Red Pepper Meatballs with Chipotle Tomato Sauce
- Prep Time 0:15
- Cook Time 0:25
- Estimated Cost $14.50
- 35 Comments
A batch of fresh meatballs in sauce is one of the quickest ways to serve a crowd (or hungry family) a fresh, home-cooked meal without laboring too much. Add a starch if you please (this dish works particularly well with roasted sweet potatoes), and a salad and voila! Dinner is served.
If you're making this for kids or anyone who can't eat spicy food, you might consider opting to use a few spoonfuls of the adobo sauce the chipotle comes packed in, instead of the chili itself, to get smokiness without too much heat. Another great option is to add a few grinds of this incredibly flavorful but not spicy South African smoke seasoning from Trader Joe's. After discovering it a few weeks ago, I want to put it on everything.
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil Pantry
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped, divided Pantry
- 1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo (remove the seeds if you are sensitive to spice), finely chopped $2 for a 7-oz can
- 1 15-oz. can crushed tomatoes $1.50
- salt and pepper Pantry
- 1 lb lean ground beef (or turkey, or a mixture) $4.50
- 1 egg, lightly beaten $1.50 for 6
- 2 tbsp bread crumbs $1.50 for a 10-oz container
- 2 tbsp finely minced onion (about 1/4 medium onion) $0.50
- 1 medium bell pepper, veins and seeds removed, diced finely $2
- 1 handful fresh cilanro leaves, finely chopped, plus more for garnish $1 for abunch
Recipe Serves 4
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.
- In a small pot, heat the oil over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes, until fragrant.
- Add the chipotle chile and cook for another minute.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper, and 1/4 cup water and cover the pot.
- Cook, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes while you make the meatballs. As it cooks, the sauce should become milder, and should also reduce a bit.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef (or turkey), egg, bread crumbs, onion, bell pepper, cilantro and 1 tsp each salt and pepper.
- Use your (clean) hands to mix well.
- Shape heaping tablespoons of the meat mixture into balls, and arrange on the foil-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 11-13 minutes or until cooked through but still tender.
- To serve, spoon the sauce into a large serving dish, or onto individual dishes, and top with the meatballs and a sprinkling of chopped cilantro.