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


Make: 20 balls (20g each)

For the chicken balls

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 250g) – minced
1 medium apple (about 200g) – peeled and grated
25g parmesan cheese – finely grated
30g breadcrumb (2 tablespoons)
1 red onion (about 60g) – minced
1 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons cornflour or plain flour

1 teaspoon Italian herbs (dried) – note 1
¾ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
Dash of freshly ground black pepper


  1. With clean hands, squeeze out the excess liquid as much as possible from the grated apples. Retain the juice to add back to the ball mixture if needed (or just drink it).
  2. In a mixing bowl, add in chicken, apple, cheese, onion and breadcrumbs ad combine well. With clean hands, mix together with oil, flour and seasonings.
  3. Cover with cling wrap and keep in the fridge for 15 minutes to firm up a bit. You may skip this step if the mixture is manageable for rolling.
  4. Remove from the fridge. With cleaned and slightly wet hands (wet with water or oil), form mixture into about 20 small balls (with 20g each). Place on a large plate/ tray, cover with cling wrap and transfer to fridge again for about an hour to firm up.
  5. Heat up 3 tablespoons of oil in a non-stick pan and pan-fry until golden brown and cooked through.
  6. Transfer balls to a serving plate lined with kitchen paper. Thread 3 balls on skewers for nice presentation(optional).
  7. They can be served warm or cold. You can eat it on its own or with a barbecue dip (or other dips such as honey mustard, mayonnaise, tomato ketchup etc).

For barbecue dip

2½ tablespoons tomato ketchup
2 teaspoons fine wholegrain mustard
2½ teaspoons honey
1½ teaspoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
1 clove garlic (minced)


  1. In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients except garlic until well combined.
  2. Heat up a small sauce pan with a little oil. Sauté garlic until fragrant.
  3. Add in ingredients from step (1). Bring to boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes until the sauce is slightly thickened.
  4. Filter the sauce through a sieve to get rid of the garlic. Serve.


  1. For a variation, you can use any dried herbs of your choice or fresh herbs ie. parsley and coriander as substitute
  2. If you don’t like to pan fry, you can bake them in the oven at 180°c for 30 minutes until the balls are firm and golden brown. Another alternative is to brown them on the stove and finish off in the oven.
  3. Besides shaping them in balls, you can make patties instead. Change the size of the balls or patties to suit your personal liking. Of course, it is easier to cook small sizes than the large ones.
  4. For a shortcut, you can whiz up all the chopped ingredients and seasonings with a food processor or blender. This method will work provided your food processor or blender is powerful. Otherwise, mince chicken breast and onion separately in the food processor or blender until smooth and then chop the rest of the ingredients with knife.

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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