Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Meatballs are made with ground beef and ground pork that are filled and baked with shredded cheese, cream cheese, jalapeno peppers, and bacon. These should definitely be added to your list of appetizers to share!
Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Meatballs
To me, this is the combination of two popular appetizers. Meatballs are filled with all the flavors and ingredients of jalapeno poppers. Be aware that the cream cheese filling mixture does need to chill in the freezer for 20-30 minutes before being added to the meat mixture. This recipe makes 35 stuffed meatballs.
There are two parts to this recipe–the filling and the meatballs.
Filling: The filling is the standard ingredients you would find in a jalapeno popper. It combines shredded cheese, cream cheese, jalapeno peppers, bacon, and garlic.
Cream Cheese: You will only use half of a block of cream cheese in this recipe (4 ounces). Save the other half for Jalapeno Popper Wontons.
Meatballs: I used my favorite combination of ground beef and ground pork to make the meatballs. This combination gives you the most tender and flavorful meatballs!
Can I Make Stuffed Meatballs Without Freezing the Filling?
As I stated above, you will need to plan to freeze the balls of filling for about half an hour. If you do not let the filling freeze for a bit, it could leak out of the meatballs while they are baking. And, you don’t want to miss out on any of the flavors inside the meatballs!
Can I Make the Meatballs Ahead of Time?
Yes! To save some time, you could get the meatballs formed and store them in the freezer until ready to make the appetizer. To make the meatballs ahead of time, first, follow all the instructions up to the filling and baking of the meatballs. Next, on a parchment-lined baking sheet, pop them into the freezer for an hour or two. Finally, after they are frozen, store them in the freezer bags.
When ready to fill and bake the meatballs, take them out of the freezer and let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight. When thawed enough to fill and form around the filling, follow the baking instructions.
Can I Make Stuffed Jalapeno Popper Meatballs in an Air Fryer?
Yes! The stuffed meatballs cook great and brown a lot faster in an air fryer compared to the oven. To make them in an air fryer, set them in a single layer in the basket of your air fryer. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may have to cook them in batches. Cook them for 10 minutes at 350°F.
Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Meatballs
Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Meatballs are made with ground beef and ground pork that are filled and baked with shredded cheese, cream cheese, jalapeno peppers, and bacon.
Jalapeno Popper Filling
- 1 cup (113g) Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 medium jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely diced (about ¾ cup)
- 6 slices (100g) bacon, cooked and crumbled (about ¾ cup)
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 large egg, beaten
- ½ cup (50g) parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup (122.5g) whole milk
- ½ cup (54g) breadcrumbs, plain
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- ¼ cup yellow onion, finely chopped
Jalapeño Popper Filling
In a large bowl, combine the Monterrey Jack cheese, cream cheese, jalapeños, bacon, and garlic.
Form 2 teaspoons of the mixture into a tight ball, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining cheese mixture.
Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer and chill for about 20-30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the beef, pork, egg, parmesan, parsley, salt, and pepper. Mix together until just combined.
In a medium bowl, combine the milk, breadcrumbs, garlic, and onion.
Combine the milk mixture with meat mixture, being careful not to overwork the ingredients.
Form into golfball-sized meatballs (about 2 tablespoons per meatball), and place on the lined baking sheet.
Create a well in each meatball by gently pressing your thumb into the center. Place a ball of the filling mixture into the well and mold the meat around it. Roll the meatball in the palms of your hands to form an even ball and place it back onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining meatballs and filling.
Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and roast for 25-28 minutes, or until the outsides are browned and the internal temperature reaches 165°F.