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Hot Tamale Meatballs

"This zippy appetizer is my family's favorite dish using cumin," reports Darlene Babineaux of Arabi, Louisiana.
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Cook: 45 min.
  • Makes
    8-10 servings


  • 4 cups tomato juice, divided
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin, divided
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1/2 pound bulk pork sausage


  • In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup tomato juice, cornmeal, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, garlic and cayenne. Add the beef and sausage and mix well. Shape into 1-1/4-in. balls.
  • In a dutch oven, combine the remaining tomato juice, cumin, chili powder and salt; bring to a boil. Add meatballs; cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until a thermometer reads 160°.

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  • Kellie L
    Nov 10, 2011

    I made this for the first time and absolutely LOVED it! They have amazing flavor!!!

  • Plutoe51
    Jan 24, 2011

    I recommend that you use 1/4 tsp. of cayenne pepper for those that like spicy but not hot...but if you like hot use 1/2 tsp.

  • Plutoe51
    Jan 24, 2011

    Great receipe! Everytime we have a pot luck dinner at work someone requests that I make these meatballs and I have printed out several copies of this receipe for coworkers. Now that it is Super Bowl time....which we are hosting by the way...I am getting requests for this receipe for Super Bowl parties so if you are planning a party this receipe is a must!

  • imkatiesmom
    Aug 31, 2010

    I made this recipe several years ago.  The flavors are great, but the pepper amounts must be misprinted.  It was so unbearably hot, only a few people dared to try it.  It's a great recipe, but reduce those spices.