Albondigas Soup: A Mexican Comfort Classic

Indulge in the comforting embrace of Albondigas Soup, a Mexican classic that harmonizes the bold flavors of beef and rice meatballs with a robust tomato broth, creating a hearty symphony of taste and texture. Designed to appeal to both discerning palates and the youthful exuberance of kids, this soup is a wholesome and satisfying meal that marries simplicity with culinary finesse.

Meatball Mastery: The heart of this dish lies in the meticulously crafted meatballs. A blend of 90% lean ground beef, cooked white rice, minced garlic, egg, and a medley of spices such as cumin, cilantro, salt, and pepper, creates perfectly sized meatballs bursting with flavor. Unlike traditional recipes, the use of cooked rice ensures a shorter simmer time, preventing any risk of meatballs disintegrating in the broth.

Soup Symphony: The soup’s overture begins with the sizzle of olive oil in a large pot, where diced onions and carrots take center stage. After a brief sauté, minced garlic joins the performance, infusing the air with its aromatic notes. Enter peeled and sliced Russet potatoes, transforming the broth into a wholesome base that sets the stage for the main act.

Beef broth, diced tomatoes (with their juices), and a velvety tomato sauce contribute depth and richness, while ground cumin and dried oregano add a distinctly Mexican flair. As the pot reaches a gentle simmer, the meatballs make their grand entrance, adding a substantial and satisfying element to the ensemble. A brief simmer later, zucchini quarters join the orchestra, their vibrant green hues contrasting with the warm tones of the broth.

Finale and Presentation: After a well-coordinated simmer, the soup is seasoned to perfection with salt and pepper. The finishing touch involves a sprinkle of freshly chopped cilantro, adding a burst of freshness and visual appeal. Ladled into bowls, the albondigas soup is a spectacle of colors and textures, inviting you to savor each spoonful.

Culinary Notes: The recipe’s flexibility is highlighted by the choice between cooked or uncooked rice in the meatballs. The preference for cooked rice not only streamlines the cooking process but also ensures the integrity of the meatballs. For those seeking a more traditional approach, substituting uncooked rice is a viable option, with adjustments to the simmer time.

With each spoonful of this albondigas soup, you embark on a culinary journey that encapsulates the essence of Mexican comfort cuisine – a warm embrace of flavors and a celebration of heartwarming simplicity.

Albondigas Soup

This albondigas soup is made with beef and rice meatballs which are simmered in a seasoned tomato broth along with potatoes, carrots and zucchini. A hearty soup that both kids and adults will enjoy!



Prep Time20minutes minutes

Cook Time30minutes minutes

Total Time50minutes minutes



AuthorSara Welch


For the meatballs

  • 1 pound ground beef I use 90% lean
  • 1/2 cup cooked white rice
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

For the soup

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 carrots peeled, quartered and sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups Russet potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 15 ounce can diced tomatoes do not drain
  • 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 large zucchini quartered and sliced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • For the meatballs. Place the beef, rice, garlic, egg, cilantro, cumin, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  • Roll the meat mixture into 3/4 inch sized meatballs. Place the meatballs on a tray.
  • For the soup. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the potatoes, beef broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, cumin and oregano to the pot. Bring to a simmer.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes. Drop the meatballs into the soup and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Add the zucchini and cook for 5 minutes more. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Sprinkle with chopped cilantro, then serve.


  1. Many albondigas recipes call for uncooked rice in the meatballs. I prefer to use cooked rice because the meatballs don’t have to simmer for as long. I find that an extended simmer time to soften raw rice can sometimes cause the meatballs to break apart in the soup. You can absolutely use uncooked rice if you prefer, use 1/4 cup of uncooked rice instead of the 1/2 cup of cooked rice that this recipe calls for. Just be sure to adjust your cook time accordingly.


Calories: 269kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 678mg | Potassium: 1060mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 5580IU | Vitamin C: 24.2mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 4.2mg