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Spicy Chipotle Meatballs

  • Author: Teri Turner
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: Dinner
  • Diet: Gluten Free


For the meatballs:

  • 1 yellow onion, diced finely and divided in half
  • 2 lbs ground beef, pork, chicken, veal, or a mixture
  • 4 dried chipotle chilies
  • 1 Tbsp dry coriander
  • 35 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1 Tbsp Sumac
  • 1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp clarified butter or cooking fat

For the Sauce:

  • 1/2 of the onion from above
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 chipotle chilies
  • 1/2 tsp dried coriander
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp Sumac
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 1/2 cups tomato puree
  • 1/2 tsp salt


Place the dried chipotle chilies in hot water for at least an hour before using, to hydrate.

Preheat the oven to 375. Sauté the onion in the clarified butter for 3-5 minutes, or until translucent. Set 1/2 aside for the sauce.

Slice the chipotle chilies in half, remove the seeds, then chop, grind or put in the Vitamix.

Combine the meat with 1/2 of the cooked onion, the chopped garlic, chipotle chilies, coriander, sumac, smoked paprika, oil and salt. Using wet hands, roll the mixture into balls. We like lime-sized meatballs, but do them however you prefer. In a large shallow pan (I used my All-Clad Rondeau Pan, which was perfect), place the meatballs in a single layer, making sure the pan is full but that the meatballs are not super tight. Cook in the oven for 12 minutes or until set.

While the meatballs are cooking in the oven, make the sauce. In a saucepan, place the remaining 1/2 of the cooked onion, along with all other sauce spices and stir through to combine. Add the tomato puree and stir. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat off.

Once meatballs are set, remove from the oven and place on stove. Gently pour the sauce over the meatballs. Cover partially and simmer for 20 minutes.

Keywords: spicy meatballs, whole30 meatballs