be honest my son ate the left over gelatin since it was so unique to him. lol Using a panade really helps make meatloaf’s and meatballs stay nice and moist while cooking. Instead of white bread you could use wheat bread, or whole wheat tortillas if you have any left over from taco night. I would stay away from any breads that have whole grain or nuts in them since the grains and nuts won’t break down while soaking up the milk. Hope this helps, thanks for the comment!
Thanks for your quick response! Making tomorrow—will update with feedback!
Sweet! Let me know how they turn out. If there was one thing that I would add maybe use some of the ribs and seeds for more heat. Alternatively you could use a little pickled Jalapeno.
We loved it! My partner gobbled the first batch down as soon as they came out of oven. You’re right, the gelatin mixture is super interesting! Flavors were amazing—slight sweetness from ginger & tart crunchiness from apple. My bf assumed I added garlic cloves & diced onion (as usual for us), & was surprised when I told him neither were added. Definitely a keeper! Followed directions exactly outside of using a 1.5 t cookie scoop to drop on baking sheet. Didn’t need to adjust timing, though I think our oven runs hot. Only tweaks next time willbe to use a silpat bc a few stuck pretty hard to the foil even with olive oil brushed underneath. And I think I could use a more pungent chicken flavor; maybe willl use boullion in place of broth/stock next. Thank you thank you! So appreciate your quick response & helpfulness! We didn’t end up eating the entire leftover half of chicken broth gelatin, but I DID see my bf steal a few more bites lol!
I am so glad that you all loved it! Thanks for coming back!