Albóndigas in Chipotle Sauce

Deliciously smoky and spicy Albóndigas in Chipotle Sauce is an easy and great Mexican meatball dish, that includes both a Whole30 and kid-friendly version. 

Albondigas in Chipotle Sauce #mexicanmeatballs #albondigasinchipotlesauce #chipotlemeatballs

Albóndigas in Chipotle Sauce

I have been spending so much time at my parents’ house lately and I love it!

This year my daughter’s school is a bit of a commute from our house, but it just so happens to be pretty close to my parents’ house.  So at least once or twice a week after dropping her off, my son and I make our way to my parents’ and spend the day with them until school lets out.

I look forward to these days every week. Not only do we get to spend quality time together, but my parents always cook us breakfast, they help me run errands, and we sit and chat about all sorts of things (especially cooking, our favorite subject).

Lately we have also begun to cook dinner together. I treasure the times I get to cook alongside my parents. They are always teaching me new recipes, tips and tricks, and to top it all off, I go home with dinner ready for my family.

Last week our menu featured deliciously smoky and spicy Albóndigas in Chipotle Sauce, the very recipe I am sharing with you today.

Albondigas in Chipotle Sauce #mexicanmeatballs #albondigasinchipotlesauce #chipotlemeatballs

Mexican Meatballs in Chipotle Sauce

This recipe is another one of my mom’s specialties. It is also a very popular weeknight dinner in Mexico because it comes together fairly quickly and is budget-friendly. Since it is packed full of flavor it’s also great for a special occasion or dinner party.

I am sharing my mom’s original recipe, but below you will also find modifications to make this a healthier, Whole30 version and a simple kid-friendly one too.

Another one of my mom’s specialty meatball dishes is Mexican Meatball Soup. Click here for that recipe.

How to Make Albóndigas in Chipotle Sauce

Begin by adding 3 medium tomatoes and 1/8 of a white onion to a small pot of boiling water. Boil until soft, then place the tomatoes and onion in a blender or food processor.

Add 1/4 of a stalk of celery, 1/4 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of chicken bouillon, an 8 ounce can of tomato sauce, 2 cups of water, salt and pepper to taste, and 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Blend all the ingredients together until completely smooth.

Then heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a deep pan or pot. Carefully pour the sauce in and cook over medium heat.

While the sauce comes to a simmer, prepare the meatballs. Place a pound of ground beef in a large mixing bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon of chicken bouillon, 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper.

With your hands, mix the ingredients into the meat until just combined. Do not overwork the meat or else it can become tough.

Next, roll the meat into 1″ meatballs. Place the meatballs into the sauce once it has come to a boil. Lower the temperature of the sauce to a simmer and let the meatballs cook for 8 minutes.

Making Mexican meatballs #mexicanmeatballs

After that, add 1 or 2 medium potatoes that have been diced into small cubes. Cover and simmer for another 10-15 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through and the potatoes are fork tender.

The sauce should thicken as it simmers. However, if you prefer a thicker sauce dissolve one tablespoon of flour or cornstarch in a tablespoon of cold water and add to the simmering sauce.

Meatballs in chipotle sauce #meatballsinchipotlesauce #mexicanmeatballs

Whole30 Version

It is extremely easy to make this dish into a healthier, Whole30 compliant dish.

First, omit the chicken bouillon. This ingredient adds extra flavor but it is not crucial to the recipe. You can simply leave it out of the meat and instead of doing two cups of water for the sauce, use one cup of water and one cup of compliant chicken broth or stock.

Also be sure to check the ingredient list for the chipotle peppers. I have not found a brand of canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce that is compliant, so here’s an alternative.

Buy a bag of dried chipotle peppers from your local grocery store, Latin American food specialty store, or from Amazon. Boil 1-2 of the dried peppers in water until soft, about 5-8 minutes. Once soft, add them to the blender in place of the chipotles in adobo.

Finally, instead of flour or cornstarch use arrowroot or tapioca flour to thicken the sauce, if needed.

Kid-Friendly Tip

For a kid-friendly version,  complete all the steps as written, but omit the chipotle peppers. When the potatoes and the meatballs are cooked, separate the kids’ portions from the pot.

Once their portions are separated, then it’s time to add the chipotles to the rest of the sauce. Take one cup of the sauce and blend it together with one or two chipotle peppers. Then add this back to the pot and let it simmer for another 2-3 minutes.

How to Serve

If you’re on Whole30, you can serve this on top of spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles.

Click here for a simple way to roast spaghetti squash.

Otherwise, my favorite way to serve Albóndigas in Chipotle Sauce is with a side of Mexican rice or refried beans and soft corn tortillas.

Let me know if you give this a try.

I hope you enjoy!

If you happen to find a Whole30 compliant brand of chipotles in adobo sauce I’d love to know. Leave me a comment below.

Albóndigas in Chipotle Sauce
Total Time
45 mins
 

Deliciously smoky and spicy Albóndigas in Chipotle Sauce is an easy and great Mexican meatball dish, that includes both a Whole30 and kid-friendly version. 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4 people
Author: Gemma from Everyday Latina
Ingredients
Chipotle Tomato Sauce
  • 3 medium Roma tomatoes
  • 1/8 small white onion
  • 1/4 stalk of celery
  • 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp chicken bouillon (see notes)
  • 8 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 2 cups water (see notes)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp flour or cornstarch (optional, see recipe)
Meatballs
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp chicken bouillon
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1-2 medium potatoes diced into small cubes
Instructions
Chipotle Tomato Sauce
  1. Add the tomatoes and the piece of white onion to a small pot of boiling water. Boil until soft then place the tomatoes and onion in a blender or food processor.

  2. Add celery, Dijon mustard, 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of chicken bouillon, tomato sauce, 2 cups of water, salt and pepper to taste, and 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (depending on your spiciness preference).

  3. Blend all the ingredients together until completely smooth.

  4. Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a deep pan or pot. Carefully pour the sauce in and cook over medium heat.

Meatballs
  1. While the sauce comes to a simmer, prepare the meatballs. Place a pound of ground beef in a large mixing bowl. Add the chicken bouillon, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

  2. With your hands, mix the ingredients into the meat until just combined. Do not overwork the meat or else it can become tough.

  3. Next, roll the meat into 1″ meatballs. Place the meatballs into the sauce once it has come to a boil.

  4. Lower the temperature of the sauce to a simmer and let the meatballs cook for 8 minutes.

  5. Add the diced potatoes. Cover and simmer for another 10-15 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through and the potatoes are fork tender.

  6. The sauce should thicken as it simmers. For a thicker sauce dissolve one tablespoon of flour or cornstarch in a tablespoon of cold water and add to the simmering sauce.

  7. Serve.

Recipe Notes

Whole30 Version

  • Omit the chicken bouillon from the meat and instead of doing two cups of water for the sauce, use one cup of water and one cup of compliant chicken broth or stock.
  • If you cannot find a compliant brand of chipotle peppers in adobo then use dried chipotle peppers. Boil 1-2 of the dried peppers in water until soft, about 5-8 minutes. Once soft, add them to the blender in place of the chipotles in adobo.
  • Instead of flour or cornstarch use arrowroot or tapioca flour to thicken the sauce, if needed.

Kid-Friendly Version

  • Complete all the steps as written, but omit the chipotle peppers. When the potatoes and the meatballs are cooked, separate the kids’ portions from the pot.
  • Once their portions are separated, then you can add the chipotles to the rest of the sauce. Take one cup of the sauce and blend it together with one or two chipotle peppers. Then add this back to the pot and let it simmer for another 2-3 minutes.
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