Albondigas is a delicious Mexican soup filled with meatballs, vegetables, and spices! It’s easy, flavorful, and sure to be a favorite.
Mexican Albondigas Soup
Albondigas soup is known as Caldo de Albóndigas but its origin goes back to Spain and has some Arabic influences. The word albondiga translates to meatball, which is the star of this soup.
This traditional Mexican meatball soup has a flavorful broth base and is filled with tomatoes, veggies, and homemade meatballs. It occasionally has rice in it too!
This recipe was recreated based on the soup my Great-Grandma would make, and we finally nailed it! It’s flavorful and hearty, just like my Grandma’s!
How to Make Albondigas Soup
I always start by making the meatballs. You could use frozen or pre-made meatballs, but these are really simple to make and taste so good!
I promise homemade meatballs are the way to go when making Albóndigas soup.
MEATBALLS. Combine all ingredients together thoroughly. Form 20-24 tight meatballs by rolling the mixture between your palms (we made ours about 1½ inches wide). Brown on all sides in a hot pan with olive oil for a few minutes. Set aside.
BROTH. In a large pot, combine chicken broth, carrots, celery, tomatoes, cumin, oregano, and cilantro leaves. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a mild. Simmer for 10 minutes.
COMBINE + SERVE. Drop meatballs and potatoes in the soup and slightly boil so that the meatballs cook quickly. Return to simmer and cook another 20 minutes. Salt and Pepper to taste. Enjoy warm.
Add rice to the soup. Add as much as you like to the soup, cooking it for the last 20 minutes of simmering.
Make in a crock pot
COOK. Add all of your ingredients (except for your cilantro) to your slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 4 hours.
GARNISH + SERVE. Add cilantro at the very end and salt and pepper if needed.
- Use a cookie scoop to make all the ground beef meatballs the same size.
- Instead of breadcrumbs, use uncooked instant white rice, crushed crackers, crushed cornflakes, or rolled oats.
- Adding too many bread crumbs, or too few, can cause the meatballs to fall apart.
- For the most tender and flavorful meatballs, stick with fattier meats. The most popular meat choice is ground beef (80/20 or 70/30). Meatballs made using lean ground beef tend to fall apart easier.
- Use only ground pork or a combination of pork and beef.
- Use 4-6 fresh garlic cloves to make 2 teaspoons of minced garlic.
- Fresh herbs can be substituted for dry herbs and vice versa. 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs equals 1 teaspoon of dry herbs.
- Add extra flavor with chopped onions and diced zucchini.
- Top the soup with a dollop of sour cream and sliced avocados.
- Garnish bowls with lime wedges which you can squeeze to add lime juice to each bowl.
- Add heat to the soup using hot sauce, sliced jalapeños, or red chili flakes.
- Thicken with tomato sauce or tomato paste.
- Use stock in place of broth.
storing info + SERVING SUGGESTIONS
STORE. Let cool, and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
FREEZE in containers or double bagged in freezer bags.
To reheat, let thaw in the fridge overnight and return to the stove. Cook until heated through. You can microwave it as well.
Here are some recipes we love to have with albondigas.
The smell of this Mexican Albondigas soup is so yummy. Your family will be begging for second and third helpings! Let us know if you try Grandma’s recipe, and we hope you love it as much as we do.
More Soup Recipes:
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 egg beaten
- 2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup cooked rice optional
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 carrot sliced
- 1 celery stalk cut into chunks
- 1 (16oz) can diced tomatoes undrained
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
- 1 potato diced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Meatballs: Combine all ingredients together thoroughly. Form 20-24 tight meatballs by rolling between your palms (we made ours about 1 ½ inches wide). Brown on all sides in a hot pan with olive oil for a few minutes. Set aside.
- In a large pot, combine chicken broth, carrots, celery, tomatoes, cumin, oregano, and cilantro leaves.
- Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a mild simmer for 10 minutes.
- Drop meatballs and potatoes in the soup and slightly boil so that the meatballs cook quickly. Return to simmer and cook another 20 minutes. Salt and Pepper to taste. Enjoy warm.