Cheesy Stuffed Meatballs with Chipotle Sauce

5 from 2 votes
1 hour
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Cheesy Stuffed Meatballs with Chipotle Sauce ooze with cheesy goodness.  Definitely NOT your average meatball!

Photo of Pepper Jack Stuffed Meatballs with Chipotle Sauce in clay dish on white and yellow towel.

Why just put cheese ON your meatballs when you can put cheese IN your meatballs?  Pepper Jack Stuffed Meatballs with Chipotle Sauce will rock your meatball world!

Meatballs are a popular item with my clients, so I’ve made a few in my career.  Here are some tips and tricks to make the process go faster and give you even-sized meatballs.

Tips for making meatballs:

  • Get all the ingredients except the ground meat mixed together first.  This ensures all the ingredients–especially the seasonings–are evenly distributed.
  • Wear disposable gloves and mix with your hands to get the job done faster and more thoroughly.
  • The best way I have found to portion and form meatballs is with a cookie dough scoop.  I have several sizes and for these, I use my 1 1/2-inch scoop.
  • Grab a handful of the meat mixture in one hand and the scoop in the other.
  • Use the heel of the hand holding the meat mixture to level off the scoop.  Empty the scoop on a baking sheet.
  • After portioning the meat mixture, press the cheese into the center and roll into neat balls.
  • If you don’t have a large cookie dough scoop, press the meat into a rectangle shape on wax paper on your counter, cut into 24 even squares, stuff, then roll into neat balls.

Tips for making Cheesy Stuffed Meatballs with Chipotle Sauce:

  • It’s important to keep the size of the cheese cubes to about a half-inch.  Any larger than that and you’ll have more cheese on your baking sheet than in your meatballs.  A little will ooze out, but I think it adds to the cheesy goodness.
  • Use a good-quality Pepper Jack cheese such as Cabot rather than a Pepper Jack processed cheese product.  A processed cheese product will really ooze out!
  • Although frying does give you a nicely browned exterior, frying meatballs is messy and requires more active time and attention.  Instead, I place them on a foil or parchment-lined baking sheet and simply bake them.
  • For safety’s sake, ground beef should always be cooked to 165 degrees in the center.

Serve over rice or pasta or serve as a great appetizer.  Enjoy!

More meatball recipes you’ll love:

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Cheesy Stuffed Meatballs with Chipotle Sauce

5 from 2 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Cheesy Stuffed Meatballs with Chipotle Sauce ooze with cheesy goodness.  Definitely NOT your average meatball!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Beef
Cuisine Southwestern / Mexican
Servings 6
Calories 447 kcal

Ingredients
  

Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil - vegetable or olive
  • 1 medium onion - finely chopped
  • 1 can (28-ounce) tomato sauce
  • 2 cans (10-ounce) diced tomatoes with green chiles - undrained
  • 3-4 chipotle chiles in adobo - or to taste, minced or pureed
  • 4 cloves garlic - minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
  • Chopped fresh cilantro - for garnish

Meatballs

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup milk - whole or 2%
  • 1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1/2 cup panko - (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 1 1/3 pound ground beef
  • 5 ounces pepper jack cheese - cut into 24 half-inch cubes

Instructions
 

Sauce

  • Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Add the onion, reduce heat to medium and cook 8 to 10 minutes, stirring often or until onion is soft.
  • Add remaining sauce ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 25 to 30 minutes or until thickened. Adjust seasoning as desired.

Meatballs

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil or parchment paper. Spray with cooking spray.
  • In a bowl, combine egg, milk, oregano, cumin, salt, pepper, garlic and panko and mix well.
  • Add the meat and mix well.
  • Form into 24 1 1/2-inch meatballs.
  • Press a cube of cheese into the center of each meatball, making sure the cheese is securely in the center.
  • Place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until the center is cooked through to 165 degrees.
  • Serve with sauce over rice or pasta.

Notes

MAKE-AHEAD:  The sauce can be made 2-3 days in advance, cooled and refrigerated. The meatballs can be mixed and rolled 1 day in advance. (Be sure ground beef is very fresh.) Reheat sauce on the stovetop and bake meatballs prior to serving.
FREEZER-FRIENDLY:  Cool thoroughly.  Package as desired.  Freeze 1-2 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator.  Reheat in a 350-degree for 20-25 minutes or until heated through.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 447kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 733mg | Potassium: 395mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 644IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 252mg | Iron: 4mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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