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Healthy Chicken Zucchini Poppers – Paleo & Whole30

These healthy Chicken Zucchini Poppers are very easy to make, delicious to eat, even your kids will love them. Paleo, Whole30 and Low Carb approved, they will become one of your family’s favorite meals or snacks and they will keep on asking you to make them.

Healthy Chicken Zucchini Poppers

Making these Chicken Zucchini Poppers will be a favorite of yours and also your family and friends. It combines ground chicken and grated zucchini and some tasty garlic, which are easy to make. They can be eaten as your main meal, lunch or dinner, or just served as an appetizer for guests.

It only takes a few minutes to prepare and a few minutes to cook. It’s a quick meal after coming home from work, along with another veggie or a salad and you will have a complete meal quickly.

What are Chicken Zucchini Poppers?

Chicken Poppers are a combo of ground chicken and zucchini with some spices and herbs. They are easy to make and delicious to eat and sometimes remind me of bite-size patties or mini burgers. 

They are healthy and are bursting with flavor and can be eaten as an appetizer or as a main meal, accompanied with your favorite side dish or salad.

What Ingredients are in Chicken Zucchini Poppers?

Chicken Zucchini Poppers ingredients

Ground Chicken – You can either buy chicken already ground like ground beef or you can grind it yourself in a food processor.

Minced Garlic – Fresh is best but you can also buy already chopped garlic in a jar.

Salt – You need some salt added because chicken is kind of bland without a little salt added, regular table salt or sea salt.

Pepper – This adds just a little kick to your poppers.

Parsley – I find fresh parsley is the best but when in a pinch use dried parsley.

Cilantro – A wonderful herb that adds so much flavor to a lot of foods.

Zucchini – Of course we need zucchini, it adds volume and flavor to your poppers, without many calories or carbs.

What Type of Chicken is Best for This Recipe?

When you make Chicken Zucchini Poppers you can buy the chicken in the store already ground up in a package just like buying ground beef or ground turkey. Or you can grind your own chicken by buying a whole chicken or chicken pieces of your own choice. 

One way to do that is by buying chicken breast and grinding it up on your own using a food processor.

How to Make Chicken Zucchini Poppers 

Now that you know what goes in Chicken Zucchini Poppers we will show you step by step how to bring these from just ingredients to a delicious meal on your table….

The first step is to shred your zucchini. Once it’s shredded squeeze out as much water as you can so that your poppers don’t end up soggy from the moisture. This is a crucial step and shouldn’t be skipped!

The next thing to do is to mix the ground chicken and zucchini together in a bowl, blend well with a spoon.

mixing Chicken Zucchini Poppers

Add the garlic, parsley, cilantro, salt, and pepper and blend thoroughly.

Line a baking tray or cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper so that the poppers won’t stick to the tray.

Take a small ice cream scoop and scoop out your popper mixture and place the chicken mixture on the parchment paper, spaced out evenly as if you were baking cookies.

Next, take a fork and press each one down to be almost semi-flat, so that they take on an oval shape.

Pour just enough oil in the frying pan to cover the bottom. 

Frying Chicken Zucchini Poppers in a pan

Place the chicken poppers in the oil and fry them, flipping them over once during the frying process.

Frying Paleo Chicken Zucchini Poppers in olive oil

Using a meat thermometer, test the internal temperature until it reaches 160 degrees.

Remove them from the oil and drain on paper towels.

Chicken Zucchini Poppers with guacamole

Make the sauce of your choice and serve.

How do You Know When Chicken Poppers Are Done Cooking?

It’s easy to know when your Chicken Poppers are done cooking if you use a meat thermometer. Especially with chicken, you want to make sure that it’s done cooking all the way through before eating them. 

It’s not like beef that can be eaten even if it’s rare. In order for the chicken to be safe to eat, the internal temperature of the chicken should be 160 degrees.

Baking vs Pan-Frying Chicken Poppers

Baking Chicken Zucchini Poppers in the oven

When it comes time to cook your Keto Chicken Poppers you can decide whether to bake them or fry them. I prefer pan-frying them because of I just like fried foods, that’s just me, but you can also bake them in the oven. It’s based on preference. Let’s show you how to bake them….

When you bake them one advantage is that you don’t use as much oil as you do when you fry them. Also by baking them, you are not standing at the stove cooking them as you are when you fry them. So if you bake vs fry it’s a bit of a time saver.

Baking is really easy because once you get them on the tray that’s all that you have to do until it’s time to take them out of the oven. 

If I bake them I also coat the bottom of the baking tray with parchment paper so that they won’t stick to the tray. One thing we also do is spray the poppers on both sides with olive oil so it will keep them moist and resemble frying without frying.

So the first thing to do after your poppers are prepared, Line a cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Take an ice cream scoop and place the mixture on the cookie sheet and space them apart just like you would do when making cookies. 

After all of the mixture is on the tray then take a fork and lightly press them down, making them a little oval and a little flatter. Then spray them on both sides with olive oil. Now you are ready to bake them.

Bake your poppers at 350-375 degrees, depending on the heat of your oven, for 10-15 minutes…checking the internal temperature of chicken poppers and make sure the thermometer reaches 160 degrees.

When they are done remove them from the oven and using a spatula or tongs take them off the tray and place them on a plate or platter for serving.

Best Tips for Chicken Poppers 

Best Chicken Zucchini Poppers

The first important thing to keep in mind when making your Chicken Poppers is after you grate the zucchini it will be very wet.  Make sure to squeeze out as much water as you can so that your poppers aren’t soggy. It makes them hold their shape better and as a result, it will make them easier to work with.

You may have your own favorite oil for frying, mine is usually olive oil. I like the taste and the way it handles when I fry things.

If your store does not carry or has run out of ground chicken, you can just buy some boneless chicken, white meat or dark meat and throw it in your food processor and grind it up in there to make your own.

Make sure as always with chicken to use a meat thermometer to make sure that your chicken is cooked thoroughly to 160 degrees.

If you want to make the Chicken Poppers ahead of time, just form them and put them into the refrigerator and when you get ready to eat, on the same day or even the next day, then just take them out and fry them or bake them.

If you bake your poppers but want them to resemble closer to fried, then just spray them on both sides with a misting of olive oil which will also keep them moist. 

Different Variations of Chicken Zucchini Poppers 

If you want to make your poppers take on a different flavor, such as Mexican, you can add cumin to the mix and then serve with salsa, or guacamole.

Another variation of this recipe would be to take out the cilantro and replace it with fresh basil for an Italian flavor. Serve with tomato sauce, from a jar or homemade.

If you use ground beef you could add some tiny pieces of broccoli to mix in with the beef or serve it with some broccoli on the side.

Or you could make them without the broccoli but shape them into meatballs and then cook them right in your tomato sauce on the stovetop in a saucepan and then serve on top of zucchini noodles. Now you have low carb pasta and meatballs. Sprinkle with parmesan or romano cheese and serve. 

If you want to try something different than ground chicken, there are a number of other meats that you can buy that are ground such as turkey, beef and pork. They wouldn’t be called “Chicken” Poppers anymore though!

What to Serve with This Recipe

Stack of Chicken Zucchini Poppers plate

What’s nice about these healthy Chicken Poppers is that they are tasty but neutral enough that they will complement any side dish or vegetable or salad.

We have so many on our website that you could look up that are tasty additions to eat alongside your poppers. For instance, these tasty sides:

Dipping Sauces for Chicken Poppers

There are so many sauces that will enhance your chicken poppers, and we LOVE dipping these things! Here are some suggestions for you. Try a few of them and see which ones you like the best:

Are Chicken Zucchini Poppers Low Carb?

Chicken Zucchini Poppers are really low in carbs because the two main ingredients in the poppers, Chicken and Zucchini, are very low in carbs to start with. 

Then likewise the spices and herbs combined are low in carbs. So, as a result, you have a delicious low carb treat that will be one of your family’s favorites just as it is in our house.

They are 0.3 NET Carbs per popper.

Other Diets This Recipe is Good For

  • Gluten-free – There is no gluten in chicken or zucchini. Another good choice for a meal or snack.
  • Nut-free – Not almond flour or nuts of any kind.
  • Dairy-free – No cheese, eggs or any other dairy in these poppers.
  • Sugar-free – Also no sugar. Only good ingredients.
  • Paleo – Chicken Poppers are a great recipe for anyone on a paleo diet. They are just chicken, zucchini and herbs and spices, fried in oil, not butter.

Can I Make Chicken Zucchini Poppers Ahead?

Chicken Zucchini Poppers Low Carb Paleo

Making the Chicken Poppers ahead of time can be a big time saver. You can do it either putting the popper together and leaving them raw, ready to fry the next day, or completely cooking them and then just storing and reheating them when you want to eat.

You can leave them uncooked for only a short period of time because chicken can be sensitive and does not keep too long. So it would be best to cook them within a day. 

If you have some time to prepare them before you’re ready to eat them, go right ahead and once they are done store them well.

How to Store Chicken Poppers

The best way to store your Paleo Chicken Poppers after they are cooked, that is IF there are any leftovers, is to just wrap them up good, a tight-fitting plastic container would be a good way to keep them fresh.

Explain this sentence better.  Wrap them up good and then put them in a plastic container?  or one or the other? And then what, no refrigerator? 

How to Reheat Them

What’s the best way to reheat your chicken poppers? When it comes time to eat your leftovers, our favorite way is to pop them in the oven or toaster oven on a baking tray and heat for about 10 minutes at 375 degrees. If you are afraid of drying them out you can cover them lightly with a piece of aluminum foil. 

The easiest way to reheat chicken poppers is in the microwave on a plate covered with a paper towel for about 1-2 minutes. They should still remain juicy and delicious.

Can You Freeze Chicken Zucchini Poppers

Once you prepare your Chicken Poppers you can freeze them either before you cook them or after they are cooked. In both cases, wrap them tightly or put them in an air-tight container and put them in the freezer.

When it comes time to take them out, if they are not cooked, then thaw them out before frying them. 

If they are previously cooked then take them directly from the freezer and put them right into the oven and heat on 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes, which will be just enough time to heat them. You don’t want to cook them because they are already cooked.

Chicken Poppers Recipe

More Keto Chicken Recipes

If you’re in the mood for some other Low Carb Chicken recipes then try our:

They all are Keto-friendly and low carb, and will be a hit at your next party!

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Chicken Zucchini Poppers Recipe

Healthy Chicken Zucchini Poppers – Paleo & Whole30

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  • Author: Leigh Oskwarek
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 16 Servings (1 Popper Per Serving) 1x
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This recipe for Chicken Zucchini Poppers is easy to make and delicious to eat. Good for Paleo, Low Carb and Whole30.  They can be served as an appetizer or as a healthy meal.


  • 1 lb Ground Chicken
  • 1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Cilantro, Chopped
  • 1 ½ cups grated Zucchini 
  • Olive Oil for frying or baking




The most important thing to do when making your poppers is to squeeze as much water out of the shredded zucchini before mixing it in with your ground chicken.

You may have your own favorite oil for frying, mine is olive oil because I  like the way it tastes.

You can either buy the ground chicken in the store or if you choose to, you can buy the chicken of your choice and grind it up yourself in a food processor.

You can either fry your poppers or bake them, the choice is yours.

To make sure that they are cooked thoroughly use a meat thermometer and they are done when it reaches 160 degrees.

Chicken Poppers can be assembled together ahead of time if you want to and then cooked later the same day or the next day.

To bake the chicken instead of frying them line a baking tray with a piece of parchment paper so that they will not stick to the tray.

Spray both sides of the poppers with olive oil to keep them moist and to also get a little taste like fried without frying them in oil.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Appetizers
  • Method: Frying
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