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I love using slow cookers for entertaining. They allow you to actually get out of the kitchen and enjoy your guests' company! And for something like a Sunday football party—when you might have people hanging out at your place all day long—a Crockpot keeps everything warm and handy. Just set up a taco bar with a variety of toppings and let your guests help themselves whenever they get hungry. Best of all, you can sit back, relax, and cheer for your favorite team!
These distinctive, bite-sized meatballs are a fun twist on the usual taco meat. The beef is packed with savory garlic, lime zest, and crushed tortilla chips (instead of the typical breadcrumbs). All these ingredients match wonderfully with the genuine southwest flavor of the Pace® Picante Sauce.
- 1 1/4 pound ground beef
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/3 cup tortilla chip crumbs
- 3 cloves garlic, grated
- zest of one lime
- 24-ounce jar of Pace® Medium Picante Sauce
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Grease your slow cooker with some extra virgin olive oil.
In a large bowl, add the beef, egg, tortilla chip crumbs, garlic, lime zest, and a few good pinches of salt. Mix to combine—but don't overwork the meat. Shape mixture into 1-inch (about teaspoon-sized) balls; I ended up with about 45 of these small meatballs. Place them on the baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned.
Pour some of the Pace® Picante Sauce into the bottom of your slow cooker—just enough to cover the bottom. Then add the meatballs and top with the rest of the jar of picante. Cook on low for three hours, until the meatballs are cooked all the way through and tender. What I love about these bite-sized meatballs is that you can simmer them hot during your football party, while you hang out with your guests. Or you can make them hours in advance and just keep them warm in the slow cooker.
For my taco bar, I served warmed tortillas, chopped romaine lettuce, diced avocados, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, minced red onions, fresh lime wedges, and sour cream with chopped scallions. Make sure you squeeze some lime juice on the avocado so it doesn't brown! I also put out some hot Pace® Picante Sauce, for guests that want extra spicy tacos (I just love that this yummy sauce works great as both an ingredient and a condiment). Some other ideas you could offer at your taco bar: diced tomatoes, sliced olives, rice and beans, and chopped jalapenos. Just set out your family's favorite taco toppings and everyone will be happy!
With its blended tomatoes and chunks of onions and jalapenos, Pace® Picante Sauce kicks up the flavor of these Crockpot Garlic Lime Salsa Meatball Tacos. Keeping a jar in your pantry means you always have a tasty and versatile ingredient at hand. I found the Pace® Picante Sauce in the Hispanic Foods aisle at my local Walmart. Best of all, you can find lots of great toppings for your taco bar there! Who doesn't love one-stop shopping?
What are your family's favorite taco toppings?
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