Smoky Mexican meatball stew

Smoky Mexican meatball stew

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(17 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
    Kidney beans scattered on a white surface

    Kidney beans

    kid-nee beenz

    Native to the Americas, kidney beans are so called because of their shape and come in very…

  • 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, questions and tips

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21st Jan, 2019
This was a nice quick meatball recipe which went down well with family. I used more spices than stated, and added a red pepper. A recipe I would make again.
10th Jun, 2016
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
8th Dec, 2015
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!
13th Feb, 2015
ok so bit disappointed. made me a watery pan. but hey looks good now iv fixed it.
23rd Jun, 2014
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
10th Feb, 2014
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
16th Jan, 2014
Nice flavoured meatballs, though the sauce was quite watery and bland, more onion, garlic and tomato purée should sort it.
9th Apr, 2013
Thought this was lovely, was a better watery at the end just left to simmer for longer, simples will do again :)
26th Feb, 2013
made this as the recipe said, meatballs were brilliant overall dish wash tasty would defo make it again
25th Sep, 2012
ok but I've had better similar recipes.


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12th Jan, 2018
This worked OK for me! Having read the comments about meatballs falling apart I tried a few things: I used 5% mince... I tried to avoid using too LITTLE breadcrumbs... and I added some salt and about a big teaspoon of plain flour to the mix before rolling. I don't know which was the trick but they stuck together OK. I guess you could add other thickening agents too. I couldn't find "chipotle paste" so I used a mix of paprika and hot chilli powder as suggested below. I also put chilli powder and black pepper in the sauce.
30th Oct, 2016
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.
7th Oct, 2014
I made this with turkey mince and it was great.
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