4 ratings


Mexican meatball soup

Photo courtesy of La Cocina De Leslie

Albóndigas, Mexican meatball soup, are the perfect pick-me-up meal. Classic comfort food south-of-the-border style. On a gloomy day, mash ground beef, rice, oats and bread crumbs into meatballs and let simmer in a clear vegetable broth. Squeeze in a hint of lime, put on your chanclas (house shoes) and call it a night.

This recipe is courtesy of La Cocina de Leslie

Ready in
1 h 20 m
20 m
(prepare time)
1 h
(cook time)
Calories Per Serving


For the meatballs

  • 2 1/4 Pounds lean ground beef
  • 1/3 Cup long-grain rice, uncooked
  • 1/3 Cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 Cup dried bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, crushed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 roma tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 chile serrano, finely chopped (optional)

For the soup

  • 16 Cups water
  • 6 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 6 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon course salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, crushed
  • 4 medium Mexican calabacitas (Mexican summer squash)
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Lime wedges


For the meatballs

Combine the ground beef, rice, oats, and dried bread crumbs in a large mixing bowl; season with salt, black pepper, and crushed Mexican oregano.

Stir in the eggs, tomatoes, onion, garlic, and serrano chile until completely combined.

Divide and shape the meat mixture into 1 1/2 inch meatballs. 

In a Dutch oven or in stock-pot, pour in 16 cups of water. Carefully drop in the albóndigas, one at a time. (To avoid breaking up the albóndigas, resist the urge to stir.)

Add a handful of fresh cilantro.

Bring meatballs to a boil over high heat, skimming off any foam that rises to the top.

Cover and reduce heat to low: let simmer for about 20 minutes. 

For the soup

Add the carrots and potatoes to the 16 cups of water and albóndigas. Do not stir.

Season broth with crushed Mexican oregano and coarse salt to taste.

Cover and let simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.

Add in the Mexican calabacitas. Taste broth and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

Cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes until the calabacitas are cooked through. 

Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro, a spoonful of your favorite salsa, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.