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Pepper Jack-Stuffed Meatballs with Chipotle Sauce

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Pepper Jack Stuffed Meatballs with Chipotle Sauce ooze with cheesy goodness.  Definitely NOT your average meatball!
Course Beef
Cuisine Southwestern / Mexican
Diet Diabetic
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Servings 6
Calories 447

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
  • ¼ cup milk whole or 2%
  • 1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 1 ⅓ 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 ½-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