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Chipotle Meatballs

My eyes were opened to a lot of delicious Mexican food once I moved to California from the East Coast and one of the most surprisingly delicious dishes I have tried has been what is called albondigas, which is a Mexican meatball that is flavored with chipotles and either served with rice or in a taco.  I had never considered meatballs as a taco filling, but once I tried them I was hooked.  This dish is surprisingly simple to make and has become a favorite at weekend dinners with friends. You could also make it with ground turkey, chicken, or pork and it would be delicious.

Healthy Chipotle Meatballs
Servings: 5
Serving Size: 4 good sized meatballs
Nutritional info: 238 cal, 9.5g fat, 13g carbs, 2.7g fiber, 27.8g protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 6 *

1.25 lb. extra lean ground beef (5% fat)
28 oz. canned tomato sauce
1/2 chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 egg
3 minced garlic cloves
Bay leaf
2 chipotles in adobo
Extra cilantro and chopped onion for garnish

1. Begin by gently sauteing the onions and garlic in a large pot with non fat cooking spray.

2. As the onions and garlic are cooking, puree the chipotles in adobo and set aside.

3.  Once the onions and garlic become tender, add the tomato sauce, a bay leaf, salt, pepper, and slowly add in the chipotle puree tasting along the way until it reaches your desired spice level.  Set aside the remaining puree to add as a salsa for the tacos or over the rice to add some additional heat if desired.  Let the sauce simmer.

4.   In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, egg, and chopped cilantro.  Combine until just mixed together.  The roll the meat using your hands into meatballs about the size of a rounded tablespoon.  The recipe should yield around 16 meatballs.

5.  Drop the meatballs in the simmering tomato sauce and let simmer for between 30-45 minutes until the meat is cooked through.  Serve in corn tortillas or over rice with some chopped onions, cilantro, and additional chipotle puree if desired.   These can also be a great party appetizer and taste even better the next day.

* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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I’m Kristen and I couldn’t be happier you are here. You will find a variety of healthy and delicious recipes that will not only taste great, but help you fit in your favorite jeans.

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10 Response to Chipotle Meatballs

  1. Lindsey on January 19, 2011

    Ok, this was sooo good, we had it with corn torillas, black cuban beans and cilantro lime rice on the side. Hefty 11 point dinner but so worth it! The sauce is amazing. I will say however, my meatballs were a little over done at 30 min, I would say more like 25 minutes? Thanks for this recipe…it’s going in the keep pile! :)

  2. admin on January 19, 2011

    I am so glad you and your family enjoyed it. It is definitely one of my favorites. The timing is tricky depending on the size of the meatballs but I am SO glad you mentioned this. I usually check one around 20-25 minutes to see where they are at and make sure they don’t get chewy which can happen if they cook too long. Thanks!

  3. Loren Picada on January 19, 2011

    I absolutely love this Mexican style meatballs! This are going into the weekly rotation for my kids and Ashcar, My husband who can’t get enough of these bad boys. Thank you for sharing this amazing yet simple recipe.

  4. Weight Watchers Turkish Kofte Meatballs | The Slender Kitchen on February 8, 2011

    […] think about it, there are so many different types of delicious meatballs you can make – spicy Mexican albondigas, traditional Italian meatballs, Asian inspired meatballs…. Yum.  Today’s recipe was […]

  5. Shannon on June 16, 2012

    I made this recipe as a freezer meal. I doubled the recipe for freezing and to take with me when I go out of town during the week for work. I tasted really really good! I hope to come up with different ideas to use these meatballs!

  6. Cerissa on May 29, 2013

    I wonder if this would taste good in a loose meat form vs meatballs……hmmmm

  7. Kristine on June 3, 2013

    When you calculated the points did you include the corn tortillas, as in the picture and if so, for how many? Thank you! I can’t wait to try this.

    • Kristen on June 3, 2013

      The points do not include the corn tortillas. The brand I use is just the one at my local grocery store and they have 1 point per tortilla.

      • Kristine on June 3, 2013

        Thank you so much! I can’t wait to make these.

  8. Liz on July 27, 2014

    Love this recipe. Thank you.


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