Cheese stuffed meatballs with salsa verde is a family favorite comfort food meal! Make this easy Mexican meatball recipe for dinner tonight.
If you like tomatillo red chili salsa or salsa verde, then these Mexican meatballs should be right up your alley. They’re cheese stuffed meatballs, so of course they taste fantastic.
Even better though, they’re made with ground turkey, and I use oats instead of breadcrumbs. This means they’re lower in calories and fat than ground beef meatballs.
Actually, meatballs in general are a budget-friendly meal, and they freeze and reheat really well. This means you can can use them to make meatball sandwiches, or serve them with pasta and your favorite sauce.
Mexican cheese stuffed meatballs
For a healthier Mexican meal, this recipe for cheese stuffed meatballs uses a tomatillo-based roasted salsa verde. Tucked inside the healthy ground turkey mixture is delicious melted cheese!
Ingredient notes and substitutions
- Ground turkey– If you aren’t a fan of ground turkey but still want to keep this dish lower in fat and calories, use ground chicken or a lean red meat like bison.
- Oats– Using ground oats instead of breadcrumbs keeps this recipe gluten free, and oats are heart healthy, too! You don’t need to buy anything special, just plain rolled oats. Then, grind them up in a blender or food processor.
- Salsa verde– My recipe for roasted salsa verde with tomatillos doesn’t take long to make, and the flavor is much better than store bought (in my opinion). But, feel free to use jarred salsa if you’d like.
- Cheese cubes– I used pepper jack cheese, but feel free to use Monterey jack or any other variety of meltable cheese. If you want to use an authentic Mexican cheese, a good option would be Oaxaca cheese because it melts really well.
If you use a variety that’s sold in sticks, it makes thing super simple prepwise. Pepper jack comes in blocks and 1-ounce sticks, similar to string cheese. You could use shreds if you’d like, but if so, I suggest buying a block to shred yourself. Packages of shredded cheese have an anti-caking powder on them, which prevents them from melting well.
Video: Making Mexican meatballs
This recipe is pretty simple to make and from start to finish, you’re looking at 40-45 minutes to make and bake the meatballs.
To see the recipe in action, watch the video located in the recipe card at the bottom of this post!
Recipe tips and notes
- Don’t overwork the meat mixture.
Obviously, you need to combine all of the ingredients together, but if you work with it too much, you could end up with dry meatballs.
- Tips for stuffing meatballs with cheese.
This meatball recipe should give you enough mixture for 16 cheese stuffed Mexican meatballs.
I use a medium sized cookie scoop to dish out the meatball mixture, or an ice cream scoop will work too. You could even use a kitchen scale to weigh the mixture, but you really don’t need to. The goal is to make them similar in size so they cook evenly.
When you have a scoop full of meatball mixture, slide a cube of cheese into the scoop with the mixture. Using a scoop helps prevent the cheese from poking out the other side. I had this problem when I tried holding the mixture in my hand.
After wrapping the meat around the cheese, remove it from the scoop and roll it into a smooth ball.
Yes, meatballs may be frozen, either raw or baked, for up to 4 months. Just be sure to freeze them in a well sealed, airtight container or zip-top freezer bag.
If they aren’t reheated properly, meatballs can dry out. The best way to reheat them is in the oven. To keep them moist, reheat them in a baking pan with up to 1/2 cup of liquid. It could be chicken stock, salsa, or even water. Also, cover the pan with a lid or sheet of aluminum foil to trap the moisture inside.
Serving suggestions for cheese stuffed meatballs
I love Mexican and Tex Mex foods, so salsa verde was a no-brainer for me. But there are plenty of other ways to serve up a juicy, cheese stuffed ground turkey meatball!
If you want to stick with the Mexican meatball theme, you could serve them covered in classic fire roasted salsa or green enchilada sauce on a bed of either Mexican red rice or arroz verde (green rice).
Want something simple, delicious, and kid-friendly? Go with a classic, like meatless spaghetti sauce, and serve it with pasta instead of rice.
Of course, let’s not forget what’s inside the meatballs… cheese! What could be more delicious than serving cheese stuffed turkey meatball sandwiches covered in cheese sauce?! Talk about the perfect game day food!
No matter how you decide to serve them up, I hope your family loves this comfort food dinner as much as mine does. Enjoy!
This post, originally published on Kevin Is Cooking in March 2016, was last updated with new content on Sept. 23, 2021..
Mexican Cheese Stuffed Meatballs + Video
- 1 lb ground turkey or other ground meat of choice
- 4 oz green chilies
- 1/2 cup ground oats or breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp Mexican oregano or traditional (Mediterranean) oregano
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 8 oz pepper jack cheese cut into 1/2-inch cubes (See Note 1)
- 3 cups salsa verde or tomatillo salsa
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- To a large mixing bowl, add ground turkey, green chilies, ground oats, egg, oregano, garlic powder, salt and cumin. Use your hands to thoroughly combine ingredients.
- Next, press each cheese cube into cookie scoop with turkey mixture and then mold the meat mixture around to completely cover the cheese.
- Place meatballs in a greased baking pan. Pour salsa verde or tomatillo salsa over the meatballs, then cover pan with aluminum foil to seal. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and bake covered for 25 minutes, remove foil, and bake uncovered for 5 minutes.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.