This Caldo De Albondigas is made with beef meatballs and a flavorful broth with Mexican seasonings, carrots, potatoes, zucchini and rice. Top each serving bowl with a drizzle of lime juice and hot sauce and you have a restaurant quality meal that your family will love!

A white bowl with caldo de albondigas and a spoon.
Receta de caldo de albondigas.

***This post was originally published on Dec 2015. It has been updated to be more helpful.

Albóndigas

I pride myself on how good I make 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 make them as good!

This recipe is absolutely delicious if I say so myself! This has something to please everyone and meatballs are always a big hit. The recipe is loaded with seasoned beef meatballs, plenty of vegetables in a flavorful broth. It makes for a nutritious and complete meal in a bowl!

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • So healthy – It’s packed with protein and lots of good for you veggies.
  • One pot – Tons of flavor, textures and a whole meal in one pot!
  • Perfect for meal prep – Make a large pot since it tastes great for leftovers.

A white bowl with caldo de albondigas and a spoon.
Vegetable-packed Albondigas.

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.

Ingredients

  • The meat – I like to use lean ground beef 94% to 96% to reduce the fat in this recipe. They can also be made with lean pork or ground turkey.
  • In the meatballs – You’ll need an egg, rice, oregano, garlic powder, salt & pepper for seasoning.
  • The veggies – Onions, carrots, celery, potatoes are the standard vegetables in most albondigas recipes but I also like to add fresh green beans & zucchini for extra vitamins.
  • The rice – rice adds lots of texture.
  • For the broth – water and tomato sauce is all you need.
  • SeasoningBeef bouillon, dried oregano, salt & pepper and cilantro of course!

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!

The ingredients for this recipe on a white table.
A branch graphic for posts.

***Make sure to scroll all the way down to the recipe card to get the full ingredient list and written recipe.

How to make Caldo De Albondigas

Making albondigas soup is a simple process but do allow some time to cook the meatballs in low heat. The flavor develops better with time.

Start by making the meatballs: 

  1. In a large bowl, add the ground beef, some rice, the egg, oregano, salt, black pepper and ground garlic. Mix well with your hands to integrate all ingredients evenly.
  2. Form the beef mixture into 1-inch meatballs and roll between your palms. Set aside.

Make the soup:

Start by sautéing the rice and setting it aside. Adding the toasted rice later prevents from over cooking it and becoming too mushy in the soup.

Sauteing white rice in a pot.
  1. In a large stock pot add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat over medium-high heat.
  2. 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.

3. To the same pot, add another tablespoon olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the celery, onion, carrots & garlic.

4. Sauté until the onions become soft, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Sauteing chopped white onions carrots and celery in a white pot.

5. Add hot water, beef bullion, tomato sauce, albondigas, salt, pepper, oregano & cilantro. Stir & cover the pot with a lid.

6. Cook over low-medium heat. After 40 minutes of cooking, add the rice, potatoes and green beans. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes.

A white pot with beef meatballs in a broth and chopped cilantro.

7. At this point taste the broth and add more salt & pepper if needed. Add the zucchini and cook for 10 more minutes. Note: The albondigas are all done when it’s soft to cut in half with a fork or spoon.


Storage Icon Graphic.

How to Store & Reheat

The first step once you’ve made your caldo is to cool it down. Do not place a hot soups in the fridge or freezer.

  • Fridge– Refrigerate in an airtight storage container for up to four days.
  • Freezer – Freeze in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container or freezer bags for up to 3 months.
  • To Thaw – Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

To reheat:

On the stove: Place in soup in pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until hot.

In the microwave: reheat a single bowl on high in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes or until hot.

A white pot with caldo de albondigas and a cooking spoon.
Albondigas en caldo is a nutritious and fulfilling Mexican soup.

Love meatball recipes? Be sure to also try my Healthy Italian Meatballs. Easy to make and they melt in your mouth! 

Chef’s notes:

  • 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!
  • Make sure to use good quality beef so the meatballs come out tender and flavorful.
  • What to serve with albondigas soup? I like to serve it with corn or flour tortillas. Drizzle the soup with lime juice & hot sauce for an extra kick if you would like (highly recommended).
Two white bowls with albondigas soup with a spoon and two glasses with drinks on the side.
Mexican Albondigas soup is packed with protein, fiber, and veggies!

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

If you enjoyed this recipe I’d love it if you take 5 seconds to rate and review it below on the blog. It’s also super helpful to me and other readers if you share any changes you made to the recipe. Gracias!!!!

Print Recipe:

A white bowl with caldo de albondigas and a spoon.

Caldo De Albondigas (Nutritious Mexican Meatballs Soup)

Servings 6 people
Ana Frias
4.93 from 27 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
This Caldo De Albondigas is made with beef meatballs and a flavorful broth with Mexican seasonings, carrots, potatoes, zucchini and rice. Top each serving bowl with a drizzle of lime juice and hot sauce and you have a restaurant quality meal that your family will love!
6 people

Ingredients  

For the Albondigas
  • 2 pounds 96% ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tablespoons uncooked white rice
  • ¾ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
For the Soup
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 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
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ½ 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, albondigas, beef bullion, tomato sauce, salt, pepper, oregano & cilantro. Stir & cover the pot with a lid.
  • Cook over low-medium heat. After 40 minutes of cooking, add the rice, potatoes and green beans. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes.
  • At this point taste the broth and add more salt & pepper if needed. Add the zucchini and cook for 10 more minutes.
  • The albondigas are all done when it’s soft to cut in half with a fork or spoon.
  • Serve hot, drizzle with lime juice and hot sauce.

Muy Delish 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.

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Nutrition

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

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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Recipe Rating




36 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Ana, I have made this recipes a few times, and always had great reviews. I am making a double batch for the holidays, and I was wondering how far in advance can I prepare the meatballs and the best way to store them if done a few days in advance. Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    Great recipe..i was on the Internet trying to find an Albondigas recipe for a long time.. I gave yours a shot, not thinking of it.. man it was good.. I gave some to my mom and it was gone..
    Thank you for the visuals and the ingredients..

  3. 5 stars
    Absolutely loved the flavors in this dish. It was so cozy. Had it for dinner with fresh bread and ir was honestly a perfect weeknight meal.

    1. Would you be able to add already cooked rice towards the caldo in the end…or do you think there would be a difference in flavor? I have some left over rice and trying to see how to not waste it

  4. 5 stars
    Absolutely a new concept to me but fortunately I had all the ingredients. So, i made them last night and I must say we loved every bit of this dish. So so so delicious and satisfying.

  5. 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

  6. 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!

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 5 stars
    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