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Spicy? Yes. Tasty? For sure. Trendy? Absolutely, since 2013 is the year of the meatball. So let’s talk about Tabasco Chicken Meatballs in a Spicy Tomato and Apricot Sauce.
We’re on recipe number two of the Tabasco 10 Ingredient Challenge, where I’ve been tasked with making 5 recipes using just 10 ingredients. Obviously Tabasco is at the top of the list, with the rest of the challenge ingredients listed here.
My first recipe was Tabasco Brined Chicken Drumsticks. An appetizer, a main meal, kind of whatever you want to make of it.
My second and third recipes are for eating in little bites, with a taste here and a taste there. And that makes kicked up meatballs with a spicy sauce the perfect meal for a nosher like me.
Creating a recipe for meatballs using simple and basic ingredients as the girth of this recipe was my starting point. Quality ingredients are always my secret to a great dish so the best Parmesan cheese you can buy acts as the binder, with green onion and Tabasco lending the flavor building blocks.
I chose to make these more bite size than behemoth size, so each bite is a one pop shop. If you like your meatballs on a grander scale, go big and add a few more minutes to the bake.
I like to use ground chicken thighs, they just have more flavor, and have a lesser chance of drying out. We’re eating meatballs here, not hockey pucks.
Meatballs + tomato sauce is in match making territory like Beyonce + her booty shake. So coming up with a recipe to fit the tomato sauce bill was a natural idea since tomatoes are front and center as a challenge ingredient. But the typical marinara or Italian style topper wouldn’t be on this menu since garlic and spices are out of bounds.
Which led me to the idea of tossing in some apricots with the tomatoes and onions for a little something sweet, cooking down the dried fruit to a buttery sweetness that compliments the spicy Tabasco kick.
A little bite here and a little bite there? Sorry, this time the pan’s all mine.
Spicy Tomato and Apricot Sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium white onion finely diced
- 32 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup dried apricots chopped
- 1 tablespoon Tabasco Original Red Sauce
- 1 cup water
- 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
- Parmesan chees
- Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and cook the onion for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes with juice, apricots, Tabasco, water and kosher salt and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Add more water if the sauce becomes too thick.
- Stir in the baked Tabasco Chicken Meatballs and simmer for another 3 minutes. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and serve warm or at room temperatur
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I’d also like to know if you think it would be okay to freeze these!
I’ve never frozen this dish so I couldn’t say. But I’d love to hear back if you find it works. I can’t imagine it wouldn’t.
Do you think you can make and freeze these?
I just tried this recipe and it was a hit with my family! What an affordable and simple dish to make with little ingredients yet it’s so jammed pack with flavors!
Yummy! I always like sweet and spicy.
There could never be enough meatball recipes in this world. And I want this one. Right now.
This recipe looks interesting and good. Thank you.
Nikki @Seeded at the Table
Forget about a little bite here and there…I’ll take a handful!
Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective
Love these spicy meatballs! Thanks for the recipe, Heidi!
Oooooh I never would’ve thought of adding apricot to the sauce. These look fantastic!
Laura (Tutti Dolci)
These look mouth-watering, love the spicy sauce!
Ali @ Inspiralized
You keep inspiring me every day! I’m going to try these meatballs with some zucchini pasta. Love it.
Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet
My Hubby will love this dish! The sauce sounds fabulous!
Alice // Hip Foodie Mom
LOVE this recipe! Making this one!!
What an interesting idea – to add the deliciousness of apricots !!!
Bev @ Bev Cooks
I’m about to bury my entire head in that.
Oh my family would love all of these tabasco recipes! We love hot and spic foods and these meatballs would a hit with everyone! They look so good Heidi!
This totally inspires me to get some Tabasco on my next shopping trip… such an easy way to add life and “heat” to regular boring meals (mine, not yours, yours NEVER look boring!!) and I bet my family would love me for it! Thanks!