These cheesy Enchilada Meatballs are a fun twist on a classic dish that your whole family will love! Made with beefy, tender meat and baked to perfection, these savory meatballs are perfect for your weeknight meal rotation. Serve them over rice or pasta, or even stuff them into tortillas or taco shells for a deliciously easy Mexican-inspired dinner. Whether you’re feeding a crowd or just looking for a quick and easy weeknight meal, these meatballs are sure to be a hit!
Cheesy Enchilada Meatball Bake – The EASY Way!
Enchilada meatballs are a delicious and easy-to-make dish because they combine the flavors and textures of two popular foods: meatballs and enchiladas. The meatballs provide a savory and juicy base, while the enchilada sauce adds a spicy and tangy kick.
Additionally, this dish is easy to make because the meatballs are baked in the oven and then smothered with the sauce. This means there’s no need to fry or cook the meatballs in a pan, which can be time-consuming and messy.
Why I LOVE this recipe!
- Easy to make – This cheesy enchilada meatball recipe is easy, and the cooking is very hand-off once you form them. You’ll bake the meatballs in the oven smothered in the delicious red sauce. It’s perfect for weeknight dinners or relaxed weekends.
- Versatile recipe – Switch up the meat, such as ground turkey, pork, or chicken, and adjust the sauce’s spiciness to suit your taste by adding peppers or cayenne seasoning.
- Fantastic freezer meal option! Enchilada meatballs are a great freezer meal because they can be made in advance, frozen for up to three months, and still maintain their delicious flavors when reheated.
- Potluck Enchilada Meatballs – A guaranteed hit, easy to transport, and so tasty as an appetizer or a main dish. The savory meatballs paired with the spicy enchilada sauce create a winning combination; everyone will be begging for the recipe! And the best part? You can easily make a large batch to feed a crowd.
What to Serve with Easy Enchilada Meatballs
Since this dish has the classic flavors of Mexican cuisine, it will pair well with many of your favorite Mexican side dishes. There are both classic options and some healthy options to keep it light.
Side Dish Ideas
- Rice- Mexican Rice or Cilantro Lime Rice are my go-to’s for this meal
- Beans- Try our Refried Beans, or crock pot black beans
- Mexican Corn Salad
- Corn Bread- I have a quick Mexican cornbread here, or a devine homemade buttermilk cornbread here!
- Mexican Street Corn Casserole– This is one of my most popular recipes!
- Mexican Roasted Veggies– These are a great wholesome side dish
You can choose one or add a few sides to make a wholesome, well rounded dinner.
This cheesy meatball enchilada casserole is as simple as promised! Just under an hour for a family friendly meal.
In this section I am going to go through a few tips and tricks I use when making this recipe to get the absolute best and most delicious results.
Make sure to scroll to the bottom for the FULL recipe card.
Ingredients + Substitutions
- Extra-lean beef: It’s best to opt for the leanest ground beef possible when making these meatballs, as they are baked with the sauce, and it will ensure you won’t end up with a greasy dish.
- Onions: To incorporate the onions seamlessly into the meatball mixture, finely dice them or use a food processor to pulverize them. This technique will blend the onions evenly and maximize their flavor by using the onion juice as part of the mixture.
- Milk: You can use whatever variety you keep on hand.
- Breadcrumbs: Plain breadcrumbs are my go-to for binding the ingredients together.
- Eggs: included to help the mixture hold its shape and add richness.
- Worcestershire sauce: Adds a tangy flavor that compliments the beef.
- Taco seasonings: Make your own taco seasoning mix or a packet of pre-made taco seasoning to give the meatballs a spicy kick.
- Red enchilada sauce: For this size recipe, you’ll need a medium size (19 ounce) can of sauce or you can whip up some homemade enchilada sauce.
- Shredded cheese: To achieve a gooey and melty finish, I like to sprinkle sharp cheddar on top of the meatballs. It’s my go-to cheese because it packs a lot of flavor without needing to use alot of it. Other great cheese options include shredded Colby jack, Monterey jack, or pepper jack.
- Pico de Gallo
- Sour cream or Mexican crema
- Diced onions
- Combine the mixture well. I like to get my hands in the meat mixture and work it until it’s evenly mixed.
- Portion the meatball. Use an ice cream scoop or tablespoon to portion the meatballs quickly and easily into even-sized balls.
- Use a large baking dish. Choose a dish that can accommodate between 24-28 meatballs without overlapping
- Check the temperature. It’s important to check the internal temperature of the beef meatballs with a meat thermometer to ensure they reach 160°F for food safety. However, be careful not to overcook them, as this can lead to a dry and tough texture.
Recipe Short Cuts
If you need to make this recipe, but are extra short on time, here are a few ideas that can help make this recipe even faster!
- Freeze raw meatballs – You can make the meatballs ahead of time and freeze them for later. Thaw them in the fridge overnight and bake them with the enchilada sauce when ready to serve.
- Use store-bought ingredients – Premade ingredients, such as enchilada sauce and taco seasoning, can simplify this recipe without sacrificing flavor. While homemade recipes are great, sometimes premade options can save time and effort without compromising taste.
- Use onion powder – I highly suggest using freshly chopped onions in a pinch, but you can opt for onion powder instead.
If you love this recipe as much as we do and want some quick ways to change it up for variety, these little tips will do the trick!
- Enchilada Meatballs in a Crockpot – Follow the meatball recipe, place them in the crockpot along with enchilada sauce, and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Add shredded cheese on top during the last 30 minutes of cooking. Serve with desired toppings and enjoy!
- Chicken Enchilada Meatballs – Use ground chicken instead of beef. It’s that easy to swap the recipe for chicken meatballs and follow the same steps.
- Enchilada Meatballs with Frozen Meatballs – To make enchilada meatballs using frozen meatballs, simply place them in a baking dish, cover them with the enchilada sauce, and bake. You may need to add extra time to the bake to ensure the frozen meatballs are cooked.
Freezer Meal Instructions
Making this meatball enchilada recipe into a freezer meal is simple! Follow the steps below and you can store this recipe in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- Prepare the meatballs per the recipe and freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Once the meatballs are frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe container or a ziplock bag, label it with the date, and freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to make the enchiladas, thaw the meatballs in the refrigerator overnight and follow the recipe instructions for assembling and baking.
Enchilada Meatballs Leftovers
If you have leftovers after making these Mexican-style meatballs, then it is your lucky day! They save and reheat well, and can make the start of another delicious dish.
To save leftovers, separate into meal sized portions and then place in an airtight container and store:
- in the refrigerator for 3-4 days
- in the freezer up to a month
Here are a few ways to repurpose those leftovers and give them a delicious makeover!
- Enchilada meatball subs – Slice the meatballs and place them on a sub roll with some melted cheese and extra enchilada sauce.
- Enchilada meatball pizza – Top a pre-made pizza crust with the leftover meatballs, shredded cheese, and diced tomatoes. Bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Enchilada meatball bowls – Serve the leftover meatballs on top of rice or quinoa with some black beans, diced avocado, and a dollop of sour cream.
More Mexican Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe, I really hope you will take a moment to grab a few more easy recipes for another busy night!
You can check out all of my Mexican recipes here, or see a few of our readers favorite recipes below.
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- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 1 onion finely diced
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoons taco seasoning (1 packet)
- 19 ounce can red enchilada sauce (one can)
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese or mexican blend
- Pico de Gallo
- sour cream
- Preheat oven to 350˚F.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, onion, milk, bread crumbs, egg, worcestershire sauce, and taco seasoning.Use your hands to work the mixture until everything is completely, and evenly combined.
- Roll the meat mixture into 1.5 inch meatballs. It should make 24-26 meatballs.
- Pour 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of a large casserole dish. Arrange the meatballs in the dish, then pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the meatballs. Sprinkle cheese over the top.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the edges are bubbly and the meatballs are cooked through to 165˚F internal temperature.
- Top with your choice of garnish and serve warm.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)
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