Albondigas Soup is a Mexican meatball soup with a tomato base. It's filling and packed with flavor because the meatballs are cooked in the broth!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
Albondigas, the name for this soup, comes from the Spanish word for "meatballs". They are made with ground beef and rice and cooked right in the soup, adding a ton of flavor to this dish. This soup is mentioned in one of our favorite movies and since I've made it, it's become a favorite, especially during the cold months. This soup is filling and full of flavor because the meatballs cook right in the soup. You can easily make them ahead of time and freeze to save on prep time.
- ground meat: beef or turkey;
- rice: cooked and cooled completely, best if it's a day old;
- egg: for binding ingredients in meatballs;
- vegetables: garlic, onion, carrots, celery, green bell pepper;
- seasoning: ground cumin, salt, and pepper;
- stock or broth: beef or vegetable, I use low-sodium;
- diced tomatoes: add them with all the liquid to make the soup.
How to Make Albondigas Soup?
- Combine all ingredients for meatballs in a large bowl. Mix well.
- Roll into 1 tablespoon size balls and place on a baking sheet. Set aside.
- In a Dutch oven or soup pot, heat up the oil. Add celery, onion, carrots, and pepper. Saute until softened.
- Add seasoning and saute for 2 minutes.
- Deglaze the bottom of the pot with a little bit of stock.
- Add all liquids and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Drop meatballs into the soup.
- Turn the heat to medium-low and cook the soup for 25 to 30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through and the veggies are soft.
How to serve this soup?
Squeeze lime juice over each serving, garnish with chopped cilantro and a dollop of sour cream. When it comes to sides, go for tortilla chips or crusty bread.
- meat: the higher fat content in your beef, the more grease will release into the soup; I recommend leaner meat so the meatballs won't shrink and the soup is not too greasy;
- veggies: feel free to add more veggies to the mix; zucchini, green beans, potatoes, etc. work in this recipe too;
- spices: I cook for our family of 5 and kept the soup mild when it comes to heat; feel free to add jalapenos, fire-roasted tomatoes, or hot sauce to add more kick.
You can fry the meatballs in a skillet or bake them in the oven and serve with the soup. However, cooking the meatballs in the soup enriches the broth and adds flavor.
If you can find uncooked meatballs with rice, then yes. Otherwise, I recommend making them from scratch to get the close-to-authentic flavor of this soup.
Yes! This soup tastes even better the next day. The meatballs will absorb more liquid as the soup cools so you may need to add more stock to it while reheating.
More soup recipes:
If you like this recipe and make it, let me know in the comments below! Don't forget to rate it if you enjoyed it!
- 1 lb lean ground beef or turkey
- ½ cup cooked white rice
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 1 medium green bell pepper
- 2 celery stalks
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 5 cups low-sodium vegetable stock see note
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- To make the meatballs: combine beef, rice, egg and spices in a large mixing bowl. Mix well together. Shape the mixture into 1-tablespoon size balls and place them on a baking sheet or large plate.
- In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat up oil over medium heat.
- Add chopped onion, carrots, celery and bell pepper. Saute for 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, oregano and cumin and saute for 2 minutes.
- Add ½ cup of stock and deglaze the bottom of the pot, by scraping it with a wooden spoon. You want all cooked on bits of flavor to be in the soup.
- Add rest of stock, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Stir everything together.
- Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Drop meatballs into the soup. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer the soup for 25 to 30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.
- You can use 3 cups of stock and 2 cups of water.
- You can use ground turkey instead of beef.
- Serve with cooked rice, garlic bread or rolls.
- Please note, that the nutrition value can vary depending on what product you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use calorie counter you are familiar with.