OH MY GOODNESS! I can’t wait for you try these! If you love food that is sweet with just a hint of spiciness, you need to make this recipe. These Mango Habanero Chicken Meatballs are a twist on the classic chicken wing and meatball appetizer, so it’s perfect when you throw a party and you want to serve up something that will have your guests going back for seconds.
If you have ever thrown a party before, you know that yummy food is a must. Your friends and family are going to love these meatballs! The last time we made these at a football party, they were the first to disappear off the table. An added bonus is that they are much lower in fat, sugar and sodium than your typical meatball or chicken wings. You don’t have to tell anyone that they are lighter, just let them enjoy it and you can feel good about serving healthy food that happens to taste amazing!
Another great part about this recipe is that these meatballs are easy to make! This is an essential factor when planning your party menu, right? You don’t need something that’s complicated and has a ton of ingredients. You are busy getting ready for your guests to come over, so you throw these in the slow cooker and let them soak up all the delicious flavor of the mango habanero sauce for 2 hours.
Don’t be afraid to try these if you are afraid of eating spicy foods. Trust me, I am a wimp when it comes to food that is too hot. Peppers are measured in Scovilles and on this scale a habanero registers at 100,000-300,000 Scoville Units! In comparison, a bell pepper has a score of zero on this scale. No worries though. You can adjust the level of heat according to the amount of seeds that you put in the recipe. We like it with just a few seeds! That way the meatballs have a nice kick but it is definitely not too hot. Start out slow with the peppers and the seeds. As you are blending it you can taste the sauce and decide if it needs more heat or if it’s just right. If you have any sauce leftover you can store it in an airtight container for up to a week and use it on shrimp, chicken or fish for other meals.
Let’s get back to the added bonus of this recipe being healthy. To keep these meatballs low in fat, this recipe uses ground chicken breast, instead of just ground chicken, which usually contains the skin and is pure fat. The sauce is also packed full of nutrition! Mangos are an excellent source of vitamin A and C. Habaneros are a good source of vitamin C too and also contain capsaicin, which is what makes the pepper taste hot. Capsaicin is a phytochemical that transmits pain signals to your brain and in turn triggers a response to release endorphins. Endorphins are a type of hormone that reduce the perception of pain and also make you feel pleasure. This is why some people think the hotter the better when it comes to spicy food!
Now it’s time for the recipe! Start out by combining the chicken, garlic powder, onion powder, bread crumbs and egg.
I like to use a spoon for this part so it’s less messy.
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
Roll the meatballs into even sized balls, about 1 inch diameter each. I used a cookie scoop to help make sure they were all the same size. You should get 24 meatballs out of this recipe.
Bake in the oven for 10 minutes to help firm the meatballs up.
While the meatballs are baking in the oven, start getting your sauce ready. This part only takes a few minutes.
You will need to peel and cut your mango and add to the food processor.
Blend until smooth.
You might want to wear gloves for this next part or be sure to wash your hands after handling a chili pepper. Cut the habanero and add as much as you want. Adjust the heat level by omitting the seeds for less heat or add another pepper for more. I like to make the sauce with 1 pepper and just a few seeds. Start out slow because you can taste your sauce at this point and decide if you want more heat.
Add the pineapple preserves.
Pour in the vinegar.
Blend until completely smooth.
Your meatballs should be ready for the slow cooker now!
Pour the mango habanero sauce over the meatballs. They are going to finish cooking and soak up all the delicious flavor from the sauce.
Cook on low heat for 2 hours.
When they are ready you can either leave the meatballs in the slow cooker or place them on a serving dish. I like to serve ranch dressing and the remaining sauce on the side for dipping.
Makes 24 meatballs (6 servings)
1 lb ground chicken breast
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
½ cup bread crumbs
non stick cooking spray
Mango Habanero Sauce
1 habanero, stem removed
1 mango, peeled and diced
¼ cup pineapple preserves
¼ cup white wine vinegar
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- In a large bowl, stir all meatball ingredients until well combined.
- Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray.
- Roll the mixture into even sized balls, about 1 inch diameter each.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- While the meatballs are baking, add all of the sauce ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. Adjust the heat level by omitting the seeds for less heat or add another pepper for more.
- Place meatballs in a slow cooker and top with sauce.
- Cook on low heat for 2 hours.
- Leave the meatballs in the slow cooker or place the meatballs on a serving dish. If desired, serve ranch dressing on the side for dipping.
Serve as an appetizer or make it a meal with brown rice and diced green peppers. Tip: Add the green peppers to the slow cooker so that they cook with the sauce and serve over rice.
Nourishing Nutrition: (serving size 4 meatballs)
Calories: 206 Protein (g): 15 Fat (g): 7 Carbohydrates (g): 22 Sodium (mg): 121