Chipotle Black Bean Meatball Recipe in Mexican Corn Cream Sauce

4 people
45 min

This Chipotle Black Bean Recipe for Meatballs with Mexican Corn Cream Sauce is a delicious family dinner! It’s an easy make-ahead meal.

This Chipotle Black Bean Recipe for Meatballs with Mexican Corn Cream Sauce are unexpected and delicious! The meatballs are a wonderful combination of black beans and lean grass-fed ground beef. The black beans, loaded with dietary fiber, are blended so that they are partly creamy, but still have texture. The creaminess from the beans added to the ground beef makes these meatballs so MOIST, tender, and so flavorful.

Then ground Tortilla Chips are used as a binder. The Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce give the meatballs that Mexican flare! They are then baked, which makes cooking super easy and healthier than frying.

The creamy sauce is inspired by Mexican Street Corn. The slight sweetness from the corn, the smokiness from the Mexican spices, the subtle heat from the Chipotle adobo sauce, and the cool and tangy sour cream make this creamy sauce the perfect complement to the Chipotle Meatballs!

This is a great simple recipe to add to your Taco Tuesdays meal planning calendar!

Check out how easy these are to make!


Make and Freeze different Types of Meatballs for Easy Dinners

We love Mexican food in our house! If they could, my daughters would have Taco Tuesday everyday. So when I was thinking of a new way to reinvent meatballs, I was inspired by my and my girls’ love for Tacos and Mexican food!

You can make so many varieties of meatballs with different flavors and ingredients! Meatballs are great for meal prep because you can freeze them for busy nights later!I Check out all of my Freezer Tips for Easy Dinners! Simply flash freeze the raw meatballs on a sheet pan and then transfer to a freezer bag or airtight container. I love Chicken Greek Meatballs with Tzatziki Sauce!

But, don’t stop there! You can make delicious and easy Teriyaki Meatball Stir Fry with Veggies and Noodles too.

Simple Key Ingredients and Swaps

While there are quite a few simple ingredients, this is a super easy recipe to make!


Chipotle Meatballs

  • Lean Ground Beef – I used 90% lean Grass Fed, Raised without antibiotics. However, you can use any ground beef that you or prefer. You can also substitute in ground turkey or chicken.
  • Black Beans, canned – You can substitute pinto beans, red kidney beans, chickpeas, or any other canned beans that you have on hand (with the exception of green beans that can become mush). You can also use dried beans, just be sure to cook them thoroughly before adding them to the recipe.
  • Scallions (green onions) – You can substitute chives in for scallions. The beauty with scallions is that you do not need to cook them first. You can also use shallots yellow onion, or red onions, finely diced, but you may want to quickly sauté onions to soften them before adding them.
  • Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce – This is chipotle chiles that are smoked and then placed into adobo sauce. They are spicy, so a little goes a long way. If you don’t have the chili peppers in adobo, you can substitute in 4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (chipotle powder).
  • Egg, large – If you don’t have an egg, you can use ¼ cup plain yogurt or 1-2 tablespoons of tomato paste.
  • Ground Cumin – Cumin gives that distinct smoky flavor that hard to replace. However, if you don’t have cumin, you could add in smoked paprika instead.
  • Ground Tortilla Chips – Any tortilla chip of your choice will do here. I do recommend dry chips though, vs flat tortillas. The drier the better to soak up moisture.


Mexican Corn Cream Sauce

  • Corn – The corn can be either roasted and then cut from the cob or from the freezer
  • Garlic cloves – Fresh is best when it comes to garlic, but you can buy pre-minced garlic to save time or mince it in bulk and freeze it for use when you need it!
  • Chicken Broth or stock – You can also use beef or vegetable broth/stock.
  • Ground Cumin – see above for replacement.
  • Chili Powder – If you don’t have Chili Powder, you can use chipotle powder, or even taco seasoning. If taco seasoning is used, check the ingredients, as it may also contain the cumin and salt.
  • Sauce from Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
  • Sour Cream – Sour cream makes the sauce so creamy and decadent. I used full fat sour cream, but you can use low fat or substitute in plain greek yogurt.
  • Scallion, greens (use the greens from the 4 scallions listed under meatballs)
  • Fresh Cilantro – Fresh cilantro adds a beautiful vibrant flavor. However, if you are one of those that think it has a bitter taste, replace with fresh Italian parsley or simply eliminate.
  • White Rice, uncooked I used long grain, but you can use whatever variety you have, including brown rice and even quinoa.


Prep-Ahead Steps for this Chipotle Black Bean Recipe for Meatballs

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are steps you can prepare ahead to save time on busy nights! (See the full recipe below)

This recipe uses Gluten-Free Tortilla Chips instead of breadcrumbs as the binder for the meatballs. So the first thing to do is add a handful of tortilla chips to a food processor and blend until fully ground and you get ¾ cup. Remove from the processor and set aside.

To the same food processor (no need to clean), add the drained beans and sliced scallions. Put 1 tablespoon of the scallion greens in a baggie for the sauce and the rest go into the food processor for the meatballs. Rough chop 2 Chipotle Peppers and add to the food processor with 1 teaspoon of the sauce. If you like really spicy food , you can add more.

Also to the food processor add 1 tablespoon water, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground pepper, 1 teaspoon ground cumin. Pulse the food processor until the mixture is completely combined and you can see that the chipotle peppers have been fully blended into the beans. You should see mostly creamy beans, but still some bean bits left for texture.

To a large mixing bowl, add the ground beef, the bean mixture, 1 egg, and ½ cup of the tortilla crumbs. Mix with hands or a large fork to completely combine. Add more tortillas crumbs as needed until the mixture easily forms into balls. Cover bowl and store in fridge until ready to make meatballs and bake them. You could also bake these in advance and reheat them later.

Cut off the kernels and then scrape the kernel bits off the cob with the back of the knife. Mince 1 clove garlic and store with the corn in the fridge until ready to cook.

Roll the meatballs into 1.25 inch diameter balls and place on large baking sheet that you have lightly coated with Olive Oil. Store in the fridge covered until ready to cook.

Cooking Steps for Chipotle Meatballs in Corn Sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake the meatballs in oven on center rack for 20 minutes cook time.


While the meatballs are cooking, make the sauce, which doesn’t take much time at all! Add 1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil to a large pan or skillet on medium-high heat and then add the roasted corn kernels, minced garlic, and 1 tbls scallion greens. Stir and saute for 3 minutes and then add 1 teaspoon of the sauce from the Chipotle peppers in Adobo Sauce. You can add more if you want it spicier. Stir in the chicken broth, ½ to 1 teaspoon cumin, ½ to 1 teaspoon chili powder. Bring the sauce up to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, then turn down heat to keep warm.


When the meatballs are done, remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes for best results. At this point, to the sauce whisk in the sour cream, add the cilantro, and then salt and ground black pepper.

Last, add the meatballs to the sauce. Make sure to add any brown bits from the pan to the sauce too!

Pour the meatballs and sauce over the rice, garnish with cilantro. Enjoy!!


What to Serve with Chipotle Black Bean Meatballs and Sauce?

The recipe includes a complete meal with rice. However, you could swap the rice with Cilantro Lime Rice or even this Cilantro Lime Quinoa Side Dish. In terms of a vegetable side, check out these easy Roasted Carrots with Cumin and Avocado Crema.

Corn bread is another great side for this dinner. Try my Cheddar Honey Gluten Free Cornbread Recipe!

I love to add a dollop of sour cream on top as well!

Chipotle Black Bean Meatballs Recipe FAQs

Can I make these with Chipotle Meatballs with Ground Chicken instead of Ground Beef?You can substitute in ground chicken for the ground beef if you would like to make these Chipotle Chicken Meatballs. All of the other ingredients and instructions will be the same.

Is this Meatball and Corn Sauce Recipe Gluten Free?This Chipotle Black Bean Meatball recipe is Gluten Free. Always before to check labels to ensure that all ingredients are gluten free.

Can the meatballs be made ahead?Yes, you can definitely make the meatballs ahead to save time. You can store them raw in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days before cooking. Cooked, they will last up to 5 days in the fridge cooked. To freeze them, place the raw meatballs on a sheet pan and place in the freezer to flash freeze for 1-2 hours. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag or airtight container. They will last in the freezer for up to 9 months. Simply place on a sheet pan frozen and bake in a 400F degree oven for 20-25 minutes to cook.

Chipotle Black Bean Meatball Recipe in Mexican Corn Cream Sauce
Recipe details
  • 4  people
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 30 Minutes Total time: 45 min
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Ingredients
Chipotle Meatballs
  • 16 ounces Lean Ground Beef, Grass Fed, Raised without antibiotics
  • 15.5 ounces Black Beans, canned
  • 4 Scallions, whites (4 scallions split between meatballs and sauce)
  • 2 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 Egg, large
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 cup Ground Tortilla Chips (any chip variety)
Mexican Corn Cream Sauce
  • 1 Ear of Corn
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1.5 cup Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Sauce from Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
  • 3/4 cup Sour Cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Scallion, greens (use the greens from the 4 scallions listed under meatballs)
  • 1 Tablespoon Cilantro, chopped
Other
  • 1 cup White Rice, uncooked
Instructions
Prep-Ahead Steps
Add a handful of tortilla chips to a food processor and blend until fully ground and you get ¾ cup.  Remove from the processor and set aside to be added to the meat later.  You should only need ½ cup for the meatballs, but you will want extra just in case your meat mixture is too wet.
Drain and rinse the black beans and put into the same food processor.
Slice the 4 scallions.  You will need to save 1 heaping tablespoon of the greens in a baggie for the sauce, the rest will go into the food processor for the meatballs.
Rough chop 2 Chipotle Peppers and add to the food processor with 1 teaspoon of the sauce.  Save the rest in a storage container as you will need the sauce for adding to the Cream Sauce later.
Also to the food processor add 1 tbls water, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground pepper, 1 teaspoon ground cumin.  Pulse the food processor until the mixture is completely combined and you can see that the chipotle peppers have been fully blended into the beans.  You should see mostly creamy beans, but still some bean bits left for texture.
To a large mixing bowl, add the ground beef, the bean mixture, 1 egg, and ½ cup of the tortilla crumbs.  Mix with hands or a large fork to completely combine.  If the mixture seems too wet, sprinkle in a little more tortilla crumbs.
Roll the meatballs into 1.25 inch diameter balls and place on large baking sheet that you have lightly coated with Olive Oil.  Store in the fridge covered or freeze until ready to cook.
Cut off the kernels and then scrape the kernel bits off the cob with the back of the knife. Mince 1 clove garlic and store with the corn in the fridge until ready to cook.
Cooking Steps
Make rice according to package instructions. Generally, you will bring the rice and water up to a boil, stir, then cover and turn heat down to lowest setting for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn off the heat, but leave cover on until ready to serve.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake the meatballs in oven on center rack for 20 minutes.
While the meatballs are cooking, make the sauce. Add 1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil to a preheated pan on medium heat and then add the corn kernels, minced garlic, and remaining scallion greens. Stir and saute for 3 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth, cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper. Add 1 teaspoon of the sauce from the Chipotle peppers in Adobo Sauce. You can add more if you want it spicier. Bring the sauce up to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes, then turn down heat to lowest setting to keep warm.
When the meatballs are done, remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes. At this point, whisk the sour cream into the corn sauce and stir in the cilantro. add the meatballs to the sauce. Make sure to add any brown bits from the pan to the sauce too!
To serve, pour the meatballs and sauce over the rice, garnish with cilantro and enjoy!!
Carrie Tyler
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