Stuffed Meatballs in Chipotle Tomato Sauce are richly flavored beef and pork bites stuffed with a piece of cheese or an olive and sauced in a spicy tomato gravy. They are the ultimate appetizer for your next party, get-together, game day eats, or holiday soiree!
Easy appetizer for a crowd
The holiday season is almost over, but not before you get one last BIG party in! New Year's Eve is on the horizon and now is the time to bring out all the recipes for easy appetizers for a party. A favorite one of mine every year are these stuffed meatballs in a spicy chipotle tomato sauce. Everyone always loves it when I place a huge pot of these on the table and I NEVER have any leftovers (bummer).
How to Make Stuffed Meatballs in Chipotle Tomato Sauce
A simple mixture of ground beef and pork is seasoned and formed into small bite-sized balls. A small piece of queso fresco cheese or an olive is placed in the middle of each meatball, then they are lightly browned in a pan. The stuffed meatballs are simmered in a flavorful, spicy tomato chipotle sauce until ready to serve.
Make ahead appetizer to make entertaining easy
This recipe is a little time consuming so I usually make a double batch and freeze half to use at a later time. It freezes beautifully and I love having a big Tupperware full of stuffed meatballs in sauce on hand to serve at any time.
I've been known to also thaw the prepared meatball to serve as dinner on a night when I don't want to cook. They are fantastic over mashed potatoes, rice, polenta, or even sauteed greens. Sometimes when I'm really lazy and don't feel like cooking a full meal, I'll just serve them with a salad.
The day I made these saucy meatballs, I made this vintage beer and champagne cocktail recipe, the Black Velvet. It paired perfectly with the spicy sauce of the meatballs and, with the addition of the champagne, it can be served as an excellent party drink too!
Can't wait for you to make these spicy Stuffed Meatballs in Chipotle Tomato Sauce and let me know in the comments how you liked them!
Stuffed Meatballs in Chipotle Tomato Sauce
FOR THE MEATBALLS:
- 1 large egg
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup dry breadcrumbs
- 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef
- ½ pound ground pork
- ¼ cup cilantro , chopped
- 6 ounces queso fresco cheese , cut into 15 bite sized cubes
- 15 small green olives with pimiento
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
FOR THE SAUCE:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup onion , finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic , finely chopped
- 1 (16 ounce) can of diced tomatoes , undrained
- ½ cup beef broth
- 3 canned whole chipotle chile in adobo , finely chopped (more or less depending on desired level of spiciness)
FOR THE MEATBALLS:
- In a large bowl, beat the egg and salt. Stir in the breadcrumbs and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Add the beef, pork, and chopped cilantro to the mixture in the bowl. Mix until well combined.
- Divide mixture into 30 equal sized round balls, then flatten each ball into a round patty. Place either one olive or one piece of cheese on each patty and shape the meat around the stuffing to completely seal and form the meatball.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot or deep skillet over medium heat. Fry the meatballs, in two or three batches, until brown on all sides. Put the browned meatballs on a plate, cover and set aside to make the sauce.
FOR THE SAUCE:
- In the same pan the meatballs were cooked in, saute the onions and garlic for a few minutes over medium heat, adding a little more olive oil as needed. Add the canned tomatoes, beef broth, and chipotle chilies, bring to boil, and stir well. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat and transfer sauce to a blender or use an immersion blender to process until smooth. Add meatballs to the sauce and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Serve immediately or keep warm until ready to serve and enjoy!
Recipe Notes & Tips:
- Can freeze the meatballs in the sauce for up to 3 months.