Mini Meatball Chili

Mini Meatball Chili
A hearty recipe for no-alarm chili with mini meatballs. Chili is a staple in my diet and for that reason alone I re-invent it all the time. Eating the same chili over and over again tends to get pretty boring. As many of you know I have a small obsession with meatballs. I will sneak them in wherever and whenever I can. Through no fault of my own. Blame it on my Italian genes.

This is fairly quick and simple to make. The most time-consuming part is making the meatballs that are seasoned with the same flavors as the chili itself: onion, chile powder, cumin, smoked paprika and oregano. The spices for the chili are toasted alongside the sauteed onion and then diced tomato, cannelini beans and corn are stirred in along with the pan-fried meatballs. Once you get it all together dinner can be on the table in a half hour or less.

Where this is very rich with flavor it isn’t spicy with heat. It is adaptable to any kind of hot pepper you want to add in. I’m partial to chipotles. This is a good one for kids. They will love the tiny meatballs. As much as or more than the adults.

Mini Meatball Chili

Mini Meatball Chili
(by Reeni)

For the Meatballs:
1 pound Ground Beef
1 Egg, slightly beaten
1/4 cup seasoned Bread crumbs
1/4 cup Onion, minced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Chile powder
1 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Sea or Kosher alt
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
Vegetable Oil for sauteing

For the Chili:

Vegetable Oil for sautéing
1 large Onion, diced
1 tablespoon Chile powder
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
3/4 teaspoon Sea or Kosher salt (more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
14 and ½ ounce can Diced Tomatoes with juices
14 ounce can Cannelini Beans with juices
1 cup Corn
1/2 cup water

1. In a large bowl combine all the meatball ingredients using a fork. Measure out 2 teaspoons of meat mixture and form into a ball. Use this as a guide to form the rest of the meatballs. Heat a large skillet/saute pan over medium-low heat. Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil and cook meatballs until browned, about 3-4 minutes on each side.

2. While the meatballs are cooking in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot saute the onion in two – three tablespoons of oil with the chile powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper over low heat until soft. Add the tomatoes, beans, corn, and water and mix well. Gently stir in the meatballs.

3. Simmer for 25-30 minutes adding more water if mixture becomes too thick. Taste and re-season with salt or additional spices if needed during the cooking process and again before serving. Serve with toppings like sour cream, shredded cheese, tortilla chips, and with corn muffins or crusty bread.

Print Recipe

Mini Meatball Chili

Check out the next Burger Club Challenge hosted by Kim of Stirring the Pot!

I’m sending this over to Deb of Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays round-up!

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