Albondigas is a delicious meatball soup with a richly flavored broth. Delicate meatballs seasoned with fresh herbs bump up the flavor and make this a satisfying dinner!
Hey! This is Kylee from Kylee Cooks – back again with another home-style dinner. Now that Fall has finally arrived, I am LOVING being able to make soup as a main meal again. I like that it’s all done in one-pot, and has enough of “everything” to really satisfy the whole family.
In my household, soup is absolutely considered an entire meal, instead of just part of it. We amp it up with some crusty bread, or serve a salad on the side if we’re super hungry. Or we just eat 2 bowls…
About the meatballs
I almost always have leftover rice, so I use cooked rice in my meatballs to keep the simmer time down (so that the rice doesn’t have to cook in the broth). If you don’t have cooked rice, you have 2 choices: 1) cook some rice, or 2) use uncooked rice (you’ll only need a tablespoon or 2) and simmer the meatballs longer.
This soup lends itself well to making ahead, or at least the components. I regularly make the meatballs ahead and freeze them, just cooking a little longer when I want to serve Albondigas
What is Albondigas?
Albondigas literally means “meatballs” in Spanish – for me, it is a fancy and exotic way of saying “Meatball Soup”. The base is a vegetable-filled well-seasoned tomato broth that is heated to a boil, then reduced to a simmer to gently cook meatballs (that are made with meat and rice). It has roots in Latin America but is made the world over!
How do you know when meatballs are cooked?
Meatballs should be 160 degrees F when tested with an instant-read thermometer. They’re gently simmered so they don’t fall apart!
All you’ll need to make this is a large sheet pan to hold the meatballs, a dutch oven (or other large saucepan), and a spoon to eat it with!
How to make Albondigas Soup
MAKE THE MEATBALLS
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl until well mixed.
Roll into meatballs – I use a cookie scoop to create even-sized meatballs. Place them on a tray, and refrigerate or place in the freezer while you make the soup base.
MAKE THE SOUP BASE
Heat the olive oil over medium, high heat.
Sauté the onion, celery, and carrots until softened (pic 1, below).
Add garlic, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper and cook 1 minute (pic 2, below).
Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, and potatoes (pic 3, below).
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the meatballs – lower them in gently using a slotted spoon (pic & 5 below).
Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for about 15-20 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through (should be 160 degrees F when tested with an instant-read thermometer).
- Sprinkle the cilantro over the top of the soup, and serve (pic 6, below).
HOW TO STORE ALBONDIGAS
This soup will be good in the refrigerator for 2-3 days in a tightly sealed container.
- Beef stock or broth can be used in place of the chicken stock. You could also do a combination of the two.
- Parsley will work in place of the fresh oregano in the meatballs!
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp garlic
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro
- ¼ cup fresh oregano or parsley
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ cup cooked rice
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 cup onion
- 1 cup celery
- 1 cup carrot
- 1 tsp garlic
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 6 cups chicken broth can substitute beef broth
- 15 oz fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 8 oz potatoes chopped into small pieces
- extra cilantro
MAKE THE MEATBALLS
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl until well mixed.
- Roll into meatballs – I use a cookie scoop to create even-sized meatballs. Place them on a tray, and refrigerate while you make the soup base
MAKE THE SOUP BASE
- Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Sauté the onion, celery and carrots until softened.
- Add garlic, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper and cook 1 minute.
- Add the chicken stock, tomatoes and potatoes.
- Bring to a boil, the reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the meatballs - lower them in gently using a slotted spoon.
- Cover and simmer over medium low heat for about 15-20 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through (should be 160 degrees F when tested with an instant read thermometer).
- Sprinkle the cilantro over the top of the soup, and serve.