Southwest Meatball Skillet

A one-dish meal featuring meatballs with spicy corn, tomatoes and black beans.

To me, this recipe is all about the seasonings with chipotle peppers, cilantro, oregano, chile powder, cumin and my current obsession: smoked paprika. You need this spice in your life!

I’ve been using it wherever I use chile powder and/or cumin. The trio is a powerhouse. The smoked paprika adds a subtle, smoky and unique depth of flavor that will have people asking “what’s in this?”.

The spices bring the entire dish to life starting with the tender meatballs being browned in a small amount of oil until they get all crusty and caramelized on the outside. The secret is to preheat the pan and allow the meatballs to cook for a few minutes on each side without disturbing them.

The chipotle pepper is in the skillet with the corn, tomatoes and black beans along with onion, garlic and all those spices I mentioned. It’s kind of like a warm, over-the-top salsa. The tomatoes and their juices along with a small amount of broth keep it moist without being soupy.

You can serve this as is with warm corn tortillas or add a sprinkle of cheese and a dollop of sour cream or guacamole.

Southwest Meatball Skillet

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Southwest Meatball Skillet

A one-dish meal featuring meatballs with spicy corn, tomatoes and black beans.


1 pound ground beef (like sirloin)
1 egg
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed between fingers
1 teaspoon chile powder
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced + 1 teaspoon of the sauce (or 1 + ½ teaspoons chile powder)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup yellow or white corn
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes with juices
1/2 cup low-sodium beef or chicken broth
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
warm corn tortillas, for serving


  1. In a large bowl combine with a fork the beef, egg, bread crumbs, spices, cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few cracks of black pepper. Form into meatballs about the size of a golf ball.
  2. In a large skillet heat oil on medium-high; add meatballs and brown on all sides. Remove the meatballs to a platter. Drain off the grease leaving about a tablespoon in the pan.
  3. Add onion and cook over medium-low heat 3-4 minutes; add garlic; cook until fragrant. Add chipotle pepper, adobo sauce and spices; cook 1 minute.
  4. Add corn, beans, tomatoes, broth and lime juice; season lightly with salt and pepper; mix well; return meatballs to pan.
  5. Simmer 10-12 minutes. Stir in cilantro and serve.


Adapted from Clean Eating

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  1. says

    Smoked paprika is the best! I also love love love smoked sea salt – William Sonoma makes a great hickory smoked sea salt that I use a lot.

    This is a great recipe! It’s going on the list right now:)

  2. says

    Yeah, isn’t smoked paprika the best? That and dried chipotle powder are my favorites.

    This meatball dish rocks and is just breaking out with flavor.

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