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.
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.
- 1 lb ground beef or turkey
- cooked rice
- ground cumin
- salt and pepper
- cilantro or parsley
- green bell pepper
- beef or vegetable stock
- diced tomatoes
Instructions step by step
Step 1: make the meatballs
- 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.
Step 2: start the soup
- 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.
- Add 1/2 cup of stock and deglaze the bottom of the pot.
- 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.
Can I fry the meatballs?
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.
I always serve this soup with cheesy bread, breadsticks or rolls. You can also add a heaping cup of cooked rice to make it even more filling.
More soup recipes:
- Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup
- Creamy White Chicken Chili
- Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Zuppa Toscana
For more recipes like this one, feel free to browse our Soup Category.
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- 1 lb lean ground beef or turkey
- 1/2 cup cooked white rice
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 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
- 1/2 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 1/2 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.