Enjoy homemade meatballs for multiple dinners with this big-batch recipe. Make this crispy torta one night and refrigerate the leftover meatballs and sauce to make this Chipotle Meatballs with Mashed Sweet Potatoes recipe later in the week (or freeze the leftovers for up to 3 months).

EatingWell Magazine, September 2021


Credit: Jacob Fox

Recipe Summary

50 mins
1 hr

Nutrition Profile:



Chipotle Meatballs & Roasted Veggies


Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare meatballs and veggies: Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.

  • Squeeze zucchini in a clean kitchen towel to remove excess moisture. Place the zucchini in a large bowl and add egg, beef, panko, 1/2 cup chopped onion, cilantro, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Mix gently with your hands until just combined (do not overmix). Using about 3 tablespoons to make each, shape the mixture into 24 meatballs. Place 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.

  • Toss peppers and 1 cup sliced onion with 2 teaspoons oil in a medium bowl; spread on another large rimmed baking sheet.

  • Bake the meatballs until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165°F, 15 to 18 minutes. Roast the veggies, stirring once halfway, until browned, about 20 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, chipotles and garlic in a blender. Blend until smooth.

  • Heat the remaining 1/4 cup oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 cup chopped onion and chili powder and cook, stirring, until the onion is beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook for 5 minutes.

  • Stir the baked meatballs into the sauce, cover and cook 5 minutes more.

  • To assemble torta: Squeeze lime half over the roasted vegetables. Sprinkle with oregano and toss to combine. Combine black beans, sour cream and salt in a small bowl; mash with a fork to a spreadable consistency.

  • Cut baguette into 4 pieces and split each horizontally. Hollow out most of the soft bread from the center (reserve the breadcrumbs for another use). Divide the bean mixture, 8 coarsely chopped meatballs, the vegetables, 1/2 cup sauce from the meatballs and 1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco among the sandwiches. (Reserve the remaining meatballs and sauce for another use.) Coat the tops of the sandwiches with cooking spray. Cook in a panini maker until the bread is crispy, 4 to 6 minutes.

To make ahead

Refrigerate meatballs (Steps 1-7) for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.


Panini maker

Nutrition Facts

1 torta
425 calories; fat 14g; cholesterol 66mg; sodium 559mg; carbohydrates 51g; dietary fiber 9g; protein 30g; sugars 4g; niacin equivalents 1mg; saturated fat 4g; vitamin a iu 498IU; potassium 528mg.