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Cheesy Enchilada Meatball Casserole

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We’re so used to thinking that meatballs are exclusively Italian, which is silly, because tons of cultures have their own twists on making meatballs. (Though we’ll always love meatballs in a homemade Italian sauce!) Here though, we used classic Mexican flavors as our inspiration and came up with a sort of enchilada meatball casserole. This meal is super easy to throw together – literally, you just mix your ingredient together and put it all in the oven – and then you’re left with an incredibly flavorful, well-rounded meal that’s perfect for bringing the family together on busy nights.

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We’ll start by saying this: while you’re absolutely more than welcome to make your meatballs from scratch – yummm – we used a big bag from the frozen section, since we just did not have the time to make them ourselves. We loved the end result, with meatballs that were perfectly sauced up and not at all dried out…if it’s a shortcut that will shave hours off your prep time and give you the same delicious results?? Go for store-bought here, you won’t regret it. We then mixed those meatballs with white rice, black beans, onion, cheese and enchilada sauce. The ratio of all these ingredients is perfection and you’ll seriously be craving this thing long after you’ve polished off the 9×13.
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You could add in some extra seasoning here if you feel like customizing the dish a bit more; garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper or cumin would all make good choices, but it really is perfect on its own – and did we mention how quickly it comes together?? Five minutes to prep everything, and then it goes into a 350º F oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Top it off with some cilantro and you’re all set – enjoy!
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Enchilada Meatball Casserole

40 minutes to prepare serves 8

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups Mexican cheese blend, divided
  • 1 (22 oz.) bag frozen (fully-cooked) meatballs, thawed
  • 1 (10 oz.) can red enchilada sauce
  • 1 bunch cilantro, garnish
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Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F and lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Place rice, black beans, onion, 1 cup cheese and meatballs in a large bowl, then pour enchilada sauce on top, mixing until everything is thoroughly coated.
  3. Transfer mixture to baking dish and top with remaining cheese.
  4. Place baking dish in oven and bake for 35 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
  5. Remove from oven and top with cilantro. Serve hot and enjoy.

Recipe adapted from Pillsbury

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