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Air Fryer BBQ Chicken Poppers

A crispy Chicken Popper smothered in BBQ sauce and dipped in a homemade creamy ranch dressing. This is the perfect for the entire family and also a great appetizers for a party or a get together. Whole30, Keto, Paleo and Dairy Free. 

  • Total Time: 23 minute
  • Yield: 18 Poppers 1x


  • 2 lbs ground chicken OR ground turkey
  • 1 large egg (beaten)
  • 1/3 cup almond flour 
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 sweet onion (diced)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp diced jalapenos (*OPTIONAL)
  • Ranch dressing for dipping
  • 3/4 cup compliant BBQ Sauce


  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder


Air Fryer Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl add in the ground chicken, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onions and chopped jalapenos if desired. Mix together.
  2. Add in the beaten egg and almond flour. Mix with a spoon until everything is combined.
  3. Roll the chicken mixture into golf ball sized balls.
  4. In a separate medium mixing bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the coating.
  5. Carefully roll each chicken ball into the almond meal.
  6. Spray the air-fryer basket with cooking spray and add in each ball. Depending on how big your air fryer is, you may need to do this in 2 batches. Don’t overcrowd the meatballs and only cook in a single layer.
  7. Set the fryer to 400F and cook 13 mintues, flipping halfway through and spraying the balls with cooking spray (This helps it get more crisp). 
  8. Remove the cooked chicken poppers and toss in the 3/4 cup compliant BBQ sauce or sauce of choice and serve immediately
  9. Serve with my homemade ranch and celery and carrots

Oven Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F 
  2. Follow steps 1-5 from above
  3. Heat a large skillet along with 1/2 cup cup coconut or avocado oil (divided, if completing in 2 batches)
  4. Once the oil is hot, add each meatball to the skillet and cook until the coating gets crispy on all sides. A couple of minutes or so, flipping the poppers throughout. 
  5. Transfer the chicken poppers to a coated sheet pan and bake for 15 minutes or until the internal temperature is 165F
  6. Toss the poppers in BBQ Sauce or sauce of choice and serve immediately. 
  7. Serve with my homemade ranch and celery and carrots.


  • Click here for my homemade version BBQ sauce or I recommend using Oh So Sweet Super BBQ Sauce (which is Keto) or The New Primal BBQ Sauce for Whole30
  • Make sure to wait to toss the chicken poppers in the sauce until RIGHT before serving so they don’t get soggy.
  • If you are not a BBQ fan, feel free to toss in Franks Hot Sauce or another sauce of choice. These are very versatile. 
  • If making for meal prep, I recommend not tossing until ready to eat. If these sit in the fridge with the sauce, they will become very soggy. Simply reheat then toss in sauce. 
  • Last 3-4 days in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer. 
  • If the mixture is still a little too wet, be sure to add a little more almond flour
  • Author: Ashley McCrary
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20-30 minutes
  • Category: Appetizer/Main Dish
  • Method: Air Fryer or Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Chicken Poppers, BBQ Chicken Poppers, Keto Poppers, Keto, Whole30, Paleo, Air Fryer