These Mexican Keto Meatballs are a spicy, low carb appetizer made with ground beef, Mexican spices, jalapenos, and cheese. They are the perfect bite-size appetizer for Cinco de Mayo parties!

Mexican Meatballs are easy low carb party appetizers


This Mexican version of keto meatballs is one I came up a few years ago. They are little bites of spicy, cheesy, low carb goodness and they make a great appetizer for parties. They would go great with a margarita and some chips and salsa at your upcoming Cinco de Mayo party.

These balls are made with ground beef spiced with cumin and chili powder, and mixed with chopped jalapenos and cheddar cheese. There are no breadcrumbs in the recipe, just 1 egg to help bind everything together. 

They are great as a party appetizer because you can mix everything together the night before the party, roll it into balls, and then store it in the refrigerator overnight. They only take 30 minutes in the oven so I just pop them in the oven while I go do my make-up and by the time I’m ready so are they.

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Mexican Meatballs easy cinco de mayo appetizer

How To Make Them:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
  3. Roll into 2 inch balls; they will shrink as they bake.
  4. Bake on a baking sheet for 20-30 minutes, or until cooked through.

What to Serve Them With:

I  serve them with a sour cream and salsa sauce. It’s as simple as it sounds, just mix 50% salsa and 50% sour cream together, it doesn’t get easier than that! These meatballs are also good with a green tomatillo sauce, or a spicy chipotle sauce. Serve them with whichever you like or offer your guests all three!

Mexican Meatballs easy keto potluck recipe

What Kind of Ground Beef Should I Use?

Since we’re making keto meatballs I use 80/20 ground beef. It has a higher fat content which is perfect for the keto diet and helps keep the meatballs moist. Leaner ground beef tends to dry out.  

What’s The Best Way To Make Uniform Sized Meatballs?

We love to use a cookie scoop when making meatballs because they are so simple to make the same size. Use a 2-inch scoop so that way they are all the same. Then scoop the meatballs and roll them in your hands to make them smooth like you are playing with playdough. This will help keep them bound together, so they are less likely to fall apart as they are baking too. 

If you don’t have access to a cookie scoop, you can also use a ⅛ measuring cup for each meatball. Then roll them in your hands and add them to the baking sheet. They should all be the same size this way and look fabulous.

How Can I Make Mexican Meatballs Spicier?

The seasonings and jalapenos are spicy, and these meatballs have some great heat to them.When we’re feeding a crowd we like to keep the spice moderate so everyone is happy but  if you like things extra spicy you can make them even spicier if you want to. 

First, you could increase the number of jalapenos you add to the meatballs. That will make them a little bit spicier for you. 

Cayenne pepper sprinkled into the meatball mix is another way to add some heat. You don’t need to go too crazy; just a little bit goes a long way. Or you could sprinkle in a few red pepper flakes to add some flavor and heat to the baked meatballs. 

You could exchange the cheddar cheese for Pepper Jack cheese. This is a unique way to add some heat and keep them nice and cheesy. I find it’s best to buy a block of cheese, then shred it and add it to the meatball mixture. 

Another option would be to not enhance the heat in the meatballs, but up the temperature in the sauce. All you need to do is combine your favorite hot sauce to the sour cream, and it will be so spicy and creamy at the same time. 

Lastly, a fantastic option is to add some chopped chipotle in adobo. I would start with ½ – 1 tablespoon, so it’s not overwhelming. 

As you can see, there are several ways to add in some heat that will still keep the meatballs tasting fabulous too. You could even make a variety if you are hosting a party or something and feeding several people. 

Make ahead Mexican Meatballs are easy low carb appetizers for potluck appetizer

Can I Use Different Meat Bedsides Ground Beef To Make Keto Meatballs?

Yes, these meatballs will be great with various types of meat instead of ground beef. That’s is what I love about this recipe; it’s incredibly versatile and easy to adjust. Consider any of these options when swapping out proteins for these easy meatballs:

  • Ground Chicken – It’s a light option and cooks beautifully when baked. It tastes fantastic with the cheese and seasonings. 
  • Ground Turkey – If you are cutting back on calories or red meat, ground turkey is a lovely option too. You won’t even notice that they aren’t beef because they taste so similar. 
  • Pork Sausage – I would steer clear of a sausage that is Italian flavored because it won’t go well with the Mexican spices. But a regular pork sausage would be delicious! 
  • Ground Wild Game – Whether you have some ground venison, elk, or something else, it would be a great option to add to the meatballs. Some of the gamey flavors will be hidden by the spices and jalapenos. 

The best thing is that the options are truly endless. You can adjust this recipe easily and end up with something so fantastic. Sometimes we even give them a sprinkle of some freshly diced cilantro to add some extra color and flavor. 

Can I Cook Them In A Skillet?

Yes, technically, you can cook them in a skillet. I prefer the texture and flavor of baking the meatballs. You don’t need any oil or anything, and they cook up so quickly and easily. It’s my favorite no-fuss method for making meatballs. 

If you do decide that you want to fry them in a pan, make sure to add at least one tablespoon of olive oil to the pan before starting. It should be hot, then add in the meatballs. Cook them over medium-high heat until they are cooked all the way through. You will need to watch them and turn them frequently, so they don’t burn. 

Fun Ways To Serve Them

There are several ways to serve these Mexican meatballs. Of course, you can just pile them on your plate and chow down, but if you are hosting a party, you may want a more elegant option. 

One option is to stick a toothpick into each one and place them on a platter. It looks pretty, and they are easy to grab and put on your plate. We have also found cute little forks that are made to serve with appetizers. They are lovely and add some character. You can put the bowl of sauce in the middle of a serving plate with meatballs surrounding it. 

They even make serving spoons that are specially made for meatballs and other hor’dourves. This would be especially fantastic if you are hosting a fancy dinner party. The guests will love how gorgeous it looks. 

Mexican Meatballs easy cinco de mayo keto appetizer

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Servings: 15
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Mexican Keto Meatballs

These spicy meatballs are made with Mexican spices, jalapenos and cheddar cheese. Low carb and gluten free!
Mexican Meatballs are easy low carb party appetizers
Print Recipe
3.14 from 22 votes


  • 1 pound 80/20 Ground Beef
  • 2 tablespoons Cumin
  • 2 tablespoons Chili Powder
  • 2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 cup Jalapenos, finely diced
  • 3 ounces Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 1 Egg


  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Roll into 2 inch balls, they will shrink as they bake.
  • Bake on a baking sheet for 20-30 minutes, or until cooked through.


Serving: 1meatball, Calories: 110kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 38mg, Sodium: 389mg, Potassium: 130mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 415IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 59mg, Iron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclaimer: We are not certified nutritionists. Nutrition facts are an estimate and are provided as a courtesy. They are generated by an online API which recognizes ingredient names and amounts and makes calculations based on the serving size. Results may vary.
Author: Kat Jeter & Melinda Caldwell
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: keto meatballs
Handwritten signature for Kat & Melinda

This recipe was first published on April 17, 2015. It was republished with updated photos on April 23, 2020.