Cheesy Mexican Meatballs

(2 votes)
43 Comments
9 minutes
May 21, 2024
RosieJump to Recipe

Cheesy Mexican Meatballs are a little spicy, a lot cheesy, and one of those meals that the whole family goes crazy for! It’s a make-ahead meal which makes my life easier too, especially on super busy days!

Hi everyone! My name is Amy from Little Dairy on the Prairie. Let me guess, right about now you are wondering if I live on a real dairy farm. (People ask me that all the time.) Yes! My family owns a dairy farm in cold Idaho!

Cheesy Mexican Meatballs

My husband, three boys, and I spend almost all of our time milking, feeding, bedding, and taking care of our cows! We milk about a thousand cows and ALL of our milk is made into cheese and is sold to Chipotle restaurants! Okay, that’s my life in a nutshell and probably enough about my crazy farm life. Now, let’s talk about Cheesy Enchilada Meatballs!

Raise your hand if you could eat Mexican food almost every day and still love it! I have two hands raised high in the air! Of course enchiladas rank right up there on the list of favorite Mexican dishes. Somedays though I just don’t have time or the ingredients to make enchiladas, which is where these meatballs come in.

What are meatballs?

A meatball is ground meat that has been shaped into a ball; sometimes, other ingredients such as crackers, breadcrumbs, chopped onion, garlic, eggs, butter, herbs and spices are also used. Cooking methods for meatballs include frying, baking, steaming, or braising in sauce. Meatballs are popular all across the world. Most of the time, they are made with ground pork, beef, turkey or lamb and mixed with aromatics and seasonsings. They are mostly distinguished by the spices that are utilized, as well as the accompanying sauce they are served in or with.

Baked Cheesy Mexican Meatballs

To give these baked Mexican meatballs a rich, peppery flavor, this recipe utilizes spicy, aromatic flavors like oregano, cumin, and paprika. The meatballs are covered in a rich sauce with adobo flavor that only requires three ingredients. These meatballs are tasty little morsels of low-carb, spicy, and cheesy delight that are also a wonderful party snack. They would be perfect for your upcoming Cinco de Mayo party alongside a cocktail, some chips, and salsa. These meatballs are spicy because of the chili powder and hot sauce.

These cheesy Mexican meatballs are a quick, flavorful one-pan meal that your entire family will enjoy that serves as a weeknight dinner or a fantastic dish for a gathering such as watching football on Sunday. These Cheesy Baked Mexican Meatballs are filled with tender, seasoned beef meatballs cooked in a flavorful sauce and topped with gooey, melty cheese. They are cheesy, spicy, and addictive.

How to Make Mexican Meatballs in Enchilada Sauce?

Cheesy Mexican Meatballs are so quick to make and only require a few ingredients you probably already have on hand. Let me show you how it works! First, add ground beef, seasonings, spices, and ground oats to a bowl. It’s okay to mix the meat together with your hands. Form meat into meatballs.

I scoop the meat out with a cookie scoop, just like I would if I were making cookies. Sometimes I stop right there and leave them in a rustic-looking scoop. If I have an extra minute and am feeling ambitious, I roll the meatballs with my hands to make them look all fancy! Next, place your meatballs in a baking dish and pour a can of enchilada sauce over the meatballs.

Cheesy Mexican Meatballs Cooking

Now, bake your Mexican meatballs. Remove from the oven and cover with cheese. Don’t skimp here…cheese is the BEST! Return to the oven and continue baking until the cheese is melted and gooey! Serve warm!

Cheesy Baked Mexican Meatballs

Just check out all that cheese! There are several ways to serve Cheesy Enchilada Meatballs. We usually serve them over, or next to, a bed of Cheesy Spanish Rice.

Sometimes we serve them in a tortilla kind of like a taco! So yummy! Add as many Mexican fixings as you can think Guacamole, lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced olives, salsa, and sour cream! Heck, you could even put Cheesy Spanish Rice right in the tortilla shell with all the other fixings! So yummy!

Cheesy Mexican Meatballs is one of those recipes that is a regular on our meal rotation! I’m pretty sure after you try them they will make an appearance on your menu fairly often too!

Modifications and Substitutions for Cheesy Baked Meatballs

This meatball recipe is loaded with Mexican flavors and calls for them to be baked in the oven but here are some ways you can adjust this recipe to suit your needs.

  • Use a crockpot instead of baking. This meatball recipe also works great in a crockpot. Instead of placing them on a baking pan and baking them, you can arrange them in your crockpot, add sauce, and cook on high for 1 hour. Once the meatballs are fully cooked, remove the crockpot lid, cover the meatballs with cheese, replace the lit and let cook for another 10 minutes so the cheese can melt.
  • Switch out the type of ground meat. This recipe uses ground beef, but these meatballs also work great with ground pork, turkey, or even lamb. Use whichever you prefer or have at home.
  • Use breadcrumbs instead of ground oats. I always have oats on hand since my kids love oatmeal. However, you can switch them out for breadcrumbs 1:1 if you prefer.
  • Add extra garnishes. These meatballs can be topped with so many great ingredients once they are out of the oven and ready to be enjoyed. Some of my favorite toppings are:
    • drizzle with mexican crema or sour cream
    • top with crushed tortilla chips for some crunch
    • chopped cilantro and diced white onion
    • diced jalapenos for extra spice
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Cheesy Mexican Meatballs are a little spicy, a lot cheesy, and one of those meals that the whole family goes crazy for! It’s a make-ahead meal which makes my life easier too, especially on super busy days!

Cheesy Mexican Meatballs

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 2 reviews

These easy enchilada meatballs are an easy make-ahead recipe your family will love!

  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 10 ounces red enchilada sauce divided (I used mild)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 cup oats (I measure them then grind them in my blender until they are coarsely ground.)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce optional
  • 2 cups grated cheese (cheddar, monterey jack, colby jack, and pepper jack are all good choices)
  • cilantro for garnish, if desired


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13″ inch baking dish.
  2. Mix 1/4 cup enchilada sauce, ground beef, oats, eggs, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, oregano, cumin, chili powder, and hot sauce. I use my hands to combine them.
  3. Form meatballs by hand or with a cookie scoop. (I like to use a medium sized cookie scoop, about 2 tablespoon size.) Drop meatballs into the 9 x 13″ pan. (Most of the time I leave the meatballs in the rustic shape of the cookie scoop. Once in awhile I do roll the meatballs until they are perfectly round. They taste the same either way!)
  4. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over meatballs. Cover and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
  5. Uncover and sprinkle cheese over meatballs. Bake for 10 more minutes or until cheese is melted.
        Serve right out of the oven!
  • Author: Andi
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 40

Nutrition Information of Cheesy Mexican Meatballs

Per serving

Calories514 kcalCarbohydrates13 g
Protein36 gFat34 g
Saturated Fat15 gPotassium414 mg
Iron4 mgSodium1615 mg
Vitamin A816IUFiber2 g
Sugar4 gVitamin C1 mg
Cholesterol164 mgCalcium406 mg

Storage Tips For Cheesy Mexican Meatballs

Storing leftovers in the fridge: cool the meatballs and then place them in an airtight container. They can be stored in the fridge for 5 days.

Freezing Cooked Meatballs: It would be wonderful to prepare a double batch and freeze these! Let cooked meatballs cool fully before putting them in an airtight bag or container with a zip-top lid, removing as much air as you can. Place in the freezer with a “Reheat By” date for 3–4 months.

Freezing Raw Meatballs: Uncooked meatballs should be arranged in a single layer, not touching, on a baking sheet. After 20 to 30 minutes of freezing, until they are solid, place them in a freezer-safe bag. Don’t forget to include a “Cook By” date; they can be frozen for up to two months. To prepare, defrost in the refrigerator overnight and then cook according to the recipe.

Reheating: Place the meatballs and sauce in a baking dish and bake them in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes or until hot. As an alternative, you can heat them in the microwave.

Best Ways to Cook Meatballs for Infants

Take into account these suggestions before you begin to make meatballs if you are cooking for infants or young children.

  1. Use Fresh and Well-cooked Meats:

Fresh meats are preferable for your baby’s nutrients, flavor, and safety. To guarantee that the meatballs are simple to chew and swallow, they must also be fully cooked. Uncooked meat is more difficult to swallow, increases the chance of coughing, and increases the risk of bacterial infections. When you are in doubt, verify the meat’s temperature with a food thermometer and particular request cooking instructions to ensure uniformity.

  1. Mix With Herbs and Vegetables for Flavor

The flavor and nutritional benefits of the meatballs are enhanced by the use of herbs and veggies. You can also add bread crumbs, whole wheat flour, or oat flour for a better texture. Before creating meatballs with a lot of ingredients, check for allergies and start the recipes with simple herbs to avoid any overbearing flavors.

  1. Feed in Small Portions

To make it work, keep the servings tiny enough that your infant can grab the meatballs and bite on them with ease. Moreover, the meatballs should be soft and easily break when your youngster bites into one. It is preferable to make the meatball recipe simple and have all the components.  Harder foods, such as cooked and chopped vegetables, can be added for toddlers older than a year old; however, they must first be finely minced.

Why Make Mexican Meatballs Recipe?

  •       It’s a nutritious and high protein dinner, lunch or snack.
  •       They are tasty enough to serve as appetizers on their own. Serve them with white rice and veggies for a filling supper, or put them in tacos or sandwiches.
  •       The dish has a smokey, meaty, spicy, and slightly sweet flavor profile.

Health Benefits

Additionally, the beef used to make meatballs is a good source of minerals, especially zinc, iron, and vitamin B12. The National Institutes of Health state that zinc is a great source of antioxidants involved in DNA replication and repair. The fact that meatballs are so widely available, simple, and fairly priced is one reason they are so popular. Almost any type of meat can be used to make meatballs, and since the meat is ground and blended with herbs and other seasonings, even inexpensive pieces of meat can become tasty.

Some of the health benefits of eating baked meatballs are:

Body growth. Meatballs include animal protein, which has a structure like that of the human body and is more easily digestible than vegetarian protein. Proteins help our muscles grow and repair.

Brain intelligence.  There are numerous vitamins and minerals in meat that are beneficial to brain growth and development.

Power booster. Meatballs contain fat that is useful as a store of energy. The fat contained in meatballs serves as a solid source of energy for the human body.

More Easy Mexican Meals You Need To Try

Rosie

Rosie is the proud owner of two rescue cats and her current obsessions are fitness, photography, and ethnic cuisine. Her mission is to share easy and scrumptious recipes that anyone, even the busiest of readers, can recreate.

43 comments

JULIE
5 months ago

WE LOVE THESE AND SO DOES EVERYONE I MAKE THEM FOR! I HAVE BEEN MAKING THEM FOR YEARS, THANKS FOR THE RECIPE.

Doreen Lont
7 months ago

Absolutely delicious and makes for a quick and easy dinner. Our whole family enjoys this and it has become a family favorite. Thanks for sharing this!

Christena Edgington
11 months ago

How about adding refried beans to the meatballs or to the sauce on top? It sounds delicious! We love enchiladas. My husband has to watch his carb intake.
Thank you
I look forward to trying this recipe.
Blessings

Holly
2 years ago

Made these yesterday to go with Mexican Spaghetti. We used deer and crushed fritos instead of oats. We really liked them, but want to put our own spin on them. This would even be good done as a meatloaf with the topping tweaked a bit.

Rosie
1 year ago

Wow!!! hahaha, I wanna try what you did also, it sounds delicious! Did you take a photo of it? How about sharing a photo of how it looks?

E. Gonzalez
4 years ago

Substituted Almond flour for the oats and ground venison for the beef…also added in some diced onions and a small can of green chilis and went heavy on the salsa. Next time I might try adding some (very) petite diced tomatoes – not sure if they will be in the meatballs or part of the sauce. Huge hit with kids!

Susan
5 years ago

I LOVED these!! I made 2 changes to the recipe (but I have good reasons for doing so) my daughter has Celiacs disease and I’ve always made my binding agent (in meatballs, meatloaf, etc) potato flakes. Also, I made my own enchilada sauce because I went to the grocery store, got sidetracked and forgot to buy a can! :) The meatballs turned out moist and very tasty! I can’t wait to see how they reheat tomorrow for lunch.

Amie
5 years ago

Would crackers be a good substitute for the oats?

Kerry
5 years ago

I made these using pork rinds rather than oats due to being Keto. Oh my gosh, they were amazing!! So flavorful and tender. The kids loved them too. This will definitely be going on our roster for quick easy dinners.

Jacque
4 years ago

Thanks for the hint of pork rinds! I’m allergic to wheat, potatoes, oats, & corn, so most thickeners/binding agents are off-limits. Can’t wait to try these.

Elaine
5 years ago

These are delicious, but I substituted ground up corn chips for the oatmeal, then cut back on the salt, since they were salted. The corn lends a nice flavor! I will be making these again….often. They make a great game-day dish.

La Quetta
6 years ago

I can’t wait to make these, and even better I can make them Gluten Free. We make our own Enchilada Sauce. When I was 3 or 4 and I’m 57 now, an older Mexican Lady showed my mom how to make original, real Enchilada Sauce and so do I, using Corn Starch or a Gluten Free flour.

Michelle
6 years ago

Yummy ! Although not enough sauce. Next time I would double the sauce and it would be perfect ! The thought of oats grossed me out, so I used panko bread crumbs instead. Also, served over rice

Lori
8 months ago

Did you end up trying the panko? I’m reading all the comments trying to find a replacement for the oats and I was wondering what you thought. Thank you!

Shannon
6 years ago

What about masa?

Kallie
6 years ago

Can you use minute oats?

Vicki Boone
6 years ago

Can you make these in the crockpot?

Marianne
6 years ago

Hi! Do you have the nutritional information for this meal? I will replace the pats with almond flour yet when I input the ingredients into myfitnesspal it says there are 43 carbs per serving! I feel like that can’t be right…

Ginny
6 years ago

My fitness pal imported some of my ingredients incorrectly after I corrected it the nutritional info seemed correct. For example the garlic was 23g carbs and 500 cal. Hope that helps

Susan
6 years ago

Hi amy!
I’m doing keto diet and when I put the numbers in to calculate it
It came up 59 grams of carbs per serving. That seems high to me. What do you consider low carb?

kim
6 years ago

Personally I would use almond flour instead of oats to make it more low carb.

Julie
6 years ago

You can substitute the oats with almond or coconut flour. Enjoy! We eat a lot of meatballs with keto. This is a surprising twist on a favorite in our house. We also use low carb tortillas I buy in the deli section of Kroger. Flatout light Italian herb (I use 1/2 a wrap at 3 net carbs).

Larry
7 years ago

We Love Mexican Food! But! I Can’t Believe You Didn’t Use Chorizo in with your meat mixture? Lol. Maybe half and half? Or maybe just a quarter of chorizo, because it is kinda greasy but the taste would be Bam! Need Real lean ground meat. We catch roast on sale and get the butcher to grid it for us in 2 different packs. Very Lean! Amen! Or might have to add a few bread crumbs, depending on how much chorizo. Love Your Recipes, Because it’s the Same Way I cook! Be Blessed!

Andi Gleeson
7 years ago

Hi, Larry! I read the ingredient list on a couple packages of chorizo and got a bit scared off by the head parts. I know it tastes good, but I can’t stop thinking about what’s in it!

Kelly Collins
7 years ago

The most tender meatballs ever! I also made your cheesy rice, as suggested. These recipes are going into the rotation. Thank you so much for sharing them!

Bri Lassiter
7 years ago

Can green enchilada sauce be used instead of red?

Andi Gleeson
7 years ago

Yes, sure! I like the flavor of green enchilada sauce too. I’m sure it will be delicious :)

donna
7 years ago

Very good everyone loved it!

Dianne
7 years ago

These were fantastic! I’m always looking for new ways to cook ground beef because we always have a lot of it. My husband’s favorite cuisine is mexican so I had to try these. I doubled it (but only did 3 eggs which was fine) and got 35 meatballs. I served it with plain white rice but I think next time I will layer cooked white rice on the bottom of the pan with the meatballs and sauce over the top. The meatballs were very moist and full of flavor. Thanks for giving me a new recipe for my rotation!

Crissy
7 years ago

Yum! These meatballs were so delicious! They were so moist, I think it was the oats! I usually use breadcrumbs but these were so good, I will use ground oats from now on in all the meatballs I make. I loved all the seasoning and the cooking time was perfect! I served these with rice and beans and topped the meatballs with cilantro, tortilla strips, and avocado. Wonderful recipe, thanks so much!

Melissa
7 years ago

I’ve read through the directions several times and nowhere do I see it say when to add the 2 eggs. I out them in with the seasonings and everything else added to the beef.

Andi Gleeson
7 years ago

I’m sorry for the mistake, Melissa, and I missed your question while I was travelling last week. I have corrected the recipe to add the eggs with the rest of the meatball ingredients. My apologies!!

Joanne
7 years ago

These meatballs are great, and like they don’t take too much time in the kitchen! Andi, congratulations on your Anniversary, too!

Andi Gleeson
7 years ago

Thank you so much, Joanne!! You should for sure check out Amy’s blog. Her recipes are just our style! :)

Cheryl Gafner
7 years ago

YAY! You’re THE BEST Andi!!!! (But I have to be less judge-y and try stuff!!) XOXOXOXOX :-)

Cheryl Gafner
7 years ago

I hate to be a Negative Nancy, but do the meatballs require oats?!? Does that contribute to the moistness? Am I just being a baby?

Andi Gleeson
7 years ago

You can use breadcrumbs if you prefer! They have the same purpose :) They hold the meatballs together and also hold moisture in.

Erica
7 years ago

Oats as in oatmeal?

Cheryl Gafner
7 years ago

I’m with Janet, how exciting!!!

Andi Gleeson
7 years ago

Thank you, Cheryl!!

Janet
7 years ago

Happy 20th Anniversary – I hope the next 20 are as happy for both of you. I’m so busy that I never take the time to comment but thank you for all your great recipes and Mexican is my favorite too. Thanks for always sharing with us.

Andi Gleeson
7 years ago

Thank you so much, Janet! It’s nice to hear from you. Thanks for taking the time to share these nice wishes! :)

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