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Chipotle Chicken Meatballs with a homemade chipotle hot sauce. Loaded with smoky heat – these chicken meatballs will make you forget all about wings!
Football season. We love it! It’s such a fun time of the year, win or lose. It’s not just about the game – it’s about the experience. Good friends, good food, good times.
Football food should be fun. I’ll rephrase that, football food IS fun. What’s not fun is spending all your time in the kitchen preparing food – missing half the game and all the fun.
We always made chicken wings for the big game, we even traveled with our wing set up when need be. Everyone loved it. Thing is – it’s a major production. A lot of time, work and cleanup. That’s no fun for anyone.
It was time to rethink our menu. Time to put the turkey fryer away and focus on easy yet delicious foods and snacks that we could all enjoy – together. These Chipotle Chicken Meatballs totally fit the bill.
Making a homemade chipotle hot sauce may sound like a lot work – but it’s really not. Throw everything in a food processor and then in a saucepan to simmer. That’s it. Simple, delicious and totally earns you bragging rights! Plus, this can be done days before you need it – so it’s one less thing you need to worry about on game day.
There is only one brand of chipotle peppers that I use. Ever. It’s La Morena Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce. La Morena has set the standard for quality and taste in peppers & chiles. When I open a can of these peppers I always know what I’m going to get – the authentic Mexican smoky peppers and adobo sauce that I know, expect and love.
Back to our homemade Chipotle Sauce. I like things hot and this sauce has definitely got some heat. If you’re familiar with chipotle heat, you’ll know that it does have a different heat index to it. It’s not a “burn your gut up heat” – it’s more of a “smoky mouth heat”. I would suggest tasting and making any adjustments after the sauce has had at least 10 minutes to simmer.
The chicken meatballs are ridiculously easy. Mix them up and bake. These can also be made ahead of time and reheated prior to serving. Heat em’ up, toss them with the Chipotle Sauce and you got yourself some real good eats. I serve these smokey bites topped with crumbled Queso Fresco and lots of Mexican Crema. These two ingredients perfectly finish these Chipotle Chicken Meatballs. Perhaps keep some ranch or blue cheese dressing around for the less adventurous.
I hope these Chipotle Chicken Meatballs are enjoyed by all! Less time in the kitchen means more game time & fun time for you! Have fun!
Thanks for stopping by! Happy Cooking 🙂
What’s your favorite hot & spicy game time food? What football traditions do you have?
- For Sauce:
- 1 - 7 oz can of La Morena Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce (UNDRAINED)
- 6 tablespoon vinegar
- 6 tablespoon water
- 4 tablespoon tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoon turbinado or brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- For Meatballs:
- 1 lb ground chicken (ground turkey can be substituted)
- ¾ cup panko
- 3 tablespoon chipotle sauce (your homemade stuff)
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- To Serve Sauce:
- ¾ cup homemade chipotle sauce
- 3-4 tablespoon butter
- Top with Queso Fresco & Mexican Crema (optional - ranch or blue cheese dressing)
- For sauce:
- Empty entire contents of chipotle pepper can into food processor (Seriously, the adobo sauce is like liquid gold)
- Process until peppers are smooth.
- Add vinegar, water, tomato sauce, sugar, garlic, onion and cinnamon. Process until completely smooth. This will be a thick sauce.
- Pour sauce into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring often.
- I suggest letting the sauce simmer for at least 10 minutes before tasting and making adjustments.
- Set sauce aside until ready to use. Refrigerate in a sealed jar if making ahead of time. I usually make the sauce a few days prior.
- *You will have more sauce then needed for recipe*
- For Meatballs:
- Preheat oven to 400°. Prep a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and lightly grease/spray.
- In a large bowl, mix together ground chicken, panko, chipotle sauce, egg and salt.
- Form approximately 24 meatballs. They should be just about the size of a golfball. I use a "2 Tablespoon Cookie Scoop" to do this.
- Bake for 17-22 minutes or until done.
- To Serve:
- In a saucepan combine chipotle sauce and butter.
- Stir until butter is melted and sauce is heated through.
- Gently toss and coat meatballs in sauce. I use a spatula to do this.
- Pop a toothpick in each meatball and plate. Serve with crumbled Queso Fresco and lots of Mexican Crema.
- This recipe easily doubles (you wouldn't have to make any more sauce) and can be made ahead of time and heated prior to serving.
I head to my local Walmart to stock up on La Morena products. Walmart does not disappoint – I always know I’ll find my favorite peppers in stock!