Authentic Sopa de Albondigas: A Hearty Bowl of Happiness

Oh, dear readers, welcome, welcome! I am thrilled to present to you a recipe that is nothing short of exotic and tantalizing. And, in truth, what better way to infuse our taste buds with something exotic than with the preparation of the wonder that is Sopa de Albondigas?

Now, if you have never attempted making authentic Mexican cuisine before, I assure you that this will be an experience of a lifetime. With this soup, you will be transported to vibrant Mexico as soon as it hits your taste buds. It’s satisfaction guaranteed!

Sopa de Albondigas is more than just a soup – it’s comfort in a bowl. This tomato-based hearty soup contains seasoned beef meatballs, tender vegetables like carrots and celery, and a sprinkle of cilantro for aroma and extra flavor.

This soup is not just for Mexicans. Anyone who tries it falls in love with it, and it’s perfect for families or an intimate meal between two love birds.

Now come on and take this journey with me as we dive into the intricate art of making Mexican Meatball Soup or Sopa de Albondigas. I promise it won’t be long till you too are dazzled by its appeal.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Sopa de Albondigas (Mexican Meatball Soup)
Sopa de Albondigas (Mexican Meatball Soup)

Listen well, dear reader, for I have got something truly special to share with you today. A soup so delicious, so hearty, so satisfying, that it will warm your soul and fill your belly. I speak of none other than the magnificent Sopa de Albondigas – a Mexican Meatball Soup.

Oh, but don’t let the name “meatball soup” fool you, for this dish has much more to offer than just the humble meatball. It is a beautiful symphony of flavors – tender meatballs in a delicate broth filled with aromatic vegetables and fragrant spices. And let me tell you, it is worth every single second you spend preparing it.

What makes this recipe truly special is its versatility. It is perfect for any occasion – be it a cozy family dinner or a grand feast with guests. It is hearty enough to be a one-pot meal on its own or can be paired with some sides to accommodate a larger crowd.

And let’s not forget about the ingredients! It calls for simple yet wholesome ingredients that are easily available and affordable. You can customize it to your preference by adding your choice of vegetables or even swapping the ground beef for chicken or turkey or making it vegan by using plant-based meat.

So what are you waiting for? Dive into this amazing recipe, feed your soul and impress your friends with this traditional Mexican dish that will have everyone begging for more. Trust me; this Sopa de Albondigas will become a staple in your repertoire in no time.

Ingredient List

 A bowl of comfort on a chilly day - Sopa de Albondigas
A bowl of comfort on a chilly day – Sopa de Albondigas

Ingredients for Sopa de Albondigas Recipe:

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make a delicious Sopa de Albondigas, also known as Mexican meatball soup:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 carrots (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 cup white rice or brown rice (uncooked)
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 8 cups water or broth (chicken, beef or vegetable)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
  • ½ tablespoon whole cumin seed
  • 2 stalks celery (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 onion (small, chopped)
  • Olive oil

Note that this recipe makes enough for about six servings.

The Recipe How-To

 The perfect mix of meatballs, veggies, and broth!
The perfect mix of meatballs, veggies, and broth!

Now that we have gathered all of our Ingredients for this delicious Sopa de Albondigas, it’s time to start cooking! Follow these simple steps to make a hearty and flavorful Albondigas Soup:

Step 1: Making the Meatballs

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup cooked white– or brown-rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt and pepper


  1. Heat up a large pot with water until boiling.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the ground beef with the egg, minced garlic, cooked rice, dried oregano, ground cumin, salt and pepper.
  3. Mix thoroughly and form small balls using your hands. Four-five meatballs per person should do the trick.
  4. Drop the meatballs carefully into the boiling water and cook for approximately 10 minutes, so they become firm yet tender.

Step 2: Preparing the Soup Base

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 diced celery ribs
  • 2 grated carrots
  • whole cumin seeds (optional)
  • 8 cups chicken broth or water mixed with chicken bouillon cubes
  • 14 oz diced tomatoes


  1. Heat up olive oil in another large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add chopped onions and minced garlic, sautéing them until they soften.
  3. Add the celery, carrots and whole cumin seeds (optional) to continue cooking until they are tender enough.
  4. Add chicken broth plus diced tomatoes and bring everything to boil.
  5. Lower the heat, cover your pot and let it simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

Step 3: Combining Meatballs and Soup Base

  1. Take out the cooked meatballs from their boiling pot with a slotted spoon and add them to the pot containing the soup base.
  2. Stir everything together until thoroughly combined.
  3. Cover again and let it simmer for an additional 10 minutes, allowing flavors to intensify.

Step 4: Garnishing & Serving the Soup

  1. Remove the Alta California-inspired Albóndigas soup from heat.
  2. Serve by generously dishing it into bowls.
  3. Top each serving with freshly chopped cilantro or queso fresco, sliced avocado, or garlic-y tortilla chips.

Enjoy your homemade Sopa de Albondigas among friends and family!

Substitutions and Variations

 This Mexican inspired soup is sure to warm your belly and soul.
This Mexican inspired soup is sure to warm your belly and soul.

Verily, the beauty of cooking lies in its endless possibilities to alter and experiment with ingredients. Fear not, my dear reader, for I shall impart upon thee some possible substitutions and variations to this delectable soup recipe.

Firstly, if thou art averse to using ground beef or pork, fret not! For a vegan variation, one can use plant-based meatballs or substitute with cooked lentils or chickpeas. Moreover, for a spicier kick, one can add chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to the soup.

For those desiring a heartier soup, one can add additional vegetables such as diced potatoes or zucchini alongside the carrots and celery. Furthermore, one can substitute white rice with brown rice or quinoa for a healthier alternative.

Should any of these alterations be made, I advise thee to adjust the cooking time accordingly. It is also important to taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Overall, doth not be afraid to be adventurous and tailor this recipe to thine own liking. For true joy lies in experimenting with flavors and creating thine own unique version of this beloved Mexican Meatball Soup.

Serving and Pairing

 Sink into the cozy goodness that is Sopa de Albondigas!
Sink into the cozy goodness that is Sopa de Albondigas!

Gather round, my gastronomic enthusiasts! The Sopa de Albondigas is a dish that deserves to be enjoyed with love and care. But what would one pair with this hearty Mexican meatball soup?

When it comes to serving and pairing, the possibilities are endless. A bowl of this traditional caldo de albondigas can be accompanied by a slice of lime that will boost the flavor and bring out the best in your dish. Additionally, you can also serve crispy tortilla chips on the side to give that crunchy sensation as you dip it into the broth or use it to scoop up bits of rice and vegetables.

If you wish to have a more filling meal, you can add some carbs such as white rice, brown rice or even homemade corn tortillas. The soup broth is also perfect for soaking in all those flavors.

For those looking for a healthy option, this soup pairs well with roasted vegetables or grilled chicken breast. It balances out the richness of the meatballs while adding texture and substance to the dish.

As for beverages, a refreshing glass of iced tea or horchata would make an excellent complement, but nothing beats some authentic Mexican cerveza that creates a festive atmosphere perfect for sharing.

It’s crucial to make sure each component compliments one another, so experiment with different pairings until you find what works best for you. This traditional Mexican meatball soup is quite versatile and can be customized according to personal preferences without sacrificing its sumptuousness.

In conclusion, don’t hold back on your creativity when it comes to pairing and serving Sopa de Albondigas – get ready to savor every single bite!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A delicious soup with hidden veggies - perfect for picky eaters!
A delicious soup with hidden veggies – perfect for picky eaters!

My dear readers, let me impart to thee the knowledge of how to make-ahead, store, and reheat my beloved Sopa de Albondigas – the traditional Mexican meatball soup. This meatball soup is a timeless classic that can be prepped ahead of time and keep well for several days in the fridge or freezer.

To make-ahead, simply prepare the soup by making the meatballs, cooking them in stock with diced vegetables and rice until tender. Allow it to cool down completely before storing it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

When reheating, thaw the soup first if frozen by removing it from the freezer and letting it sit at room temperature for an hour or two or running it under cold water. For fridge-kept soup, simply transfer it from the fridge to stovetop or microwave-safe dish.

To reheat using a stovetop, place your pot on medium heat and allow your soup to come up to a gentle simmer while stirring occasionally. Once heated through, serve as usual.

Alternatively, you may use a microwave-safe dish to reheat your soup by pouring it into a microwave-safe container and heating it in one-minute increments until piping hot.

If you find the soup too thick after refrigerating or reheating, simply add some water or more broth while reheating to achieve your desired consistency.

My dear friends, follow these make-ahead, storing, and reheating instructions and enjoy my Sopa de Albondigas anytime you crave for some hearty Mexican meal.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The fresh cilantro adds a delightful flavor pop to this hearty soup!
The fresh cilantro adds a delightful flavor pop to this hearty soup!

Oftentimes, the key to a successful dish lies in the details. Here are some tips and tricks to help you make the perfect Sopa de Albondigas.

1. Don’t overmix the meat mixture

When making the meatballs, be sure not to overwork the meat mixture. Overmixing can result in tough meatballs. Mix until just combined, and then form them into evenly sized balls.

2. Chill the formed meatballs

Before cooking, it’s essential to chill your formed meatballs for at least 30 minutes. Chilling helps them hold their shape better during cooking and prevents them from falling apart.

3. Brown the meatballs well

When cooking the meatballs, brown them well on all sides before adding them to the soup. Browning gives them a nice crust and adds depth of flavor to the soup.

4. Invest in quality broth

The broth is the base of your soup, so investing in a high-quality stock or broth will make a big difference in the final flavor of your Albondigas Soup.

5. Use fresh herbs and spices

For best flavor, use fresh herbs like cilantro and whole spices like cumin seeds that you can toast and grind yourself. This method will ensure that you are getting maximum flavor out of your herbs and spices.

6. Don’t overcook the rice

Whether using white rice, brown rice or any other type of rice, it’s important not to overcook it. Cook it separately according to package instructions and stir it into the soup just before serving.

7. Let it sit for some time

After finishing your soup, let it sit covered for at least 10 – 20 minutes before serving to allow all of its flavors to marry together.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your Sopa de Albondigas turns out perfectly every time!


Greetings to thee, dear reader! As thou hath made it this far in the article, methinks that thou art quite interested in making this delectable Mexican Meatball Soup, also known as Sopa de Albondigas. In this section, allow me to address some of the frequently asked questions about this recipe. I hope that by delving deeper into the intricacies of this soup, thou wilt gain more confidence and clarity in making it as an expert.

How do you keep albondigas from falling apart?

When cooking meatballs, it’s best to avoid stirring them straight after placing them in the simmering sauce. It’s highly likely that the raw meatballs will fall apart when stirred too soon. Wait at least five minutes for them to cook and gently stir them afterwards. Nonetheless, if they break apart, it’s not a total disaster. Although they won’t be in the expected meatball form anymore, they’ll still taste amazing!

Are albondigas the same as meatballs?

Albondigas are the Spanish equivalent of meatballs, crafted from a mixture of minced meat, breadcrumbs, onion and spices. These meatballs are commonly flavored with smoked paprika and cumin, and are traditionally paired with a zesty tomato-based sauce, known as sofrito.

What is albondigas soup made of?

Albondigas Soup is a flavorful dish composed of a savory soup base made with sautéed onions, garlic, broth, and juicy tomatoes. Tender meatballs made with ground beef or turkey and rice are then submerged in the soup, creating extra broth and adding to the deliciousness of the dish.

Why do my albondigas come out hard?

Meatballs, also known as albondigas, can often turn out tough due to a couple of factors. Firstly, if the meatball mixture is overworked or mixed too much, it can create a stringy and chewy texture. Secondly, if the meat is packed tightly together when forming the meatballs, it can create a dense and unappetizing result.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Sopa de Albondigas is a traditional and hearty Mexican meatball soup that is perfect for bringing friends and family together around the table. With its bursting flavors of cilantro, cumin, garlic, and tomatoes, this soup recipe is sure to please everyone’s taste buds. Whether you’re feeling nostalgic about your Mexican roots or you simply crave a warm and comforting meal, albóndigas caldo de is here to satisfy your soul.

I hope this recipe has inspired you to try something new in the kitchen and experiment with some different variations of soup albondigas. Remember that you can always substitute ingredients or adjust seasonings based on your preferences, and there’s no wrong way to make albondigas soup as long as it tastes delicious.

So what are you waiting for? Go grab some lean ground beef, carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic powder, cumin seeds, dried oregano and let’s get cooking! Once you’ve made your own sopa de albondigas, be sure to share the love with others by cooking up a big pot of albondigas caldo de bowls for yourself and your family members. I promise that they will thank you later for this warm and satisfying meal.

In the end, whether you stick to using only 1 pound of lean ground beef or decide to add additional ingredients like zucchini or chicken broth, just remember why you’re making this meal – because you love food! As the great chef Julia Child once said: “You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients”. And that’s precisely what Sopa de Albondigas delivers – simple yet flavorful comfort food guaranteed to please any crowd. Enjoy!

Sopa de Albondigas (Mexican Meatball Soup)

Sopa de Albondigas (Mexican Meatball Soup) Recipe

It's kind of funny for a gringa like me to say this is a favorite I grew up on, but it's true; my dad learned it from a Mexican friend way back, and it's been my favorite soup as long as I can remember. My dad always uses celery; I don't always have it around, it's fine to omit it. Feel free to adjust seasonings to taste. The tomatillos thicken this dish as well as adding flavor; I haven't seen them in any other recipe, but I consider them essential! Almost all measurements are approximate; I just judge by eye and throw stuff in! This soup is killer with homemade tortillas.
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Calories 320.8 kcal


For broth

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 -5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seed
  • 1 1/2-2 cups low sodium vegetable broth or 1 1/2-2 cups broth (I use homemade)
  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can peeled diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 5 -7 tomatillos, papery skins removed,washed and diced (depending on size)
  • 3 -4 cups water (depending on how much stock you used and how thin you like your soup)
  • 1 bunch cilantro, washed and chopped
  • 1/3 cup white rice or 1/3 cup brown rice
  • 2 -4 carrots, peeled and sliced (depending on size)
  • salt
  • pepper

For meatballs

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs or 1/3 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs (I use Progresso)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 egg


  • In a dutch oven or other soup pot with tight-fitting lid, saute onion, garlic, celery (optional), and cumin seed in hot oil until onions begin to look clear.
  • Add broth, tomatoes (with juice), water, tomatillos, and cilantro.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce to a simmer and add carrots and rice.
  • Make meatballs: Begin by mixing breadcrumbs, cumin, oregano, and garlic powder.
  • Knead in ground beef until thoroughly mixed.
  • Add egg and knead in.
  • (If needed, add additional breadcrumbs; texture at this point should be slightly firmer than ground beef with nothing added.) Form into small (about 1/2-inch) meatballs.
  • Bring broth back to a boil.
  • Add meatballs to hot broth.
  • Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 287gCalories: 320.8kcalCarbohydrates: 24.6gProtein: 19.4gFat: 16.2gSaturated Fat: 4.4gCholesterol: 84.4mgSodium: 276.2mgFiber: 3.3gSugar: 6.2g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Inexpensive, Meat, Mexican, Savory, Stove Top
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Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.