food 4 tots

Chicken and apple balls with barbecue dip

chicken and apple balls, barbecue dip, chicken balls, finger food, party food, toddler, Food For Tots


Whenever I made these bite-sized chicken and apple balls, my hubby and son never seems to have enough. As they kept requesting me to cook this dish, I think I had cooked it more often than any other dishes in my family meal. So, what makes these eggless chicken balls taste so good? The secret lies with apple, cheese and a tingle of herbs, making them truly delicious and flavourful on their own even without a dip. I’m so glad to have discovered the use of apple to cut down artificial sugar in cooking. The hidden bits of apple keeps these balls so moist and tender, as well as fills with subtle natural sweetness. We really enjoyed every mouthful of it. My son claimed that they are by far the best chicken balls he had ever tasted!! Yeah!!


chicken and apple balls, barbecue dip, chicken balls, finger food, party food, toddler, Food For Tots


Making these chicken balls isn’t difficult but you may find it a bit tricky to get the balls round and smooth. Perhaps you can try out some by the following tips (or tricks?) which I find them quite useful:

  • squeeze out the excess juice from the grated apple as much as you can;
  • keep the balls in the fridge to firm up.
  • wet your cleaned hands a little with either water or oil before shaping the balls
  • mince the chicken and onion finely. In this case, food processor or blender will do a better job.


If you don’t like them in balls form, then you can make them into patties which take lesser time to firm up and much easier to pan-fry. Well, this means that you gonna miss the most fun part of it. You know what, my hubby and son volunteered themselves to shape the balls. They even competed with each other to see who gets the nicest and roundest ball! This is the only time I see them having no complaint about their “shared responsibilities”.
These chicken balls make great party food for both kids and adults. Just serve them on plate or thread them on skewer to impress your guests. Don’t forget the barbecue dip. It goes very well with the chicken balls.




chicken and apple balls, barbecue dip, chicken balls, finger food, party food, toddler, Food For Tots

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  1. noobcook says:

    wah looks really good, no wonder not enough :)~

  2. evelyn says:

    Nice, great for luchbox! How do I know the meat is cooked?

    • food-4tots says:

      Evelyn: Thanks! Great idea! Need to use some personal judgement and estimation. Keep the heat to medium. 20g each ball will be an ideal size. The balls should be firm once cooked. To confirm, take out one to check. Do share your feedback yeah. 😉

      • evelyn says:

        My son loves it very much! I pan-fried some and the others, I baked it in the oven. I still could not get the perfect golden brown. Nonetheless, juicer than baked in the oven. Those that baked in the oven turned charred back on the bottom and shrink in size!

        • food-4tots says:

          Evelyn: Wow! That’s wonderful! Yes, pan-frying is better than oven baked. You can turn your chicken balls once or twice during the baking session. 😉

  3. Phoebe Wong says:

    Hi, how do you make the mince meat? Do I need those Kenwood mince machine to make it?

    • food-4tots says:

      Phoebe Wong: I had tried using both knife and blender (mine is U-Like brand). As long as your blender or food processor can mince meat, any brand will do. But if you don’t have any, a chop knife will work too. 😉

  4. Elynn says:

    Looks really yummy! Will it be the same if I buy minced chicken from supermarket directly?

  5. Little Inbox says:

    The chicken and apple balls looks really good. I’ll let the food processor to do the job for me, hehe…
    I can imagine one day when my girl starts to demand her food…

  6. Looks so delicious and so kids friendly!

  7. Joanne says:

    I love the idea of adding fruit to these! I’m always a fan of sweet and savory together.

  8. Mmmm, this is good. I can get my kids to eat some fruits as well….

  9. tigerfish says:

    I like how the apples keep the chicken balls moist and juicy!

  10. I would keep asking for more of these too! So kid and (adult) friendly

  11. Alice says:

    Lovely! I must give it a try!

  12. I can totally see why these chicken & apple balls are a big hit! I’m going to make these too. I might need to make double amount for my big eater family of 4… lol.

  13. These look delicious. I love the idea of making them in ball shape.

  14. alan says:

    great recipe will try it i make my own bbq and sauce

  15. MaryMoh says:

    Oh wow…these look so tempting. I think I will eat many sticks 😀 What a good way to add apples! That just makes it much healthier….mmmm Thanks very much for sharing.

  16. Lamchop says:

    Wow these are so unique! Almost resembles fish balls lol. Chicken and apple seem like a great combination and these are so kid friendly! Will definitely try this out one day

  17. Oh my gosh! Just found you via Tasteologie. I was just thinking this morning how I need to find a website on cooking for toddlers because I’m tired of feeding my son cheese toast all the time. Can’t wait to try this and some of your other recipes!!

  18. And now I feel stupid. I just looked at your About page and thought, “She looks familiar. . .” and realized I already follow you on Twitter!

  19. mycookinghut says:

    Looks really good and interesting way to serve too!

  20. wokandspoon says:

    I’ve already had dinner but your photos are making me hungry again!

  21. WendyinKK says:

    I made something similiar before with a recipe from
    It wasn’t that well recieved by the whole family, even I find it somehow.. weird. A bit too sweet and the smell of the apple was so strong.
    Maybe I should give it another chance with your recipe.
    The last time I made this was with Gala, what apple will you recommend me to use?

    • food-4tots says:

      WendyyinKK: Yeah, do give it a try and see how it turns out. So far I have tried both Gala and NZ rose, and the chicken balls turned out well. Maybe you can try to mix 2 types of apples of your liking. Happy trying and looking forward to your feedback! 😉

  22. Finally got to make these tonight. My little guy LOVED them. As soon as he popped one in his mouth he let out a, “Mmmmmmm!”

  23. food-4tots says:

    Z: I don’t think Kraft cheese is a good substitution due to its texture and taste. If can, try to use Parmesan as it lends a nice flavour to these chicken balls. I can’t think of any good substitution to suggest cheese. If you’re not into cheese, then maybe you can try my chicken and corn patties. Hope it helps! 😉

    • food-4tots says:

      Z: For chicken, you don’t grate but mince/ pulse it. Just cut the chicken breast into small pieces and then blend it. If your blender is not powerful, then you may need to blend the chicken and the rest separately. Hope it clarifies your doubt. 😉

  24. MM says:

    can toast the chicken ball instead of pan-fry?

  25. michael4877 says:

    Oh my gosh! Just found you via Tasteologie. I was just thinking this morning how I need to find a website on cooking for toddlers because I’m tired of feeding my son cheese toast all the time. Can’t wait to try this and some of your other recipes!! Opstijgend vocht


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  27. Michelle says:

    I’m planning to make this tomorrow but I don’t plan to cook it immediately. Can I freeze it? How long can I keep it in the freezer?

    Also, after grating the apple why do I need to squeeze out excess liquid?
    Is this optional?

    Many thanks

    • food-4tots says:

      Michelle: Yes, you can. After shaping the balls, put them on a baking sheet lined with aluminium foil. Freeze for 2-3 hours until solid, then transfer to a zip lock bag. You can freeze for 4-5 days. Cook them direct from frozen. You may need extra cooking time to make sure they are cooked thoroughly. The grating will create juices. If you don’t squeeze the excess liquid, your mixture will be too wet and you will have a hard time to shape them later. Happy trying! 😉

  28. Sharma says:

    Wow these are delish!….I put in some mild curry powder, and some currents, and made chicken curry balls, 11 month old loves them 🙂 …great recipe xxxx

  29. Unaisah says:

    hey.. if i don’t want to use apple thn how should i make it??any other option? or should i change the measurement of the ingredients?

  30. Amelia says:

    Hi, can I bake them first before I freeze in fridge??? How long can it last??

    • food-4tots says:

      Amelia: Freezing helps to firm up the balls before cooking. Yes, you can skip the freezing part and bake them if you want. Please note that baking will yield a different outcome (in term of shape and texture) than pan-frying. Let me know how it turns out. 🙂

  31. Ana says:

    Can we used ground chicken instead of mincing chicken breast?

  32. Ana says:

    Thanks! 🙂

  33. deb says:

    Could I substitute parmesan w cheddar?

  34. […] 34. Chicken And Apple Balls With BBQ Dip […]

  35. Gan says:

    My daughter love it so much. Thank you for such wonderful recipe.

  36. Felicity says:

    I made these a couple of weeks ago and they were delicious!!! Served with zucchini spaghetti and then drizzled the bqq sauce over the top! Making them again tonight…so easy and everyone loves them 🙂

  37. Jen C. says:

    How much does 2 minced chicken breasts equal? I would like to substitute for 1 pound of ground chicken. Would all the other ingredients stay the same amount? This sounds so yummy, by the way!

  38. dawn says:

    Can they be frozen?

  39. Belinha says:

    made these today but used pork as it was already in my fridge…. Delicious !! I’d make these for a party for sure. Loved the apple , it worked so well

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