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Hot Tamale Meatballs

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Cook: 45 min.


8-10 servings

Updated: Sep. 24, 2022
"This zippy appetizer is my family's favorite dish using cumin," reports Darlene Babineaux of Arabi, Louisiana.


  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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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