Albondigas Soup Recipe – A Traditional Mexican Dish

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Embark on a flavorful journey to the heart of Mexico with our Albondigas Soup Recipe, a hearty and aromatic bowl filled with savory meatballs and vibrant vegetables. The succulent albondigas, seasoned to perfection, float in a rich, tomato-infused broth, offering a symphony of flavors in every spoonful. Fresh herbs and a squeeze of lime add a zesty kick, while chunks of vegetables provide a satisfying crunch. Dive into this soul-warming soup and savor the authentic taste of Mexican comfort food.

Venture with us on a tantalizing journey as we uncover the culinary magic behind Mexico’s iconic Albondigas Soup Recipe.

This hearty, soul-nourishing soup, known for its robust meatballs and vibrant medley of vegetables, is steeped in tradition and captures the essence of Mexican cuisine. 

Albondigas Soup Recipe

Offering a burst of unforgettable flavors with every spoonful, Albondigas is not just a soup; it’s a tribute to culinary heritage. As comforting as it is appetizing, this dish embodies warmth, home, and a richness that lingers long after the last bite. 

Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or a novice in the kitchen, mastering this celebrated recipe could elevate your cooking prowess.

Prepare to be transported into the heart of Mexico, as we unravel the secrets of creating the perfect Albondigas Soup. Get ready to fill your kitchen with the inviting aromas of authentic Mexican cuisine!

What Is Albondigas Soup?

Albondigas soup is a traditional Mexican soup featuring flavorful meatballs, known as albondigas, often made from a mix of beef and pork. The meatballs are simmered in a rich and comforting broth, usually prepared with tomatoes, garlic and onions

The soup is further enriched with a variety of vegetables like zucchini, carrots, and peas, and seasoned with herbs such as cilantro and mint. 

A squeeze of fresh lime and a sprinkle of rice completes this hearty, aromatic dish, providing a soul-warming culinary experience.

Albondigas Soup Recipe

Can You Vary The Albondigas Soup With Other Ingredients? 

Here’s how you can adapt the traditional Albondigas Soup recipe to fit various dietary needs:

  1. Keto Keep the recipe mostly the same, but replace the rice in the meatballs with a low-carb substitute like finely chopped cauliflower. Also, ensure that your broth is free of any added sugars.
  2. Paleo Replace the rice in the meatballs with a paleo-friendly ingredient like almond flour, and make sure to use a broth that doesn’t contain any additives or processed ingredients.
  3. Gluten-Free Use a gluten-free substitute for the rice in the meatballs such as quinoa or millet, and ensure your broth is certified gluten-free.
  4. Whole30 Skip the rice in the meatballs and opt for a Whole30-compliant filler like almond flour or mashed sweet potato. Use a broth without added sugars or non-compliant additives.
  5. Vegetarian/Vegan Replace the meatballs with a plant-based alternative. You can make “meatballs” from a combination of cooked lentils, quinoa, and finely chopped vegetables. Use a rich vegetable broth instead of chicken or beef broth. For vegans, ensure any toppings like cheese are plant-based or omitted.
Ingredient tips

Recipe Directions

  1. Combine ground beef, half the cilantro and onion, garlic, garlic salt, and onion powder. Season and form meatballs.
  2. Brown the meatballs in a skillet, then set aside.
  3. Cook remaining onions in the skillet until translucent.
  4. In a pot, pour chicken broth, stir in onions, and add carrots, celery, and potatoes. Bring to a boil.
  5. Simmer until potatoes are nearly tender.
  6. Add meatballs and remaining cilantro; simmer for 30 minutes. Season to taste.
Recipe Direction

Variations, Add-Ons And Toppings


  • Spicy Albondigas: Add some diced jalapeno peppers to the soup for an extra kick, or use spicy sausage in the meatballs.
  • Vegetarian Albondigas: Replace the meatballs with a mixture of lentils, mushrooms, and breadcrumbs or cooked quinoa for a hearty vegetarian version.
  • Seafood Albondigas: Substitute the ground meat with a mixture of fish and shrimp for a coastal twist on the classic.


  • Additional Vegetables: You can add other vegetables like zucchini, green beans, or peas for more color and nutrition.
  • Beans: Add some canned or cooked beans for an extra source of protein and fiber.
  • Pasta: Small pasta shapes like orzo or ditalini can be added to make the soup even more filling.


  • Fresh Herbs: A sprinkling of fresh cilantro or parsley can add a refreshing note.
  • Cheese: A sprinkle of grated cheese such as queso fresco, Monterey Jack, or cheddar adds a creamy richness.
  • Avocado: Slices of ripe avocado provide a creamy contrast to the hearty soup.
  • Lime Wedges: Serving with lime wedges lets individuals add a tangy burst of flavor to their soup.
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Can I Make The Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

Albondigas Soup can easily be adapted for a slow cooker or Instant Pot.

Slow Cooker 

  • Prepare the meatballs as per the original recipe and brown them in a skillet. This step enhances the flavor and keeps the meatballs intact during slow cooking.
  • Place the browned meatballs and all the other ingredients into the slow cooker.
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours, until the vegetables are tender and the meatballs are cooked through.
  • Add additional seasonings if needed before serving.

Instant Pot 

  • Use the sauté function on your Instant Pot to brown the meatballs. Then, remove them and set aside.
  • Sauté the onions, then add the other vegetables and broth.
  • Return the meatballs to the pot, secure the lid, and set the valve to “sealing”.
  • Cook on manual high pressure for 7-10 minutes.
  • Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then quickly release any remaining pressure.
  • Add additional seasonings if needed before serving.
Albondigas Soup Recipe

Can I Use Store Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

Both homemade and store-bought broths can be used to make Albondigas Soup, and the choice largely depends on your personal preference, dietary restrictions, and time constraints.

Homemade Broth

  • Homemade broth often has a richer, deeper flavor that can enhance the overall taste of your soup. You can control what goes into it, allowing you to adjust the salt content, include preferred aromatics, and avoid any potential allergens or dietary restrictions. However, making broth from scratch can be time-consuming.

Store-Bought Broth

  • Store-bought broth is a convenient option that saves time and effort. Today, you can find high-quality store-bought broths with a variety of flavors and nutritional profiles. However, they can sometimes be high in sodium or contain additives, so it’s always a good idea to read the label. 
Albondigas Soup Recipe

How To Serve ?

Albondigas Soup can be served in various delightful ways that enhance its flavor and appeal:

  • Serve Hot: The soup should be served hot, as this brings out the flavors more fully and creates a more comforting eating experience.
  • Garnish: Garnish your soup with some freshly chopped cilantro or parsley, and a squeeze of lime juice just before serving. This will add a pop of fresh flavor and bright color.
  • Accompaniments: Albondigas Soup can be served with a side of crusty bread, tortillas, or even rice for those who want a more substantial meal. The bread or tortillas can be used to soak up the flavorful broth.
  • Cheese: Sprinkle a little crumbled queso fresco or shredded Monterey Jack cheese on top for added richness.
  • Serving Bowl: Serve the soup in a deep bowl to keep it hot longer and to accommodate the hearty meatballs and vegetables.
  • Chilies: For those who enjoy a bit of heat, offer sliced jalapeños or a spicy salsa on the side.
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Perfect Side Dishes

  • Warm Tortillas: Corn or flour tortillas are a classic side, perfect for sopping up any leftover broth.
  • Mexican Rice: This flavorful side dish can complement the soup’s spices and add a different texture to your meal.
  • Green Salad: A light and crisp salad with a tangy vinaigrette can offer a refreshing contrast to the rich, warm soup.
  • Crusty Bread: A loaf of fresh, crusty bread can be a great addition to any soup meal. A good sourdough or a French baguette would work particularly well.
  • Grilled Vegetables: A side of grilled or roasted vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, or corn would complement the soup’s hearty flavors.
  • Avocado Slices or Guacamole: The creaminess of avocado can provide a wonderful contrast to the soup’s robust flavors.
  • Cheese Quesadillas: These can serve as a more filling side dish, offering a crispy texture that contrasts nicely with the soup.
  • Chips and Salsa: A simple side of crunchy tortilla chips with salsa can add a delightful crunch to your meal.
Albondigas Soup Recipe

Storage And Make Ahead

  • Prepare Meatballs: Mix ground beef, rice, onions, herbs, and spices. Form into small meatballs.
  • Cook Meatballs: Brown in a skillet, then set aside.
  • Make Soup Base: Sauté onions, garlic, and veggies. Add tomatoes, broth, and seasoning.
  • Combine: Add meatballs to the simmering soup base.
  • Storage: Cool soup completely before transferring to airtight containers. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for longer storage.
  • Make Ahead: Prep everything and store separately. Combine and simmer when ready to serve.
Albondigas Soup Recipe

What Can We Do With Leftovers? 

Leftover Albondigas Soup can be repurposed in several creative and delicious ways:

  • Pasta Sauce: The meatballs and vegetables in the soup can easily be transformed into a pasta sauce. Reduce the soup over medium heat until thickened, then serve over your favorite pasta.
  • Taco or Burrito Filling: The flavorful meatballs can be used as a unique filling for tacos or burritos. Add some salsa, cheese, and lettuce for a satisfying meal.
  • Stuffed Bell Peppers: Use the meatballs and veggies as a stuffing for bell peppers. Top with cheese and bake until golden.
  • Meatball Sandwich: Place the meatballs into a crusty baguette, top with some grated cheese, and grill until melted and bubbly.
  • Rice Bowl: Serve the soup over a bowl of cooked rice for a quick and easy meal. Add some fresh herbs and a squeeze of lime for extra flavor.


  • Meat Mix: Combine ground beef with ground pork for a flavorful blend.
  • Seasoning Sensation: Ensure to season the meat mixture generously with salt, pepper, cumin, and oregano.
  • Perfectly Sized: Keep the meatballs uniform in size for even cooking.
  • Simmer Slowly: Let the soup simmer gently to allow flavors to meld together.
  • Veggie Variety: Add a mix of carrots, celery, and onions for depth of flavor.
  • Fresh Herbs: Finish with fresh cilantro or parsley for a burst of freshness.
  • Lime Love: Serve with lime wedges for a zesty kick.

Albondigas Soup Recipe – A Traditional Mexican Dish

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Recipe by Hanna Barnes Course: Soup Recipe


Prep time


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Albondigas soup is a traditional Mexican dish that features flavorful meatballs cooked in a savory broth with vegetables like carrots, celery, and potatoes. The soup is seasoned with herbs and spices, creating a comforting and delicious meal that is perfect for any time of the year.

Ingredients List

  • 1 Pound 1 Ground Beef

  • 1 1 Cilantro Bunch (Finely Chopped)

  • 1 Small 1 Onion (Chopped)

  • 4 4 Garlic Cloves (Minced)

  • 1 Pinch 1 Garlic Salt

  • 1 Pinch 1 Onion Powder

  • Salt (To Taste)

  • Ground black pepper (To Taste)

  • 14.5 Ounces 14.5 Chicken Broth (Canned)

  • 4 Large 4 Carrots (cut Into 1/2 Inch Pieces)

  • 3 3 Celery Stalks(Cut Into 1 Inch Pieces)

  • 3 3 Potatoes (Cubed)

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preparation Steps
    In a bowl, combine the ground beef, 1/2 of the cilantro, 1/2 of the chopped onion, garlic, garlic salt, and onion powder. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Mix gently until everything is combined well.
    Form the meat mixture into golf ball-sized meatballs. Set them aside for cooking.
  • Cooking
    Spray a large skillet with nonstick spray. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat.
    Carefully add the meatballs to the skillet. Brown them evenly on all sides, then remove and set them aside. Remember, they do not need to be fully cooked at this stage as they will finish cooking in the soup.
    In the same skillet, cook and stir the remaining onion over medium-low heat until they become translucent, about 10 minutes.
  • Blending
     Pour the chicken broth into a large pot, and stir in the cooked onion.
    Add the carrots, celery, and potatoes to the pot. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Final Touches
    Once boiling, reduce the heat and let it simmer until the potatoes are nearly tender, about 15 minutes.
    Now, add the browned meatballs and the remaining cilantro to the soup. Allow it to simmer for 30 minutes to let all the flavors meld together.
    Finally, season the soup with additional salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Serving
    Serve this hearty Albondigas Soup hot, with a side of warm crusty bread or over cooked rice if you prefer. Top with fresh cilantro or a squeeze of lime for extra zest.
  • Large Pot Or Dutch Oven
  • Skillet
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Ice Cream Scoop Or Cookie Scoop
  • Wooden Spoon Or Ladle
  • Sharp Knife And Cutting Board
  • Measuring Cups And Spoons
  • Kitchen Tongs Or Slotted Spoon


  • Ground Meat: You can use ground beef, turkey, or a combination of both for the meatballs. Adding some breadcrumbs and an egg will help bind the meat mixture together.
  • Seasoning: Don’t be afraid to experiment with spices and herbs to enhance the flavor of the meatballs and broth. Common additions include cumin, oregano, and chili powder.
  • Sauté the Aromatics: Sautéing the onions and garlic before adding them to the broth will bring out their flavors and add depth to the soup.
  • Size and Shape of Meatballs: Aim for small to medium-sized meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter, so they cook evenly and are easy to eat. Roll the meat mixture gently to avoid dense and tough meatballs.
  • Cooking Time: Allow the meatballs to cook in the simmering broth until they are fully cooked and no longer pink in the center. This usually takes about 15-20 minutes, depending on their size.
  • Vegetables: Feel free to customize the vegetable selection according to your preference. Besides carrots, celery, and potatoes, you can also add peas, zucchini, or corn for additional flavor and texture.
  • Adjusting Seasonings: Taste the broth before serving and adjust the salt, pepper, and other seasonings as needed. This will ensure a well-balanced and flavorful soup.
  • Garnish and Serving: Fresh cilantro, lime wedges, and a sprinkle of grated cheese are common garnishes for Albondigas soup. Serve it with warm tortillas or crusty bread for a complete and satisfying meal.

Nutrition Table

Nutrition Table

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