Mexican chicken meatballs with tomatillo sauce

  • 6
  • 20 minutes
  • 30 minutes

These delicious chicken meatballs will be a hit at your next party. One thing I have learned over the years is that everything looks better and is received more lovingly if you make that extra bit of effort with presentation.

Course: Main
Recipe contains:

  • 600 g chicken mince
  • 250 g chorizo sausage, finely chopped
  • 100 g chicken livers, finely chopped
  • 1 organic free-range egg
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 12 baby cos lettuce leaves
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1 red capsicum, thinly sliced
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • Coriander leaves, to serve
  • Tomatillo sauce
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 500 g tomatillos* , husks removed, chopped
  • 2 pinches chipotle chilli powder*
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
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A good trick is to buy organic chicken livers and freeze them in small quantities so you can grab a few at a time to add to meatball and mince recipes.

To make the tomatillo sauce, melt the coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, then add the onion and garlic and cook for 2–4 minutes, or until translucent. Stir in the tomatillo, chilli powder, cumin and stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the tomatillo has broken down. Mix in the honey (if using), remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool. Transfer the sauce to a blender and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.


Preheat the oven to 180°C. In a large bowl, combine the chicken mince, chorizo, chicken liver, egg, salt, pepper and chopped coriander. Use your hands to combine and shape the mixture into walnut-sized balls (you should make about 24). Place on a tray and set aside.


Heat the coconut oil in a large ovenproof frying pan over medium–high heat. Add the meatballs and fry for a few minutes until brown on all sides. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 5–7 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked all the way through.


Meanwhile, pour the tomatillo sauce into a saucepan, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Add a little more stock if needed.

To serve


Place the lettuce leaves on serving plates or in paper cones. Add some avocado, capsicum and cucumber and squeeze over some lime. Place a couple of meatballs on top and spoon over a good amount of tomatillo sauce. Squeeze on some more lime, if desired, and finish with some coriander leaves.