Giant Cheesy Mexican Meatballs Recipe with Rice

Giant cheese-stuffed Mexican meatballs

  • serves 8
  • Easy

Dark chocolate and dried ancho chillies add richness and heat to this indulgent meatball bake. Serve with a fresh coriander salad for a crowd-pleasing winter warmer


Make these giant cheesy Mexican meatballs for a comforting family dinner. Also check out more delicious meatball recipes, such as our baked Italian meatballs, healthy meatballs and vegetarian meatballs.



  • beef mince 1kg
  • ground cinnamon 2 tsp
  • ground cumin 2 tsp
  • mozzarella block 200g, grated, plus extra to sprinkle over
  • mature cheddar 200g, grated, plus extra to sprinkle over
  • dried ancho chillies 2
  • olive oil 2 tbsp
  • onions 2, finely chopped
  • garlic 4 cloves, finely chopped
  • chipotle paste 1 tbsp
  • peeled plum tomatoes 2 x 400g tins
  • dark chocolate 50g, grated
  • cooked rice to serve


  • coriander a large bunch, finely chopped
  • limes 3, juiced
  • red onion ½, finely chopped
  • green chillies 2, deseeded and finely chopped


  • Step 1

    Tip the beef into a bowl with the cinnamon and cumin, season generously, then combine well. Divide into 8 balls.

  • Step 2

    Combine the grated cheeses in a bowl and squeeze together to make 8 balls. Squash one of the beef balls into a flat circle and put a ball of cheese in the middle. Gather up the sides to enclose the cheese and use your hands to mould it over and into a ball. Repeat with the remaining meat and cheese, then chill the meatballs.

  • Step 3

    Put the ancho chillies into a small bowl, cover with boiling water and leave to soak for 15 minutes. Drain, discard the seeds and stalks, roughly chop and put into a blender or food processor.  

  • Step 4

    Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and cook the onions and a pinch of salt for 10 minutes until soft, then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Tip into the food processor with the ancho chillies and add the chipotle, tomatoes, chocolate and lots of seasoning, and whizz until completely smooth. 

  • Step 5

    Pour the mixture into a large, deep baking tray then nestle the meatballs into the sauce, ensuring there is a little space around each. Sprinkle a little more of the cheeses over the meatballs then bake for 45 minutes until the meatballs have browned and the sauce has thickened. 

  • Step 6

    Put all of the salsa ingredients in a bowl, season well and mix. Serve the meatballs with rice, if you like, and the coriander salsa to spoon over.

*This recipe is gluten-free according to industry standards

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Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 452
  • Fat 30.9g
  • Saturates 13.9g
  • Carbs 10.1g
  • Sugars 8.7g
  • Fibre 3.1g
  • Protein 31.8g
  • Salt 0.6g