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Mexican Meatball Bowls
with rice / lime slaw / cheese

Active: 45 min Total: 45 min
We love variations on a burrito bowl, but this one is particularly fun, using Mexican meatballs as the protein. Assemble the bowls together or set all of the toppings out and let everyone assemble their own.


Mexican Meatball Bowls:
  • Onions, medium - 1/2 , diced
  • Limes - 1 , wedges
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Mexican spice blend (ingredients listed separately) - 2 1/2 tsp
  • Tomato sauce / puree (15 oz / 397 g) - 1 can
  • Cheese, shredded Mexican blend - 1 cup (sub cheddar)
  • Yogurt, plain or Greek - 1/3 cup
Lime Slaw:
  • Coleslaw mix - 10 oz
  • Oil, cooking - 2 Tbsp
  • Lime juice - 1 Tbsp
  • Brown sugar - 1/2 tsp
Mexican Spice Blend:
  • Salt - 1 tsp
  • Cumin, ground - 1 tsp
  • Chili powder - 1 tsp
  • Coriander, ground - 1/2 tsp
  • Oregano, dried - 1/2 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
  • Garlic powder - 1/2 tsp
White or Brown Rice:
  • Rice, uncooked white or brown - 1 cup
Mexican Meatballs:
  • Ground beef, lean - 1 lb
  • Panko breadcrumbs, gluten-free - 1/4 cup (sub any gluten-free breadcrumbs)
  • Eggs - 1
  • Mexican spice blend (ingredients listed separately) - 2 1/2 tsp


  1. Rice - (Double if making Thursday’s meal.) For white rice, rinse until clear. Fill a saucepan or Dutch oven (or rice cooker) with rice, water (use 2:1 ratio for water to rice), and some salt. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Once water boils, stir, lower heat to a low-medium, and cover. Check white rice after ~20 min; brown at ~45 min. Rice is done when it's absorbed all the water. If it's not done, leave the cover on until all water has been absorbed. Take cover off to release steam and fluff with a wooden spoon after 5 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Onions - Dice onions. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Make spice blend - Combine salt, cumin, chili powder, ground coriander, oregano, black pepper, and garlic powder. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  4. Make meatballs - Combine ground beef, panko, eggs, and first portion of Mexican spice blend (portion for meatballs). Gently mix together with a spoon or with your hands. Form into 1” / 2.5 cm balls. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
  5. Make coleslaw - Toss coleslaw mix with oil (portion for coleslaw), lime juice, and brown sugar. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
  6. Limes - Slice limes.

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  1. Heat a Dutch oven or large skillet over medium heat. Add oil (portion for meatball bowls) and then meatballs. Cook meatballs, turning occasionally, until golden brown on the outside, 5 to 6 minutes total. (Note: They don’t need to be cooked all the way through because they will finish cooking in the sauce.) Transfer meatballs to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving pan over heat.
  2. If the pan looks dry, add a splash of oil. Add onions to heated pan and saute until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add spice blend (portion for bowls) and saute for 1 minute.
  3. Pour tomato sauce over onions and spices and stir, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer.
  4. Add meatballs to sauce and cover. Simmer, covered, to let meatballs cook through and flavors develop, 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. While meatballs cook, give coleslaw a toss and season with some salt and pepper.
  6. If rice was made ahead, reheat in the microwave. (Reserve half if doubled.)
  7. Set out all ingredients and assemble bowls with rice, meatballs, coleslaw, cheese, and yogurt. Serve lime wedges on the side for squeezing over top.



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