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Mexican Meatballs and Rice with Nacho Cheese Sauce

From An Expat Cooks

Mexican Meatballs and Rice with Nacho Cheese Sauce

Serves 6


For the meatballs:

  • 1.5 pounds (680 g) ground beef
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) milk
  • 1 cup (90 g) bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 yellow onion, grated
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 mL) olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 mL) chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 mL) cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 mL) paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the nacho cheese sauce:

  • 3 Tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter
  • 3 Tablespoons (23 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (240 mL) milk
  • 1 cup (115 g) sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced (or substitute Tabasco or cayenne pepper)
  • salt and pepper

For the Mexican rice:

  • 3 Tablespoons (45 mL) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (185 g) long grain rice, uncooked
  • 1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) tomato sauce
  • 1-14 ounce (414 mL) can of chicken broth
  • 3 Tablespoons (45 mL) finely chopped cilantro + more for garnishing


For the meatballs: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with baking spray. In a large bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients well. Form into one inch sized balls and place on baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven (drain them on paper towels if desired) and place on a bed of prepared rice. Drizzle with the cheese sauce and additional cilantro; serve immediately!

For the nacho cheese sauce: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk for a minute or two. Slowly add the milk, keep whisking to avoid lumps. Keep whisking as the sauce thickens over a couple of minutes. Add the cheese, jalapeno, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until cheese is melted and it's all combined. Remove from heat. If the sauce gets too thick, thin it with some milk. Serve with meatballs.

For the rice: Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the rice and gently stir until rice begins to lightly brown. Add the garlic, salt, and cumin and stir until the rice looks golden. Add the tomato sauce, chicken broth, and cilantro. Turn the heat to medium high and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn the heat to low, cover the saucepan, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.