Albondigas – Mexican Style Meatball Soup
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Albondigas recipe

Mexican style meatball soup

This Wisconsin winter has me wanting soup.  Albondigas, or Mexican style meatball soup, is perfect for a winter day. This recipe is my variation on the many albondigas recipes. The tomato broth has a hint of heat, squeeze of lime and a delicious flavor imparted from the meatballs that cook in the broth. Garnish with lime, cilantro and avocado and you are all set to take on winter!

Ingredient List


  • 1 pound beef
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 Tbsp masa harina
  • 1/8 cup long grain rice, uncooked 
  • 1/2 tsp each cumin and dried Oregano
  • Salt and black pepper 

Soup base:

  • 1 32 Oz can tomatoes
  • 1 rehydrated guajillo chile
  • 1 whole chipotle in adobo plus 1 T sauce

Other ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • Dash of cumin and powdered coriander, a bay leaf and black pepper OR 1 tsp poc chuc spice mix 
  • 1 each carrot and potato, peeled and cubed


  • avocado
  • cilantro
  • lime



Mix together meatball ingredients and mix together and form into 1.5” balls. Set aside.

Remove seeds from rehydrated guajillo. Blend tomato, chipotle and adobo and rehydrated pepper together. Set aside.

Meanwhile in a large soup pot heat some oil and add the celery and onion. Saute for about 5 minutes, Add spices and stir briefly.

Add the tomato purée and 1 box of chicken broth, 1 potato and 1 carrot, peeled and cubed, and simmer.

Meanwhile heat another skillet and add the meatballs to sear, not cooking all the way through. (You don’t have to do this but I like to. You can add them directly to the soup)

Add meatballs to broth and simmer about 20 minutes until rice is cooked and carrots and potatoes are softened.

Add squeeze of lime and salt to taste.

Serve soup and garnish with cilantro, lime and avocado. Buen Provecho!


Perfect for a cold day

Cooking Tips

rehydrating chiles:

Lightly toast dried chiles on heat (in skillet or over open flame) very briefly before placing in boiling water. Do not let them burn. Turn the water off and cover, letting chiles soak for about 30 minutes.

meatballs tips:

I seared the meatballs in advance of putting them in the soup, but didn’t cook them all the way through,, I also only had sushi rice and used that. It worked perfectly!


You could add any topping you like! I like lime, avocado and cilantro.