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Chicken Meatballs with Smoky Chile Tomato Broth

A smoky, slightly spicy recipe for chicken meatballs in tomato broth.

Myles Snider
Myles Snider
5 min read
Chicken Meatballs with Smoky Chile Tomato Broth

Hey, everyone!

This week's recipe is a celebration of the fact that tomatoes are officially in season. I implore you to seek out local, fresh tomatoes from your market to make this dish. It will make a world of difference.

This recipe is pretty easy to make– the sauce and the meatballs can be made ahead of time and assembled later in less than 30 minutes.

As always, let me know if you've got any questions!



Chicken Meatballs

  • 1lb (450g) ground chicken
  • 1/4 yellow onion, finely minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 tbsp (5g) garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp (5g) onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp (5g) chile powder
  • 2 egg yolks
  • salt

Smoky Chile Tomato Broth

  • 1lb (450g) cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 2-3 chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 1 cup chicken broth


  • cilantro, parsley, or other fresh herbs
  • thinly sliced red onion
  • crumbled feta, cotija, or añejo cheese


Start by making the salsa.

In a medium sized pan over medium heat, add a few tbsp of olive oil and cook down the onions for a few minutes until they're slightly translucent.

Add in the garlic, give the pan a shake, and hit everything with a big pinch of salt.

Add in the chiles, and give them a minute or so to toast in the oil.

Add in the tomatoes, give everything a toss to coat it in oil, and then salt the entire mixture. Let the tomatoes cook for a minute or two.

Pour in 1 cup of chicken broth, cover the pan, and allow everything to cook for 10-15 minutes.

Once the tomatoes are softened and cooked through, take the pan off the heat and allow the entire mixture to cool slightly.

Add the entire contents of the pan to a blender and blend it all together.

You want a slightly thick liquid– somewhere between a salsa and a broth. Add more chicken stock as needed to get the consistency you want. Taste it and adjust as needed for salt.

Once it's fully blended, pass the entire mixture through a fine-mesh strainer. This step isn't strictly necessary, but it will remove the chile seeds and tomato skins, making a much smoother sauce.

Set the sauce aside.

Now, let's make the chicken.

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs and mix them to combine. Try not to overwork the mixture too much.

The mixture will be quite wet at this point. I like to use a cookie scoop to shape the meatballs. If you're doing it with your hands, wet them with a bit of water to prevent the meat from sticking to your hands.

Lay the meatballs out on a foil-lined baking sheet. If prepping these ahead of time, cover them with plastic wrap and put them in the fridge until you're ready to cook them.

Heat a few tbsp of olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.

Once the pan is hot, add in the meatballs. Sear them for a minute or so on all sides until the entire outside of the meatballs has some browning.

Pour the sauce into the pan, and stir everything to combine it and coat the meatballs.

Turn the heat to low, and allow the mixture to simmer until the meatballs are cooked through (about 10-15 min).

Finally, garnish the mixture with thinly sliced red onions, a bunch of fresh cilantro (or other fresh herb of choice), and some cheese. I love using feta for its brininess and creaminess, but cotija, añejo, and many other types of cheeses work here.

I like to serve these over a simple bed of white rice along with some black beans and avocado.