Mexican Meatball Soup

This albondigas soup recipe, or Mexican meatball soup, is one of the best recipes. Loaded with protein and packed full of bold flavors, this beef meatball soup is one unforgettable recipe.

A bowl of Mexican meatball soup and vegetables.
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Mexican Meatball Soup Recipe

If you've never had Mexican meatball soup, you are missing.out. my friend! This authentic Mexican soup is technically named albondigas soup. But albondigas is just the Spanish word for small meatballs!

Essentially, this is like the Mexican version of Italian wedding soup. There is tender and juicy meatballs in a rich and flavorful broth that is loaded with fresh vegetables. Every bite is an experience!

My favorite Mexican soups are taco soup and this meatball soup recipe right here. Both have so much flavor and are good to the very last drop. I'll never turn down a bowl of soup this good!

Filling this soup to the brim with homemade meatballs makes all the difference. Not to mention, it's a complete meal all on it's own from those hearty meatballs! The whole family is bound to love this dish, so let's get started!

A bowl of Mexican meatball soup with mixed vegetables.

Why You'll Love this Recipe

What's not to love about this traditional Mexican soup? It's a bold recipe loaded with incredible Mexican spices:

  • This is a great meal prep dish since it's just as good the next day as it is fresh off the stove top. Plus, it's packed with protein and is super filling so it's a great when you need something to keep you full.
  • Traditional Mexican meatball soup is a family favorite — even the picky eaters love it. The flavors are just too good to resist, so they'll eat it up with a smile on their face!
  • It is not difficult to make this entire soup from scratch. Though there are a lot of ingredients, it's a very simple recipe! So don't be intimidated.
A group of bowls of food.

Ingredients

While this is a long list of ingredients, each element is key to making this hearty Mexican soup a success. Make sure to look it over so that you can get everything you need on your next run to the grocery store:

Meatballs Ingredients

  • lean ground beef
  • jasmine rice
  • garlic powder
  • onion flakes
  • large egg
  • salt
  • ground pepper
  • ground cumin
  • chili powder

Soup Ingredients

  • Rotel original diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • beef broth
  • olive oil
  • yellow onion
  • minced garlic
  • russet potatoes
  • carrots
  • celery sticks
  • zucchini
  • ground cumin
  • salt
  • pepper

Garnish

  • jalapeños
  • fresh cilantro
  • lime wedges
A pot full of meat and vegetables with a wooden spoon. Mexican meatballs in a pot with vegetables and a wooden spoon.

Substitutions and Variations

You can use chicken broth instead of beef broth. Homemade broth would be stellar in this recipe and would make things extra flavorful! Feel free to use bone broth to add extra protein and make the broth more rich.

Any long-grain rice will work in the meatballs. The uncooked rice kind of replaces bread crumbs as a binder, so don't leave it out.

While I personally prefer the flavor of yellow onion in this soup, you can use white onion or red onion if you want a more bold flavor.

Feel free to kick up the spice in the meatballs or the soup with some red pepper or cayenne pepper. You can also use spicy Rotel or garnish the soup with jalapeños.

How to Make Mexican Meatball Soup

This simple Mexican meatball soup recipe may have a lot of ingredients, but it's not too difficult to make. Just follow these step by step instructions and you'll have the best soup in no time:

A glass bowl with ground beef, rice, spices and vegetables on it.
Ground beef, rice and spices mixed together in a glass bowl.

Combine the all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. You can use your hands or a silicone spatula, whatever will combine the ingredients thoroughly.

A bowl of ground beef and vegetables on a table.
A baking sheet with Mexican meatballs.

Then, use your hands and scoop out the meat mixture and roll it into 2-inch thick balls. Place them on a tray and set to the side for later.

A wok filled with vegetables and a wooden spoon.
A pot of soup with vegetables and a wooden spoon.

In a large soup pot, add olive oil and and heat over medium-high heat. Add the diced yellow onion and minced garlic to the hot oil and then sauté for 2 minutes.

Then add the beef broth, Rotel, potatoes, carrots, celery, cumin, salt and pepper to the sautéed onions. Bring the large pot of soup to a boil.

Mexican meatballs in a pot with vegetables and a lime wedges on a cutting board.
A pot full of meat and vegetables with a wooden spoon. Mexican meatballs in a pot with vegetables and a wooden spoon.

Reduce to medium-low heat and slowly add in the meatballs, one at a time. Cover the pot of soup and cook for 20 minutes. Then add the zucchini and cook for another 5 minutes.

Once all the veggies are tender and the meatballs have cooked through, portion out the soup into individual bowls.

Garnish with cilantro, lime juice and jalapeños and enjoy!

A spoon full Mexican meatballs and zucchini.

How to Store Leftover Mexican Meatball Soup

Transfer leftover albondigas soup to an airtight container and allow it to cool completely. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days! You can freeze the leftovers for up to 3 months as well. Allow to thaw completely before reheating. I do find that the potatoes soak up some of the liquid as it sits, so you may need to fresh the broth a tad.

For best results, reheat on the stove top over medium heat. You can reheat the leftovers in the microwave if you want, but the meatballs may get a bit tough.

Tips for Success

Check out these simple tips so that you can have the best Mexican meatball soup:

  • You can use a small cookie scoop to easily make even sized meatballs. Keep the meatballs similar sizes so that they all finish cooking at the same time.
  • For best results, use a heavy-bottomed soup pot or a dutch oven. This will evenly heat the soup and help control the temperature that it cooks at.
  • Don't overcook the meatballs or they will become tough and rubbery. However, it's also important to make sure they're fully cooked through! Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature if you need to.
Two bowls of Mexican meatball soup on a marble table.

What to Serve with Mexican Meatball Soup

While this classic Mexican soup is a complete meal all on it's own, you can pair it with tons of yummy sides. Some traditional Mexican rice or Mexican cauliflower rice would be tasty with this soup! A crunchy Mexican tostada would be delicious too.

Or, serve an appetizer of chips and salsa or chips and guacamole. It's also perfectly delicious with a side of cheesy garlic bread. You could also dip in some homemade flour tortillas or corn tortillas.

A bowl of Mexican meatball soup with limes and limes.

FAQ

Why is my albondiga soup so greasy?

If you end up with a really greasy soup, it's likely because you did not use a lean ground beef. Make sure that you use lean beef so that your soup isn't greasy. You can even use ground turkey or ground chicken if you want extra lean meat!

Why do my albondigas fall apart?

You need the perfect ratio of meat, to egg and rice. Uncooked rice and egg are the binders of the meatballs, so if you haven't used the right amount then they'll fall apart. If you follow this recipe to a t, then you shouldn't have any issues!

More Mexican Recipes

Did you make this recipe?

If you make and love this recipe, please leave a ★★★★★ review below! It means so much to me when you try my recipes, and I'd love to know how it goes. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions.

A spoon full Mexican meatballs and zucchini.

Mexican Meatball Soup

Mexican meatball soup is an authentic dish that everyone will enjoy! With a rich broth and tender homemade meatballs, it's comfort food in a bowl.
5 from 62 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Madison Wetherill

Ingredients

For Meatballs

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • cup jasmine rice uncooked
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion flakes
  • 1 large egg whisked
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder

For Soup

  • 2 cans diced tomatoes with green chilies such as Rotel
  • 8 cups beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup yellow onion diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 russet potatoes peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots sliced
  • 2 celery sticks sliced
  • 1 large zucchini sliced lengthwise and cut
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 20 beef meatballs

For Garnish

  • sliced jalapeños optional
  • fresh Cilantro chopped
  • lime wedges

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, add all ingredients for meatballs. Using your hands or rubber spatula, combine all of the ingredients until well combined.
  • Using your hands, scoop the meat mixture and roll into 2 inch thick balls. Place on tray and set aside.
  • In a large pot, add olive oil and set to medium-high heat.
  • Add onion and minced garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add beef broth, diced tomatoes with green chilies, potatoes, carrots, celery, cumin, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low heat and slowly add in meatballs, one at a time.
  • Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Add zucchini and cook another 5 minutes.
  • When serving, add juice from lime and sprinkle cilantro on top of soup.

Notes

  • Serve warmed.
  • Keeps in airtight container for 3-5 days.
  • Be sure to add uncooked rice to meatballs.
  • Nutrition

    Serving: 1cup | Calories: 380kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 2144mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g

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