Bacon Jalapeno Turkey Popper Meatballs

How good does that sound?  Man, oh man.  Serve these with sides for dipping, like salsa, or pico de gallo, guacamole, a dab of sour cream.   Yummy!

AND, a great ahead of time prep to take to tailgate, place in the “basket” grilling pan, and grill!  You get the smokey taste in them along with the heat of the jalapenos, and they are healthy!  Make these ahead of time, freeze and take out what you need. A winner all around.

Bacon Jalapeno Turkey Popper Meatballs

1 lb lean ground turkey

1/4 cup of 1/3 less fat cream cheese

2 egg whites

3 slices turkey bacon, cooked and minced (you can use real bacon if you prefer)

3 jalapenos, minced (leave the seeds out if you want less heat – but mine will have seeds left in!)

1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs

4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced fine (I will use 2 garlic cloves, as we don’t like a strong garlic flavor)

1/2 cup of 2% Mexican Cheese Blend

1 Tbsp dried oregano

1 tsp Mexican chili powder (i am adding 1/2 tsp of cumin to mine also for added mexican flavor)

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.  Remember not to over mix or you will have tough meatballs.  Using a 1 tbsp scoop, (or whatever size you want them to be) scoop out meat and place on baking sheet.   After you have scooped all of them, roll into balls, with slightly moistened hands (moistening hands with water will help meatballs form better and crack less).  Bake for 20-22 minutes until lightly browned and cooked through.   (cooking time may change if meatballs are larger)

If you want to freeze, you can then cool completely, place on tray and “quick freeze” for 30 minutes to an hour before bagging and placing in freezer.  By doing this, it will keep them from sticking together in bag and will allow you to take out only what you need.

This recipe is very versatile.  You can add or alter the spices to your liking!   Have fun wit this one!

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