Tamale Balls

★★★★★ 18 Reviews
slawson avatar
By Stacey Lawson
from New Orleans, LA

Whenever we have a get together I am asked to bring tamale balls. Here in New Orleans hot tamales are a delicacy. Tamale balls are very spicy and very delicious cousin to the hot tamale. They are a great appetizer but you can also put a few on a roll and sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese and you have a very spicy sandwich.

Blue Ribbon Recipe

What a tasty appetizer! These spicy little meatballs are very interesting. The balls are full of Mexican spices. Added corn mean totally gives them the flavor and texture of tamales. While these meatballs cook, they soak up the flavors of the sauce. Serve these alone or on a bun like Stacy suggests. We could see serving these tamale balls with Mexican rice too.

— The Test Kitchen @kitchencrew
serves Approx. 12
prep time 35 Min
cook time 1 Hr 30 Min
method Stove Top

Ingredients

  • TAMALE BALLS
  • 1 1/2 lb
    ground beef
  • 1 1/2 lb
    ground pork
  • 1 1/2 c
    cornmeal
  • 3/4 c
    apple juice
  • 1/2 c
    all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp
    garlic powder
  • 3 tsp
    chili powder
  • 2 tsp
    cumin
  • 2 tsp
    salt
  • 2 tsp
    cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp
    Cajun seasoning
  • SAUCE
  • 60 oz
    V8 Juice
  • 2 tsp
    chili powder
  • 2 tsp
    cumin
  • 1 tsp
    salt
  • 1 tsp
    cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp
    Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp
    sugar
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How To Make

Test Kitchen Tips
These do take a little bit of babysitting. Make sure to stir every so often and we added a little water while the sauce cooked down. Also, this makes a lot, so we divided the sauce and meatballs between two pots to cook.
  • 1
    In a large mixing bowl combine the first 11 ingredients to form tamale balls.
  • 2
    Form into 1" balls and set aside.
  • 3
    In a large pot, combine the remaining ingredients for tamale ball sauce.
  • 4
    Add formed balls to sauce and cook over low heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until tamale balls are fully cooked. Tamale balls will increase in size due to the cornmeal and become like a tamale.
  • 5
    Alternate Cooking Directions: Follow steps one and two, and then combine sauce in a large slow cooker and add formed balls. Cook on high for five to six hours or until tamale balls are fully cooked.
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