Jerk Meatball Cupcakes

Served as a snack or as an appetizer, Jerk meatball subs are a simple recipe that packs a lot of flavour. Perfect for adults and kids, this recipe will have everyone asking for more.

jerk meatball cupcakes on a cutting board

The first time I made these meatball cupcakes, my kids were not sure about what I was making. They asked what was on the menu for Super Bowl and when they heard the words Jerk Meatball Cupcakes, their brains started imagining a meatball stuffed in an actual cupcake, like a chocolate or vanilla cupcake.

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What is a Meatball Cupcake?

A meatball cupcake is a meatball stuffed in dough and baked in a muffin pan.

The dough for this recipe is pizza dough. Our homemade pizza dough is easy to make and that is usually what we use to make this recipe. But store-bought pizza dough works just as well.

There is sauce and cheese as well in these cupcakes.

What Ingredients Are Used For The Meatballs?

The meatballs are made from ground beef. Lean ground beef is used because it has less fat so the meatballs don’t shrink much.

The sauce used is jerk BBQ sauce. Again we use Grace sauces, but any BBQ sauce can be used, even regular BBQ sauce.

For cheese, these meatballs are topped with a blend of mozzarella and parmesan.

For making the meatballs, the ground beef is mixed with the seasonings (see below), breadcrumbs, and egg.

Jerk Seasonings

There are two different kinds of seasoning we use.

The first is a paste which is mixed into the meat before forming it into meatballs. We like to use Grace Jerk Seasoning. There are two kinds of Grace seasoning, mild and hot, we usually use the mild. But if you prefer hotter, the hot jerk seasoning can also be used.

The second is a blend of herbs and spices that is sprinkled over the meatballs before cooking.

Tools Used For This Recipe

These Jerk Meatball Muffins are made in an air fryer. We use an oven-style air fryer but a basket style works just as well.

To make the meatballs even in size, there are two tools we use.

A medium-sized cookie scoop helps to spoon out the mixture.

And a food scale weighs the meat to ensure that the meatballs are relatively the same size and they will cook evenly.

How To Store Leftover Meatball Cupcakes?

Any leftover meatball cupcakes can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to two days. Reheat in the Air Fryer for 5 minutes at 350°F or until heated through.

These can also be wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for up to three months. Reheat from frozen in the air fryer at 300°F until heated through, about 10-15 minutes.

Jerk Meatball Cupcakes can be made ahead of time and frozen. If I am making them ahead of time, I freeze them after assembling them without cooking them through. I don’t put the cheese and BBQ sauce on top before freezing. Then I place them in the freezer on a tray for 30 minutes, before transferring them to a freezer bag or air-tight container. When I am ready to cook them, I air fry them for 10 minutes at 325°F, then top them with the BBQ and cheese. Place them back in the air fryer for an additional 7-8 minutes or until heated through and the cheese is melted.

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jerk meatball cupcakes on a cutting board

Jerk Meatball Cupcakes

5 from 11 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American, Canadian
Servings 12


  • Air Fryer


  • 1 package pizza dough (homemade or store-bought)
  • pounds ground beef
  • ¼ cup jerk seasoning paste
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup Jerk BBQ Sauce
  • ¾ cup shredded mozzarella
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan
  • 3 Tbsp Jerk Seasoning


  • Grease a muffin pan or ramekins
  • Divide pizza dough into 12 equal portions
  • Place dough portions into muffin pan, pressing dough against the sides
  • Cook pizza dough for 8 minutes in the air fryer at 400℉, or until the dough starts to turn golden in colour. Don't cook completely.
  • Meanwhile, mix ground beef with jerk seasoning paste, bread crumbs, and egg.
  • Form meat mixture into 12 meatballs, 65 grams each
  • Place meatballs in the air fryer at 400℉ for 9-10 minutes, until almost cooked through
  • Spoon 1 tablespoon of BBQ sauce in each pizza dough cup
  • Press a meatball in each pre-cooked pizza dough cup
  • Brush tops with remaining BBQ sauce
  • Top with mozzarella and Parmesan
  • Sprinkle with Jerk Seasoning
  • Place back in air fryer at 400℉ for 5-7 minutes or until cheese is melted
  • Allow to rest for 5 minutes after cooking before serving.


  • You may need to cook these in batches. I use a 6 cup muffin pan. You can also use ramekins or silicone muffin cups
  • The recipe is easily divided in half if you only want a small batch.
  • There are two kinds of Jerk Seasoning in this recipe. The first is a paste and the second is a dry herb and spice blend.
  • The pizza dough will puff up when baked. Just press the meatballs down into the dough.
  • This recipe can also be made in the oven, cooking times will vary depending on your oven. 
Keyword appetizer, meatballs


  1. 5 stars
    I do have a question though – do you have any suggestions for a substitute for the ground beef? I’m trying to reduce my red meat intake but still want to enjoy this tasty dish.

  2. 5 stars
    Perfect recipe for weeknight meals. This comes together fast and the family gave it two thumbs up. My son brought me back some jerk bbq sauce from his last vacation. I had been saving it for the right recipe. This was it!

  3. 5 stars
    Oh my! These were meatball cupcakes are delish. I served as appetizers at my last family gathering – only issue is I didn’t make enough!

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