Enchilada Meatball Casserole
This Enchilada Meatball Casserole combines two favorites, meatballs and enchiladas, in one delicious dish. Enchilada flavored meatballs layered between enchilada sauce & melty cheese makes for an easy dinner you’ll want to make again and again.
Meatballs are one of our favorite foods in my house. My son (who is 9 and eats about 692 pounds of food a day… ok that’s a bit of an exaggeration – more like 690 pounds) could eat them by the gallon. It’s one of this favorite foods and I tend to make meatballs in bulk for him to hear up for an easy lunch or snack. Meatballs are notorious for freezing wonderfully too – if they make it that far. 😉
Meatballs are so Versatile!
You can use them in so many ways!
Here’s a few of my favorites, in addition to today’s Enchilada Meatball Casserole recipe.
- Meatball Parmesan Casserole
- Meatball Sub Kabobs
- Meatball Lasagna
- Salisbury Steak Meatballs
- Southwestern Black Bean Balls
So what’s in an Enchilada Meatball Casserole?
Well first – there is the meatballs! These meatballs are made with an equal mixture of beef and pork and seasoned with garlic, jalapeño, cilantro, taco seasoning, and enchilada sauce. Yes, these meatballs actually have enchilada sauce mixed into the meat mixture!
You can serve them as is – but in this post, we are going to layer them in a casserole dish between layers of enchilada sauce & cheese. After all the meatballs, sauce & cheese are layered in the dish – it’s baked up til it’s hot, bubbly, & absolutely irresistible.
As for the enchilada sauce, you can make your own or use your favorite store-bought version. My recipe for homemade enchilada sauce is at the bottom of this post, with the printable recipe card.
Ideas of What to Serve with an Enchilada Meatball Casserole
You really don’t have to serve anything along with this – it makes a pretty filling meal all on it’s own. When I make this, I usually serve it alongside a fresh salad and/or Mexican Rice or Mexican Cauliflower Rice. Sometimes I cook beans too.
Here’s some more side suggestions for you!
- Mexican Street Corn Salad
- Mexican Style Cauliflower Rice
- Black Bean Burrito Bowls
- Mexican Cornbread Stuffing with Chorizo
- Cowboy Caviar
- Roasted Pineapple & Black Bean Salsa
- Bacon Guacamole
- Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice
You can even hide steamed veggies in these & the kids (or adults…) will never know!
Don’t be afraid to add veggies into the mix either. Meatballs are a genius way to hide well cooked vegetables in – just steam some veggies til tender, chop fine, and mix them in to the meat mixture. Cauliflower rice is especially ‘hidden’ inside of these since cauliflower tends to absorb the flavors of whatever it’s combined with.
I use cilantro in this recipe – but some folks just don’t like cilantro. Apparently, some folks have a gene that makes cilantro taste like soap to them. So, if you are one of those folks who don’t care for cilantro – just leave it out!
I used a mixture of Pepperjack cheese & Cheddar Cheese for the cheesy goodness in this recipe, but you can use whatever combination you like. Monterey Jack is delicious in this and so is Colby Jack. The Mexican Blend cheeses work well too.
Enchilada Meatball Bake
- 3/4 pound ground chuck
- 3/4 pound ground pork
- 1 jalapeno minced & deseeded
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup cilantro chopped (or add a little bit more!)
- 1/4 cup green onions chopped
- 1 tbsp taco seasoning
- salt & pepper to taste
- 28 oz can of enchilada sauce OR make your own - recipe to follow! divided
- 2 cups shredded Monteray Jack cheese or a combo of monteray jack and cheddar
Homemade Enchilada Sauce
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup minced onions
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 8oz cans tomato sauce
- 2 4oz cans diced green chiles
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp cumin
- a few splashes of hot sauce to taste
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the pork, beef, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, green onions, taco seasoning, salt, pepper, & 1 heaping cup of the enchilada sauce. Combine til just mixed. Form into golf ball sized meatballs. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes.
For the enchilada sauce
- Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Saute the onions until soft & translucent. Add the garlic & saute for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato sauce, green chiles, chili powder, cumin, & hot sauce (if using). Cook on medium/low heat for 10 minutes, stirring often.
For the Enchilada Meatball Bake
- Layer half of the remaning enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish followed by 1 cup of the cheese. Place the meatballs on top, in one layer. Cover the meatball with the rest of the enchilada sauce and cheese.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce is hot and bubbly and the cheese is melted.
- Garnish with more chopped cilantro and/or green onions. Sliced black olives and/or jalapeno is good on top too.