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Easy Meatballs (Albondigas) in Spicy Tomato Sauce

Easy Meatballs (Albondigas) in Spicy Tomato SauceSmoky chipotle peppers in adobo sauce add the spicy to this easy meatball dish. Serve over hot cooked rice for a delicious entrée, or serve meatballs as a party appetizer.

This recipe is an excellent source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron, selenium and zinc.

Recipe Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup saltine cracker crumbs
1 large egg, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce - divided use
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
Hot cooked rice for accompaniment (optional)
Fresh chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)

Cooking Directions:

  1. Combine ground beef, cracker crumbs, egg, water and 1 tablespoon chipotle pepper in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Divide beef mixture into 12 equal portions; shape into meatballs. Set aside.
  2. Combine tomato sauce and remaining 1 tablespoon pepper in stockpot; bring to a boil. Add meatballs. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 14 to 16 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time to cover meatballs with sauce and ensure even cooking.
  3. Serve over rice and sprinkle with cilantro, if desired.

Makes 4 main dish servings.

Test Kitchen Tips:

  • Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed ground beef.
  • Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F (71.1°C).
  • Color is not a reliable indicator of ground beef doneness.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/4 of recipe): 279 calories; 16 g fat (6 g saturated fat; 7 g monounsaturated fat); 26 mg cholesterol; 756 mg sodium; 10 g carbohydrate; 2.2 g fiber; 24 g protein; 6.0 mg niacin; 0.4 mg vitamin B6; 2.4 mcg vitamin B12; 3.8 mg iron; 21.6 mcg selenium; 5.6 mg zinc.

Recipe and photograph courtesy of The Beef Checkoff.