Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Meatballs

20 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Meatballs stuffed with cheddar cheese, cream cheese and jalapenos are two delicious appetizers in one amazing bite, perfect for parties or hoagies!

Instead of dunking Meatballs into Jalapeno Popper Dip, make this one bite wonder instead. This fun Appetizer Recipe is perfect for just about every occasion, from Super Bowl to holiday parties.

Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Meatballs


Coming up with new and exciting appetizers is becoming a bit of a hobby of mine lately. After a long fall and winter of holidays, parties, events, etc., I’m sure you can relate to wanting to switch up your favorite appetizer recipes. 

One of the easiest recipes that I love to serve anytime I need a quick bite-sized snack is my Homemade Meatballs. Plus they are so versatile – I’m finding the possibilities are almost endless to reinvent them! This Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Meatball recipe takes two classic appetizers, meatballs and jalapeno poppers, and turns them into something amazing and new!

These cream cheese stuffed meatballs are just the right amount of spicy but feel free to use less fresh jalapenos if you want a milder heat. A thing to remember when cooking with fresh peppers is that a lot of heat is in the seeds, so make sure to remove them before mincing.

You can also use sliced jarred jalapenos instead of fresh ones if you’d like, just be sure to dry them well before adding them to your meatballs.

Eat these delicious Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Meatballs on their own or serve them with a creamy Ranch Dressing to cool off that heat from the peppers. You can also serve with any number of your favorite dipping sauces, or get really indulgent and dunk in some Queso Dip.

Can you make these ahead of time?

You can certainly prepare the meatballs, stuff them and put them on the baking sheet ahead of time. Keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to cook them. I don’t recommend cooking them ahead of time and re-heating them to serve as the cheese will not re-heat as nicely.




  • Keep Meat Cold: Keep the meat mixture cold and handle as little as possible.
  • Flatten to fill: Don’t flatten too much, the cream cheese and cheddar cubes are small and if you make the “walls” too thin the meatballs won’t stay round while cooking.
  • Keep Fillings Small: Don’t cut cheese too large, you want a small piece, 1/4″ cubes each too put into the middle of the meatballs as the three fillings will add up in size.
  • Want them even crispier? Cook them in the oven, then remove carefully and sear in a hot, oiled pan for just a few minutes, shaking the pan to roll the meatballs.

Jalapeno Stuffed Meatballs on tray


  • Bacon: Bacon makes everything better. Mix finely chopped cooked bacon into your meatball mixture before cooking. Make bacon wrapped Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Meatballs for the ultimate appetizer combination.
  • Meat: For this recipe, I recommend swapping in ground chicken for a different flavor. If you use this leaner meat, add a tablespoon of olive oil to your mixture.
  • Peppers: Kick up the heat by using Thai chili peppers (Bird’s eye chili) or Serrano peppers. For a milder pepper, use Anaheim or Hatch Green Chiles. Go milder with jarred jalapenos or pepperoncinis.
  • Cheese: Stuff your meatballs with another creamy cheese like goat cheese, Boursin, or Greek yogurt cheese or you can swap in a hard cheddar or mozzarella.
  • Low-Carb: Make these gluten free, low carb by using crushed pork rinds instead of breadcrumbs. Substitute onion powder for the fresh onions to further cut carbs.

Air Fryer Stuffed Meatballs

  • To make stuffed meatballs in the air fryer, freeze your assembled meatballs for at least 2 hours. Do not try this with thawed meatballs unless you want cheese all over your fryer.
  • Set your air fryer to 400 degrees. I recommend preheating for at least 3 minutes. 
  • Arrange meatballs in a single layer in Air Fryer basket, use crisper plate if you have one. Leave enough room so meatballs don’t touch.
  • Cook meatballs in batches for 10-12 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.



  • Serve: These stuffed meatballs are best fresh but you can keep them at room temperature for up to 2 hours.
  • Store: Store any leftover meatballs for 3 days in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
  • Freeze: Flash freeze your meatballs on a baking sheet before transferring to a freezer bag. Freeze for up 3 months.


Your meatballs should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees, according to the USDA Food Safety Site


Jalapeno Popper Meatball

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Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Meatballs

Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Meatballs stuffed with cheddar cheese, cream cheese and jalapenos are two delicious appetizers in one amazing bite, perfect for parties or hoagies!
Yield 20 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • pound  ground beef , 85/15
  • 1/4 cup  plain bread crumbs
  • tablespoons whole milk
  • teaspoons  Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 1/2  cup  block cheddar cheese , cubed
  • ounces  cream cheese , cubed
  • 1 jalapenos , thinly sliced with seeds removed


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a medium-size mixing bowl add the ground beef, bread crumbs, milk, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and mix until combined.
  • Shape into 20 meatballs and place on a baking sheet.
  • Cut the cheddar cheese and cream cheese into ¼ inch cubes.
  • Working one at a time, take a meatball and flatten it in the palm of your hand. Place a piece of cream cheese and cheddar cheese along with a slice of jalapeno and wrap it back into a meatball shape.
  • Place the meatball into you baking pan and cook for 22-25 minutes.


Calories: 146kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 274mg | Potassium: 133mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 167IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 1mg

Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Meatballs collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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  1. i used sausage instead of ground meat and added bacon crumbles and of course the chopped jalapenos so i could get more of the jalapeno flavor. wow thanks for sharing.

  2. I absolutely love everything about these meatballs! I will definitely be making them for Super Bowl Sunday!

  3. Yum! Any variation on traditional jalapeno poppers is always a win in my book. I’m going to try these with chicken like you recommend this weekend for the playoffs.

  4. The meatball with bacon in it sounds wonderful but then you went and put a big surprise in the middle. Complete deliciousness!