Mexican Meatballs with Chipotle Tomatillo Sauce Recipe

This Mexican Meatballs recipe is chock full of authentic flavors.  The juicy meatballs are made from a combination of ground beef and crumbled Mexican chorizo, are browned to create a delicious outer crust and flavor, and then enveloped in a sauce made from roasted garlic, tomatillos, onions, and chipotles en adobo to create an absolutely flavor-packed dish everyone is sure to enjoy!

These Mexican Meatballs are made with our signature Homemade Mexican Chorizo that is so easy to make, can be frozen to conveniently have on hand, and tastes absolutely incredible!

mexican meatballs recipe beef pork chorizo roasted garlic tomatillos chipotle adobo sauce authentic traditional

This was a spur of the moment creation several years ago just after newly launching my blog in 2013.  I had some thawed ground beef in the fridge and some tomatillos that needed to be used.  I grabbed some white onions, a can of chipotles en adobo, and some garlic.  As I was gathering these ingredients, I remembered reading about a technique used by well-known Mexican cook Margarita Carrillo de Salinas in which she places a little bit of hard-boiled egg in the center of each meatball.  I decided to do that for this recipe to add to the flavor and texture.  It was a great touch.

Another highlight of these meatballs is the inclusion of Mexican chorizo which is raw ground pork that is mixed with spices and is crumbled and cooked; a popular additional in Mexican cuisine.  I’m not a fan of some of the ingredients used in commercially sold Mexican chorizo so years ago I started making my own homemade Mexican chorizo.  The flavor is out of this world and you can make a big batch of it, freeze it in smaller portions, and conveniently take out what you need.  Many meatball recipes call for a combination of beef and pork and for these “Mexican Meatballs” I thought chorizo in place of the pork would be the perfect substitute.  The end result was a hit around our family table and they have been a family favorite ever since.  Tender, juicy meatballs coated with a smoky, creamy roasted garlic, chipotle and tomatillo sauce.  These Mexican meatballs are a flavor powerhouse!

What to Serve with Mexican Meatballs

Depending on whether you’re wanting a carb or you prefer to go low-carb there are several great options.  Here are a few things you can serve with these Mexican meatballs:

  • Steamed rice
  • Cilantro lime rice
  • Cauliflower rice
  • Quinoa
  • Black beans
  • Refried beans
  • Crusty bread
  • Warm corn tortillas
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Leafy green salad

Can These Be Made in Advance?

Yes.  To save time you can assemble the meatballs a day in advance and then fry them the following day.  Likewise you can roast the vegetables a day in advance, cover and refrigerate them until ready to use.  These Mexican meatballs also make great leftovers; just in the microwave.  They also freeze well; let them thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Mexican Meatballs Recipe

Let’s get started!

Quarter one of the onions (the other onions is going to be diced and added to the meatball mixture), peel the husks off the tomatillos and wash them, and leave the garlic cloves in their peels.  Place them on a baking sheet and drizzle some olive oil over all of them.  Heat the oven to 425 F and roast them until the skins are starting to blacken and blister, about 35-40 minutes.

Remove the vegetables from the oven.  Squeeze the garlic from their peels.

roasting the veggies in the oven

Place the vegetables in a blender along with the beef broth, chipotles, salt and puree until smooth.  Pour the sauce in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, chorizo, onion, breadcrumbs, milk, egg, cilantro, oregano and pepper.  Using your hands, knead the mixture together until thoroughly combined.

blending the roasted veggies and preparing the meat mixture in a bowl

Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls, flatten, put a piece of hard-boiled egg in the center, and close the meat around it forming it back into a ball.

Repeat with each meatball.

placing hard boiled egg pieces in center of each meatball

Heat some oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and fry the meatballs on all sides until browned.

frying the meatballs in a pan

Place the meatballs on paper towels to absorb the grease.

Pour the roasted tomatillos sauce into the large skillet and nestle the meatballs in the sauce.  Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.  Add a little extra beef broth to thin the sauce as needed.

adding the sauce to the meatballs in the pan

Serve with your choice of sides, for example a salad and some good crusty bread.

mexican meatballs recipe beef pork chorizo roasted garlic tomatillos chipotle adobo sauce authentic traditional

For more delicious Mexican recipes be sure to also try our:

Inspired by Marilyn Tausend

Originally published on The Daring Gourmet February 10, 2013

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