This Albondigas soup recipe is so flavorful, healthy, and easy to make. It is one of my family's favorite soup recipes! It's perfect for lunch or dinner, especially on a cold or rainy day!
Soup is one of my favorite things to eat and make all year round.
If you're looking for an easy soup, try this Albondigas soup recipe! You can cook this Sopa de Albóndigas soup on a stove, in a slow cooker, or in an instant pot.
What is Caldo de Albondigas
Albondigas means “meatballs” in Spanish. It is a classic Mexican soup loaded with meatballs and vegetables.
This Caldo de Albondigas recipe is so tasty and filling.
The meatballs are so tender and juicy. They are perfectly seasoned with herbs and spices. Moreover, The broth is so good that you'll be tempted to slurp it right from the bowl, just like when you were a kid.
Now, let's talk about the ingredients for Albondigas soup!
This albondigas soup is made of:
- Ground beef (either lean or extra lean, depending on your preference). Use ground meat that's at least 20% fat to ensure that your meatballs stay moist and juicy. Or, use 90% or 93% lean if you want to limit your saturated fat intake and don't want to skim off the fat that rises to the top of the soup (a cleaner broth).
- Fresh spearmint, Mexican Yerba Buena. It is an important ingredient that makes meatballs delicious. So, be sure not to skip it! If fresh mint isn't available, feel free to substitute it with dried mint.
- Fresh parsley. Do not use dried parsley. Dried parsley does not blend well and is not as flavorful as fresh parsley.
- Uncooked white rice. In this recipe, I used white jasmine rice.
- Egg. In order to keep meatballs from falling apart, you are going to mix in the egg and uncooked white rice with ground beef. The starch in rice helps foods hold together, no breadcrumbs are needed!
- Dried oregano. You can use Mediterranean or Mexican oregano.
- Ground cumin. Cumin has a distinctive warm and earthy flavor with a slightly nutty undertone. When added to meatballs, it imparts a rich, aromatic, and slightly smoky taste that complements the other ingredients in the soup. This spice helps to season the meatballs, making them more flavorful.
- Onion. I used onion powder to add a sweet and mildly pungent flavor to meatballs and soup.
- Garlic. I used fresh garlic to add a pungent and savory flavor to both meatballs and broth.
- Broth. In this recipe, I used chicken broth. Beef broth or vegetable broth will work fine too.
- Carrots and Zucchini. I used both vegetables to add flavor, color, and nutrition to the soup.
- Potatoes. Use potatoes that are low-starch and high-moisture and hold together better in the soup, such as red or Yukon gold potatoes. Also, Also, make sure that you chop the potatoes into smaller pieces so they will be done at the same time as the meatballs.
- Canned diced tomatoes. I used one with no salt or seasoning added.
- Serrano peppers. These peppers give soup depth of flavor and provide the perfect level of not-too-hot spiciness.
Now, let's talk about the preparation and cooking process!
How to make the Classic Mexican Albondigas soup
- Soak the rice. First, you need to soak the white rice in water for about 20 minutes. Rinse your rice and drain the water. Set aside.
- Make meatballs. Combine the ground beef with chopped mint, chopped parsley, minced garlic, cumin powder, onion powder, cumin powder, dried oregano, egg, uncooked white rice, salt, and black pepper. Chill for at least 10 minutes in the fridge.
- Make broth. To start, saute the onion in oil for about 4 minutes then add jalapeno, stir for 1 minute, add garlic and stir just until fragrant.
- After that, add carrots and diced tomatoes, stir for about 1-2 minutes to get rid of any bitter or tinny tastes, and to concentrate their flavors.
- Next, add chicken broth, water, potatoes, and meatballs. Bring the soup to a boil then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Last, add chopped zucchini. Cover the pot and continue cooking for another 15 minutes or until the meatballs are fully cooked and the vegetables are tender.
Slow Cooker Albondigas Soup Cooking Instruction
- Make meatballs, as mentioned above.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients, except the water, and carefully dropped the meatballs into a slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.
You may need to skip the water because the liquid won't evaporate much in a slow cooker or an Instant pot.
Instant Pot Albondigas Soup Cooking Instruction
- Make meatballs, as mentioned above.
- Brown the meatballs in 2 tablespoons of oil for about 1-2 minutes on each side.
- Add all of the remaining ingredients, except the water, and carefully dropped the meatballs into an Instant Pot.
- Select the "Manual" setting on High. Set the cooking time for 3 minutes. Once the cooking cycle is completed, wait 10 minutes to manually release the remaining pressure.
You can make the meatballs in advance. Here's how:
- Store the raw meatballs in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours until ready to use.
- Or, freeze the meatballs on the parchment-lined baking sheet for 2 hours, then transfer them to a freezer-safe container.
- Properly stored, they will maintain the best quality for 3 to 4 months but will remain safe beyond that time.
This Albondigas soup makes great leftovers and even tastes better the next day! Here's how to store the leftovers.
- First, let the soup cools down to room temperature before refrigerating.
- Once the soup is cooled, transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate within 2 hours of preparation or 1 hour if the temperature is above 90 °F. You can learn more here.
- Properly stored, albondigas soup will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.
Check Out More Delicious Soup Recipes
- Fish Soup
- Lasagna Soup
- Italian Wedding Soup
- Chicken and Dumplings soup
- Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Fish Chowder
I hope you'll enjoy this Caldo de Albondigas recipe and share it with friends! If you try it and don’t mind, please leave me a comment and/or give this recipe a rating. Be sure to subscribe to receive weekly recipes and follow me on Pinterest.
- 1 pound ground beef or ground turkey , (recommended 80% lean / 20% fat)
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup chopped fresh spearmint, (lightly packed) - or use about 2 teaspoon dried mint
- ¼ cup chopped parsley , (lightly packed)
- ½ cup uncooked white rice
- ½ tablespoon minced garlic
- 1¼ teaspoons cumin powder
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1¼ teaspoons onion powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1½ cups diced yellow onion
- 3 serrano peppers, (seeded and chopped) Or use 1 small poblano pepper
- ½ tablespoon minced garlic
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 2 carrots, (peeled and diced)
- 14.5 oz diced tomatoes, (no seasoning and no salt added)
- 8 oz small red or Yukon gold potatoes, (cut into 6 pieces each, or cut in half if you are using baby potatoes)
- 1 zucchini , (diced)
- Soak the rice in water for 20 minutes, rinse and drain. In a large bowl, mix all the meatballs ingredients just until everything is combined (do not over mix) then chill for at least 10 minutes in the fridge. Use a cookie scoop to grab some raw meat then gently roll between your hands to make perfectly-sized uniform meatballs.
- Heat oil in a large Dutch oven at medium heat. Sauté onion for 4 minutes, add serrano peppers and cook for 1 minute. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add carrots, and diced tomatoes. Stir for 2 minutes.
- Add chicken broth, water, potatoes, and meatballs. Bring the soup to a boil then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add zucchini and simmer for another 15 minutes or until the veggies are tender.
- Adjust seasoning with salt, black pepper, or a dash of cayenne pepper if needed.