I’ll admit it. We’ve been in a bit of a meal rut lately.
Joey and I have fallen into a pattern of three to five dishes that we make every week, and while our meals are never bad or disappointing, they have been lacking a little excitement.
So I decided to pull out a kind of strange recipe I saw online recently to create some enchilada meatballs. (Yes, that’s what passes for excitement at our house.)
I have had enchiladas. I have had meatballs. Heck, I’ve even had enchilada casseroles, but it’s such a simple dish that there aren’t a lot of ways to be creative with it. So I thought I really needed to see what enchilada meatballs were all about.
This comes from the blog “The Weary Chef.” You can find the original post at https://wearychef.com/recipe/cheesy-mexican-meatballs/. I doubled nearly all of the seasonings in my version below.
- 1 pound ground beef leaner is better
- 10 ounces red enchilada sauce divided
- 3/4 cup quick oats
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce I used chipotle Tabasco
- 2 cups shredded cheese I used Mexican blend
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a nine-by-13-inch baking dish by spraying it with cooking spray.
- In a bowl, combine the ground beef, 1/4 cup enchilada sauce, oats, eggs, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, oregano, cumin, chili powder and hot sauce. Using a spoon or your hands, mix everything together until it’s well combined.
- Using a one-inch scoop or just a spoon to portion, roll the mixture into meatballs about the size of a ping-pong ball. Place them in the prepared baking dish. They don’t need to be very far apart.
- Once all the meatballs are in the dish, pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over the top of them. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, remove the foil and sprinkle the cheese over top of the meatballs. Bake, uncovered, for 10 more minutes, or until the cheese is melted and just a little browned. Serve immediately with your favorite Mexican sides.
We ate these with some Mexican rice and rolled them up in tortillas, kind of like a meatball sub. This was absolutely delicious, but it was also extremely filling. Those meatballs are deceptively dense but also really good, so be careful when filling your plate.
As far as the spice level, this was incredibly kid friendly. If I were to make this again just for Joey and me, I would buy spicier enchilada sauce and maybe use a spicier hot sauce in the mix, too. Just as is, though, it was very mild, and you could always back off on adding the hot sauce or even cutting back on the chili powder for your pickier eaters.
It’s fun to take traditional flavors and mix them up a bit by serving them in a new way every once in awhile, and this recipe was no exception.
Of course, now that our meatball leftovers are gone, we are slowly falling back into our normal rut. I guess I need to hop back online for something new.
This piece first appeared in print on March 9, 2023.
Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.