Mexican Meatballs with Three Spicy Dipping Sauces


Thanksgiving has come and gone and the countdown to Christmas is on. Sheesh, the time flew by! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving feast surrounded by loved ones. My family and I spent the holiday in El Paso with my mom. We had a couple of book signings while I was in town, as well as a local interview with KVIA ABC-7, and we also visited with lots of familia.

Now I’m back home in Colorado and its time to get back in the kitchen and share some festive recipes, pretty treats, and ideas with you.

A few weeks before I left to El Paso my mom and I were invited to a fun event called Books, Bites, & Brews in Colorado. I demonstrated how to cut avocados, mangos, and pomegranates and afterwards we enjoyed meeting local cookbook authors and brewery owners, but most of all we enjoyed sampling some great food. Caterers made recipes from each cookbook and they even made muy bueno tamales, which were pretty awesome. It was a great way to sample what each cookbook was really all about.


They also had other yummy bites and the table I couldn’t walk away from had a platter full of meatballs marinated in a spicy chipotle cream sauce. They were so tasty! I was so inspired to come home and make some meatballs and thought this would make a great appetizer for the upcoming holidays. I started off with this recipe from Betty Crocker, and added some Valentina hot sauce and oregano for added spice.


While my mom and I were in the kitchen we thought it would be fun to create three generations of dipping sauces. We chose salsa casera for grandma, because she couldn’t eat anything without homemade salsa. My mom came up with a delicious sweet and spicy apricot jam, and I replicated the flavors of the creamy chipotle dipping sauce. All these dipping sauces taste fabulous at room temperature or warmed up. These tasty cocktail meatballs and sauces will disappear quickly from anyone’s holiday party.

If you are looking for more holiday inspiration be sure to check out the Red Hot Holiday Trends on Betty Crocker and a slideshow of all the yummy trends by other Betty bloggers. I am thrilled to be able to share recipes via this blog as well as share recipes on the Betty Crocker website. Here are a couple of my latest recipes: Chicken Frittata with Tomato Salsa perfect for holiday guests and Mexican Chocolate Pecan Pie for a special holiday dessert.

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Mexican Meatballs with Three Spicy Dipping Sauces

Yield: Makes approximately 16 meatballs

Mexican-inspired ingredients give these meatballs a subtle, but distinctive flavor. They're served with a variety of simple and spicy dipping sauces inspired by three generations -- Old-world northern Mexican salsa casera, south of the border home-style apricot jalapeño jam, and Latin fusion chipotle crema.


1 pound lean (at least 80%) ground beef
½ cup dry bread crumbs
¼ cup milk
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 small onion, chopped (1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1 tablespoon hot sauce (recommend Valentina)

Salsa Casera:
6 to 7 Anaheim chiles, roasted and peeled
1 or 2 jalapeño peppers, roasted (optional)
½ teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 (14.5-ounce) can whole tomatoes

Apricot Jalapeño Jam:
1 cup apricot preserves (recommend Bonne Maman)
1 jalapeño pepper

Chipotle Cream Sauce:
3/4 cups crema Mexicana
½ cup sour cream
2 chipotles in adobo sauce
Salt to taste


Heat oven to 400°F.

In large bowl, mix all ingredients. Shape mixture into twenty 1 1/2-inch meatballs. Place in ungreased 13x9-inch pan or on rack in broiler pan.

Bake uncovered 20 to 25 minutes or until no longer pink in center and thermometer inserted in center reads 160.

Salsa Casera:
In a food processor or blender, pulse the roasted and peeled chiles, jalapeño peppers (optional), salt, garlic, canned tomatoes, and tomato sauce for a few seconds. You do not want to puree it—chunky is best with this flavorful salsa.

Apricot Jalapeño Jam:
Place jalapeño in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Simmer until jalapeño softens, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove stem and seeds from the chile and finely chop.

In a bowl combine apricot and chopped jalapeño.

Chipotle Cream Sauce:
Place in a blender the crema, sour cream, chipotle peppers, and salt. Blend until creamy.

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Written by Yvette / Photos by Yvette

Disclosure: Compensated post by Betty Crocker. All opinions shared are my own.

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12 Responses to “Mexican Meatballs with Three Spicy Dipping Sauces”

  1. 1

    Were you reading my mind? Just yesterday I decided I needed to search for a Mexican Meatball recipe to use for some White Queso I want to make. Your recipe is so simple, however, I don’t have Valentina Sauce. I’m sure my favorite hot sauce will do??? And forget that queso, the sauces you’ve shown here look wonderful. Thanks Yvette. Pinned.

  2. 2
    Heather — December 3, 2013 @ 7:23 am

    last night everyone volunteered me to host our annual ornament exchange on monday!! This is a great idea and easy to make this weekend while I scramble to get ready for a last minute party!

  3. 3
    Linda — December 3, 2013 @ 8:18 am

    On Christmas Eve along with our traditions Tamales, Mexican rice we love to serve appetizers this will be a new addition. Thanks.

  4. 4
    Holly — December 3, 2013 @ 8:36 am

    Love the three options- the apricot jam might be an easy go-to idea for me to use but I think the chipotle cream would be my favorite. Delicious!

  5. 5
    Dalila G. — December 3, 2013 @ 8:58 am

    This is one neat idea, meatballs with not one, not two, but three dipping sauces!
    I am definitely making these for my up and coming get-togethers. The gals will love them!

  6. 6
    Cindy — December 3, 2013 @ 12:22 pm

    I can’t resist meatballs and I love this trio of sauces!

  7. 7
    molly yeh — December 3, 2013 @ 1:35 pm

    YUM! i love me some meatballs! and i especially love the idea of apricot jalapeno jam!

  8. 8
    Corey @ Family Fresh Meals — December 3, 2013 @ 2:24 pm

    How fun! Love this idea :)

  9. 9
    Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough — December 3, 2013 @ 5:57 pm

    Meatballs are a serious weakness of mine and dipping sauce is a close second… I need to have these in my life!

  10. 10
    Liz — December 3, 2013 @ 7:26 pm

    Thank you for the nice recipes.

  11. 11
    Rachel — December 3, 2013 @ 8:03 pm

    this looks really good.. I have a party on Sunday that has become a pot luck.. I think I will bring these yummy treats.

    • Muy Bueno replied: — December 4th, 2013 @ 1:33 pm

      Rachel: If you have a mini-crockpot you might want to take them in that so they stay warm and don’t dry out. Try to place the meatballs in a dish, the dish on a small rack, then put a small amount of water in the bottom of the cooker to keep them moist. OR just set your crockpot to low. And of course you can nuke in microwave if you have no other choice.

      Can’t wait to hear what ya think! Are you making sauces too? The apricot jalapeno jam one is soooo easy and was the winner in our house :)

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