Albondigas Soup – a hearty and warm Mexican meatball soup made with juicy, well-seasoned rice and beef meatballs simmered in a flavorful tomato-based broth along with some carrots, potatoes, and zucchini. Truly a fantastic dish that the whole family would love!
Happy 2 0 2 0, everyone!
How was your New Year’s Day celebration? Already craving something warm and comforting? I feel you!
Today’s recipe is a good break from all the fatty and heavy dishes from the holidays. Although it’s not purely all veggies (like how you’d imagine all post-holiday dishes should be), you’d love how warm, light and still very comforting this soup recipe is.
It’s a fantastic weeknight dinner, especially on chilly nights, with or without any accompaniment. Beef, rice, soup, and veggies – everything you want in a cozy dinner is everything right in this Albondigas Soup recipe.
What is Albondigas Soup?
If you aren’t familiar with this soup recipe yet, I’d be honored to share this with you as this soup is loaded with just about anything you’ll need for a very satisfying dinner.
Albondigas is simply the Spanish word for meatballs. What makes this version of meatballs quite unique on its own is that it uses rice as a binding agent. And not only that, you probably might forget all those juicy meatballs once you start digging its aromatic and tasty broth and tender pieces of vegetables. Warm, light yet very hearty soup – how can you not fall in love with this?
Ingredients for Albondigas Soup
The beauty of this soup is that it is pretty straight forward to make. Yesss! You shape the meatballs, make the broth, add the veggies and then the meatballs. Let it all simmer until cooked through. As for the spices, they’are all probably sitting in your pantry right now.
The following is the list of ingredients that you’ll need for this Mexican Albondigas Soup. (For a complete list of the amount per ingredient, see the recipe box below. )
Albondigas (Meatballs) Recipe
- ground beef (or half ground pork and half ground beef)
- cooked white rice (not only that you can add it to the meatballs, but also to the soup for another layer)
- minced garlic and onions
- cilantro or parsley leaves
- spices: salt, pepper, ground cumin, ground oregano, ground paprika
- olive oil
- onions and garlic
- carrots, zucchini, and potatoes
- salt and pepper
- beef broth
- tomato paste or tomato sauce
- spices: ground cumin, dried oregano, chicken bouillon, and smoked paprika
- cilantro leaves for garnishing
If you prefer a little bit more kick into this dish, add some crushed red pepper flakes or a few teaspoons of your favorite hot sauce into the broth. Aside from those vegetables listed above, you can also throw in some green beans or yellow squash.
What to Serve with Albondigas Soup?
My family loves this Mexican meatball soup recipe as it is. Every bit of it is such enjoyable to eat – from the meatballs, to the broth and down to the veggies. For those who wish to add a bit more on the dining table, you can serve the following to go along with this delicious soup recipe:
Can I Freeze the Meatballs?
Yes, you sure can. This is a great way to “partially” make this soup ahead of time. Simply shape the balls and lay them in a parchment-lined baking sheet 1-inch apart. Then flash freeze them or until hard enough to touch. Lastly, transfer them to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag, label and freeze for up to a month. When you’re ready to make the soup, add the frozen meatballs directly into the soup.
Storing and Reheating Albondigas Soup
Oh, I love making a big batch of this soup, especially this time of the year. I just store it in an airtight container after it cooled down completely. And store in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
As for reheating, just place it on top of your stove and reheat over medium-low heat while stirring gently until warmed through.
More Soup Recipes to Warm You Up
- Chicken and Rice Soup
- Ham and Bean Soup
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
- Beef Barley Soup
Looking for More Meatball Recipes?
- Swedish Meatballs
- Baked Meatballs
- African Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
- Pineapple Glazed Meatballs
- Chicken Meatball Soup
How To Make Albondigas Soup
In a large mixing bowl, add the beef, rice, garlic, egg, cilantro, onions and spices and combine ingredients with your hands until thoroughly mixed.
Roll out the meatballs using hands. If you’d like larger meatballs you should have around 14-16 total. Set on a plate and to the side.
Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, celery, carrots, zucchini. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add broth, tomato paste or sauce, cumin, oregano, chicken bouillon, and paprika followed by potato chunks. Bring everything to a boil then reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 10-12 minutes.
After the broth has achieved a low simmer, place the meatballs into the broth one by one. Be careful in doing so, as to not create splashes. Simmer for 10-12 minutes more. Adjust seasonings to taste. Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves. Serve with toasted bread and rice!
Watch How To Make It
- 1 pound (453.59g) ground beef or use ½ pound ground pork or ground beef , I use 90% lean
- ½ cup (125g) cooked white rice
- 2 teaspoons (10g) minced garlic
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup (4g) cilantro or parsley leaves chopped
- ¼ cup minced onions
- 1 teaspoon (3g) ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon (5g) salt
- ½- 1 teaspoon (1g-2g) black pepper
- 1 teaspoon (1g) ground oregano
- 1 teaspoon (2g) ground paprika
For the Soup
- 1 tablespoon (14ml) olive oil
- 1 large onion , diced
- 1 tablespoon (8g) minced garlic
- 1 large celery stalk , sliced (about 1 cup)
- 2-3 carrots , peeled, quartered and sliced (1 ½ -2 cups)
- 1 large zucchini , quartered and sliced (1 ½ - 2 cups)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 6-7 cups (1500ml-1750ml) beef broth or water
- 3 tablespoons (48g) tomato paste or 8-ounce tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon (3g) ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon (1g) dried oregano
- ½ tablespoon (1g) chicken bouillon
- ½ tablespoon (3.5g) smoked paprika
- 1 ½ cups (183g) potatoes , cut into ½-inch pieces (2 potatoes large)
- ¼ cup (4g) cilantro leaves , chopped
- In a large mixing bowl, add the beef, rice, garlic, egg, cilantro, onions and spices and combine ingredients with your hands until thoroughly mixed.
- Roll out the meatballs using hands. If you’d like larger meatballs you should have around 14-16 total. Set on a plate and to the side.
- Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, celery, carrots, zucchini. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add broth, tomato paste or sauce, cumin, oregano, chicken bouillon, and paprika followed by potato chunks. Bring everything to a boil then reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 10-12 minutes.
- After the broth has achieved a low simmer, place the meatballs into the broth one by one. Be careful in doing so, as to not create splashes. Simmer for 10-12 minutes more.
- Adjust seasonings to taste. Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves. Serve with toasted bread and rice!
Tips & Notes:
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.