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Southwestern Meatballs

Southwestern Meatballs

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Since I love all things spicy, I decided to make Southwestern meatballs. Try these for a quick and easy meal or serve these at your next party.


  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/4 cup whole-wheat pasta
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 3/4 pounds ground sirloin
  • 2 serrano chiles, seeded
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


Calories Per Serving193

Folate equivalent (total)19µg5%

Southwest Meatballs with Creamy Cilantro Dipping Sauce

Holy poodles! I go to Vegas soon!! In all the hustle and bustle of moving, I’ve completely forgotten to plan my outfits, get a spray tan, and get my nails done. I mean, there’s not much else to plan when heading to Vegas, right? Right. I’ll plan my outfits tomorrow then get my nails done. I hate doing my nails, but I’m totally going glitter style. As for the spray tan, I don’t care enough to get one. Please don’t lecture me about how tanning is bad, and self tanner has just as many harmful chemicals in it. I honestly don’t feel like listening. Or care. If a little self tanner makes me feel better about myself, I’m going to do it. Except for this time. Because I’m lazy. And it’s only about 50s and 60s in Vegas right now, so I won’t be skinny dipping anywhere. Or will I? Kidding. Skinny dipping is weird.

But I’m pumped to get away from the freezing cold in Colorado. I can’t really complain because it’s still wonderful and sunny out here, and it’s Colorado, but I’d like to wear more than just my Sorel’s I found on The Clymb for half price. Half priced shoes are always way more fun to wear. But I’ve organized my closet and can see all of my shoes now, so I want to wear them even more.

So I’m starting to try to do some DIY things. Crafting, if you will. Thank gosh for pinterest or I would have absolutely no clue how to do anything. I mean, I’ve only done one thing so far, but I’m in it. I made a centerpiece for my dining table out of little crate (I have no clue what it’s called), 3 square glasses, and some white and orange flowers. Fake, of course. Real ones die, then it defeats the purpose.

I feel like crafting should save you money, but it hasn’t so far for me. I think I need to learn where to shop. Michael’s didn’t really save me money. And with furnishing a new place, money goes away quickly. I still have to buy a new floor lamp and mirror and wall art. I’m not sure how to DIY wall art, but I’m going to have to figure it out at this rate. Can you teach me things?

Recipe Summary

  • 1 14-16 ounce package fully cooked refrigerated or frozen beef meatballs, thawed
  • 1 16 ounce package Santa Fe medley frozen mixed vegetables (corn, black beans, and red peppers)
  • 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes and/or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Sliced jalapeño peppers, chopped cherry tomatoes, and/or fresh cilantro (optional)

In a Dutch oven combine thawed meatballs and vegetables, fresh tomatoes, the water, chili powder, and tomato paste. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Ladle chili into bowls. If desired, top with jalapêno peppers, cherry tomatoes, and/or cilantro.

Southwest Meatball Skillet

Ugh, pretty sure I have senioritis. Is that even possible to have in grad school? I’m just done.

I don’t know I’m simply dreading the new class that’s starting on April 30 th . It’s funny, one month of only taking one class instead of two and I’m completely spoiled!

But anyway, let’s talk food. I’m pretty sure my love of Southwestern/Mexican cuisine is pretty well documented. As you can see from recipes like my Chipotle Marinated Steak with Beans and Corn, Mexican Mayonnaise Chicken, Fish Tostadas with Guacamole or my Turkey Salsa Negra over Acorn Squash.

Funnily enough, while I enjoy Mexican food it’s my husband that’s the real die-hard. I’m pretty sure I could feed him burritos, enchiladas, fajitas, etc. on a daily basis without any complaints from him. The man even thought he would end up marrying a woman of Hispanic origin! Which basically adds up to us eating a lot of Southwest inspired dishes since I know my husband will love it.

I saw this recipe on the cover of Clean Eating and immediately wanted to give it a shot, influenced by my love of meatballs.

Serious Side Note: I freaking love meatballs in all their forms. I’m not sure why having the meat in a small ball versus an actual piece of meat makes me like it so much more. Maybe it’s because of all the fun stuff you can mix in to them?

Plus this had the added bonus of being a one dish meal and being cooked in my new cast iron, so this was a particular favorite. Add in the fact that the majority of the ingredients are pantry staples for me and it was a definite must make.

Southwestern Chicken Meatballs

Celebrating March Madness is a ton of fun at our house. We fill out our brackets, not that we’re great college basketball prognosticators or anything, and watch with heightened hopes that maybe this will be our lucky year. We play for bragging rights, no money, just for fun. I’ve won the family pool a couple of times which elevates my status in the family (for about a day). I chose Duke beating Kansas in the final this year but despite a great season and winning the ACC tournament my Blue Devils disappointed me and lost in the 2nd round last Sunday. No Big Dance win for me, but we’ve still got a lot of basketball to enjoy these next few weekends.

To keep everyone happy I usually prepare some easy finger foods so we don’t miss “one shining moment”. We could order pizza (and sometimes we do), but I’m making these crowd-pleasing tasty meatballs along with Litehouse OPA Cilantro Avocado Dressing for a dip. The meatballs can be served cold or hot, as an appetizer, meal or a snack, and store beautifully in the refrigerator for a few days or in the freezer for up to a few months.

Ground chicken has become pretty popular over the last couple of years it seems. It’s low in fat, high in protein and is a great substitute for ground beef or even turkey. When I first started using ground chicken I had to search for it in the freezer section because apparently it just wasn’t selling fast enough to stay fresh in the meat section. But today it’s readily available and of a nice high quality. I avoid buying it in the tubes as this product seems like more water than chicken which doesn’t make for good meatballs. I prefer buying it in packages where I can see what I’m buying and I look for at least a 90/10 lean to fat weight ratio for a flavorful low-fat product.

A minced mixture of red bell peppers, garlic, cilantro, green onion and jalapeno pepper is blended into the ground chicken with an egg, breadcrumbs or Panko crumbs as well as cumin, oregano, salt and black pepper. I use my hands to mix and form about 24 small golf ball size or 18 regular golf ball size amounts and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees F for only about 15-20 minutes or until cooked through. They’re nice and soft, just they way you want them. Serve with the OPA Litehouse dressing and/or mashed avocado. The other night I served the meatballs inside warmed street taco size tortillas and they were a big hit.

Southwest Turkey Meatballs

These Southwest Turkey Meatballs are made with ground turkey, cilantro, jalapeño peppers, scallions, garlic and cumin which I served with a Creamy Cilantro Tomatillo Dipping Sauce.

Meatballs make the perfect finger food and are so much fun to eat. Put them on a platter with toothpicks or as a main dish with salad or grains. Also great for meal prep!

I really love Italian meatballs and spaghetti, who doesn’t, but why not get creative and experiment with different meat, herbs and seasoning.

If you prefer them spicy, leave the seeds in, or play around with different peppers like serrano, poblano, or habaneros.

To Meal Prep, divide the meatballs in 4 meal prep containers and serve with salad and vegetables such as cauliflower rice.

Mexican Meatballs Recipe Featured in 101 Things to Do With Chile Peppers

My Mexican Meatballs Recipe was one of the very first recipes turned into my publisher, Gibbs Smith, and helped me get the cookbook contract!

My basic Mexican Meatballs Recipe has its very own page! You will also find other Meatballs Recipes cooked in spicy Southwest Sauces and great recipes for meatball dishes.

I haven’t had a formal launch for the 101 Things to Do With Chile Peppers Cookbook (yet)so please check it out online or at your favorite bookseller.

Look for more featured recipes from my cookbooks!

Mexican Meatballs Recipe is one of my staples for weeknight meals. I make the basic meatballs and then cook them spicy sauces or Mexican-style soups and pastas.

Over the years, I have developed a few tips that help me get these meatball dishes on the table in a quick and easy way that save a few dollars at the grocery store.

Tips for Making Mexican Meatballs Recipe

  1. Double or triple the batch of meatballs. This is a very easy recipe but, you can still save time in the cleanup, food prep and even shopping if you make large batches.
  2. Freeze the meatballs in sizes to fit your families meals.
  3. Make the meatballs small and bite sized. Smaller meatballs are great for soups and meatball appetizers. Smaller sized meatballs will give you the versatility you need in other dishes. Spaghetti? No problem, pile the little guys on!
  4. Freeze the meatballs in amounts that will fit your family’s meals, not in one giant zip bag.
  5. Clearly mark the frozen meatball’s container with the date and how many meatballs are in the container.
  6. Save money by mixing other ground meats together like beef and pork.
  7. Freeze unused portions of raw ground meat ( 1/4 pound one night, 1/2 pound another night). Label the meat with the date and how much meat is in the container. Then, when you have enough frozen meat, make meatballs!
  8. This recipe only makes enough for 4 to 6 servings. Make sure you have enough meatballs! Double, triple or quadruple the Mexican Meatballs Recipe if you have a large family or a large gathering of friends.
  9. Be sure to make sure to make extra meatballs to keep in the freezer!
Watch for more Mexican Meatballs Recipe ideas here on Everyday Southwest or in 101 Things to Do With Chile Peppers.

What recipes do you use meatballs in? I’d love to hear from you! Share your ideas by leaving a comment here on this post or follow Everyday Southwest on Facebook!

Easy Trader Joe’s Meal: Southwestern Veggie Turkey Meatballs

Looking for something easy to make using your favorite Trader Joe’s products? These Southwestern Veggie Turkey Meatballs are the answer. They’re packed with southwestern flavor thanks to the cumin and green bell pepper! The store’s newest gluten-free offering, rice crumbs, makes the perfect grain-free breadcrumb replacement––or substitute regular breadcrumbs if you’d like.

Living for New Products at Trader Joe’s

Does anyone else literally live for the new products shelf at Trader Joe’s?

Please don’t tell me I’m the only one who gets just a little giddy as I approach it every Saturday morning during my weekly grocery run. My heart flutters as I near it. I even sweat a little, just picturing all of the magical items that might await me.

I’m only exaggerating a little. But not too much.

What to Make With Rice Crumbs From Trader Joe’s

On one of my most recent visits, I spotted the little orange bags of rice crumbs, which are quite literally “breadcrumbs” that are made with ground puffed white rice. The texture reminded me a little of panko, and I was very intrigued.

While I’m not strictly gluten-free, I do enjoy swapping in many gluten-free products when I can because I enjoy them (and I know many of you are looking for GF recipes, too). Well, I’m happy to report that these are a great option!

Easy Trader Joe’s Meal: Southwestern Veggie Turkey Meatballs

The texture is particularly awesome in these meatballs. It’s hearty, and it adds a lot of moisture and “softness” to the baked ground turkey. The flavor, though, is what really gets me with these little guys. The scallions add some bite, the green peppers add some crunch, and the cumin lends it that unmistakeable southwestern vibe.

Serve them with some rice seasoned with the chili lime seasoning from Trader Joe’s and a little pat of butter and a simple salad on the side. You’ll thank me later.

Meatball Recipes

Pre heat oven to 350° and cook meatballs according to the package instructions * . Set aside. Grease a muffin tin with cooking spray. Pour in ¼ cup of the eggs into each muffin cup. Bake for 15 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Meanwhile, spread cream cheese onto the bottom halves of the mini bagels and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. When eggs are cooked, remove from the oven and place on the bagel bottoms. Next, cut cooked meatballs in half and place on top of the egg, add the half slice of cheddar cheese, then the bagel tops. Bake until the bagels are toasted and the cheese has melted, about 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately. **

* Save time by microwaving meatballs according to package instructions instead of baking

** For a single serve option, microwave ¼ cup eggs in a microwave safe bowl or mug for 1 minute covered or until firm. Microwave 2 meatballs for 35-40 seconds. To assemble, cut mini bagel in half, spread ½ TBSP. of cream cheese onto bottom of bagel, top with eggs, meatballs, ½ slice cheddar cheese and bagel top. Microwave for 10-15 seconds to melt cheese.

Lightly spray baking pan with oil. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor, grind tortilla chips.

Grind until they look like fine bread crumbs.

Dice jalapeno, cilantro and red bell pepper. It helps to cut everything small so that the meatballs will hold together.

In a mixing bowl, add ground chicken, salsa, cilantro, bell pepper, jalapeno, spices, egg and sour cream. Substitute turkey for the chicken and make Southwest Turkey Meatballs if you prefer.

Using your hands, mix well.

Measure 1/4 c of mixture, then divide into two so that each meatball is approximately 1/8 of a cup. Roll and place on baking sheet.

Watch the video: Cooking With Fey-Κεφτεδακια με ΜακαλοΧυλό (August 2022).