Chronicles of a Chipotle Pepper; Entry 4: Southwest Style Meatball Skillet

This is a recipe I pinned from, because I thought it looked delicious!  (Spoiler: It was!).  The funny thing is, I had already decided to make this dish before I even realized that it called for a Chipotle Pepper in Adobo Sauce…I originally didn’t plan for it to end up in this series!  How fun is that?!  It was just…meant to be!  😉

I did change it up just a bit, because I was feeling energized and creative that evening, but however you make this its gonna be great.  I just watched a special on travel channel about meatballs.  Apparently it is a revolution.  I unknowingly joined the revolution.  The meatball revolution.  You should join too.  And make this skillet!  All you need is a little quinoa and you have a whole meal.  We both LOVED the flavor of these meatballs.  They were moist and packed with tastiness!  You gotta try!


So, here’s what you need for the Meatballs:

  • 1 lb Ground Turkey or Beef (I used turkey because it’s what I had in the freezer)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 C Ezekiel Bread Crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp Chile Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Chipotle Chile Powder (Optional)
  • 1 tsp dried Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dry Cilantro (Note, I used these two because I didn’t have any fresh.  It tasted great, but if you have fresh go for it!)
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dry Parsley (Note, I used these two because I didn’t have any fresh.  It tasted great, but if you have fresh go for it!)
  • 3 Pieces Turkey Bacon
  • Salt and Pepper…of course
  • 1 Tbsp Butter or Coconut Oil

And for the Skillet:

  • 1/2 Large Onion, Diced
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Chipotle Pepper, Minced (With tsp of sauce)
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1 C Corn
  • 1 1/2 C Black Beans
  • 1 (15 oz) Can Diced Tomatoes in juices
  • 1/2 C Broth (Beef or Chicken)
  • Tbsp Lime Juice
  • 8 oz Tomato Sauce
  • 3 Pieces Bacon
  • 1 C Uncooked Quinoa


And here’s how you do it:

  1. First things first:  Bacon.  We don’t want the bacon to be soggy…but we don’t want it to be too black either since it is going to continue cooking.  So get out your big cast iron skillet and get it cooked (all 6 pieces) until it is just barely starting to get browned.  Just a few minutes!  Now cut it into little strips for both uses: meatballs and skillet.
  2. Grab all of your meat ball ingredients (except the butter or coconut oil) and combine them in a bowl (including half of the bacon you just cut up!).  Form into balls (the original says golf ball sized!)
  3. In same skillet, melt the butter or coconut oil…hopefully you still have some of the bacon grease in there too, even though turkey bacon is lean it still produces a little of that goodness!!  Very carefully add the meat balls and cook for a couple minutes, turning to get a brown around the outside.  Remove from the skillet for now.  If you are using beef, you will need to drain some of the fat off at this point, but leave some to cook the veggies in.  🙂
  4. Add onion and cook until beginning to become transparent.  Add garlic and cook about 30 seconds more.
  5. Add Chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, paprika, and cumin.  Stir and cook about a minute more.
  6. Add corn, beans, tomatoes, broth, lime juice, tomato sauce, salt and pepper and mix well.  Return meat balls to the pan along with the remainder of the turkey bacon.
  7. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, preferably covered.  Serve over a hot steamy pile of quinoa (to cook that, just boil 2 C water, add quinoa, and simmer for 12ish minutes ;))

Yaaaaay yummy!  Seriously super delish, we brought it to the church the next day for lunch cause we were going to be working there all day…and just ate it out of the Tupperware with a fork and enjoyed ourselves immensely.  The Rodgers family has joined the Meat Ball Revolution.  Will you?!


After you have partially cooked your bacon to just barely browned status, add all of your meatball ingredients (minus butter) to a bowl and combine.

Photo (8)Form into golf ball sized meat balls…

Photo (9)Heat butter or coconut oil in a large cast iron skillet.

Photo (10)Gently add meat balls…

Photo (11)Cook just a couple minutes, turning to get a browned color on the outside.

Photo (12)Remove from skillet.  If needed, drain some excess grease from the bottom of the skillet, but leaving just enough to cook your veggies in.

Add your onion. and cook a few minutes until beginning to become translucent.  Add garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds.  Stir in Chipotle Pepper, Adobo Sauce, Paprika, and Cumin.  Stir and cook about a minute more.  Add corn, beans, tomatoes, broth, lime juice, tomato sauce, salt and pepper and mix well.

Photo (14)

Add meatballs back to the skillet, along with the turkey bacon.

Photo (16)Bring to a simmer, and let it cook about 10-15 minutes, preferably covered.

Photo (18)Yummy!

Photo (19)Pile on top of hot quinoa and enjoy!  We sure did!

Chronicles of a Chipotle Pepper; Entry 1: Chicken Black Bean Tacos with Spicy Chipotle Sauce

You may be wondering about the title of this post.  What the heck do I mean by Chronicles of a Chipotle Pepper?!  Good question.  Once upon a time, I was given a can of Chipotle Peppers from my former boss when their family PCSed.  For those of you who don’t live next door to a military base…that basically means they got orders and moved.  Far away from me.  Boo.  BUT this post is not about my self pity, haha!!!  This post is about Chipotle Peppers.

So, I got this can of Chipotle Peppers.  I had only used them sparingly before, when they were called for in a recipe.  I had never experimented with them before.  Quickly I learned that, although the cans are small…they last a long time cause those bad boys be POTENT!  The realization hit me that….this one little can of peppers could be the inspiration for like 5 meals, because you really only need one per meal to get the spicy smoky delcioiusness laced throughout the whole meal!  So, I officially have 3 meals created from one can of peppers, and at least one more I will soon create with the last pepper or two that I can share with you!  How’s that sound?!  Good?!  Good!!  Let’s get down business!

Sidenote…I can’t take credit for a lot of these ideas.  I took a facebook “survey…”, more of me just asking my friends “What’s your favorite recipe with chipotle peppers?!”  Shout out to Laura Yoder for this beauty!!!  🙂


So, here’s what you need!!

  • 1 Package tortillas of choice (Because of the healthy nature of my blog, I went with brown rice tortillas.  I discovered corn tortillas seem to have sugar or corn syrup in them…and you all know flour ones are just…not awesome in the health department. ;))
  • 3 Large Chicken Breasts
  • Taco-y blend of seasonings: You can use my favorite home made taco seasoning recipe, or just do what I did…use what was in the pantry.  I went with onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, chili powder, and cumin)
  • 1 C Plain Greek Yogurt (ish)
  • 1 Chipotle Pepper in Adobo Sauce
  • Handful fresh Cilantro
  • 1 Lime
  • 1/2 lb Black Beans
  • 1 C Corn, fresh or frozen
  • Toppings of choice, ie lettuce, shredded cheese, sour cream, extra cilantro, etc…


And here’s how you do it!!!


Chipotle Tacos 11Boil your black beans according to package instructions.  If you want to use a can of black beans you can.  I just love how cheap dry beans are.  And that they don’t have that mystery sludge in the bottom, haha!!

Chipotle Tacos 1Assemble your seasonings, really whatever you want for the chicken!!!  You could even use left over chicken if you want!  🙂

Chipotle Tacos 2As you can see, what I did was just cover the breasts in seasoning!  Throw in your oven and cook until done and juices run clear.  It’s going to depend on how big your chicken is, but usually 30-40 minutes should do it!

Chipotle Tacos 7While that cooks, melt some butter in a cast iron skillet…

Chipotle Tacos 8Toss in your corn…

Chipotle Tacos 9And “fry” just a couple minutes, until it is starting to get browned.

Chipotle Tacos 3Now throw your Greek yogurt, Chipotle Pepper, cilantro, and some of the juice from the lime.  Add some salt and pepper, whiz, then taste and adjust.  You may want to start with half a pepper if you don’t want it to be really spicy.  🙂

Chipotle Tacos 4Whiz it until a nice creamy texture and everything is evenly combined.

Chipotle Tacos 5See?  It’s kinda pretty.  Mr. Rodgers likes this picture better…

Chipotle Tacos 6Artsy fartsy pants.  🙂

Chipotle Tacos 10Is your chicken done yet?  Take it out and shred it with two forks…careful not to burn your little fingers!!

Chipotle Tacos 12You are ready to assemble!  I like doing things buffet style so everyone can customize their dinner!!  Oh, the tortillas are best warmed up a little bit!!

Chipotle Tacos 13Yummy!!  What do you think?!

SO there you go….Chipotle Pepper Post Number 1, down!!!

Alright.  I have to go now.  I am severely distracted by the fact that I am writing this post in the midst of an Audio Adrenaline Rehearsal.  Kinda fun, I have loved this band since childhood and they are at my church right now.  So, I am going to go now!  Thanks for reading guys!!