These Honey Chipotle Meatball Bowls are a healthy and balanced lunch or dinner! Baked meatballs are coated in a sweet and spicy honey chipotle sauce and served on top of rice with corn salsa. You’ll love this combination of southwest flavors!
If you love the flavor of these meatballs then you have to try these popular honey chipotle chicken rice bowls!
Why I love them
Sweet and spicy – The honey chipotle sauce that coats these tasty meatballs is the perfect balance of sweet and spicy flavors with a little smokiness thanks to the chipotle chiles.
Meal prep – If you meal prep or just like having leftovers for a couple days these rice bowls are for you! The rice, meatballs, and corn salsa will all keep for either separately or together in individual containers for 4-5 days.
Balanced dinner – These meatball bowls are a nice balance of carbs, protein, and fat which means they’ll fill you up and keep you satisfied.
- Ground chicken – Can be replaced with ground turkey if you prefer.
- Green onion – The green onion gives the meatballs a subtler onion flavor and less crunchy texture.
- Panko – Panko is a lighter, airier breadcrumb compared to traditional breadcrumbs.
- Egg – The binder for the meatballs.
- Cilantro – Omit if you don’t like the taste of cilantro.
- Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce – You can find these canned chiles in the Mexican food section in almost all grocery stores.
- Chili powder, cumin, garlic powder – The spice blend used to flavor the meatballs.
- Honey – Honey is what gives the sauce sweetness. You can replace it with maple syrup if you prefer.
- Chicken broth – Used for in the sauce. I recommend using low sodium so your sauce isn’t too salty.
- Cornstarch – Used to thicken the sauce.
- Corn – Frozen, fresh, or even frozen fire roasted corn can be used for the salsa.
- Jalapeño – For a milder salsa remove the jalapeño seeds and membrane or leave them in for an extra spicy kick.
- Red onion – I like to use red onion instead of yellow onion in salsa because I find that the onion flavor is less harsh and slightly sweeter.
- Lime – Use freshly squeezed lime juice versus bottled lime juice for the best flavor.
- Rice – Cooked white or brown rice can be used. For extra flavor make cilantro lime rice. I made some for these ground chicken taco bowls.
How to make honey chipotle meatball bowls
Cook the rice – Cook the rice according to the package instructions. Be sure to allow extra time if you’re using brown rice as it takes about 40 minutes to cook.
Make the salsa – Combine all of the ingredients for the corn salsa in a bowl. Taste the salsa for seasoning. You may need to add additional lime juice and salt depending on your tastes.
Bake the meatballs – Combine all of the meatball ingredients in a bowl and use a cookie scoop to scoop out the meat mixture. This will ensure that the meatballs are all the same size. Use your hands to roll them into balls and then place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake the meatballs at 450° F. for 10-12 minutes or until cooked through.
Make the sauce – While the meatballs are baking add all of the ingredients for the sauce, except the cornstarch slurry to a saucepan. Be sure to use a saucepan large enough to hold the meatballs.
Bring the sauce to a boil and then whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Lower the heat to medium-low and let the sauce simmer for several minutes or until it thickens and can coat the back of a spoon. Add the meatballs into the sauce and stir until they’re coated.
Assemble the bowls – Add some of the rice to a bowl and top it with 4-5 meatballs or however many you want. Add on some of the corn salsa and sliced avocado. Garnish with cilantro if desired.
Substitutions and variations
- Use ground beef or ground turkey for the meatballs instead of ground chicken.
- Make a lower carb version of these bowls by substituting rice with cauliflower rice.
- Instead of avocado slices make this green chile guacamole.
- Add crumbled cotija, queso fresco cheese, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt as additional toppings.
- Substitute corn salsa with the mango salsa I made for this chipotle lime grilled chicken.
Storage and reheating
Storage – The chipotle meatball bowls can be stored in individual portioned containers if you meal prep or just keep each component in a separate airtight container. The bowls will keep for 4-5 days in the fridge.
Reheating – To reheat the rice bowls, simply assemble the bowls and reheat them in the microwave for about a minute or until warmed through. The salsa can be heated or served cold. I don’t recommend heating the avocado.
Freezing – The meatballs can be frozen after they are baked for up to 3 months. Don’t freeze the sauce as the cornstarch will give it a funny consistency when defrosted.
When you’re ready to use the meatballs, let them defrost in the refrigerator overnight. Make the honey chipotle sauce and then add the meatballs in and cook until heated through.
More meatball recipes
Did you make these honey chipotle meatball bowls? I’d love if you’d leave a recipe rating and review below.
- 1 pound ground chicken or turkey
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
- 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs (gluten-free if needed)
- 1 egg
- 1 chipotle chile, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon adobo sauce
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoon finely minced chipotle chile in adobo sauce + 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 2 teaspoons water
- 1 1/2 cups frozen corn, defrosted
- 1 jalapeño, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1/3 cup diced red onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1/2 of a lime, juiced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 1 avocado, peeled and sliced (optional)
- Cook the rice according to the package instructions.
- Combine all of the ingredients for the corn salsa in a bowl. Stir together and taste for seasoning.
- Preheat oven to 450° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Spray it with cooking oil.
- Combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs in a bowl and use your hands to mix everything together. Use a cookie scoop or tablespoon to scoop out tablespoon sized amounts of the meat mixture. Roll into balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Spray the tops of the meatballs with cooking spray and then bake at 450° F. for 10-12 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
- While the meatballs are baking add all of the ingredients for the sauce, except the cornstarch slurry to a saucepan. Whisk together and bring the sauce to a boil. Once boiling, whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Lower the heat to medium-low and let the sauce simmer for several minutes or until it thickens. Add the meatballs into the sauce and stir until they're coated.
- To assemble the bowls, add rice to a bowl and top it with 4-5 meatballs or however many you want. Add on the corn salsa and sliced avocado. Garnish with cilantro if desired.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 506Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 168mgSodium: 444mgCarbohydrates: 61gFiber: 5gSugar: 16gProtein: 35g
Nutritional information is an estimate. Please consult a registered dietician for the most accurate nutritional information.