Albondigas Soup is a traditional Mexican soup made from juicy meatballs infused with rice and herbs that have been cooked in a flavorful tomato broth with onions, carrots, celery, potatoes, and green beans.
Albondigas soup, or Mexican meatball soup in English, is a satisfying and comforting classic Mexican dish that’s perfect any time of the year. It’s loaded with vegetables and tender meatballs all cooked in a simple yet flavorful broth.
Albondigas Soup Ingredients
The version I’m sharing with you today is made with onions, carrots, celery, green beans, and potatoes, but you can use different vegetables depending on the season. For example, in the warmer months I love using chayote squash and fresh corn. It’s totally up to you!
As the name of the recipe suggests, the star of the soup is the albondigas! The little meatballs are made from a mixture of 1/2 lean ground beef and 1/2 Mexican chorizo. The chorizo adds an amazing rich and salty flavor that can’t be beat!
They’re also seasoned with chopped fresh mint, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. To help them stick together and retain a little moisture, they’re mixed together with an egg and 1/2 a cup of cooked white rice.
How to make Albondigas Soup
Start by making the meatballs and combining all of the ingredients together using your hands.
The key to making the meatballs “fluffy” and not too dry is to not overwork the mixture. Try to mix everything together until you feel like all the ingredients have been evenly dispersed throughout the meat, and then stop. Resist the urge to keep mixing.
Once you’ve got the mixture combined, form it into 24 small meatballs.
I used a small cookie scoop to gather about 1 heaping tablespoon per meatballs, and then formed it using my hands.
Then set the meatballs aside while you make prep the vegetables and broth.
Once the broth base is cooked, carefully add in the meatballs one by one and cook them in the broth for a total of 30 minutes. This will add so much flavor to the broth and keep the meatballs tender and juicy, which is just what you want!
About halfway through cooking, add in the potatoes and green beans to ensure that they don’t overcook and get too mushy.
Tips for making Albondigas Soup
- Taste and adjust the salt content as you go. The salt content of Mexican chorizo and various broths can vary wildly from brand to brand, so I recommend always starting with a small amount and adjusting if necessary.
- Make sure the soup is boiling when you go to add the meatballs. This will ensure that they start cooking immediately instead of just sitting in the broth.
Substitutions and Variations
- If you can’t find Mexican chorizo near you, I highly recommend making your own using this chorizo recipe! It’s easy to make and uses ingredients that can easily be found in grocery stores like ground pork, various spices, and white vinegar.
- If you prefer to not use Mexican chorizo, you can use all ground beef instead.
- If you don’t have any fresh mint, you can use a mixture of 1/2 fresh cilantro and fresh parsley instead. Or you can use all cilantro if you prefer.
- Feel free to use any vegetables you have! Squash, zucchini, corn, and peas are all great options.
This post was originally published in June 2018 and has been updated in February 2022 with new photos and modified recipe instructions.