Monday, May 2, 2011

May Recipe: Mexican Meatball Subs

Let me start with a confession - I love Mexican food. In fact, one might say I am obsessed with Mexican food. Someone asks - where should we go for lunch? I say - Mexican. My husband asks - what should we have for dinner? My list of possible answers - tacos, fajitas, enchiladas, nachos or take out Mexican. So since I'm responsible for the May recipe, I have to go south of the border in honor of Cinco de Mayo. As I was searching for the recipe, I did a little reading about the holiday. Cinco de Mayo recognizes the Mexican army's defeat of French forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. It is mainly celebrated as a regional holiday in the state of Puebla in Mexico but has taken on a life of it's own in the United States, where it is viewed as a celebration of Mexican culture. And food of course :)

Instead of standard fare, I wanted to try something a little different. I thought this recipe looked fun, easy and most importantly, delicious! Enjoy!


1 pound ground meat (beef, pork, turkey or any mixture of these)

1/4 cup finely crushed tortilla chips

1 large egg, beaten

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped plus 3 whole sprigs

1/4 cup onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 teaspoons ancho chili powder, separated

2 teaspoons ground cumin, separated

Kosher salt

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 cups canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes

4 crusty sub rolls, halved

Diced avocado, chopped green onion and crumbled Mexican cheese for garnish


Preheat the oven to 350. Mix the meat, tortilla chips, egg, chopped cilantro, onion, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin and salt to taste in a bowl. Roll into 16 small meatballs.

Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the meatballs and lightly brown, turning as needed, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining minced garlic, chili powder and cumin. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, the sprigs of cilantro and 1-1/2 cups water and season with salt. Bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until the sauce thickens and the meatballs are tender, about 15 minutes.

About 5 minutes before the meatballs are done, toast the rolls in the oven. Place the rolls in individual bowls and top each with 4 meatballs. Drizzle sauce over the meatballs, then pour the remaining sauce into the bowls so the bread can soak up the sauce. Top with avocado, green onion and Mexican cheese.

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  1. Diced avocado on Mexican meatballs!? This is going to be heaven on a sandwich. Can't wait!

  2. I am SO excited for this! And I won't even have to pay a shit ton....

  3. Sounds good! The word 'meatball' will sell the hubby, too! :) Can't wait to try it!

  4. Haha Missy I hate it when you pay a shit ton for a meatball. And in this case each person gets four - what a novel idea!!! :)

  5. YES! I'm so excited to make this.

    Would go perfect with a margarita!

  6. I'm making this tomorrow on Mother's day! Margaritas, guacamole and meatballs the whole family will love. what could be better?

  7. I like the sound of this!

  8. I made a double batch of meatballs this weekend (sans sauce). Last night we had homemade vegetable soup with meatballs and I froze the rest so I can pull them out for an easy sub or spaghetti weeknight dinner! LOVE this recipe!