Chicken & Zucchini Poppers

These Chicken Zucchini Poppers are squeaky clean, but not short on flavor! Gluten free, Paleo, and Whole30 friendly!
Chicken Zucchini Poppers (Paleo, Whole30 approved) // One Lovely Life

Have you heard of Whole30? I first heard about it a few years ago when the book It Starts With Food came out. In essence, Whole30 is a chance to reset your body by eating squeaky clean for 30 days, giving you a chance to see if you have any latent food sensitivities, break any food addictions or unhealthy patterns you may have, clear up any food-related inflammation or and to start fresh.

Well, it’s making a comeback. Several great bloggers are in the middle of theirs (Jenna of Small Fry is one of my faves), so I’ve seen a huge resurgence of healthy recipes floating about the web. We aren’t on a Whole30, but we eat pretty darn clean most of the time. I’ve loved the huge variety of inspiration out there lately! These Chicken & Zucchini Poppers are delicious, and while they may be squeaky clean, they don’t skimp on flavor.

First off: Michael H-A-T-E-S zucchini. Hates the texture, doesn’t like the flavor. BUT he loves these. Really loves them. Enough that he always asks when we can make them again. If you’re a zucchini hater, you should still give these a try! Grated, you don’t really get much of the squash texture, and they keep the meatballs nice and tender and juicy. So if you’re a zucchini hater, don’t hesitate to give these a try!

We LOVE them. They’d make great game-day food for something lighter or a great addition to a buffet table. We love them for dinner with a little dish of guacamole or Citrus Avocado Sauce for dipping and some sweet potatoes and fruit on the side. Not a guacamole fan? No problem. They’d be great with salsa or paleo ranch. If you’re not gluten free, they’d be awesome in a pita. (p.s. anyone have a good GF pita recipe?)

I can’t wait to try other versions–swapping basil for the cilantro and maybe adding a bit more garlic for an Italian-ish version (might be dynamite with marinara).

What are you eating, craving, and loving lately? Any great recipes, blogs, or instagrammers you want to share?

UPDATED NOTE: Several of you have asked if you can bake these rather than pan fry them. I’ve included directions for baking them below. 

Chicken Zucchini Poppers (Paleo, Whole30 approved) // One Lovely Life

4.9 from 38 reviews
Chicken & Zucchini Poppers (GF, DF)
Serves: 4-5
  • 1 lb. ground chicken breast
  • 2c grated zucchini (leave peel on)
  • 2-3 green onions, sliced
  • 3-4 Tbsp cilantro, minced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • (optional: ¾ tsp cumin)
  • olive oil, for cooking (or coconut oil, avocado oil, or ghee)
  1. Toss chicken with zucchini, green onion, cilantro, garlic, salt, and pepper (and cumin, if using). Mixture will be quite wet.
To cook on the stovetop:
  1. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Use a small scoop or a heaped tablespoon to scoop meatballs into the pan. Cook 8-10 at a time for about 5-6 minutes on the first side. Flip and cook an additional 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown and the centers are cooked through.
To bake:
  1. Drizzle a bit of olive or avocado oil onto a baking sheet. Scoop meatballs onto the greased pan. Drizzle a bit of additional oil over the meatballs. Bake at 400 degrees 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through. If desired, place under the broiler for an additional 2-3 minutes or until browned on top.
  2. Serve with guacamole, salsa, or your favorite dip.



  1. Momma Lynn says

    Ooolala These sound very tempting in all the varieties you describe! (That small bowl of guacamole is calling my name…)

  2. Cynthia says

    Yum! I even have ground chicken in my freezer…I am adding this to my menu this week with the sweet potato not fries.

    • Cynthia says

      Just wanted to say…so good! Made these tonight and really liked them – only one of my kids ate them but hey the others may come around at some point :) I think next time I may try and Italian variation with marinara sauce.

  3. says

    These sound so good Emily. I’ll have to see if I can get the rank and file to eat them. Lol.

    I always make my regular (turkey) meatballs with a ton of shredded zucchini and carrot in them and use oatmeal instead of breadcrumbs. They turn out fabulous. The kids love them and it’s nice to know that there is something good in there for them. I’m looking forward to giving these a try and seeing how it goes. I’m thinking of putting them in a sandwich with some marinara like a chicken parmesan sandwich.

  4. Carly says

    I made these last night – (I did omit the cilantro because I am not a fan), but while I was cooking them (and the noodles for spaghetti- cause that was the direction i was headed) They smelled Asian-y to me -soooo I threw some carrots, and more zucchini in the pan tossed it all with teriyaki sauce and some cooked ramen noodles, and oh my gosh- newest quick healthy dinner plan.

    Thanks for the versatile recipe-so excited to try other versions…

  5. jess h says

    Just stumbled upon your site!! So excited to see a new blog that follows my proper eating habbits! Also if you are looking for a good GF blog, is my lifesaver!! She has a book called baked bread and is a lifesaver for me! The ingredients are pricey to start, You use a whey protein isolate which contains some dairy) but once you have them pretty easy to maintain! Homemade bread is awesome! Can’t wait to keep exploring, and make these for dinner tomorrow night!

  6. Marjory Leidy says

    Emily, these look fabulous. My husband hates any kind of vegetable except green beans. Would love to get him to eat these – will never tell him what’s inside. Any idea about the calories, fat, protein, etc. in this dish?

    • says

      Marjory – My husband HATES zucchini and loved these. Fingers crossed that your husband does too! As for the nutrition information, click the “recipe magic – get nutrition info” button right above the recipe and you’ll be taken to see it’s estimated nutrition facts. Happy eating!

      • Brandi says

        It says 204 calories per one serving. Is that only one popper per serving? If not, do you know how many would equal a serving?

        • says

          Brandi – The recipe nutrition facts were calculated based on 5 servings. The number of poppers per serving will depend on how many you make. If you made 25 poppers, there would be 5 poppers per serving. If you made 20, you’d have 4 per serving. Does that make sense?

    • Tabitha says

      My husband hates turkey and he ate these. I did the recipe as written except for the ground turkey substitution. My nephew doesn’t love veggies, but he really liked these. I’m thinking of putting a paleo crust and calling it a nugget. It’s yummy and moist with no mystery ingredients. Thanks for the recipe.

  7. Erin says

    These look SO yummy! Wondering if these can be frozen for reheating?? Hoping I can make ahead for easy lunches…

    • says

      Erin – I haven’t tried freezing them, but I don’t know why they wouldn’t freeze well. Most meatball recipes I’ve tried do great in the freezer. If you do freeze them, please let me know how they work for you!

  8. Donna says

    These are AWESOME and so easy to make……thanks for recipe…..I will be making them again and again

  9. Ashlynn says

    I remixed this recipe, I used ground turkey instead of chicken. Substituted cucumbers for jalapeños added feta cheese to the mix and pan fried small meat balls in olive oil until browned. Oh my goodness was it delicious paired with some tortellini’s and pasta sauce.

  10. cindy says

    Do you put A chicken breast in food processor and. Ground it?. Can’t find ground chicken breast. Or will ground turkey roll work?

    • says

      Cindy – I buy pre-ground chicken breast, but when I can’t find it, I just put a chicken breast in my food processor. Try not to puree it too much. You want there to still be some texture. If it’s too smooth, your meatballs might be too wet. If you prefer, you can use ground turkey. I just find ground turkey to have a stronger flavor.

  11. Micki says

    These look delicious, but I will have to substitute the chicken with something vegetarian. My question is why does it say 21 day diet?

    • says

      Laura – Sure! Just click on the “Recipe Magic – Get Nutritional Info” button right before the text of the recipe. Hope that helps!

      • Torie says

        Just made these and they’re almost gone! So yummy :) I also love that the nutritional info is provided but wanted to ask …how many poppers would you consider a “serving”? I used a cookie scooper and was able to get 33 meatballs. Thanks!

        • says

          Great! I’m so glad you liked them. I made slightly bigger meatballs (I get between 20-25 each time), so for me, I divide that among 4-5 people. Each person gets 4-5 meatballs. My husband is a bigger eater than me and the kids, so it depends on what you like. The whole recipe is designed to feed 4-5 people, so I’d just divide the meatballs (6-8 meatballs per person). Hope that helps!

    • says

      Karen – I have no problem cooking them in olive oil or avocado oil, but if you prefer baking them, I’m sure you could. I don’t have a time or temperature for you, since I’ve never baked them. If you do try baking them, I’d love to know what you think!

    • Lydia says

      I used a muffin tin and baked them at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. They came out perfect, not dry at all. I recommend using a little cooking spray on the bottom of each tin to keep them from sticking. I actually prefer the baked version to the fried one but they were both good! I added a little chopped mushrooms to mine because I like mushrooms.

      • says

        Lovely! I’m so glad you shared this. I have a mini muffin tin and had thought about trying them this way. Thank you so much for the feedback!

  12. says

    Ok.. So my husband (Mr. Meat and Potatoes man) and my 16 month Son (very picky eater) Love these. I could not cook them fast enough. They were on the floor in the living room popping them back and playing and coloring on the floor… *(however, I can get them veggies in them works for me). I LOVED THEM! a small salad with them and we were good to go! Thank you for sharing!

  13. Brian says

    May I ask a somewhat stupid question…. does one skin/peel the zucchini prior to grating, or just grate it whole?

    • says

      Brian – Not a stupid question at all! I keep the skin on. If it bothers you, you’re welcome to peel it. I think it’s pretty, and most of the nutrition is in the skin.

  14. JOAN E says

    I am going to try these with turkey burger since that is what I have plenty of , Wondering if baking these would be better for us then frying them in a pan of oil.
    Thank you for the great recipe. I am excited to see what the ladies at work will say about them. We have weight watchers tomorrow. Going to take them to try. :)

    • says

      Baking would reduce the fat content, but will change the texture somewhat. I don’t worry about cooking with healthy oils. These meatballs are not deep fried, and if you use a nonstick pan (cast iron, enameled, etc) you don’t need much oil at all! I wish you all the best trying the recipe!

      • Glynis says

        Hi – I have tried these twice and LOVE them. I baked them both times, but my challenge is that despite putting olive oil on the pan, they stick and even burn a little. Should I try a different oil on the pan? Does it have anything to do with the heat point (or whatever that is) with olive oil? Both times I served these I was asked for the recipe – it’s a hit!

        • says

          Glynis – I almost always bake them these days. I line the baking sheet with foil, drizzle it with oil, and rub it all over. For some reason, they seem not to stick with the foil, at least for me. I hope this helps!

  15. Natalie says

    I saw these on a shared link on FB and I knew I had to try them! I made them per ingredients listed. As for the cooking the only thing I did different was I browned them for about 3 mins on each side. Then I baked them in a Pyrex for about 20 mins on 350. They were perfect! Not dried out at all like I feared they would be. They were crispy on the outside and nicely moist on the inside. These are Delicious! A huge hit here at my house in GA. Thank you for this recipe!

  16. says

    They don’t have ground chicken here in Panama. Can you use ground beef instead? They don’t have zucchini here very often for that matter — if you find it, it is imported. I will have to stock up next time I see some at the store, and then shred it and freeze it.

    • says

      Rebecca – I haven’t tried the recipe with ground beef. I think you could try it. If you have access to chicken and a food processor, you can make it yourself. I pulse the chicken until it’s pretty finely ground, but not a puree. It works great! I hope you’re able to find what you need!

    • Mandy says

      I tried these today and only had ground pork on hand. And they were delicious! ! My picky toddler gobbled them down. I dipped them in guacamole and had some sauteed squash and zucchini on the side YUM!

  17. Mary Beth says

    Major problem with this recipe… I made it to take to a friend’s house for a potluck – and I’m realllllly struggling not to just sit down and pig out on these! SOOOO good! made some minor changes – but don’t we all? These are a new favorite – please let me know if the other commenter ever gave you feedback on how well they freeze – because if they freeze well I’m making a double-batch just for that purpose! THANKS!

    • says

      I’m SO glad you liked them! If anyone tries freezing them, I’ll let you know! They’ve never lasted long enough for us to freeze any :)

  18. Diana says

    The nutrition info states 4-5 servings, which would appear to be more “patty” sized, like your second two photos. Any idea how many small poppers (as pictured in the first photo) this makes?

    • says

      Diana – I’ve been able to get about 20-25 poppers out of the recipe. The 4-5 servings is 4-5 poppers per person. Hope that helps!

      • says

        I’m so glad you linked up. You were the reader favorite, and I’m featuring your recipe at this week’s roundtable, which just went live tonight. If you have any other AIP recipes, please feel free to join us again. I host the roundtable every week.

        • Barb C says

          I just made these last night from the roundtable link, and they were FABULOUS! My husband hates zucchini, and DEVOURED these, as did I. I used parsley instead of cilantro because that’s what I had on hand, and I did use cumin which was absolutely delicious. Making again – maybe even today!!

          • Barb C says

            Also – I used chicken thighs that I ground up in the food processor. Worked really well.

  19. Kelly says

    This is the best new recipe that I’ve made in a long time. Yum, yum, yum. They were a lot juicier than I expected. I’ll definitely be making this again.

  20. Pattie says

    Emily, you asked about a good GF pita recipe. Try . She has some amazing recipes. I just made her 3 Ingredient Paleo Naan, which I am sure you could use as pita. It was good. Although I really like it warm, I did eat some cold and it was ok. Thanks for this recipe. Will try it asap. Always looking for clean food recipes for this big family.

  21. Dana Dagate says

    Can you make ahead and freeze?
    Should you make and freeze prior to cooking or after cooking.
    I would like to prep them today, because will be working the rest of the week.
    So try to get things prepared when have a minute to spare and not at 8 when I get home from work and kids activities.

    • says

      Dana – I’d fully cook them and then freeze them. That way, you just need to thaw them, heat and eat! I hope you like them!

  22. Kate C. says

    I doubled the recipe, made them into burger sized patties, pan fried each side, then baked to finish. They were delicious! Thanks for sharing your recipe! I’ll definitely be making this again.

  23. DeeDee says

    Hello, I started AIP this week after a diagnosis of RA. I’ve been paleo for awhile so it wasn’t a huge transition, but making meals for myself and separate meals for my family is getting tedious! We made an agreement that we would start this week with everyone joining me in one AIP meal a week with the hopes of gradually increase my “kid friendly” recipe stash. This was the recipe I chose for our first family meal. What a hit. My junk food junky teenager said they were awesome. I just wanted to say thanks and I look forward to introducing more of your recipes to my kids. DeeDee

  24. says

    These are delicious! This is the second time I have made them using ground turkey and this time I made a double batch so that I can freeze a few (that is if I don’t eat them all first). The first time I made these I served them to my non Paleo family and they loved them. I topped them with quacamole but I also love to eat them cold and plain. Thank you for this recipe, it is a keeper!!

  25. says

    Dinner was a big hit tonight! I substituted ground turkey for the ground chicken and served these with salsa and guacamole. The kids said that we need to have this every week. I told them if they were really good to me maybe these would show up in their lunch boxes. We’ll see!

  26. Christy says

    I made these and they were great! I do have one suggestion though. I think you should add that the zucchini should be squeezed in a cloth after grating it to remove some of the excess moisture. Mine were so wet that I had to add bread crumbs. Luckily I’m not on paleo yet, so it was fine, but next time that’s what I’m going to do. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Cheers!

    • says

      Christy – Thanks for your feedback, and sorry you had some trouble! In my experience, they’re wet going into the pan, but the excess liquid cooks out while they’re cooking. I never squeeze out my zucchini. Maybe anyone that has the same problem will find some help in your solution, though. Thank you for sharing!

  27. Susan says

    Wanted to send along a quick thank you for this recipe. Just made these and was very pleased with how moist they are! The zucchini addition is genius (I did squeeze out just a bit of the zucchini moisture with a paper towel, but not much). I served mine with an Asian-style dipping sauce made with tamari, rice vinegar and chili oil, very tasty. Thank you for a helpful addition to my menu rotation. :)

  28. Paula Johnson says

    Awesome~ I made these this evening for my husband and I with squash and corn on the cob. Great flavor, they really need nothing to dip them in. I thought for sure my husband would wrinkle his nose at the turkey factor (didn’t have ground chicken), but they smelled so good, neither of us could wait to dig in. Bonus there was enough left to add to the left over spaghetti squash for two lunches this week! Lucky me!

  29. Sara says

    I also have a zucchini hating husband who likes these poppers. I have made them several times and love the recipe. Several times I have packed them to take with me when I am out and about and have eaten them cold and love them that way too. Thanks for a great recipe!

  30. Jena Lowry says

    Made them tonight with ground turkey served over Fettuccine & Alfredo…DELICIOUS!!!
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  31. Harlow says

    Made these tonight with turkey mince (since it was what I had in the fridge). Served with home made low carb blue cheese dressing. Was delicious!

  32. says

    These look amazing! I can’t wait to try them, but most likely with ground pork. Anything with cilantro in it has to be good! ^^

  33. Margaret says

    Made these for dinner tonight exactly as written and they were a success! I found that two (large/soup) spoons worked well for scooping them into the pan. I could use the spoons to shape them into neat rounds and tidy up any trailing strands of zucchini. I started out with a regular (non-non-stick) skillet liberally coated with coconut oil but found that even after allowing them to brown quite well, they really stuck to the pan, so I switched to a non-stick pan for the rest. With sides of guacamole, roasted cubed sweet potatoes, and roasted kale these made a great dinner!

  34. Simone Edwards says

    I made these today and they taste great but mine were boiling in zucchini juice for a long time before they started frying . Otherwise they were very good .

  35. Melissa Romano says

    these make me think of the inside of a potsticker… thinking of adding some fish sauce and seeing if i can put an asian spin on them

  36. says

    Emily, these were such a hit! I can’t get Jake to eat any vegetables except starches and he LOVED these. We need to find the right recipe to dip them in but they are so good!

  37. Kelly W. says

    I made these today, but used lean ground turkey instead of chicken. I used my vegetti tool and made zucchini noodles, then diced those up. I also used pizza seasoning, a little finely diced red pepper and some grated parmesan cheese. I fried mine in a little olive oil, which is a little messy, but love the crisp outside and juicy inside. They were quick and easy to make and turned out delicious! I got 25 poppers out of mine.

    • says

      Patty – I’m not sure how well canned chicken will hold together. I think the egg will help, but I’m not really sure how it’ll go. I’d love to hear how they turn out!

  38. Zac Fox says

    Wow! This is my favorite whole30 recipe yet!!!!! I didn’t have ground chicken, so I cubed the chicken and stir-fried it; it was unbelievable! Thx for the recipe!

  39. Dorothee says


    This looks and sounds delicious, and I want to cook this today. :)
    I am asking myself what It means to “toss”? (I am German….)
    Should I mix everything in a mixer?
    Or how do I treat the chicken to be able to mix it with the other ingredients…?
    I would really appreciate your help!


    • says

      Dorothee– No problem! So, you’re using ground chicken (or chicken mince). To “toss” you’re really just going to stir with a fork to combine the ingredients. No need to use a food processor or mixer. I hope that helps! If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

  40. Haley says

    I made these tonight (substituting turkey for the ground chicken) with a really good guacamole. My husband ate these stopping between bites to say how good they were! He is on a restricted diet (no diary or wheat) and it’s been very difficult finding good recipes that are relatively easy. This was a hit! Thank you so much for sharing!

  41. Courtnie says

    So easy and delicious! Perfect paleo appetizer to bring to any gathering. They were a hit! Followed the baking recipe. They stuck a bit to the tin foil so don’t skimp on coating oil. Definitely glad I used the cumin. And we omitted the cilantro. Will double the recipe next time since they were gone so fast :)

  42. Kimberly says

    Love this recipe and the comments that everyone ELSE loves it. I can’t wait to try them. One question: The little “meatballs’ look like they’ve been flattened a bit. Almost like a mini patty. Am I looking at the picture correctly? Does this happen through cooking? Do you flatten them a bit in the pan while cooking? I can’t wait to make them!

    • says

      Kimberly – They do sometimes flatten a bit when you cook them in a pan. If I’m baking them, the underside of the meatball gets a bit flat sometimes, too. If you want them quite round, I’ve found that refrigerating or even freezing the formed meatballs before cooking them helps them retain their shape. Hope that helps!

  43. Abigail says

    Hi Emily,

    I absolutely adore this recipe, I saw the post just yesterday on pinterest, and i couldnt wait to get home and make some.
    I used the exact same recipe, just added some more zucchini because im trying to eat healther, the only thing is that it was late night and i had no avocados at home, and i am a lazy donkey and i didnt want to go to the store.
    So instead i served them with buffalo wing sauce, and blue chesse on the side. Those were the BEST boneless EVER!
    I also made mashed cauliflower with butter and garlic as a side dish, so I was able to get rid of the carbs, and had an amazing dinner.
    Thanks so much for sharing. :* :)

  44. Lisa says

    Thank you Emily!

    These really are delicious. I was searching for Zucchini recipes and stumbled on to your site. Its the middle of summer in New Zealand and I have about 10 Zucchini plants in my garden just dripping with Zucchinis. My finance doesn’t really like them and I had run out of ways of cooking them. I didn’t have any minced chicken so chopped up breasts finely. this made the pops a little wet, but problem solved with 1/4 cup of GF breadcrumbs. Sooo easy to make and my guy loves them :)

    I cant wait to try more of your recipes!

  45. Corrine Rider says

    I had just started the Whole30 and needed a dish for a potluck! I didn’t have ground chicken, so I used ground turkey and baked them. They were delicious! People didn’t even know they were eating healthy until I told them! Will definitely make them again.

  46. Tracie says

    Not sure what I did wrong. Made it per recipe but kept falling apart when tried to turn in pan. I even tried a little fresh grated parm and still the same. Was using coconut oil. Trying to bake them now in mini muffins pan hope it works cuz it smells great :)

  47. Megan says

    I made these last night for dinner and had them again for lunch. They are totally awesome! I used ground turkey because I had it on hand and also shredded up a medium carrot because I got excited about it haha. I served them with strawberries and homemade chips and salsa. I will definitely be making these again soon! I’m thinking about trying to freeze some for lunches during the semester… we’ll see if it works out. Thanks for such a great recipe!

  48. Signa McAdams says

    So, I’m a college student and I do NOT know how to cook. I just discovered Whole30 and I found this recipe as I was browsing pinterest. I figured I was going to completely screw it up and burn it or do something wrong but your directions and recipe was so easy to follow and they turned out PERFECT!!! Thank you so much for sharing! :)

  49. KRP DIEM says

    Delicious! Made these tonight. Just used chicken, zucchini and adobo- nothing else.. Baked them and ooh lala- delicioso. It’s a keeper of a recipe, thanks so much.

  50. Andrew says

    I made these for dinner last night and oh. my. heavens. They were delicious! Who knew that doing the Whole 30 could taste so good?

  51. Gator says

    I wonder how these stack up on calories. I’m trying to log them into my fitness pal app and it seems with the word “popper” the app thinks these are deep fried.

    • says

      You can import the recipe to My Fitness Pal, or you can click on the “Magic – Get Nutrition Info” directly above the recipe for the nutrition facts. Hope that helps!

  52. Marisa B. says

    OH MY GOODNESS!! I’ve been wanting to try these for ages. I finally did yesterday. I loved them (and ate way too many while I was cooking them) but wasn’t sure how my kids would like them. One of the kids has declared she doesn’t like any green foods. Well… all three kids (and hubby) gobbled them up! Yay!!! What a wonderful, delicious way to get some veggies in! Thank you for yet another fabulous, healthy recipe, Emily! I could hug you. :)

    • says

      Joe G – The nutritional facts are available by clicking the pink and white “My Recipe Magic – Get Nutritional Info” button immediately above the recipe. You can also plug the ingredients in (or import the recipe) to My Fitness Pal. Hope that helps!

  53. Jessa says

    Emily, I’m sorry if someone has asked this already – But, did you press the grated zucchini before mixing it with the chicken? I usually have problems using zuchs in recipes because it will make them too wet. Love this recipe & can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing it!

    • says

      I didn’t the first dozen times I made the recipe. Someone mentioned their poppers were too wet with the zucchini, so I started patting mine dry a bit with paper towels before mixing them in. It does seem to work a bit better. In my experience, there’s no need to completely wring them out with a dishtowel before proceeding with the recipe. I hope that helps!

  54. Liz Chavez says

    I made these last night and I absolutely love them!!! I drizzled Greek yogurt and added a little bit of Trader Joes jalapeño pepper hot sauce! Huge hit with the fiancé. Thanks for sharing such awesome recipes.

  55. Nika says

    I just bought a Tupperware food grinder kast month, by mistake. Teaches me to order things when I’m seriously ill with the flu and pneumonia. Anyway, I was going to return it until I saw this recipe. ( I’ve lived here in the Netherlands for 14 years and have never seen ground chicken.) I’m so glad I kept because it us going to get used tons just for this recipe! These were so easy to make abd absolutely delicious!

  56. Nikki says

    I just started the Whole 30 and I’m super excited to try these tonight! Also, if I were to make a vegetarian alternative, would mashed potatoes mixed with zucchini be a good idea? Thanks for sharing this recipe :)

    • says

      Nikki – Congrats on your Whole30! I do not think mashed potatoes would work well in this recipe. Your texture would assuredly be different, and I think the flavor combination would be off. I’m sorry I don’t have a better vegetarian suggestion!

  57. Kelsie says

    I made a version of these for my kids for lunch….I was trying to use up some leftover chicken. I shredded the cooked chicken finely in a blender, and added an egg to bind. Otherwise, I followed the recipe, cooking in a pan with some fat skimmed off a pot of chicken broth…we are mostly GAPS, so we don’t mind the fat 😉 I served them with homemade sour cream thinned with sauerkraut juice (mayo/sk juice for my df kid). I didn’t find the texture amazing (due to the chicken being precooked, but I was kind of expecting that….), but my kids really liked them, particularly my 18 month old…he had FIVE of them (there were 13 in the pan, so they weren’t super tiny). I am keeping this recipe to use again, maybe one time here I will have some ground chicken to use, even! Thanks!

  58. Sean says

    These look amazing! I’m going to whip up a batch or two for snacking during March Madness and for easy lunches for work (if they last that long). I could also see adding Italian seasonings (basil, oregano) and serving with a nice marinara sauce.

  59. Erica E says

    They are delicious! however, I added a bit of egg to bind them together otherwise they fell apart…. also a tad of cream cheese takes it to another level.


  60. Melissa says

    Holy cow these are great!! These are so easy to make. I cook them in my Forman for 3 1/2 minutes and BOOM… Done! Thank you so much!!

  61. Jane says

    These are truly amazing! I’ve made them 4 or 5 times now! For me, the cumin is not optional… is a must! I found a jalapeño yogurt dipping sauce from Costco that compliments them beautifully! Thank you for sharing such a great recipe!

  62. Glynis says

    For those have tried baking, I find mine stick to the baking sheet, even with oil on it. Any suggestions? Lower temp, longer cooking time? Different oil than olive? Thanks.

  63. Paige says

    I made them tonight with the avocado citrus dip! Put it all on top of a salad with salsa, craisins, hearts of Palm, tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, and roasted red peppers! Amazing!

  64. says

    Wow, this has been a popular post for you, it seems. :) And so it should be; these are delicious. I am not a cilantro fan, but I put chopped jalapenos in mine instead. These are quite the crowd-pleaser, even among people who do not like zucchini. This is rare indeed. Thanks!

  65. Eszter says

    These chicken poppers are the best. This is the secon time in the past 5 days I made them, because they are so delicious. My whole family loves them! Thank you for sharing with us!!! I tried both the stovetop and oven method. Both turned out great. (The second time I squeezed the liquid out of the zucchini. )

  66. Sheena says

    Just made these for dinner, served with salsa, guacamole (my very first one EVER), sour cream, and coleslaw, and got resoundingly favourable feedback. My 10 year old son gave them “two thumbs up, × 10!!!” Methinks this recipe is a keeper! Thank you!!

  67. Tammy says

    Oh my yum! I cannot wait to try these! Low carb and so healthy. I bet they would be good with shirataki noodles. Thank you!

  68. Holly says

    Thanks for this recipe! I didn’t have any ground chicken, but I had some leftover grilled chicken breasts in the fridge. I pulsed the chicken very finely in the food processor, and it worked just fine! I didn’t cook them as long as the recipe says since the chicken was already cooked. I’m on the autoimmune paleo diet, and sometimes it feels like there’s just nothing left I can eat; this was different and tasty!

  69. Christine says

    Making these right now and boy does my house smell good. My husband and I have already tasted a popper from the first batch and it is so tasty!

  70. Jill says

    I tried the suggested basil/garlic version. Very tasty. After first batch though, added an egg to mixture so they would bind better. First batch a bit crumbly.

  71. Kelly says

    Great recipe. I took these in an Italian direction… omitted the cilantro and cumin; made 15 golf ball sized meatballs, seared them on my grill pan on top of the stove then finished them in a pot of simple tomato marinara. Served over spaghetti squash with roasted green beans on the side. I will absolutely use this recipe again. Thanks for sharing such a simple and adaptable recipe!

  72. Mark says

    Tried making these today (with cumin) and i was blown away how good it was! Cooked a bunch for lunch at work too. Had a friend try it and loved it! Really great recipe! Thanks for sharing.

  73. Annette says

    Thank you for these, I found this recipe on Pinterest and I think it is an instant classic – one that we will put into frequent rotation. Thank you! We made it with the cumin and loved how fresh the flavors all were together. Yum, yum, yummy. So delicious we didn’t have time to miss any of the things we aren’t eating.

  74. Kiva says

    I’m making these but with a twist I’m going to turn them into pot stickers without the wrap and fill with traditional carrots, cabbage, garlic and dip with coconut aminos.

  75. says

    We love these! I found the recipe during our Whole 30 and it’s stayed in the rotation now that we’re mostly paleo. Recently, I’ve been making them with dill instead of cilantro, and dipping them in tzatziki sauce. (Well, fake tzatziki – paleo mayo with cucumber and dill.) I follow the directions to bake them since I couldn’t keep them from falling apart when frying. That’s on me though – I struggle with fritters, latkes and the like too.

  76. Jennifer says

    I made these with ground turkey and omitted the cilantro (my husband doesn’t like it, unfortunately!). They are surprisingly delicious! I expected them to be good, but not such little flavor balls! I sent them with my husband for breakfast (Whole30) and he texted me telling me how good they were. We’ve been eating them straight out of the fridge for a snack. So, thank you for the recipe! Yum!

  77. Holly says

    Have you tried making these with ground beef? We bought a quarter of a cow this year and I need some great ground beef recipes!

    • says

      Lots of readers have made them with beef (and pork and turkey) and everyone has reported that it works out great for them! You’ll probably want to be sure to wring out some of the water from the zucchini before you make them since beef is slightly fattier, but it should work great!

  78. Bea says

    10/10 from the family and double batch next time.
    I didn’t have green onions and replaced it with leek, the combination with zucchini works a treat.
    Thank you for recipe Emily.

  79. Rachel Campbell says

    These are awesome! I left out the cilantro and served them with spagetti squash and marinara. Husband and son loved them too! Baking method was perfect!
    Side note- for some reason it’s not letting me click the stars but 5 Stars for sure!

  80. says

    These are so simple yet delicious! So far I’ve mixed chicken and zucchini in salads and it tastes great, so these meatballs must be amazing!!!

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