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A bowl of filled with rice, meatballs, and vegetables.
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Tex-Mex Meatballs in Red Chile Sauce

Serve these Tex-Mex Meatballs in Red Chile Sauce over a bed of rice with roasted sweet potatoes and corn. A fun twist on meatballs and an unforgettable meal!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time40 mins
0 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican, Tex Mex
Servings: 8
Calories: 587kcal


For the Tex-Mex Meatballs:

  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 cup coarsley chopped white onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed fresh cilantro leaves thick stems removed
  • 1/2 cup finely crushed tortilla chips
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef

For the Red Chile Sauce:

  • 2 (10 ounce) cans red chile enchilada sauce (I love Hatch brand)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons sugar divided

For the Rice:

  • 2 cups uncooked long grain white rice

For the Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Corn:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 ears sweet corn
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt to taste

For Garnish:

  • sour cream for garnish
  • chopped cilantro for garnish


Tex-Mex Meatballs

  • Preheat the broiler with oven rack 5 inches from the heat. Line a baking sheet with foil. Broil the poblano pepper on the foil-lined baking sheet for 6 to 8 minutes or until blistered, turning occasionally. Use tongs to transfer the poblano to a zip-top plastic storage bag. Seal the bag and let it stand 10 minutes to loosen the skin. Use a paper towel to pull the peel from the poblano and remove and discard the stem and seeds.
  • Add the roasted poblano, onion, garlic, and cilantro to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse, scraping down the sides as needed, until the mixture is a paste-like consistency.
  • Add the crushed corn chips and milk to a large bowl. Let stand about 5 minutes or until the chips soften. Stir in the eggs, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and the poblano mixture. Fold in the beef and mix with your hands just until combined.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and coat it with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Shape the meat mixture into about 30 (1 1/2-inch meatballs) about 2 tablespoonfuls each. Place them on the prepared baking sheet. Bake 12 minutes or until browned.
  • While meatballs are baking, start the rice, sweet potatoes, and corn (see instructions below).

Red-Chile Sauce

  • Add the enchilada sauce, chicken broth, and sugar to a Dutch oven and place over MEDIUM-LOW heat. Use tongs to transfer the browned meatballs to the pot. Increase heat as needed to bring the sauce to a boil then reduce the heat to MEDIUM-LOW and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through and sauce is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat off under the meatballs and let them sit for about 10 minutes. Sauce will continue to thicken as they rest.


  • Cook according to package directions.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Corn

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees Peel and chop two medium sweet potatoes in 1-inch cubes (ish). Scatter over a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and roast for about 30 minutes (ish), tossing with a spatula every 15 minutes. Cut the corn from two cobs and add to the sweet potatoes 5 minutes before the end of the baking time. Season with salt, to taste.
  • Serve meatballs over the cooked rice with roasted sweet potatoes and corn. Garnish individual servings with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkling of cilantro.


These meatballs freeze beautifully. Bake them as directed and allow them to cool. Once cooled, spread them out on a clean baking sheet and transfer them to the freezer for an hour or two until frozen solid. At this point the meatballs can be transferred to a freezer-safe plastic storage bag and stored in the freezer.
To use the frozen meatballs, allow them to thaw safely in the refrigerator overnight and follow the remaining recipe as directed.


Calories: 587kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 115mg | Sodium: 1094mg | Potassium: 835mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 8930IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 5mg