Jalapeno Popper Meatballs – Low Carb & Gluten Free

popperballsfeaturedWelcome to another edition of low carb Meatball Mondays!  This week I turned another of my favorite snack foods, the Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper, into a low carb meatball recipe.

And if I do say so, the meatball is even better than the actual poppers!  The crispy bacon exterior…. creamy cheesy interior…. Oh man these are seriously addicting!

I woke up exhausted this morning, with no meatball made for this week (I usually try to make them on the weekend, but was too busy), and felt a little overwhelmed with the pressure of getting it done today!

Due to my lack of energy and motivation, I considered dumbing down my initial recipe idea, and just throwing all of the ingredients into the mix and calling it a day.  While it would have been tasty regardless, I am SO GLAD that I didn’t cave, and stuck to my original plan instead!  These are AWESOME!

jalapeno popper meatballs low carb and gluten free[pinterest text=”Jalapeno Popper Meatballs for Meatball Mondays (low carb and gluten free) – ibreatheimhungry.com” layout=”horizontal” image=”http://www.ibreatheimhungry.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/popperballs7small-700×504.jpg”]

Mr. Hungry is working from home today, so he got to sample them, and said they are his favorite so far.  I’m inclined to agree – you guys will have to weigh in on the comments after you try them.

These are a tad more labor intensive than my previous meatball recipes, but SO VERY WORTH the few extra steps, trust me on this one!

jalapeno popper meatball tutorial[pinterest text=”Jalapeno Popper Meatballs for Meatball Mondays (low carb and gluten free) – ibreatheimhungry.com” layout=”horizontal” image=”http://www.ibreatheimhungry.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/popperballs2small-700×622.jpg”]
Notes:  You can adjust the amount of jalapenos to your preference – if you like a lot of heat, you may want to try using serranos instead, or adding a few drops of your favorite habanero sauce to the cream cheese mixture.

jalapeno popper meatball recipe

[pinterest text=”Jalapeno Popper Meatballs for Meatball Mondays (low carb and gluten free) – ibreatheimhungry.com” layout=”horizontal” image=”http://www.ibreatheimhungry.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/popperballs3small-700×479.jpg”]
The final step calls for broiling these to get the bacon nice and crispy.  PLEASE BE CAREFUL!  The bacon will spit and pop and it could cause a fire.  Keep the pan at least 6 inches below the broiler and watch them closely.  You may want to drain some of the extra fat from the pan before you do the broiling step, to minimize the chance that it will catch on fire in the oven – or if you are really nervous about it, omit the broiling step altogether and bake an extra few minutes at 400 degrees – though they won’t get quite as crisp that way.

jalapeno popper meatballs 2

[pinterest text=”Jalapeno Popper Meatballs for Meatball Mondays (low carb and gluten free) – ibreatheimhungry.com” layout=”horizontal” image=”http://www.ibreatheimhungry.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/popperballs4small-700×940.jpg”]

Jalapeno Popper Meatballs – Low Carb & Gluten Free

Yield: 20 large meatballs

Serving Size: 3 meatballs

Jalapeno Popper Meatballs – Low Carb & Gluten Free

A low carb meatball recipe inspired by bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers


  • 2 large jalapeno peppers
  • 20 slices bacon
  • 20 toothpicks
  • For the Meatball Mix
  • 2 lb ground turkey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • For the Filling
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1 Tbsp prepared salsa


  • Roast the jalapenos under the broiler until charred - about 3 minutes. Cool, then peel, seed and chop them. Set aside (you'll need about 3 tablespoons for this recipe.)
  • To make the meatball mix
  • Combine all of the meatball mix + 1 Tbsp roasted jalapenos in a medium bowl - set aside.
  • To make the filling mix
  • Combine the cream cheese, cheddar, salsa, and 2 Tbsp roasted jalapenos in a small bowl - set aside.
  • To make the meatballs
  • Form a small patty (about 2.5 inches across) in your left hand. Press about 1 tsp of filling into the center of the patty. Mold the meat evenly around the filling and form into a ball. Make 20 of these.
  • To wrap the meatballs
  • Cut the bacon strips in half. Place one half on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place a meatball in the center of the strip. Fold the bacon up the sides of the meatball and pierce with a toothpick to hold in place. Lay a second half strip of bacon across the top of the meatball and tuck underneath. (refer to photo)
  • Bake the meatballs at 375 degrees (F) for about 20 minutes. Then broil them (VERY CAREFULLY) for an additional 3 - 5 minutes or until the bacon is crisp. Turn off the oven and leave the meatballs inside for another 5 minutes. Remove and cool for 5 minutes before serving.


Approximate nutrition information per meatball: 163 calories, 13g fat, .8g net carbs, 11g protein per serving (3): 489 calories, 39g fat, 2.4g net carbs, 33g protein

Be sure to cool these slightly before serving, or risk being burned by the molten cheese inside.  These are even delicious at room temperature or slightly cool, so perfect to take with you for lunch.  Not overly messy, they are also pretty easy to eat while on the go.


[pinterest text=”Jalapeno Popper Meatballs for Meatball Mondays (low carb and gluten free) – ibreatheimhungry.com” layout=”horizontal” image=”http://www.ibreatheimhungry.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/popperballs5small-693×950.jpg”]

For more great recipes, download your copy of The Gluten Free Low Carber today!


  1. Felix says

    Well, I think I know what I have to try this week. I love your book, love the cauliflower tots, love the buffalo balls. Thank you for making low carb easy for all of us! Keep doing what you do and I promise to keep reading!

  2. Sweet t says

    Oh yumm!! I think i might just try making these into large meatballs/burgers because im lazy like that.

  3. Kristel says

    We tried these tonight and they were delicious! I traded one jalapeno for a Serrano, so it was spicy, but not too hot. We added shredded cheese, salsa, and sour cream as garnish.
    The whole family loved them and we will have them again.


  4. Rachel says

    Maybe you could develop this recipe into a “filet mignon” meatball: ground beef with steak seasoning, wrapped in bacon, filled with…blue cheese? Or maybe i just love steak and love meatballs.

  5. Shawn Huff says

    Would these freeze well? I love to freezer cook but it’s been difficult finding lc freezer meals, aside from burgers.

  6. says

    Wow! Honestly the best thing I have ever eaten, low carb and/or high carb! Having leftovers for lunch and they are even better the next day.

    I am sure you have probably already done a Hawaiian Meatball and I’m going to go search your recipes, but if you haven’t I was wondering about one like that. Done with a sugar free pineapple syrup or preserves of some type with a cream cheese filling including canadian bacon and bell pepper?

  7. Jesse says

    Little ironic that you promote a paleo lifestyle but you have Ore da tatter tots being advertised on the top of this page, ha! Very disappointing..

    • says

      Sorry you were offended by that Jesse! Sadly, I don’t have control over what ads are run by my publishing company at this time. A couple of weeks ago I was rolling my eyes because they were running cinnamon buns in a can. I just ignore it and hope that people can take the good with the bad. If an opportunity comes up for me to work with a company that lets me pick and choose, I’ll jump on it. Thanks for the feedback!

  8. lyndsey says

    These look awesome and I can’t wait to make them. I was wondering though if there was any way to sub the almond flour. I know its what holds the meatball together but would zucchini or cheese work?

  9. ILoveBish says

    I just made this, and it is so delicious, there are no words to describe it. Incredible job and thank you again for these recipes. I’m going through them and bookmarking all the ones i plan on making, which is quite a few of them.

  10. Alie says

    I really, really love these. This is the third time I’ve made them, and I keep thinking that they will freeze well, but I can’t keep them in the house long enough to find out!

    I subbed 3 tbsp coconut flour and half a cup of water for the almond flour, and they were really moist and awesome.

  11. says

    Instead of the bacon wrap I cooked, chopped added with ground meat. Put the bacon fat in the bottom of the dish before I roasted them in the oven. Roasted 4 red serrano out of the garden – should have done more…bwahahahah. Filled and baked. Excellent. We tried the Parmesan ones the other night and they were delightful as well. Great job!

  12. Glenda says

    Melissa I love your recipes! I ordered you book and make as many as the recipes as i can. I love to check in to see all your meatball recipes. Maybe you can make one that resembles a grilled cheese sandwich to curb that craving!

  13. Allison G says

    I just made these meatballs. They were incredible!! I shared them with my low carb group. Everyone loves this recipe

  14. Leslie says

    Getting ready to make these…I read that they could be messy to roll into balls.
    So… I think I will press the meat mix flat on a pan and freeze slightly, then cut into squares approximately the size of the meatball, place cream cheese in center and roll slightly frozen meat into a ball around the cream cheese.

    • Karen says

      That’s more or less what I was thinking, how about making balls & freezing them, then forming the meatballs around the filling… Think I’ll make them to take to a pot luck bbq this weekend :-) Want to show my friends that low carb isn’t awful just because there’s no bread, etc!

  15. Monica says

    Hi Melissa,
    Thanks so much for the great recipes!! Would you happen to know the nutritional breakdown, or at least the carb/protein count?



    • says

      The ad network I’m part of supplies the ads – I can opt out of certain things but not everything. Occasionally ads run that don’t fit how I eat, I just ignore them.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *