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I was recently in Cowboy Country and had the most incredible meatloaf. That’s right: meatloaf!! I was completely drawn to it on the menu because I am a total sucker for all things ground meat (chicken, beef, turkey, or lamb) and especially love meatballs and meatloaf.
Everything we ate in beautiful Wyoming had incredible flavour and personality; it made sure to let us know where we were and why we were there. We ate the food that was indigenous to the land we were living and skiing on – with honour and respect.
I had completely forgotten about this recipe – it’s one that I wrote a long time ago. My time in Wyoming reminded me these flavour packed, healthy and easy chicken balls and inspired me to share the recipe with you. The chipotle BBQ sauce sets these meatballs apart from any average chicken ball you may had or may turned up your nose to. If you can’t find a can of chipotle peppers in adobo, feel free to substitute with 1 or 2 teaspoons of ground chipotle powder. These protein packed gems are perfect for a light dinner or simply to keep in the fridge as a lunch or snack.
Chipotle BBQ Chicken Meatballs
Making BBQ sauce is super easy and much healthier than using store-bought. Make a big batch of the sauce, divide it up and stash it in the freezer. These chicken balls are a family favourite. Sometimes, I turn these meatballs into chicken burgers and serve them on crunchy lettuce leaves, burger style.
For the Meatballs:
- 1 pound (450 grams) minced chicken
- ¼ cup Chipotle BBQ Sauce, DeliciousDish
- small handful cilantro or parsley leaves, minced
- ¼ red onion, minced
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 3 tbsp olive oil
Chipotle BBQ Sauce
- ½ cup tomato paste
- 2 chipotle chilis from the can
- 6 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup maple syrup or molasses
- 1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp sea salt or 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- ½-1 tsp chipotle chili powder, more or less to taste
- Make the Chipotle BBQ Sauce first: Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a small pot and bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer until the spices dissolve (about 2-3 minutes), stirring a few times to help it out. Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes.
- Place in a blender and puree until smooth. This can be stored in the fridge for up to one week.
- For the Chicken Meatballs: Mix the chicken, 1⁄4 cup of Chipotle BBQ Sauce, DeliciousDish, cilantro or parsley, minced onion, and salt together until uniform.
- Form into 1-2 inch balls.
- Heat fry pan (I like cast iron) over medium heat for about 10 minutes (only 2-3 minutes for a regular fry pan). Add olive oil.
- Sear meatballs on the first side for 4 minutes, repeat on the opposite side, add 2-3 tbsp. water, cover with lid and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
- Serve with additional Chipotle BBQ Sauce, DeliciousDish.