Mexican Meatball Soup (Albondigas) Recipe

Mexican meatball soup
Annabelle Breakey/Digital Vision/Getty Images
  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 10 servings (10 portions)

Ground beef and sausage meatballs are simmered in a tomato and chile beef broth base. Rice and corn add starch for a hearty meal in a dish. Serve topped with crushed tortilla chips and shredded Mexican cheese blend. The traditional version does not include corn, so you may omit it. The meatballs may be made up to 4 hours in advance and refrigerated. You may substitute ground chicken and/or turkey if you wish.


  • 1 pound chuck ground beef
  • 1/2 pound pork sausage (spicy, if desired)
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup cream (or milk)
  • 1 large egg (lightly beaten)
  • 1/2 cup minced sweet onion
  • 1 large clove garlic (pressed)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano (crushed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 quarts beef or chicken broth (or a combination)
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (4.5 ounces) chopped mild green chiles, with liquid
  • 1 cup diced sweet onion
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano (crushed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid hot pepper sauce, or more to taste
  • 1/3 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1/4 chopped fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Optional: fresh cilantro sprigs for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Combine ground beef, pork sausage, cornmeal, cream, egg, onion, garlic, salt, oregano, cumin, and pepper with a large fork. Do not overmix.

  2. Form into small meatballs about 1 inch in diameter. Set aside. The meatballs may be made up to 4 hours in advance and refrigerated.

  3. Place beef or chicken stock, tomatoes, green chiles, onion, oregano, cumin, and hot pepper sauce in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.

  4. Add rice, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.

  5. Carefully add meatballs to the broth and simmer an additional 10 to 15 minutes until meatballs are cooked through.

  6. Add corn and cook until heated through.

  7. Taste and add salt and pepper, if needed.

  8. Stir in chopped cilantro leaves just before serving.

  9. Garnish each bowl with crushed tortilla chips, a sprinkling of Mexican cheese blend, and a sprig of fresh cilantro.

  10. Serve immediately.

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