Chipotle Meatballs with Mashed Sweet Potatoes


Enjoy homemade meatballs for multiple dinners with this big-batch recipe. Serve them over chunky mashed sweet potatoes tonight, then make this Chipotle Meatball Torta with Roasted Veggies recipe later in the week (or freeze the leftovers for up to 3 months).

Chipotle Meatballs with Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Photo: Jacob Fox
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs


Mashed Sweet Potatoes

  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

  • cup low-fat milk

  • 1 ½ tablespoons butter

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper

Chipotle Meatballs

  • 1 cup shredded zucchini

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef

  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat

  • 1 ½ cups finely chopped onion, divided

  • cup chopped fresh cilantro plus 3 tablespoons, divided

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper

  • 1 (28 ounce) can no-salt-added whole tomatoes

  • ¼ cup canned chipotle peppers in adobo

  • 3 large cloves garlic, crushed

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 3 tablespoons crumbled cotija cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.

  2. To prepare sweet potatoes: Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket. Add sweet potatoes, cover and steam until very soft, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add milk, butter, salt and pepper; mash until combined but still slightly chunky. Cover to keep warm.

  3. Meanwhile, prepare meatballs: 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 onion, 1/3 cup cilantro, 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.

  4. Bake the meatballs until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165°F, about 18 minutes.

  5. Combine tomatoes, chipotles and garlic in a blender. Blend until smooth.

  6. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 cup 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 in the meatballs, cover and cook 5 minutes more.

  7. Divide the sweet potatoes among 4 plates. Top each with 3 meatballs and 3/4 cup sauce (reserve the remaining meatballs and sauce for another use). Sprinkle with cotija and the remaining 3 tablespoons cilantro.

To make ahead

Refrigerate meatballs (Steps 1-5) for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

588 Calories
24g Fat
61g Carbs
32g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 588
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 61g 22%
Dietary Fiber 10g 36%
Total Sugars 16g
Protein 32g 64%
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 107mg 36%
Vitamin A 33841IU 677%
Sodium 686mg 30%
Potassium 1500mg 32%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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