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When the craving for enchiladas hits, these Whole30 Chicken Enchilada Meatballs will hit the spot without the tortilla!

Whole30 Chicken Enchilada Meatballs

When doing a round of Whole30, I get pretty scrappy with making things that I am craving become compliant. For example, I was *really* craving some good ole enchiladas and I had some ground chicken in my fridge. I thought it’d be fun to do an enchilada-style chicken meatball for a lean take on enchiladas that also just so happen to be Whole30. These meatballs are *so yummy* and you can really serve them up any way that you prefer: they’d be great as a gameday appetizer, or for dinner served over prepared cauliflower rice! 

Whole30 Chicken Enchilada Meatballs

These Whole30 Chicken Enchilada Meatballs really are a flavor explosion of enchilada goodness that I think you’ll just love!! And don’t worry, they really aren’t spicy– my entire family enjoyed them! 

If you like this recipe and want some more enchilada-inspired Whole30 goodness, try my Beef Enchilada Stuffed Acorn Squash, Chicken Enchilada Soup, or this Easy Beef Enchilada Skillet

Whole30 Chicken Enchilada Meatballs
5 from 6 votes

Chicken Enchilada Meatballs

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 people


For the Chicken Meatballs:

  • 1.5 lbs ground chicken thigh (can sub ground beef or ground turkey thigh)
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, very finely diced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot flour
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil

For the Enchilada Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot starch
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 tsp kosher salt , or more to taste

For Serving:

  • freshly chopped cilantro, optional
  • finely diced red onion, optional


Make the Meatballs:

  • In a large bowl, combine all of the meatball ingredients (except for the avocado oil). Mix until well combined. Using your hands (damp hands help with working with ground chicken thigh since it's a little sticky) form into 2-inch round meatballs.
  • Heat an large skillet over medium-high heat with the avocado oil. When hot, drop in the meatballs and cook on each side until a golden brown crust forms, about 3 minutes a side. The meatballs do not have to be completely cooked through as they will continue to cook in the sauce. Transfer browned meatballs to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

Make the Enchilada Sauce:

  • Rinse and wipe down the skillet. Melt the ghee in the skillet over medium heat. When melted, add the arrowroot starch and whisk until combined. Add the chili powder, cumin, sweet paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Whisk together until combined and saute to really bring out the flavors in the spices for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning. 
  • Add the tomato paste and whisk until combined, then, slowly pour in 1 1/2 cups of the beef broth, whisking constantly, so that the sauce combines. Let cook until thickened, 4-5 minutes, whisking often. When very thick, remove from heat and slowly pour in the remaining 1/2 cup of the beef broth, whisking constantly to loosen up the sauce so that it is the perfect consistency for enchiladas!

Finish the Meatballs:

  • Nestle the browned meatballs into the enchilada sauce and cook, simmering and covered, until the meatballs are completely cooked through, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. (cut into one of the meatballs to make sure they are no longer pink).
  • Remove the meatballs from the heat and garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and diced onion. Serve over prepared cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles, or alone! Enjoy!

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Servings: 4 people

Photography and styling by Eat Love Eats.

Welcome! I’m Alex.

I’m a food lover sharing healthy, simple, delicious, recipes from my kitchen to yours. Here you’ll find lots of Whole30, lots of healthy, and a little indulgence here and there because…it’s all about balance y’all!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Great recipe! We really enjoyed it and will include it in our rotation. In the instructions for the enchilada sauce it says to add onion powder but it’s not listed in the ingredients. I went ahead and added 1 tsp and it tasted great. Also curious you said to cook in an oven safe skillet but it never went in the oven. ?

  2. Lovely meal served with some brown rice and sautéed zucchini! I added some shredded Monterrey Jack cheese into the meatball mixture as well & it turned out fabulous!

  3. 5 stars
    Love these meatballs! So unique and flavorful! A little bit quicker than making your enchiladas from the cookbook (which I also love so much) and still fabulous!