Juicy baked Mexican Meatballs are made with ground turkey and Tex Mex spices. Albondigas are easy to make in three simple steps and can be served as a healthy appetizer, in soup or as part of a main!

I love how versatile meatball recipes are for serving! Serve Instant Pot meatballs with pasta and sauce, or enjoy healthy turkey meatballs as an appetizer.

Mexican meatballs on a serving tray with guacamole and beer.

When I start dreaming of long walks on the never ending beach in Cabo, I pull out the ingredients to make these Mexican meatballs. While these can’t magically transport me there, when paired with pico de gallo and easy guacamole recipe, it starts to feel like I have brought Mexico right into my kitchen!

Mexican meatball recipe is made with simple ingredients of ground turkey, cheese, green onions, garlic, chili powder, paprika, cumin and salt.

With minimal work and only a few steps, these meatballs are in the oven, healthy dinner ideas is prepped, and I can get back to dreaming about those sandy beaches that much faster!

Why Mexican Meatball Recipe is Healthy?

  • Clean eating: This Mexican meatballs recipe came from a review of Lexi’s Clean Kitchen cookbook. It’s a gluten free recipe and suitable for many low carb diets.
  • Low calorie and low fat: With only 44k calories and 1g of fat per meatball, these fit into your healthy eating goals.
  • Meal prep friendly: Eat some now and save some as a freezer meal for later, comes in handy on those hectic nights when you are tempted to order take out.
  • Flavorful spices: Cumin and chili powder not only are aromatic and flavorful, but cumin can increase antioxidant intake and aid digestion while chili powder contains capsaicin, a phytochemical, that helps regulate heart and metabolic health. 

You might also love to browse these healthy ground turkey recipes!

Ingredients for Tex Mex Meatballs

  • Ground turkey: Makes these albondigas nice and lean. You can also use ground chicken if preferred.
  • Cheddar cheese: Gives flavor, moisture and since there is no egg, binding.
  • Green onion: Adds a nice mild onion taste.
  • Garlic and spices: Loads of flavor with fresh garlic, paprika, cumin and chili powder.
  • Salt: To enhance the flavor of the Tex Mex meatballs.
Ground turkey, cheese, spices, green onion, garlic.

How to Make Mexican Meatballs

  • Prep: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and prepare a large baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper or silicone mat. Spray with cooking spray.
  • Make meatball mixture: In a large mixing bowl, add turkey, cheese, green onions, garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper. Mix well and form into 30 golf ball size meatballs.

Use your hands to really get all your meatball ingredients incorporate fully! A little messy, but that is what soap is for 🙂

  • Bake meatballs: in 2 batches for 15 minutes or until browned. Serve hot with brown rice/quinoa, guacamole and pico de gallo. Or serve as an appy.

I doubled the recipe because of my bursting at the seams testosterone house. Plus, I know from experience making my porcupine meatballs, Thai meatballs and other meatball dishes like this turkey meatball soup that I always need to double up! If you don’t need as much, cut the recipe in half or freeze for later!

Optional Add-In’s and Variations

  • Fresh herbs: Add freshly minced parsley or cilantro to the albondigas mixture.
  • Additional dried spices: Oregano always pairs well with Tex Mex spices, ground coriander will add a sweet earthy taste, and use cayenne pepper or chipotle chili powder for additional heat.
  • Chipotle in adobo sauce: Add one minced chipotle with a tablespoon or two of adobe sauce to the meatball mixture for incredible smoky heat, works flavor magic just like in vegetarian chili.
  • Other ground meat: Ground beef or pork could be used, your meatballs will just be ‘greasier’.
  • Cheese: Use your favorite ‘hard’ cheese (freshly grated of course). Any type of cheddar from mild to sharp, colby or Tex Mex. A pepperjack cheese would really add that Mexican heat!

Tips for Best Results

  • Use parchment paper or silicone baking mat: This both prevents meatballs from sticking to the pan and makes cleanup a breeze. 
  • Color of baking sheet:  I used a dark baking sheet. Light colour like aluminum will increase baking time.
  • Do not skip cheese: Since this recipe does not use egg for binding, cheese acts as the binding and moisturizing ingredients.
  • Add egg: That being said, if you find that your Mexican turkey meatballs aren’t holding together, add an egg to the mix.
  • Use a small scoop: Uniform sizing not only looks better but also means that the meatballs all get done at the same time.
  • Flip halfway through cooking time: This allows meatballs to brown on both sides, especially great if serving as an appetizer.

FAQs

What are Mexican meatballs made of?

Ground meat (turkey in this recipe) and spices. Sometimes they will have breadcrumbs with egg as the binder, this recipe for Mexican meatballs uses cheese as the binder.

Why are they also called albondigas?

The spanish word for meatball translates to ‘albondigas’. Traditionally, albondigas are served in Mexican meatball soup with a flavorful tomato broth.

Can I make these Tex Mex meatballs dairy free?

If you are omitting the cheese completely, you will need to replace it with 2 eggs.

Mexican meatballs garnished with pico and served over rice on a plate.

How to Serve Tex Mex Meatballs?

  • Dinner: For a complete meal, I like to make a side of brown rice or low carb cilantro lime cauliflower rice. Chopped tomatoes, red onion, and cilantro make a lazy pico de gallo. And smashed some avocado with garlic and cilantro to make even lazier guacamole. If you are Mexican, judge me all you want re: garlic but this is how I like my Ukrainian guacamole- though you can, of course, make this easy guacamole or salsa guacamole, too. You could even serve it grain bowl style and add some cooked beans.
  • Appetizer: What is great about this recipe is that it can be served as an appetizer. Yaaaay. Those are always tricky to make clean. These meatballs were so easy to make within 20 minutes and come out delicious and full of flavor! Serve as a game day appetizer alongside chicken topped cucumber bites, turkey sliders, black bean nachos, and seven-layer dip!

Traditionally, albondigas, are served in a soup with vegetables, rice or potatoes, and a tomato broth. Try swapping the ground meat in stuffed pepper soup for these meatballs or add them to Instant Pot vegetable soup for your own version of Mexican meatball soup!

How to Store Mexican Turkey Meatballs?

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days for healthy lunch ideas or freeze leftovers for up to 3 months.

Freeze: Lay rolled unbaked meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, freeze completely and transfer to a large Ziploc bag. Bake from frozen following recipe’s instructions + 10 minutes. You could also freeze cooked meatballs in a freezer safe storage container, just thaw, reheat and eat.

Although I prefer to cook these ‘fresh’, you could also freeze cooked Tex Mex meatballs in a freezer safe storage container, thaw overnight in refrigerator, reheat and eat. Be careful not to overheat your meatballs as they might turn out dry.

More Healthy Mexican Recipes To Try

Mexican meatballs on a serving tray garnished with pico.
mexican meatball recipe on a serving with toothpicks and guac

Mexican Meatballs

Juicy baked Mexican Meatballs are made with ground turkey and Tex Mex spices. Albondigas are easy to make in three simple steps and can be served as a healthy appetizer, in soup or as part of a main!
5 from 12 votes
Servings 30 meatballs
Calories 44
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients 
 

Mexican Meatballs:

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line large baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.*
  • In a large mixing bowl, add turkey, cheese, green onions, garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper and mix well using your hands. Form into 30 golf ball size meatballs (I use small ice cream scoop).
  • Bake meatballs in 2 batches for 15 minutes or until browned. Serve hot with brown rice/quinoa, guacamole and pico de gallo. Or serve as an appy.

Notes

Recipe used by permission from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen Cookbook.
  • Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze leftovers for up to 3 months.
  • Cook from frozen: Lay rolled uncooked meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, freeze completely and transfer to a large Ziploc bag. Bake from frozen following recipe’s instructions + 10 minutes.
  • Use parchment paper or silicone baking mat: This both prevents meatballs from sticking to the pan and makes cleanup a breeze. 
  • Color of baking sheet:  I used a dark baking sheet. Light colour like aluminum will increase baking time.
  • Do not skip cheese: Since this recipe does not use egg for binding, cheese acts as the binding and moisturizing ingredients.
  • Use a small scoop: Uniform sizing not only looks better but also means that the meatballs all get done at the same time.
  • Flip halfway through cooking time: This allows meatballs to brown on both sides, especially great if serving as an appetizer.
See recipe post for more tips and FAQs.

Nutrition

Serving: 1meatball | Calories: 44kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 114mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I just made this recipe and live in Arizona (on the Mexico border. It was delish! I did not use cheese as I am dairy free, but it still was good. I used 1 lb. of organic turkey breast. I made cilantro lime rice with cumin and a kale salad. We had salsa and tortilla chips. Thank you for sharing 🤗

  2. 5 stars
    I’m so glad I checked you out! I am loving soooo many of your recipes! I am especially jazzed about the Spinich & Fetta cheese with balsamic dressing! My sister made that & brought it to Thanksgiving. I absolutely fell in love with it. I kept forgetting to ask her for the recipe. Now I have it! I’m going over to the store to get the ingredients so I can have some for dinner! You are great! Thanks

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