Something about warmer weather makes me crave Mexican food! Maybe it's because a cold Modelo or Spicy Margarita goes so well with both? I'm not sure! These Chicken Enchilada Meatballs also hit the spot!
We've gotten into a habit at my house of ordering a huge family pack of chicken and beef enchiladas from our local restaurant, Felipes. Although delicious in the moment, I feel a bit "blah" the next day...I wanted a quick weeknight solution to my enchilada cravings without feeling like a brick!
Why Are Meatballs A Great 30 Minute Meal?
Meatballs are nearly universally loved. They are bite sized and can be the full meal, added to pasta, added to a sandwich, and served as appetizers.
They can be made from any ground meat such as beef, chicken, turkey, pork, or lamb. Also they are able to take on many flavor profiles!
They are easy to form and are even great to get kids involved with. They freeze well...honestly need I say more?
Dairy-Free Creamy Enchilada Sauce
These lightened up chicken enchilada meatballs are just the ticket! PS this is DAIRY FREE...
I created a creamy enchilada sauce to pour over the chicken meatballs and stick them in the oven! I've managed to merge a little Thai inspiration into this "enchilada" sauce...coconut milk! I love the one from Trader Joes!
That's right it's dairy free!
How to make enchilada sauce
Start with a roux. What is a roux? Usually my white enchilada sauce starts with a basic roux which is equal parts fat and flour which thickens whatever liquid you are using to make an extremely creamy lucious sauce!
In my case I started with coconut oil and all purpose flour and mixed it on medium high heat until it starts to turn golden brown.
So now you add in your liquid. I used a can of coconut milk and it is really to die for! Super thick and creamy enchilada sauce is not far off.
Next I stirred in a can of spicy Rotel which helps get the Mexican flavor into this enchilada sauce. I also added in a bit of chicken seasoning salt, you could use regular salt as well but I find the taste of the chicken salt adds depth!
Making Enchilada Chicken Meatballs
- So after I have my enchilada sauce ready, I mix up my Mexican meatballs. This is where we can really introduce a lot of that Mexican flavor we love in enchiladas.
- I mix grated onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and salt with ground chicken. Mix and form into meatballs. Easy peasy!
- Before I poured the enchilada sauce into the Mexican meatball skillet I stirred in about a half a cup of rice to add a little more to the meal and for some good texture!
- Bake the skillet at 375 for 30 minutes!
- What if I don't have coconut milk? You can substitute 2 cups veggie or chicken broth! Or if you aren't dairy free - whole milk would be great.
- Can I make this with ground beef? Absolutely! It would be delicious with beef or even turkey!
- Do I have to add the rice? No you can leave that out if you want low carb! You could also substitute with quinoa or farro if you like.
Storing Leftover Enchilada Meatballs
These are great to keep in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to 5 days.
Freeze them in individual portions for easy defrosting and a quick dinner!
More Mexican Recipes
Mexican Enchilada Meatballs
- sauce pan
- mixing bowl
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1/4 onion, grated
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 can coconut milk or 2 cups broth/stock
- 1 tbsp chicken salt or 2 tsp regular salt
- 1 can spicy rotel
- 1/2 cup white rice
Form the Meatballs
- Preheat oven to 350
- Combine the ground chicken, grated onion, and spices. Form into meatballs and place in an oven safe skillet
- Make a simple roux using the flour and coconut oil. Whisk them together in the sauce pan over medium high heat
- The mixture should start to turn golden brown and at this point pour in your coconut milk.
- Stir until it thickens to the consistency of gravy then add in the chicken salt and rotel
- Let it cook for about 5 minutes then stir in rice.
Cooking the Meatballs
- Pour the enchilada sauce and rice mixture over your chicken meatballs in the skillet.
- Bake for 30 minutes and enjoy!