Mexican Albondigas Soup

Classic Mexican Albondigas Soup made with low fat beef meatballs. A Mexican comfort dish that is flavorful and healthy at the same time. Enjoy!

Two bowls with beef meatball soup

I pride myself on how good I make Mexican Albondigas soup. After all, it tastes just like how my mom used to make it. When you learn from the best there’s a good chance you’ll do alright as well!

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When I get asked what my family’s one traditional dish is, I always have to say Caldo De Albondigas! This Mexican sopa and flour tortillas are right on top too! And what’s not to love about it? It’s a complete healthy Mexican meal after all.

3 Mexican Albondigas in a white bowl with a lime on the side

Ingredients for Caldo De Albondigas

The main ingredient in this recipe is the protein. There are other Albondigas version (like shrimp or ground turkey) but today we’ll talk about beef which is your traditional version.

When made with low fat ground beef, this Albondigas Soup automatically becomes a super healthy meal! There is no need to use a higher fat ground beef since the egg & rice act as a binder. This way they won’t crumble. I promise!

Ground beef in a bowl ready to make meatballs

The veggies: I like to add a lot of vegetables to my albondigas recipe. Onions, carrots, celery, potatoes are your standard veggies but I also like to add fresh green beans & zucchini for extra vitamins.

There is nothing better than when a comfort meal is also healthy. I hope you get to make this!

Ingredients: ground beef, rice, potatoes, zucchini, carrots, celery, onions, etc.

How to make Albondigas Soup

Start by making the albondigas: 

  • Add all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with your hands. Form into 1-inch meatballs and roll between your palms. Set aside.

The soup: 

  • In a large stock pot add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat over medium-high heat.
  • Add the rice and sauté until light brown, making sure to keep stirring so that it doesn’t burn. Remove from the pot and set aside.

Note: Sautéing the rice & adding it later prevents it from becoming too mushy!

  • Add the other 1 tablespoon olive oil, the celery, onion, carrots & garlic. Sauté until the onions become soft, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the hot water, beef bullion, tomato sauce, albondigas, salt, pepper, oregano & cilantro. Stir & cover the pot with a lid.
  • Cook over low-medium heat. Add the rice after 50 minutes of cooking. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes.
  • Add the potatoes and green beans. At this point taste the broth and add more salt & pepper if needed. Cook for 15 more minutes.
  • Add the zucchini and cook for 10 more minutes. Note: The albondigas are all done when it’s soft to cut in half.
  • Serve hot.
Process images in a pot

Top Tips:

How do you keep albondigas from falling apart? As mentioned above, the egg & rice act as a binder in the meatball and they won’t fall apart. Even when using low fat ground beef!

What to serve with albondigas soup? I like to serve it with corn or flour tortillas. Drizzle them with lime juice & hot sauce for an extra kick if you would like. In my opinion, nothing else is needed.

How do you say albondigas in English? Albondigas mean meatballs in English and here is the perfect pronunciation of Albondigas on Spanish. This may come in helpful when you order them at a restaurant :).

How many calories are in albondigas soup? The total calories including the vegetables comes around to 400 calories per serving. This is when making them with low fat ground beef.

Two white bowls with Caldo De Albondigas

You like meatballs? You should also try my Healthy Italian Meatballs. These melt in your mouth! 

Original published date: Jan 2015. Albondigas Soup was updated in February 2020 to revise the content and photographs. The original recipe remains the same. Enjoy! 

Albondigas in a bowl with a lime on the side

Albondigas Soup

Servings 6 people
Ana Frias
4.78 from 9 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 50 mins
Classic Mexican Albondigas Soup made with low fat beef meatballs. A Mexican comfort dish that is flavorful and healthy at the same time. Enjoy!
6 people

Ingredients
  

For the Albondigas

  • 2 pounds 96% ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tablespoons uncooked white rice
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Soup

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1/3 cup white rice
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 1 small onion chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 4 large carrots peeled & chopped
  • 1 garlic clove peeled
  • 12 cups hot water
  • 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2 beef bullion cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
  • 3 cups fresh green beans cut in halves
  • 2 small white potatoes peeled and sliced
  • 2 medium zucchinis sliced

Instructions
 

  • To make the albondigas: Add all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with your hands. Form into 1-inch meatballs and roll between your palms. Set aside.
  • The soup: In a large stock pot add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat over medium-high heat.
  • Add the rice and sauté until light brown, making sure to keep stirring so that it doesn’t burn. Remove from the pot and set aside.
  • Add the other 1 tablespoon olive oil, celery, onion, carrots & garlic. Sauté until the onions become soft, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the water, beef bullion, tomato sauce, albondigas, salt, pepper, oregano & cilantro. Stir & cover the pot with a lid.
  • Cook over low-medium heat. Add the rice after 50 minutes of cooking. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes.
  • Add the potatoes and green beans. At this point taste the broth and add more salt & pepper if needed. Cook for 15 more minutes.
  • Add the zucchini and cook for 10 more minutes.
  • Serve hot.

*Ana’s Notes:

  • Sautéing the rice & adding it later prevents it from becoming too mushy!
  • The albondigas are all done when it’s soft to cut in half.

ADD YOUR OWN PRIVATE NOTES

Whenever you come back to this recipe, you’ll be able to see your notes.

NUTRITION

Serving: 4albondigas | Sodium: 1116mg | Sugar: 13g | Fiber: 8g | Potassium: 1489mg | Cholesterol: 93mg | Calories: 398kcal | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Fat: 11g | Protein: 45g | Carbohydrates: 34g

The nutritional information and US conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data. If this is important to you, please verify with your favourite nutrition calculator and/or unit conversion tool.

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One bowl with Albondigas in a moody scene

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Recipe Rating




23 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I just found your website last weekend while looking for a recipe for pickled onions. In one week I have tried about 8 of your recipes and every single one has been amazing. I have never tried this type of soup before, but I make meatballs all the time. These meatballs in this soup were amazing. I didn’t know meatballs in soup was a thing. I don’t know what others did to dry them out, but they turned out perfect for me. Your recipes are so well organized, easy to follow, and have beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing!

    1. hi Anna! Your comment made my day! Thank you so much for such a warm message and I really appreciate your feedback. I really hope you come back to try more recipes…if there is anything you’re looking for, just let me know. Have a lovely day!

      Ana

  2. The meatballs were so dry and lacked flavor. I noticed other recipes had more eggs for 2 pounds of meat and not such a long cook time. Also other recipes have more spices in the abondigas. Disappointed 🙁

  3. 4 stars
    I was really excited about this recipe after growing up in California and my Dad’s favorite soup was a albondigas. The broth and the vegetables were absolutely delicious, but the meatballs were hard and dry. Followed the recipe to exactly…..I wonder if I didn’t choose the correct meat?

    1. So sorry to hear this didn’t not workout as expected! The quality of the meat does affect the end result and perhaps that could be it? Also, did you make them too big and maybe they didn’t cook long enough to get soft. I hope you give it a try again! Thanks for the feedback.

    1. I don’t think so! When you add it at the beginning it doesn’t take the fresh cilantro taste. You may start by adding just half if you want but it does make the albondiga soup even better! Please let me know how it goes. Stay well!

  4. 5 stars
    Amazing! Made it for dinner tonight and it was perfect. Made no adjustments, just followed your recipe. Couldn’t have been better.
    Thank you for your efforts

  5. 5 stars
    Hi,

    My family and just tried your recipe and it was delicious, the only thing I added was ground Coriander seed to the albondigas. I know and quite understand why you are keeping this close to the same as your mom, but I noticed that you added green beans to the recipe because, well, they’re good for you. 😀 just thought I would share this one idea with you as well…Loved it, simply wonderful…As for learning to cook, I am pretty much self taught, there is not much of my mother’s recipe’s that I follow to the letter… I love to cook and experiment with new things…Your recipe was amazing, thank you so much for sharing.

  6. Hi, quick question: step 3 says to remove the rice, and step 4 shows the rice in the pot, then step 6 says to add the rice, can you clarify? Love your recipe, we make the sopa often! Thank you!

      1. HI Viki & Zima! Sorry for the late reply! You guys are right! The recipe had the wrong instructions. I have updated it so hopefully it makes better sense now. You’ll cook the rice, remove from pan, sauté the veggies, then add the rest as instructed. I found that if I left the rice from the beginning, it would get too mushy by the time everything was done cooking. So I updated that part and now it’s much better.

        Thank you so much for bringing this up to my attention. I hope you get to make it and I have no doubt you’ll love it. Have a fabulous day!

    1. Hi Amanda! The rice is raw. Thanks for the question and for stopping by! I updated the recipe….Let me know how they come out when you make them. Have a great day!

  7. I was supposed to learn some of my mom’s best recipes on my last visit, but as always I had more time for eating than for making. This recipe looks really close to what I remember. So thank you for that now I’ll be able to give a try!

    1. Awe that’s such a bummer! i’m just glad you got to enjoy your mom! That’s all it matters. xoxo