Spicy and slightly smoky, this rich Caldo de Albondigas is the perfect Mexican meatball soup. Loaded with veggies it’s also quite healthy.
The Best Mexican Meatball Soup
Filled with the spicy smokiness from the chipotle, this Mexican meatball soup gets more exciting with every spoonful. It has veggies, spices, mint, and lots of tender meatballs with rice. Simmered for about 20 minutes, it’s quite easy to make.
Once you roll the meatballs, all you have to do is blend the broth’s ingredients and let time do the rest for you. The carrots, zucchini, and potatoes add sweetness and naturally balance out the flavors— which become more complex by the minute.
Soupy or cooked a little longer for a more stew-like dish, caldo de albondigas is equally comforting. Dunk a corn tortilla in and dig right in. It’s the ultimate Mexican comfort food if you’re up for the adventure.
What Is Caldo de Albondigas?
Caldo de albondigas is a Mexican dish typically served for lunch. It consists of a light but flavorful beef-tomato broth with meatballs. It’s a soupy dish and is often made with a variety of veggies like potatoes, zucchini, and carrots.
Simmered until the meatballs are cooked through, the broth is a combination of spicy and aromatic elements like chipotle and mint. Enjoyed year-round, it’s always a good time to have caldo de albondigas.
Packed with pantry staples, most of the ingredients might already be in your kitchen. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for full amounts.
For the Meatballs
- Ground Beef
- Ground Pork – Feel free to substitute it for ground beef.
- White Rice
- Eggs – Don’t skip them because they’re the binding agent.
- Onion – White onion is best but you can also use yellow onion.
- Garlic – You can also substitute it for 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder.
- Mexican Oregano – You can also use regular oregano in a pinch, but Mexican Oregano will give you the best flavor!
- Salt & Pepper
For the Broth
- Roma Tomatoes – Heirloom tomatoes also work if you remove most of the seeds.
- Tomato Bouillon – Swapping it for chicken bouillon is also fine.
- Chipotles in Adobo Sauce – This gives it a spicy kick but you can leave it out as well.
- Cilantro –Use fresh cilantro.
- Mint – It adds a bit of freshness, but you can leave it out.
- Beef Broth – Chicken or veggie broth are good alternatives.
For the Sopa
How to Make Authentic Caldo de Albondigas
Follow these instructions to make the best Mexican meatball soup you’ve ever had:
- Make the meatballs. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl. Add the beef, pork, rice, eggs, onion, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Mix until well combined. Roll the mixture into meatballs the size of 1 tablespoon. Set them aside.
- Blend it. Add the tomatoes, garlic, tomato bouillon, cumin, chipotles, cilantro, mint, and broth to a blender. Process it until you get a smooth mixture.
- Add the veggies. Pour the broth into a large pot over medium-high heat. You can also use a strainer to make sure the soup is extra smooth. Add the mint, potatoes, carrots, and zucchini.
- Simmer it. Bring the soup to a light simmer. Gently lower the meatballs into the pot. Cook for 30 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.
- Serve. Enjoy with a side of tortillas, guacamole, and even red rice.
Tips for Success
These simple tricks are my best-kept secret for caldo de albondigas.
- Add oatmeal. Mixing about 1/4 cup of rolled oats into the meatball mixture will make them extra filling and help keep them nice and soft.
- Break the meatballs. Scorching hot meatball soup can take a while to cool down. Speed up the process by breaking them up with your spoon.
- Add crema. Make your caldo de albondigas slightly creamy by adding about 1/2-1 tbsp of Mexican crema to each bowl and mixing it well. Give it a go!
- Simmer it longer. If you let the soup simmer for longer, you can reduce the broth to make a thicker, stew-like version of this dish.
What to Serve with Mexican Meatball Soup
Served with corn or flour tortillas, Mexican rice, and guacamole on the side, this soup is a whole meal! Dunk the tortilla into the soup for the full Mexican experience. Or instead of tortillas, try these Homemade Mexican Bolillos!
You can also have the guacamole on the side or use the softened tortillas to make tacos. Also, don’t forget to add red rice to the soup! Lots of Mexican people do it, and for a good reason.
How to Store Leftovers
Refrigerate any cooled leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat the soup in the microwave for up to two minutes or until warm. You can also do it in a pot over medium-low heat for 4-5 minutes.
Can I Freeze Albondigas Soup?
Yes, but I recommend doing so without any veggies. The broth and meatballs will hold up well but the veggies will loose their texture when frozen, which might be unpleasant once thawed.
Place it in a freezer-friendly container for up to 3 months. To thaw, simply transfer it to the fridge overnight a day before ready to serve. Then heat it on the stove or in the microwave.
More Authentic Mexican Recipes
- Easy Authentic Mexican Rice
- Chilaquiles Verdes
- Carne Asada Tacos
- Calabacitas Recipe (Mexican Squash)
- Tres Leches Cake
Caldo de Albondigas (Mexican Meatball Soup)
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- ¼ cup white rice
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup diced onion
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Broth, above
- Meatballs, above
- 2 sprigs mint
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 zucchini, cubed into 1 inch pieces
- Meatballs: Combine the ground beef, ground pork, rice, eggs, onion, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix well, then roll into meatball sized balls. Set aside.
- Broth: In a blender or food processor, puree all ingredients (tomatoes, onion, garlic, bouillon, cumin, chipotles, cilantro, mint and broth) until smooth.
- Pour the broth into a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the mint, potatoes, carrots and zucchini.
- Bring to a simmer and then carefully add the meatballs one at a time. Cook for 30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through.
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