Growing up my dad seemed to favor making soups for meals. This also meant he had leftovers for days on end. As I have gotten older myself, I find I am making more soups as the days draw colder, which helps my meal planning for lunches a breeze. My dad was always looking for old family favorites or something new to create. One that our family fell back on time and time again was Albondigas Soup, meaning meatball in Spanish.

Now as I try to recreate these favorite meals, I often challenge myself to find a way to add more vegetables without sacrificing taste. I like to add extra vegetables than called for and have to try adding riced cauliflower to my meatballs and stew next time I enjoy this meal.

Here’s the recipe- Enjoy!

Mexican Meatballs


  • 1 pound ground beef or use 1/2 pound ground pork mixed with 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup cooked white rice
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup cilantro or parsley leaves chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced onions
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika

For the Soup

  • 1 table spoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 large celery stalk, sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 2-3 carrots , peeled, quartered and sliced (1 ½ -2 cups)
  • 1 large zucchini , quartered and sliced (1 ½ – 2 cups)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6-7 cups beef broth or water
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste or 8-ounce tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ tablespoon chicken bouillon
  • ½ tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ cups potatoes , cut into ½-inch pieces (2 potatoes large)
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves , chopped


  • In a large mixing bowl, add the beef, rice, garlic, egg, cilantro, onions, and spices, and combine ingredients with your hands until thoroughly mixed.
  • Roll out the meatballs using your hands. If you’d like larger meatballs you should have around 14-16 total. Set on a plate and to the side.
  • Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, celery, carrots, zucchini. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add broth, tomato paste or sauce, cumin, oregano, chicken bouillon, and paprika followed by potato chunks. Bring everything to a boil then reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 10-12 minutes.
  • After the broth has achieved a low simmer, place the meatballs into the broth one by one. Be careful in doing so, as to not create splashes. Simmer for 10-12 minutes more.
  • Adjust seasonings to taste. Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves. Serve with toasted bread and rice!

Tips & Notes:

  • Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 325kcal (16%)| Carbohydrates: 24g (8%)| Protein: 28g (56%)| Fat: 13g (20%)| Saturated Fat: 4g (25%)| Cholesterol: 92mg (31%)| Sodium: 1185mg (52%)| Potassium: 1532mg (44%)| Fiber: 5g (21%)| Sugar: 5g (6%)| Vitamin A: 4783IU (96%)| Vitamin C: 22mg (27%)| Calcium: 91mg (9%)| Iron: 6mg (33%)

-Written by Emily Swanson

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