BeefCuisineCurriesItalianMainsMeatMexicanQuick & Easy

Mexican Meatballs

20 mins Cook
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NomNom Recipes 9 2

Others buy ground beef every week and remake spaghetti bolognese. but you? You make plump jalapeno meatballs, brush them with chipotle ketchup, and serve them over rice with a dollop of guacamole and sour cream.

How proud are you? (Answer: a lot!

Mexican Meatballs
Mexican Meatballs-NomNomWow

Mexican Meatballs

I probably shouldn’t admit it because I run a recipe site and I feel like I should be positive about all things food. In fact, I really don’t have the patience to roll meatballs. I’ve complained before that someone really needs to invent a meatball rolling device. I imagined a kind of tube stuffed with meat and at the other end perfectly formed meatballs.

Not the best image, perhaps! But imagine how fast you can make 100 meatballs with a device like this! ! !
Anyway, in the absence of such equipment, the purpose of sharing this idea is to let you know that any meatball recipe you see on this site exists, because I believe that totally worth it! And today such a recipe is Mexican meatballs.

Powered by classic Tex-Mex spices, these pork and beef beauties are everything you love about Mexican flavors and your favorite meatballs rolled into one, all bathed in a smoky Mexican-flavored tomato sauce and with chilli.

Ingredients in Mexican Meatballs

That’s what these Mexican meatballs are made of. There are “secret recipes”!

The “secret ingredient” of these meatballs is:

Corn flakes instead of the usual breadcrumbs! They add extra flavor to meatballs, unique corn flavor and salt. Replace with breadcrumbs;

Ground Beef AND Pork (ground) – delicious and flavorful chewy meatballs. Feel free to use only whole beef. Super tasty, only they’re not as soft.
If you use all the pork, the meatballs will taste like, well, pork; and

Chipotle Powder – this is a smoky, sun-dried, ground jalapeño with a bit of a spicy, smoky flavor. Unfortunately, it is not yet widely available in Australia, but you can find it at Harris Farm (Sydney) and wherever there is a variety of spices. Substitute with more smoked paprika and a pinch of paprika or plain cayenne pepper.

Also used in: Shrimp/Shrimp Tacos, Chipotle Lime Roasted Cauliflower (so good!), Cowboy Bean Salad, Fish Tacos, Beef Carnitas, Chicken Tacos, Cowboy Rice Salad.


Here is the sauce you will need:

Adobo’s Chipotles – now available in the Mexican food section of major Australian grocery stores (Coles, Woolworths, Harris Farms), are the key element to the flavor of the sauce. We don’t use a lot – the meatballs have enough flavor on their own, so we only add a small amount to the sauce.

Chipotles are dried and smoked chipotle peppers. In canned form, they often come with a hot, spicy red sauce called adobo, hence the name Chipotles en adobo. You’ll get the smoke and heat of chipotle and the spices, garlic, and other seasonings of adobo.
In this recipe, we use both jalapeños and sauce.

Freeze leftover cookies: Using a small zip-top bag, arrange the peppers in a single layer to easily break some apart if needed. Use in Barbacoa Beef, Mexican Shredded Chicken, Mexican Corn.

How to make Mexican Meatballs

To make your life easier and keep your meatballs handy, I like to bake them and finish them in a sauce. Good flavor exchange – the delicious juices from the meatballs soak into the sauce which keeps the meatballs nice and juicy!

  • Lighten the nachos until they are reduced to fine crumbs. Of course, if you’re using breadcrumbs instead, go your way!
  • Mix with all the other meatball ingredients. For quick and easy use with your hands, otherwise use a wooden spoon;
  • Use an ice cream scoop to distribute the mixture. The perfect meatball scoop for evenly dividing and making half rounds!
    I filled my 3 tablespoons of ice cream about 3/4 full. This makes 20 meatballs;
  • Roll into meatballs and place on a wire rack above the tray. Why take air? Place the meatballs around and let the hot air circulate under the meatballs so that they also brown well underneath. Without a grid, the bottom will not brown;
  • was generously sprayed with oil and baked for 10 minutes to lighten the color on the outside.
    They’re still raw inside, which is exactly what we want since we’re going to finish cooking them in the sauce;
  • Make the sauce while the meatballs are in the oven. At first we only simmered for 5 minutes;
  • Meatballs simmered in sauce: As soon as the meatballs come out of the oven, put them in the sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to cook the meatballs and thicken the sauce; and
  • Sprinkle with fresh cilantro just before serving to finish!

What to serve with Mexican Meatballs

These meatballs are delicious and easy to make straight from the heat and served over a bowl of rice or as a topping/drain (that’s a technical term!) with warm tortillas. However, as with anything Mexican, the toppings are a bonus. Here are some options.


  • Sour cream (or yogurt)
  • Grated cheese
  • Avocado in any form – diced, sliced, mashed, or if you want gold, guacamole
  • Your favorite hot sauce
  • Jalapeños /
    444 Coriander leaf


Note: Mexican green rice is buried in Mexican steak recipes. I’ll take it out and add a video one of these days!

Mexican Meatballs

Mexican Meatballs

Others buy ground beef every week and remake spaghetti bolognese. but you? You make plump jalapeno meatballs, brush them with chipotle ketchup, and serve them over rice with a dollop of guacamole and sour cream.
prep time
10 mins
cooking time
20 mins
total time
30 mins



  • 250g / 8oz beef mince (ground beef)

  • 250g / 8oz pork mince (ground pork), or more beef (Note 1)

  • 1/2 red onion , grated using a standard box grater

  • 50g / 1.75 oz plain corn chips , sub breadcrumbs + 1/4 tsp salt (Note 2)

  • 1 egg

  • 3 tbsp coriander/cilantro , finely chopped (sub chives or parsley)

  • 3 tbsp parsley , finely chopped (optional)

  • 2 tsp fresh jalapeño , seeds removed and finely minced (reduce/omit for not spicy)

  • Oil spray (preferably olive oil)


  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tsp chipotle powder , sub more smoked paprika, reduce for less spicy (Note 3)

  • 1 tsp coriander powder

  • 1 tsp garlic powder (sub 1/2 fresh garlic clove, finely grated)

  • 1/2 tsp paprika , hot for spicy or sweet for not (or sub more Chipotle powder)

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic , finely minced

  • 1 chipotle from a can of Chipotle in Adobo , finely chopped – add another for extra flavour! (Note 4)

  • 1 tsp Adobo Sauce from a can of Chipotle in Adobo (Note 4)

  • 800g / 24 oz crushed tomato

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 1 tbsp coriander/cilantro , roughly chopped


  • Coriander/cilantro leaves , whole

  • Shredded cheese

  • Sour cream

  • Guacamole (or just diced, sliced or mashed plain avocado)

  • Rice, for serving (Note


Preheat the oven to 220°C/390°F (fan 200°C). Place the grates on the pan. Spray the grill with oil. s!
Blitz Corn Flakes: Place corn flakes in Nutribullet or food processor. Blend until reduced to fine crumbs.
(If not, put in a ziplock bag and smack!)
Meatball Mix: Combine meatball ingredients and Mexican Meatball Seasoning in a bowl and toss by hand to evenly coat.
Roll of meatballs: Roll into 3 – 3.5 cm / 1.2 – 1.
4" meatballs. Place on wire rack. Should make about 20-24 meatballs.
Bake for 10 minutes: Spray meatballs generously with oil. Bake 10 minutes until tender. they are golden (they are still raw, we end up in the juice).


While the meatballs are in the oven, start preparing the sauce.
Sauté Garlic and Peppers: Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add chopped Adobo Chili and sauté for 20 seconds.
Simmer 5 minutes: Add tomatoes, Adobo sauce and sugar.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meatballs Finishing:

Cooking Meatballs in Sauce: Remove the meatballs from the oven and place them in the sauce. Continue cooking the sauce for 10 minutes, rolling the meatballs occasionally, until the sauce thickens and the meatballs are cooked through.
Fresh coriander: Sprinkle with chopped coriander.
Servings: Serve with your choice of toppings and serve with rice or tortilla


The beef/pork mixture results in softer, juicier meatballs. You can just use all the beef, but the meatballs will be a little tougher. Corn Flakes - Using ground corn flakes instead of the usual breadcrumbs really adds something special to these meatballs! You can definitely taste the light corn flavor and salt seasoning. Sub: panko breadcrumbs (1 cup) or regular plain breadcrumbs (3/4 cup - finer than panko, so less is needed for the same weight) plus 1/4 tsp. salt (since cornflakes contain salt). Chipotle powder is ground dried jalapeños, an ingredient used in Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine. Buy at Harris Farms (Syd), delicatessens, spice stores, health food stores in bulk containers. Seems to be everywhere except major grocery stores in Australia! is also used for: Shrimp/Shrimp Tacos, Chipotle Lime Roasted Cauliflower (so good!), Cowboy Bean Salad, Fish Tacos, Carnitas, Chicken Tacos, Cowboy Rice Salad. Jalapeños in adobo - These jalapeños (dried, smoked jalapenos) are served in a very spicy seasoned hot sauce. Great quick Mexican ingredient that adds so much flavor! Usually in boxes (sometimes jars). Widely used in the United States and now also in Australia. Check out the Mexico section of larger grocery stores like Coles & Woolies. Chipotle adobo substitute: 1 1/2 tsp chipotle powder + 1/2 tsp smoked paprika + 1 tsp sriracha (yes, really, it's pretty close to adobo sauce! Freeze Leftover Chipotles: Use a small zipper bag and arrange the chipotles in a single layer to easily slice a few chipotles if needed. Use in Barbacoa Beef, Mexican Shredded Chicken, Mexican Corn. Rice selection! Plain White Rice Mexican Green Rice (Coriander/Caraway Rice) Mexican Red Rice Leftovers – store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days, or freeze in broth for up to 3 months. Nutrition per serving, meatballs and sauce only, assuming 5 servings.
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