Slow Cooker Tex-Mex Meatballs Recipe

The marriage of Texas and Mexican food is one that goes back centuries to before Europeans made their way to the United States. Before the Lone Star State got its name, its first tribal inhabitants used ingredients from each region to create tasty recipes that paved the way for Tex-Mex food as we know it today. As noted by chef Adán Medrano, the modern combination of cuisine from both regions — Tex-Mex — is distinct from Texas Mexican food and dates back to about 1900 in San Antonio.

Recipe creator and dietitian Kristen Carli, who is available on Instagram, has her own take in the form of Tex-Mex slow cooker meatballs. This simple recipe has a preparation time of just five minutes and a cook time of four hours, during which you can make the rest of your meal or just relax knowing you have a delicious treat ahead of you. Now, let's jump in to making these delicious meatballs, which can be an appetizer, a side, or the top of a main course.

Gather the ingredients for your Tex-Mex slow cooker meatballs

You'll need one pound ground beef, one-and-a-fourth Mexican shredded cheese (cheddar also works), one teaspoon chili powder, one teaspoon ground cumin, one teaspoon salt, half a teaspoon pepper, one tablespoon chipotle adobo sauce, half a teaspoon minced garlic, one egg, and one 15-ounce can of Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilis. Although recipe creator Kristen Carli used 80/20 ground beef for this recipe, you can use any kind and even swap it out for other kinds of meat. "These would be great with turkey or chicken too!" Carli said.

Combine your meatball ingredients

With the exception of the can of Rotel tomatoes and some of your cheese, throw all of your ingredients into a large bowl. You'll need the ground beef, Mexican shredded cheese, chili powder, one teaspoon ground cumin, one teaspoon salt, half a teaspoon pepper, one tablespoon chipotle adobo sauce, half a teaspoon minced garlic, and one egg. Now, stir the mixture until you have a resulting blend of all the combined ingredients. If necessary, use your hands to ensure an even consistency.

Roll your Tex-Mex meatballs

Now it's time to roll your meatballs. Using your hands, roll your mixture into evenly sized meatballs. Be sure that your hands are lightly oiled before attempting to roll them — If your hands are dry, the meat mixture will adhere to your skin. For extra safety while rolling your raw meat, place each finished meatball onto a plate or tray lined with parchment paper. Not only will this mean less of a mess to clean, it will minimize contamination in your work area.

Slowcook your Tex-Mex meatballs

Place your meatballs into the bottom of a small, four-quart slow cooker. Now, pour the can of Rotel tomatoes over the meatballs, and top the tomatoes off with the remaining one cup of cheese. Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook your meatballs on the high setting for four hours. The meatballs should have an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit when they're done cooking.

Serve your Tex-Mex mex slow cooker meatballs

Once your meatballs are cooked and ready to eat, you can decide on how you want to serve them. Recipe creator Kristen Carli offered a few suggestions for this flexible recipe, which can be a appetizer, side, or addition to the main course.

"This is a great dish to have as an appetizer with chips and salsa. It makes for a great dish to bring to a football party or potluck. For a main course, I would add this to Mexican rice and calabacitas," Carli said.

If you have leftovers, you can store them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to four days, Carli advised

Slow Cooker Tex-Mex Meatballs Recipe
4.9 from 39 ratings
These slow cooker Tex-Mex meatballs with ground meat of choice, shredded cheese and Rotel canned tomatoes are an easy go-to for an appetizer, lunch or dinner.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Tex-Mex slow cooker meatballs
Total time: 4 hours, 5 minutes
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 ¼ cup Mexican shredded cheese
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle adobo sauce
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 1 15-ounce can Rotel tomatoes with chili
  1. Add the ground beef, ¼ cup of the cheese, chili powder, ground cumin, salt, pepper, chipotle adobo sauce, mined garlic, and egg into a large bowl.
  2. Stir to combine. If needed, combine with hands.
  3. Roll mixture into small balls.
  4. Place meatballs in the bottom of a small 4-quart slow cooker.
  5. Pour 1 15-ounce can of Rotel tomatoes with chili over meatballs. Top with 1 cup of the remaining cheese.
  6. Place lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours.
  7. Serve with side dishes or as an appetizer.
Calories per Serving 313
Total Fat 24.1 g
Saturated Fat 10.6 g
Trans Fat 1.2 g
Cholesterol 104.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 3.5 g
Dietary Fiber 1.6 g
Total Sugars 2.0 g
Sodium 418.3 mg
Protein 20.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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