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Tamale Balls | www.tasteandtellblog.com

It seems as if slow cooker meals have become the new “it” thing.  (Who would have known that a random Facebook page with some interesting slow cooker recipes could get over 1 million likes in 2 weeks.  I’ll reserve my opinion…)  If you are a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know that I’ve had mixed opinions on slow cooker recipes/meals.  But last month’s Cookbook of the Month really inspired me to use my slow cooker more.  In fact, there was a week last month when I was making recipes from that book that I developed 4 more slow cooker recipes as well.  I had 1 or 2 slow cookers going every day for that whole week!!  Luckily, only 2 recipes that I made didn’t turn out like I wanted them to, but everything else turned out fantastic.

Among those recipes was this recipe for Tamale Balls.  Well, I can’t take all the credit.  A few weeks back, I was talking to my mother-in-law about recipes.  We were actually discussing stuffed peppers, and different twists you could make on them.  My mother-in-law then told me about a recipe she used to make for her kids when they were growing up – these tamale balls.  She said that a pepper stuffed with the tamale ball mix would probably be fantastic!!  That evening, she sent me home with a copy of an old family cookbook with the recipe.

Tamale Balls | www.tasteandtellblog.com

A couple of days later, I decided to try it out.  But instead of just baking them off, I thought I’d try them in the slow cooker.  And while the end result was edible, it wasn’t really what I was going for.  I’m not sure a pepper can really hold up to the slow cooker, because they were falling apart, and the filling was just a little bit too much.  Luckily, I had made the whole recipe for the tamale filling, and only used half for the peppers, so the next day I turned the remaining mix into balls.  I still wanted to make them in the slow cooker, so into the slow cooker they went, covered by the tomato sauce.  When they were done, I served them over rice, and I found out that I had found my new favorite meatball recipe!!

These meatballs are so good.  They have the flavors of tamales, all rolled up into a little ball.  I can see why my husband and his siblings loved these meatballs growing up.  And I love that they were so easily made in the slow cooker!!

You can also check out more of my Slow Cooker Favorites!!

Tamale Balls {Slow Cooker}
Prep time
Total time
Meatballs with a Tex-Mex flair made easy in the slow cooker! These can also be frozen before being cooked to make for an easy meal another day.
Serves: 8 servings
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1½ cups cornmeal
  • ¾ cup tomato juice
  • ½ cup flour
  • 4 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 5 cups tomato juice
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  1. In a large bowl, combine all of the meatball ingredients. Form into balls the size of a golf ball. Place in the bottom of a slow cooker.
  2. Combine the tomato juice, chili powder and salt. Pour over the tamale balls.
  3. Cook in the slow cooker on low for about 6 hours, or until cooked through. Serve over rice.

This post is sponsored by Tablespoon. All opinions are my own.

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25 Responses to Tamale Balls {Slow Cooker}

  1. These would be great game-day food for a football party! They look great!

  2. I am new to tamales, but they are delicious! I love the idea of the slow cooker, but don’t have many recipes that are winners. I will try this for sure! meatballs are a favorite of mine!

  3. Kristen says:

    What an interesting recipe – and I’ll reserve my opinion on the full of crock… I mean crockpot site as well 😉

  4. Rosa says:

    That recipe is interesting and original! Your meatballs look so scrummy.



  5. Joanne says:

    I’ve never seen tomato juice added straight into the meatball mix! These must be crazy moist!

  6. Bev Weidner says:

    These look incredible!

    Can I go ahead and make a joke about balls being slow cooked? Yes? No?


  7. I’ll keep my mouth shut too 🙂 These look really good – love when something delicious comes out of the crockpot!

  8. danielle says:

    I already have something in the slow cooker now – but this will definitely be on my soon to make list!

  9. These look sooooo gooood, comfort food at its finest 🙂

  10. Ashley says:

    These sound fantastic!

  11. kankana says:

    Oh boy ! I am so hungry now at that dish.. this is truly incredible!

  12. That looks so simple yet delectable. It’s giving me a craving syndrome.

  13. Katrina says:

    Yum! Love a simple meal like this 🙂

  14. sara says:

    Ooooh, these look so tasty! I always like using my slow cooker when I do use it, but I always sort of forget about it…this recipe would be so worth pulling it out! 🙂

  15. danielle says:

    I just wanted to stop by and let you know that I featured this on my “What I Bookmarked This Week” post – stop by and see!

  16. grace says:

    tasty tamale twist, deborah! i really need to get more use out of my slow cooker–it’s gathering dust as i type! 🙂

  17. My two favorite ethnic foods ‘rolled’ into one. Da dum dum! You’re brilliant Deb!

  18. Becki F says:

    can’t find the recipe, there is not a get the recipe link. Looks good though

  19. Kandy says:

    I have some masa flour and am wondering if that could be used in place of the flour in this recipe?

  20. Susie says:

    Hi! I guess I’ll be the first to comment here that I actually made this recipe! Made it tonight & we enjoyed it a lot. My slow cooker only has 8 & 10 hour settings for Low, so it cooked a little longer than it should have. BUT, it was amazing how the tomato juice thickened up into a sauce. Very tasty! I LOVE the masa part of tamales,so my BF & I agreed that next time I’ll put even more cornmeal into the meatballs,possibly in place of the flour. Thanks for the great recipe!

  21. Zoe says:

    Would it be okay to put them on high for about 4 hours rather than low for 6?
    Love this recipe & can’t wait to try it!

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