An easy, flavor-packed one skillet meal that doubles up as a weeknight dinner that your whole family will love, or a great crowd-pleasing dish for game day or a party! Tender, spiced beef meatballs simmered in a delicious Picante sauce and topped with gooey, melty cheese – this Cheesy Mexican Meatball Skillet is super versatile too!
I’ve got one saucy recipe for you guys today!
Whether you have friends and family coming over for a party, or a holiday gathering, or for game day, you can never have enough party food recipes or snack ideas, or genuine crowd-pleasing dishes. This Cheesy Mexican Meatball Skillet is all that and MORE! Flavorful and tender spiced beef meatballs simmered in Pace Picante sauce and topped with gooey, stretchy, melty cheese. And then paired with some Cheesy Salsa Puff Pastry Chips for one family-pleasing, crowd-pleasing adventurous dish!
So let’s cut straight to the chase. Here’s why we LOVE this dish!
I made beef meatballs from scratch here and they are spiced with paprika, oregano, cumin and cilantro. But you can use store-bought meatballs to make the process much easier too. Plus you can use beef, pork, chicken or turkey meatballs – whichever you prefer. Simmering them with that flavorful sauce makes them juicy and delicious. Here are some more flavor-packed meatball recipes to choose from; cocktail meatballs, Indonesian beef meatballs, and Sri Lankan meatball curry.
I absolutely cannot get enough of the sauce. It’s a plus, that it’s already made, so you don’t have to go into the trouble of making your own and it’s made with handpicked jalapenos and it’s tangy with an extra kick of spice. If you know me, you know I love spice and spicy and I love a easy, and tasty shortcut! It’s packed with all the flavor you need, so you don’t have to add anything else. You can even use medium or mild Pace picante sauce or even salsa, instead of the spicy picante sauce to make this dish too. It’s really flexible.
I also recently served these for guests who eat gluten free, where I simply substituted the breadcrumbs for gluten free breadcrumbs! Easy peasy. And I paired this dish with pork stuffed hatch chile (and you can check this post to learn how to roast hatch chile in the oven), and no one missed out on anything! 🙂
So you got vegetarians in your midst? Make vegetarian meatballs instead.
I’ve made this several times already, and it’s perfectly freezable (without the cheese on top). When you’re ready to serve, simply reheat in the oven or stove top and then broil with the cheese on top for that melty cheese magic!
Leftovers? No problem!
I have stuffed these cheesy meatballs in empanadas for some really flavorful meatball empanadas too!
Or how about on top of homemade or store-bought pizza for spicy meatball pizzas or with pasta for a zingy, flavorful twist on the classic spaghetti and meatballs?
But hey, if you’re like Mr K, you’ll probably have the leftovers for breakfast the very next day, with a glass of horchata! Just reheat the meatballs with an egg and some extra salsa for a hearty, Mexican-flavored Shakshuka! 🙂
This recipe is a doozy guys! It’s so easy because you can use your favorite Picante sauce (and I love Pace® sauces) and it’s just so flavorful, this will soon be a family favorite for you.
And of course those Salsa Puff Pastry “chips”! You won’t believe how something so simple can be so addictive. I used homemade puff pastry which I made using my recipe here, but you can use store-bought puff pastry too. All you need to do is lightly spread some Salsa and sprinkle just a bit of cheese on top, cut it into triangles and bake until the puff pastry is puffed up and golden. Enjoy them just like that, or use them as “chips” to scoop out that flavorful cheesy, saucy goodness in your cheesy meatballs skillet. It’s so good, Mr K wolfs down the whole plate every time I make it.
Pace Salsa and Picante sauces are extremely versatile, you can use them to give all your favorite snacks and dishes some flavorful, spicy sass! I mean what’s better than spiced meatballs? Saucy, spicy, cheesy meatballs is what.
We love making meatball skillets at home, and one of our favorites is this chicken meatball curry that we make regularly. This is a twist on that recipe by using store bought Picante sauce, and the added cheese!
Cheesy Mexican Meatball Skillet
Mexican Meatball Skillet
- 1 ½ lbs ground beef
- ⅔ cup Italian breadcrumbs (unflavored) substitute with GF breadcrumbs if required
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp cayenne
- ½ tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 tbsp chopped cilantro optional
- ½ jalapeno finely chopped (or 1 serrano pepper if you like it spicier)
- 1 egg
Cheesy Mexican Meatball Skillet
- 1 bottle Picante Sauce bottle 680 g / 24 oz
- 85 g Mozzarella Cheese freshly shredded
- 85 g Monterey Jack or Manchego cheese freshly shredded
- Chopped cilantro
Salsa Puff Pastry Chips
- 1 sheet puff pastry thawed, more if needed
- ½ cup salsa not too chunky
- Shredded cheese of your choice
- Mix all the ingredients for the meatballs in a bowl, until combined.
- Using a 2 inch scoop, portion the ground beef and form meatballs about 1.5 inches in diameter (about 26-28 meatballs).
- Heat a 9 inch skillet over medium-high heat with some oil (olive oil or vegetable oil).
- When the skillet is hot, brown the meatballs in batches (not more than 5 minutes for each batch). Set the meatballs aside.
- Lower the heat to medium. Drain any excess oil in the pan, and add the Picante sauce to the skillet. Bring to a simmer.
- Transfer the meatballs to the pan and cover well in the Picante sauce.
- Cover the pan and let it simmer for about 10 minutes on medium heat (the meatballs should be cooked through). The meatballs can be frozen at this stage - just let them cool completely, cover and refrigerate or freeze.
- When ready to serve, sprinkle shredded cheese over the meatballs in the skillet. The cheese will start melting as the meatballs and the Picante sauce will be hot.
- Place the skillet under the broiler and let the cheese brown.
- Remove from the oven when the cheese has browned, sprinkle fresh cilantro and serve immediately with salsa puff pastry chips and/or tortillas and guacamole.
Puff Pastry Chips
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Place the thawed puff pastry sheet on a floured surface and roll it out to make it thinner.
- Spread a thin layer of salsa on the puff pastry sheet and sparsely sprinkle some cheese on top, and cut the sheet into desired shapes (I cut them into triangles using a pizza cutter).
- Place the puff pastry "chips” on a parchment paper-lined baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for 15 - 20 minutes, until they are puffed up and golden brown in color.
- Serve with the cheesy Mexican meatball skillet.
“This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.”