This wildly easy and delicious appetizer throws together in under 20 minutes from start to serve. I was in a bit of a time crunch and even used the pre-chopped veggies from the produce department and pre-mixed taco seasoning (no judgements). The result was a light and fluffy, veggie filled, cheesy ball of taco goodness ready to serve. You can whip up some chipotle mayo or break open a jar of jalapeno relish or sweet and hot jalapenos to set off the flavors.
These beauties can be cooked to order or ahead of time and reheated in the oven, air fryer, stove top, or microwave in a pinch.
I took the leftovers and sliced them up on tex-mex breakfast pizza with eggs, salsa, and melty cheese.
The Supply List
- 1lb Wild Earth Ground Beef
- 1/2C Tortilla Chips - crushed to Panko consistency
- 1 egg
- 1/3C Onion - finely diced
- 1/3C Cilantro - chopped
- 1/4C Bell Peppers - finely diced
- 1 T Olive Oil
- 2T Taco Seasoning or more to taste
- 1/4 Block of Pepper jack or Colby jack cut into 1/2 inch cubes about 12 (can also use shredded)
The Prep Steps
- Place thawed ground beef in a bowl.
- Add in all ingredients except the cheese cubes. (If you're using shredded cheese, just incorporate with the mix)
- Mix together with your hands or a fork. Make sure everything is well incorporated but don't overwork.
- Form a meatball roughly the size of a golf ball around a cube of cheese and set aside.
- Pre-heat to 400*, lower to 375*
- add the meatballs in a single layer to the tray.
- Cook 12-14 minutes until the outside is browned, the cheese is melted and the beef is cooked.
Cast Iron Stovetop:
- Add 2T or so olive oil to a large cast iron skillet and turn to med-high heat. Allow to preheat until the oil begins to pop but isn’t smoking.
- Using tongs, add the meatballs to the hot oil. Sear on all sides and lower the temperature to MedLow continue cooking and turning until well browned and evenly cooked.
Pre-heat to 375* Arrange the meatballs on a tray and cook for 15-20 minutes until done. You can use parchment paper for easier cleanup. The cheese may melt out a bit.
We loaded ours up with Trader Joes Sweet Hot Jalapenos but you could also serve with pepper jelly, salsa, chipotle mayo, or queso dipping sauce!