Slow-Cooker Cheesy Diablo Meatballs

You're going to want to try out this spicy meatball slow cooker recipe ASAP! It's a spin on meatballs inspired by diablo shrimp, which consists of a fiery (one might say devilish) tomato-based sauce. Everybody loves a spicy beef meatball, after all! And these cheese-stuffed winners don’t even need to be seared before simmering in their tasty slow-cooker sauce.
Prep 30 Minutes
Total Time 3 Hours
Servings 12

Ingredient List

  • 1 can (14.5 oz) Muir Glen™ organic fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 can (4 oz) Old El Paso™ Chopped Green Chiles
  • 1 to 2 chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 lb lean (at least 85%) ground beef
  • 1/2 cup Progresso™ plain panko crispy bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons from 1 container (6.25 oz) Old El Paso™ Original Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 24 (1/2-inch) cubes Monterey Jack cheese (3 oz)
Recipe Continues Below


  1. Spray 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In blender, add tomatoes, chiles and garlic. Cover; blend 30 to 60 seconds or until smooth. Pour tomato mixture into slow cooker.
  2. In large bowl, mix beef, bread crumbs, onion, cilantro, milk, egg, taco seasoning mix and cumin. Shape into 24 (1 1/2-inch) meatballs; tuck one piece of cheese in center of each meatball, and seal completely. Add meatballs to tomato mixture in slow cooker; gently turn to coat.
  3. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until meatballs are thoroughly cooked (165°F); stir.

Expert Tips

  • Use 85% lean ground beef for this recipe—it'll ensure your slow cooker spicy meatballs are tender and also prevent the sauce from getting greasy.
  • Use 1 chipotle for a medium-hot sauce or 2 for a spicier sauce.
  • Serve Slow-Cooker Cheesy Diablo Meatballs with additional cilantro or sliced green onions for a pop of color.


  • 1 Serving Calories 130 (Calories from Fat 60);  Total Fat 7g (Saturated Fat 3g ,Trans Fat 0g);  Cholesterol 45mg;  Sodium 260mg;  Potassium 180mg;  Total Carbohydrate 8g (Dietary Fiber 0g ,Sugars 2g);  Protein 10g
  • % Daily Value: Vitamin A 2%;  Vitamin C 0%;  Calcium 8%;  Iron 8%
  • Exchanges: 1/2 Other Carbohydrate;  1/2 Vegetable;  1/2 Fat
  • Carbohydrate Choice: 1/2
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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