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Mexican Meatballs in Chipotle Sauce: Delicious Crockpot Recipe

Discover a recipe for delicious Mexican Meatballs in Chipotle Sauce! This easy-to-make Crockpot meal can be prepared in advance for a stress-free weeknight dinner. Try this flavorful dish for your next family meal!


Long white plate heaped with meatballs covered in a red spicy chipotle sauce and garnished with shredded cheese and fresh cilantro

Mexican Meatballs in Chipotle Sauce recipe is perfect as a main dish or an easy crockpot meatball appetizer.

Making them in a slow cooker makes them perfect for hands-off serving and a great dish to make and take!

Why I Like this Mexican Meatballs Appetizer Recipe

Mexican Meatballs in Chipotle Sauce recipe is super easy and makes some delicious, super moist meatballs.

The simple chipotle sauce that’s slathered around the meatballs adds a nice subtle kick without overwhelming heat. Which is perfect for my wimpy taste buds.

We made this Chipotle Meatballs crockpot recipe for a party that we attended as an appetizer.

We started this easy meatball recipe earlier in the day and transported them in the crockpot.

Setting them to warm for serving kept them warm all evening. We love how everyone can help themselves to crockpot appetizers.

Mexican Meatball Ingredients and Substitutions

Meatball Recipe

  • Ground Meat – I used beef and pork. You can use any ground meat or combination of ground meat including chicken or turkey.
  • Bread crumbs – Plain bread crumbs
  • Milk – I used almond milk for a dairy-free meatball. You can substitute with broth.
  • Eggs – Grade A, large
  • Seasonings – Chili Powder, Garlic Powder, Ground Cumin, & Salt

Homemade Chipotle Sauce

  • Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes – I used canned for convenience.
  • Chipotle Peppers in Adobo – You can find these peppers in the Mexican food isle of most grocery stores.
  • Garlic – I used fresh garlic
  • Seasonings – Oregano (or Mexican oregano), salt, & cumin
  • Broth – I used chicken broth

How to make Mexican Meatballs

  1. In a large bowl, combine ground meat, bread crumbs, Milk, eggs, chili powder, garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cumin.
  2. Roll into 1 tablespoon-sized balls and place them on baking sheets lined with foil.
  3. Bake.
  4. Spray a crockpot with non-stick cooking spray. Stir in tomatoes, chipotle peppers, broth, garlic, oregano, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cumin. Add the meatballs and cook on high for 3 hours.
  5. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Tips: This recipe only uses 3 of the peppers in adobo sauce. You can freeze the peppers that you don’t use.

Please note, that the printable recipe card has ingredient quantities, complete instructions, and nutritional information. The following is a quick overview of the recipe.

How to store Chipotle Meatballs.

This recipe made a bazillion meatballs (50 to 60 1-inch meatballs) so we were able to bring some home.

Refrigerator storage – They will last 4 days in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Freezer storage – This meatball appetizer also freezes amazingly well. Meatballs in chipotle sauce should be stored in a freezer-safe container or bag for up to 3 months.

Thaw and reheat – You can thaw the meatballs at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator. You can also reheat them without thawing them in the microwave, a saucepan over low heat, or add them back to the slow cooker.

White plate with 4 large Mexican Meatballs covered in Chipotle sauce sitting on a layer of green-tinted tomatillo rice over a green napkin.

How to Serve Meatballs in Chipotle Sauce

As a Mexican-inspired appetizer, you can either serve them from the crockpot with a pair of tongs.

I also like piling them on a serving dish with toppings such as cilantro, sour cream, salsa, jalapeno slices, and grated cheese in separate bowls. That way my guests can help themselves.

Chipotle meatballs make an easy lunch when you stuff them into a hoagie roll or tortilla for another easy meal.

What to serve with Mexican Meatballs? We served them for dinner over my favorite 4-Ingredient Tomatillo Rice. You could also serve them with a delicious side of our Cherry Chipotle Salad.

Chipotle, what does that mean?

Chipotle is a smoked jalapeno pepper. The jalapeno pepper has thicker walls that prevent them from drying like other peppers.

Smoking was intended to preserve them. The result is a delicious smoky spicy flavor profile perfect for Mexican Meatballs recipes.

Chipotle Peppers in Adobo sauce is a combination of smoked jalapenos and a red sauce made of chili powder, vinegar, sugar, garlic, and herbs.

You could definitely kick up the heat for people, like John, that like more of the inferno effect.

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between meatballs and albondigas?

Albondigas is an authentic Mexican meatball usually served in soup. This is my version of a Mexican meatball because of the spices used. I don’t claim it to be authentic.

Can I use frozen meatballs?

Yes, for an easy Mexican appetizer you can use frozen! There is no need to thaw the meatballs before adding them to the crockpot!

How do you keep meatballs moist?

The addition of eggs, milk, breadcrumbs, and broth guarantee that these meatballs will be moist.

Don’t forget to Pin this amazing meatball appetizer!

Crockpot Mexican Meatballs in Chipotle Sauce

You May Need:

  • Scoops – When I make meatballs or cookies or anything that I want to be a similar size, I use scoops. They not only look better but they cook evenly too. I use a larger scoop when serving these meatballs for dinner or a smaller one when serving them as an appetizer
  • Instant Read Thermometer – I have this brand but my thermometer cost about 9 times what this one does. I’ve had mine for several years but would go a little less expensive especially with these great reviews.
  • Crock-Pot Slow Cooker – I like this brand and that it can be programmed. The lid can be locked for no-spill transportation.

The only changes that I’ve made to this recipe over the years are that I now bake this crockpot meatball appetizer is to brown them instead of using a skillet and hot oil on the stovetop. You can skip browning altogether if you choose to.

It’s less messy and I can bake them all at the same time instead of browning in batches.

They’re a little better for us by skipping the hot oil too.

If you make these Mexican Meatballs appetizer recipe stop back and let me know what you think!

White platter with mexican flavored meatballs in a red chipotle sauce garnished with cilantro

Crockpot Mexican Meatballs in Chipotle Sauce

Author: Hostess At Heart
This Mexican Meatballs in Chipotle Sauce recipe is easy and makes some delicious meatballs. The sauce adds a nice subtle kick without overwhelming heat.
4.78 from 22 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword: Mexican Meatballs
Servings: 60


  • 2 lbs ground meat – I used a combination of beef and pork
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk – any variety or substitute with broth
  • 2 eggs – slightly beaten
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt – divided in half
  • 1 tsp ground cumin – divided in half
  • 28 oz fire-roasted tomatoes – diced or crushed
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth – low sodium/fat-free chicken broth
  • 3 garlic cloves – chopped finely
  • 1 tsp dried Mexican oregano – or regular dried oregano
  • 3 chipotles in adobo – chopped (more for additional heat)
  • Cilantro chopped for garnish


  • Preheat the oven to 400◦F.  Line two baking sheets with foil and spray them with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, combine ground meat, bread crumbs, Milk, eggs, chili powder, garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and cumin. Roll into 1 tablespoon sized balls.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until meatballs registers 165°F on an instant-read thermometer.
  • Spray a crockpot with non-stick cooking spray. Stir in tomatoes, chipotle peppers, broth, garlic, oregano, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cumin. Add the meatballs and cook on high for 3 hours. Stir in chopped cilantro prior to serving.


Adapted from Family Circle May 2015.


Calories: 53kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 3gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 103mgPotassium: 52mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 121IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 14mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.

Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

Recipes with a Mexican twist

I have a great love for this recipe. It was one of the few recipes that brought me traffic at the beginning of my blogging life.

My photos were horrible even though I was so proud of them a the time.

4.78 from 22 votes (12 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating


Saturday 16th of December 2023

These look amazing! Do you think crushed up Fritos or Tortilla chips could be used instead of breadcrumbs? Thank you!


Saturday 16th of December 2023

@Julie Menghini, Thank you, Julie! I think I will give it a go! :)

Julie Menghini

Saturday 16th of December 2023

I love how you think, Carrie! I think that would be delicious. Make sure to crush them finely. Larger pieces would become soggy making the texture less appetizing.

25 Easy Mexican Appetizers - Top Recipes

Monday 25th of April 2022

[…] 2. Crockpot Mexican Meatballs in Chipotle Sauce […]

Michaela Kenkel

Friday 25th of March 2022

These were perfect! My husband is a meatball fanatic, and I could eat Mexican every day!!

Julie Menghini

Friday 25th of March 2022

Thank you, Michaela! So glad you enjoyed them.


Tuesday 22nd of March 2022

That sauce is so good! We all loved it. I'm thinking about using it on grilled chicken breast - do you think that would work?

Julie Menghini

Tuesday 22nd of March 2022

Great idea! Thank you!


Monday 21st of March 2022

I cannot wait to make these again! Adding them to our monthly rotation for sure.

Julie Menghini

Tuesday 22nd of March 2022

Thank you, Susannah! I need to make them more often!

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