Chipotle Meatballs 8 Comments

Oct 26, 2008

When it comes to making meatballs, I consider myself an expert. Here’s why. About a year ago, my friends and I decided to do an Iron Chef competition where meatballs was the secret “ingredient”. John and I spent over a month trialing different meatball recipes. We asked his grandma for her Swedish meatball recipe that he loved as a kid. I spoke to my mum to see if we could transform a similar Lebanese meat dish. We tried everything. In the end we settled on a combination of recipes.

There were six teams competing—all teams were excellent cooks. John and I barely won. But we did win by 1.5 points. The reason was the moistness and the flavor of the meatballs.

When I saw this chipotle meatball recipe from Gourmet, it was very similar to the combination of recipes we muddled together. The chipotle in adobo sauce adds great flavor without the addition of calories (we saved that for the bacon). Baking the meatballs maintained the moistness. In my opinion the most important element of a good meatball is the moistness, a dry meatball is awful. A squeeze of lime on the meatballs was the perfect compliment to this Mexican inspired meatball recipe.

Chipotle Meatballs (Image 2)
Chipotle Meatballs (Image 3)


cup whole milk
cup fine dry bread crumbs
6 bacon slices, chopped
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded canned chipotles in adobo
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¾ teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons water
¾ lb ground pork
½ lb ground veal
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley



Prep Time

35 minutes

Cook Time

10 minutes


Stir together milk and bread crumbs in a large bowl.

Cook bacon in a 10-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.

Pour off all but 1 Tbsp fat from skillet, then cook onion, garlic, chipotles, cumin, and oregano in skillet, stirring, until onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Add water and cook, stirring and scraping up brown bits, until water has evaporated, about 1 minute.

Stir into bread crumb mixture, then add ground meats, egg, parsley, bacon, and 1 tsp salt and mix well with your hands.

Preheat broiler.

Form scant tablespoons of meat mixture into balls and thread 3 balls ½ inch apart onto each skewer, arranging skewers on a lightly oiled broiler pan. Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat (do not turn) until browned and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.


Gourmet Magazine, November Issue

Filed Under

Appetizer and Pork

Spices Used

Cumin and Chili

Other Ingredients Used

Pork and Veal


sounds like a very unique recipe for meatballs. Ill try it with tomato sauce as the weather is cold now.

—Jack, over 5 years ago

These look great! I'd love to try them with ground turkey.

lisaiscooking, over 5 years ago

Looks delicious! I have to try it for my bento boxes sometime.

Bentoist, over 5 years ago

Looks absolutely delicious...thanks for the recipe.

—Delilah, over 5 years ago

Looks like a great recipe, do you have your recipe for Lebanese meatballs you made at your Iron chef competition? My dad makes these great Czech meatballs made with cabbage. I should get his recipe. Yum!

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I like beef meatballs in the hot pot.

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