Santa Claus is Cumin to Town

The versatile meatball comes through again. Invited to a Christmas Eve dinner at our friends, Barb and Brad’s house, we were asked to bring an appetizer. As many of you know, it’s not uncommon for us to try something new when hosting/dining with guests—a big no-no in most culinary circles. But we’ve been down that road numerous times and weren’t afraid to take the path less traveled.

With few exceptions, I can pretty much look at a recipe and tell if it will be successful, or need some tweaking to address our own personal preferences. These party-friendly Cumin Spiced Chicken Meatballs, found on, spoke to me at first glance. They were touted as being perfectly light with just the right amount of spice from cumin.


The fact that they were a breeze to throw together rated high points with me during the busy holiday season. However, the original directions instructed you to cook the meatballs in a 400° oven or in an air fryer (which we didn’t have). But I thought I could get a more consistent overall browning on a stovetop skillet. (The directions below indicate my changes.)

We all enjoyed the spicy mayo dipping sauce which, if not careful, could become completely addicting. My only issue might be the girth of the balls, which required a fork to eat. I might cut them in half next time to a more manageable cocktail size that can be stabbed with a toothpick and chewed in one bite. Keep in mind though, cooking times would have to be adjusted…

Cumin Spiced Chicken Meatballs

  • Servings: 16 meatballs
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print




  • Cooking spray
  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes



  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp. hot sauce
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin


  1. Grease a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray over medium heat.
  2. In a large bowl, combine chicken, egg, Parmesan, panko, soy sauce, garlic, and cumin. Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
  3. Divide mixture into 4 equal quarters, then make 4 equal-sized meatballs from each. to total 16 meatballs. Place in prepared skillet.
  4. Cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown on all sides. Cover with lid for 3-5 minutes then check the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer. They will be done at 160° in about 18-20 minutes total. (If you do them in the oven, check the temp at 15 minutes.)
  5. Move meatballs to serving platter with dipping sauce and greens for garnish.


  1. In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, hot sauce, honey, and cumin until incorporated.
  2. Serve meatballs with spicy mayo for dipping.

Adapted from a recipe by Makinze Gore from

I have to give a shout out to our hosts Barb and Brad who made a scrumptious Christmas Eve dinner of prime rib, scalloped potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts, along with a very decadent peanut butter and dark chocolate bundt cake. No one went away hungry that night!


1 thought on “Santa Claus is Cumin to Town

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