tamale appetizer recipe

When you are making the chicken enchiladas or stuffed pablano peppers, you almost always have some extra red sauce from those recipes. Here is a wonderful, quick and delicious appetizer you can make for your next fiesta!  The tamale balls can be made ahead and frozen – a great timesaver when you’re stressed out in full blown party execution mode!
You’ll want to use cornbread that you bake in this recipe.  Don’t use boxed cornbread or dressing mix!  Just quickly bake one of those envelopes of cornbread you find in the baking section.  Hey — better yet…bake  a large batch of cornbread, crumble it and save it in your freezer!  Be sure to take a look at my “Grandma’s Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread” recipe!


2 cups crumbled cornbread
10 oz. enchilada sauce (use canned or use the red sauce from your chicken enchiladas!)
½ tsp. garlic salt
8 oz. tomato sauce
4 oz. Monterrey Jack or Fiesta Blend shredded cheese
1 ½ lb. ground beef

1.    Cook the ground beef.  Salt and pepper to taste.

2.    Preheat oven to 350.

3.    Combine cornbread, ½ of the enchilada sauce, garlic salt and ground beef.  Shape into 1 inch balls.

4.    Place in shallow baking pan and bake uncovered for about 20 minutes until done.

5.    Meantime, in a saucepan, heat tomato sauce and remaining enchilada sauce.  Pour over meatballs in chafing dish and top with shredded cheese.   Melt cheese under a broiler if you need to.

6.    Serve on wooden picks.

This makes about 80 tamale balls