Albondigas Soup – Meatball Soup Perfect for Wintertime

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It is perfect weather for a warm, hearty bowl of Albóndigas or meatball soup.

Although Albóndigas originated in Spain, the meatball soup is popular throughout Mexico. We’ve had the soup with a light clear broth and with more of a spicy tomato broth. Of course, every Latino family has their own, unique recipe or version of this soup.

In our recipe below, the balance of fresh herbs, tomato broth, and spices gives this recipe for albóndigas soup its simple, yet delicious flavor. Eating this soup takes me back to a time in my childhood when my mom would call me in from playing outside on a chilly day. True comfort food. My mom served small bowls of Mexican rice with the soup and homemade salsa with warm flour tortillas and butter.

Looking for another Mexican beef soup recipe? Try our Caldo de Res.

Bowl of Albondigas

Albondigas Soup


For the meatballs:
1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef (It’s important to buy lean)
1 large egg
3/4 cup white rice
1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
1/8 teaspoon oregano, crushed
1 bunch cilantro, stems removed and chopped
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil

For the broth:
6 cups of water + 3/4 cup
1 ½ cups Roma tomatoes, chopped
32 ounces chicken broth
1 cup potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup squash, diced
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon
1 teaspoon cumin, ground
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
Salt to taste

Combine beef, egg, rice, onion, cilantro, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well by hand. Roll about two tablespoons of ground beef mixture in your hands carefully shaping it into a 1-inch meat balls the size of a golf ball.

Rolled balls2

In a medium skillet, add olive oil. When oil is hot add the meatballs to brown, but not cooked all the way through. Be careful not to overcrowd the frying pan.

Boil the water and chicken stock in a large saucepan. Add the tomatoes, carrots, squash, and potatoes. Season the broth with the onion powder, cumin, black pepper, and salt to taste. Cook for about 20 minutes to bring to a boil. Gently place meatballs in boiling liquid. Bring back to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer for another 20 minutes. 

Ladle soup with about 5 albóndigas per bowl. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, lime wedges, and serve with warm tortillas. If you would like your soup spicy add a spoonful of your favorite homemade salsa.

Sopa de Albondiga ANSWERS

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  1. Im making this one on Saturday.. Im sure Tyson will love it cause all the receipes i get from you he ask me to make it again and again. One of his favorites is the talipa fish in mango salsa. Its my mission to try all your receipes, although i will be contacting you from time to time because several of the ingredients are hard to find here in El Paso.

    • I am just wondering why you leave out instructions on certain ingredients and leave an ingredient out…. for example in your ingredients you don’t have celery yet in your instructions you you add celery…. then you have tomatoes. Oregano, powder onion etc and yet you don’t instruct when to put those in….now for me I cook so yes it can be common sense but for someone who is just trying to learn this can be confusing…..
      Your flavor is great! And it came out good…. just thinking that you might want to rewrite this for those that aren’t experienced and be more clear with detail. God bless!

      • Stephen Chavez

        Excellent points. We will revisit the recipe to see where we can improve it. Thanks for the feedback.

      • Stephen Chavez

        Thank you for your feedback. We will revisit the recipe ingredients and instructions.

  2. I like to make Albondigas for my mom’s birthday, but I want to try a different way to make it other than the way I know how So I’ll give this recipe a shot. You’re right, this is the perfect soup to warm up on a cold night. Mil Gracias Steven!

  3. This is pretty much how I make mine except that I use ground turkey and, I add a chipotle and some of the adobo sauce to the meat mixture. Gives it a nice kick that doesn’t make you feel like your mouth is on fire (like my dads did…lol), yet adds that smoky flavor. Thanks for always sharing these wonderful recipes.

  4. The mint is missing.

    • Stephen Chavez

      The mint? In this albondigas soup recipe, there is no mint. We do have a turkey albondigas soup recipe on the blog that does have mint.

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