Olive Magazine
Giant Cheesy Mexican Meatballs Recipe with Rice

Giant cheese-stuffed Mexican meatballs

Published: October 18, 2019 at 9:30 am
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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Total time
  • Easy
  • Serves 8

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.


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


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

Check out our best meatball recipes...

Meatball Recipe With Mozzarella

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