Smoky Mexican meatball stew

Smoky Mexican meatball stew

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(9 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 35 mins


Serves 4
A simple spicy meatball recipe that makes a great alternative to beef chilli

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal577
  • fat22g
  • saturates8g
  • carbs60g
  • sugars8g
  • fibre4g
  • protein30g
  • salt1.1g
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  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 400g beef mince
  • 50g fresh white breadcrumb
  • 1 tsp each ground cumin and coriander
  • 1½ tbsp chipotle paste
  • 200g basmati rice
  • 400g can chopped tomato
  • 400g can kidney bean, drained and rinsed
  • small handful coriander, to serve


  1. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan. Cook the onion for 8-10 mins until soft, then remove from the pan.

  2. Meanwhile, place the mince, breadcrumbs, spices and chipotle paste in a bowl, season generously and mix thoroughly. Roll mixture into 20 walnut-sized meatballs. Add the remaining oil to the pan and fry the meatballs for about 8 mins until brown all over.

  3. Meanwhile, cook the rice following pack instructions. Return the onion to the pan, adding the tomatoes, as well as a can full of water. Simmer for 5 mins, then add the kidney beans and cook for a further 10 mins, until the sauce has thickened and the meatballs are cooked through. Season the meatballs, scatter with coriander and serve with the rice.

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Comments (14)

pammyp's picture

I couldn't get chipotle paste so used smoked paprika, a finely chopped chilli and a spodge of ketchup. I chilled the meatballs well before baking for 15mins instead of frying after reading previous comments. Also I used 2 tins of chopped tomatoes (from Aldi and don't seem as wishy washy as some brands) Turned out good and everyone had clean plates.

ChefMatt3742's picture

Just made this for my GCSE food tech practical and it was FANTASTIC!!! my assessor loved it and said it was the best thing i have ever made!

Will defiantly be making this in the future!!

Thank you!

foodloverlol's picture

ok so bit disappointed. made me a watery pan. but hey looks good now iv fixed it.

Zoecheese's picture

Just made this for dinner and it was amazing. I added a sprinkling of dried chilli seeds and the only thing I'll do differently next time is use two cans of chopped tomatoes and no extra water. Would definitely, comfortably serve four.

rosievimes's picture

Was really excited to try this recipe but I have to say it was disappointing. Followed the recipe as stated but the meatballs fell apart and disintergrated, and I was left with a chilli of sorts; not a particularly flavoursome one at that!

Rob Johnson's picture

Nice flavoured meatballs, though the sauce was quite watery and bland, more onion, garlic and tomato purée should sort it.

jadh92's picture

Thought this was lovely, was a better watery at the end just left to simmer for longer, simples will do again :)

jamkier's picture

made this as the recipe said, meatballs were brilliant overall dish wash tasty would defo make it again

bethocallaghan's picture

ok but I've had better similar recipes.

jthomson1975's picture

My meatballs fell apart so thought should be fine as a kinda chilli type dish did not have any taste :-(

lizzafezza's picture

I was short on time so did a deconstructed version. I added sweetcorn. I will make this again, properly next time, my toddlers wolfed it down.

lubi_j's picture

RR - You could try smoked paprika which should be easier to get. It gives a smoky flavour and its got a good kick to it. Tabasco do a chipolte sauce as well, in the same style bottle as tabasco sauce which you could prob get in a big supermarket if you can't find any paste.

fuji115's picture

You can get it in big Waitrose in Mexican section It gives the dish very unique hot smoky flavour. You can substitute with other spice, but this will be a different dish then.

rosiejs's picture

What would be a good substitute for the chipolte paste? Can't find it anywhere!

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Tips (2)

perigrine's picture

I didn’t have chipotle paste, but after a bit of research decided that maybe the chilli powder and smoked paprika would suffice. I wasn’t mucking around with bread crumbs either, not having either bread OR breadcrumbs. So, my meatballs ended up deviated.

2ts cumin
1.5ts coriander
2ts smoked paprika
3/4ts chilli powder. (seriously, I used Australian stuff, and it is HOT. Do not confuse it with the mild American stuff)
2ts jar garlic
2 bantam eggs (one regular would work)

Since I had half an onion left from lunch, I finely diced that and zapped it in the microwave with a bit of butter and added it to the mince.
The deviation for the ‘sauce’ was the addition of jar chilli when cooking the onion.
I also used an Uncle Bens ‘cooked’ rice as the rice, and left out the full can of water. I did add maybe quarter of a cup towards the end when it dried out though.

bikersco's picture

I made this with turkey mince and it was great.