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This Mexican albondigas soup is so satisfying! Tender meatballs are served in a flavorful broth with veggies. Similar to sopa de fideo, this recipe is classic Mexican comfort food.
Table of Contents
- Watch How to Make Albondigas Soup
- What Are Albondigas?
- Why You’ll Love This Mexican Meatball Soup
- Recipe Ingredients
- How to Make Albondigas (Mexican Meatball Soup)
- Do I Have to Strain the Tomato Sauce?
- How Do You Keep Albondigas From Falling Apart?
- Serving Suggestions
- How to Store and Reheat Extras
- More Soup Recipes to Try
- Get the Recipe
It’s February and it’s cold, which means I’m in full cozy, comfort food mode. And since I recently shared my nana’s sopa de fideo recipe, I thought it would be a good time to share another one of her go-to meals: albóndigas con caldo (Mexican meatball soup).
This hearty dish was a big favorite among us grandkids and we always looked forward to digging into a steaming bowl of nana’s meatball soup. Each albondiga is filled with tender meat and rice. It’s all served in a flavorful broth filled with bite-sized carrots and potatoes. It doesn’t get more satisfying than this soup.
Watch How to Make Albondigas Soup
Want to see how to make Mexican meatball soup from scratch? Check out my video below!
What Are Albondigas?
Albóndigas (pronounced al-BUHN-dee-gahz) are Mexican meatballs. Made with ground beef, spices, and rice, these meatballs are tender and filling. The rice makes them light enough to easily cut through with a spoon while enjoying your soup. This way you can get the perfect bite every time, with a little bit of meat, some veggies, and broth in every spoonful.
Why You’ll Love This Mexican Meatball Soup
- Easy. You won’t need any complicated or hard-to-find ingredients for this soup recipe. It’s easy to put together, then just simmers on the stove until done. Your home will smell amazing!
- Hearty. Filled with tender meatballs and veggies, this recipe is filling and satisfying.
- Flavorful. There is flavor in every part of this recipe, from the soup base to the meatballs.
- Flexible. You can add more veggies if you like and can even use old-fashioned oats instead of white rice in the meatballs.
Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need to make this albóndigas soup. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for specific amounts.
For the Broth
- Chicken broth – You can also use vegetable broth
- Yellow onion – A white onion also works
- Chipotle in adobo sauce – You can usually find this in the ethnic aisle at the grocery store.
- Garlic cloves
For the Albondigas
- Ground beef
- White rice – You can also use old-fashioned oats.
- Spices – Ground cumin, dry oregano
- Salt and pepper
- Masa Harina – Usually available in the ethnic aisle of the grocery store, or you can get it at Bob’s Red Mill or on Amazon (affiliate link).
To Finish the Soup
- Olive oil
- Spices – Ground cumin and dried oregano.
- Potato – Peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
- Carrot – Peeled and sliced into rounds
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh cilantro
How to Make Albondigas (Mexican Meatball Soup)
Are you ready to make some cozy Mexican meatball soup? Here’s how to do it:
- Make the sauce. Place the chicken broth, tomatoes, onion, chipotle, and garlic in the blender. Process until you get a smooth mixture. Set it aside.
- Roll the meatballs. Mix all the albondigas ingredients together in a large bowl until well combined. Use your hands to roll the mixture into balls the size of 1 tbsp. Make sure they’re all evenly sized or they’ll cook unevenly. Set them aside.
- Cook the sauce. Add the oil to a large pot over medium heat. Strain the blended tomato sauce into the pot, then add the cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir well. Bring to a simmer and let it cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the veggies and meatballs. Add the potatoes and carrots. Carefully add the meatballs to the pot. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the soup simmer for 40 minutes or until the rice is cooked through.
- Serve. Taste the soup and adjust salt/pepper if needed. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with cilantro if desired, and dig in.
Do I Have to Strain the Tomato Sauce?
No, that is an optional step. If you want the liquid in your soup to have a more broth-like consistency, then strain the blended tomato mixture. If you want your soup to have a thicker consistency, you can just add the blended sauce to the pot without straining it.
How Do You Keep Albondigas From Falling Apart?
One of the most common challenges when making meatballs is that they won’t hold their shape and then fall apart during the cooking process. In this recipe, we add masa harina to the meatball mixture, which acts as a binder with the eggs. You’ll notice a significant difference between the meat mixture with and without the masa harina so don’t skip it!
Albondigas soup is a meal in and of itself, but you can add some chopped fresh cilantro on top and serve it with lime wedges. Squeeze some fresh lime juice into the soup just before digging in for extra flavor.
I also like to slice up a block of good cheese and put the slices out on the table with a stack of warm tortillas. My family adds a couple of pieces of cheese to a warm tortilla, then rolls the tortilla around the cheese and takes bites in between mouthfuls of soup.
How to Store and Reheat Extras
- Fridge: Let the soup cool to room temperature, then transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Stovetop: When you are ready to eat some of your albondigas soup, simply ladle the desired amount into a pot and reheat on the stove over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.
- Microwave: You can also ladle soup into a microwave-safe bowl and zap it until warmed through. I usually reheat it for about 2 minutes and 30 seconds, pausing halfway through to stir the soup.
More Soup Recipes to TryPrint
Albondigas (Mexican Meatball Soup)
This Mexican albondigas soup is easy and so satisfying! Tender meatballs are served in a hearty broth filled with veggies.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Yield: 9 servings
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Mexican
For the soup base
- 10 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 medium tomatoes
- 1/4 medium yellow onion
- 1 chipotle in adobo sauce
- 2 large garlic cloves
For the albondigas
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 cup white rice, uncooked
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons masa harina
To finish the soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 large potato, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into half moons
- 1/s teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- Fresh cilantro, for serving
- Lime wedges, for serving
Make the sauce. Place 1 cup of the chicken stock, tomatoes, onion, chipotle, and garlic in the blender. Process until you get a smooth mixture. Set it aside.
Roll the meatballs. Mix all the albondigas ingredients together in a large bowl until well combined. Use your hands to roll the mixture into balls the size of 1 tbsp. Make sure they’re all evenly sized or they’ll cook unevenly. Set them aside.
Cook the sauce. Add the oil to a large pot over medium heat. Strain the blended tomato sauce into the pot, then add the cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir well. Bring to a simmer and let it cook for 5 minutes.
Add the veggies and meatballs. Add the potatoes and carrots. Carefully add the meatballs to the pot. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the soup simmer for 40 minutes or until the rice is cooked through.
Serve. Taste the soup and adjust salt/pepper if needed. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with cilantro if desired, and dig in. Add some squeezes of fresh lime juice if you like!
Keywords: albondigas soup, caldo de albondigas, mexican soup, sopa de albondigas, albóndigas