A Spicy Meatball

My daughter loves my meatloaf. I think she'd easily have it once a week for dinner … or more. But hey, what's not to love? It has a great ground beef base and is loaded with veggies and even cheese. So when I decided to start with that concept, give it a tex-mex twist and make meatballs instead of meatloaf, I knew I was onto something good.

That's right: taco meatballs. You can thank me later and I already know your life will never be the same.

Do you like meatball subs? Now you can have taco meatball subs! Spaghetti and meatballs can have a south-of-the-border makeover with a spicy tomato sauce and taco meatballs. I've even been known to pop a toothpick into each meatball and serve them alongside salsa at our favorite gatherings. And the kids love them!

While the recipe below makes about two dozen meatballs, I almost always double or triple the recipe and toss half or more of them into a freezer bag and keep them on ice until I'm ready to use them. Suddenly, I have an amazing meal star on hand that adds absolutely no extra work to my busiest nights. Did I mention that the kids love them too? You can thank me later.

Taco Meatballs

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 T. taco seasoning
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 c. panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 c. chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 c. diced onion
  • 1/2 c. grated cheese
  • 1 T. cooking fat

Combine all of the ingredients except the cooking fat. Using your hands, mix them together until a fairly homogenous meatloaf-like mixture forms. Cover and chill until ready to cook.

Measure meatballs out in 2-4 tablespoon amounts and gently form balls from the mixture. Set aside to chill further or prepare a pan for frying as follows:

Heat the cooking fat in a large nonstick skillet and place meatballs at least an inch apart in the hot cooking fat - do not crowd the pan! Fry on all sides until the meatballs are browned on the outside. At this point, you can cool them and place them in freezer bags and freeze for a later use, add to tex-mex pasta dishes, or bake into taco meatball subs! Enjoy.

  • Yields: 18-24 meatballs, depending on the diameter chosen
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes