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5 from 6 votes

Easy Baked Mexican Meatballs

These Easy Baked Mexican Meatballs are packed with roasted poblanos and cilantro, and served in thickened enchilada sauce! They are perfect with rice and beans for an easy weeknight dinner, or served with toothpicks as a cocktail or game-day appetizer.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 8
Calories: 437kcal
Author: Karen


  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 & 1/2 cups Fritos
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 small onion chopped into a few chunks
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup cilantro firmly packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 20 ounces red enchilada sauce
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


  • Turn the broiler on to high heat and arrange the top rack to be about 5-6 inches below the heat. Place the poblano pepper on a bit of foil on a baking sheet. Broil for about 6-8 minutes (depending on the size), making sure to turn the pepper every 1-2 minutes with a pair of tongs. The pepper is done when the skin is blistered and blackened.
  • Remove the pepper and place immediately in a sealed ziplock bag. Let it steam for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, open the bag and peel off the skin. Remove the stem and seeds.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 
  • Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, use a food processor or blender to crush the Fritos into small crumbs. You need about 1/2 cup crumbs, I started with about 1 and 1/2 cups whole Fritos. Place the crumbs in a large bowl and add 1/4 cup milk. Stir it together and let it soak for a few minutes. 
  • Don't bother washing the food processor. Add the onion, garlic cloves, cilantro, and the roasted pepper (with skin, seeds, and stem removed). Pulse until finely chopped. 
  • Add the poblano mixture to the bowl with the Fritos and stir it all together.
  • Stir in 2 eggs, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. 
  • Use your hands to fold the ground beef into the bowl. Mix until just combined and then stop. You don't want to end up with overworked, tough meatballs. 
  • Shape the meatballs into 1 and 1/2 inch meatballs. You should get about 35. Just make sure they are all about the same size. 
  • Bake at 400 for about 10-12 minutes, until they are lightly browned on top. 
  • Meanwhile, in a large pot on the stove, add the enchilada sauce, chicken broth, and sugar. Bring to a simmer over high heat. 
  • Whenever the meatballs are done, lift them from the pan with a fork (try to scrape off as much of the fat on the edges as you can) and add to the pot of sauce. It doesn't matter if the sauce is still cold, just throw them in.
  • Bring the meatballs and sauce to a boil over high heat (don't stir much, you don't want to break all the meatballs. Just scrape your spoon along the edges and on the bottom of the pot. 
  • Simmer over medium heat for 15-20 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
  • These meatballs are delicious served as an appetizer with scoop Fritos! 


The meatballs themselves are pretty mild. If you like a lot of heat, buy spicy enchilada sauce. Mild sauce would be delicious too. 
I found this recipe in an old copy of Southern Living!


Serving: 1g | Calories: 437kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 1451mg | Potassium: 447mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 669IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 3mg