Caldo de Albóndigas: Mexican meatball soup, a simple comfort dish.

Caldo de albóndigas is a hearty and nutritious Mexican meatball soup that everyone will enjoy, specially in the coldest months. This albondigas soup is loaded with vegetables and fully customizable as you can add any veggies you’d like.

A plate with caldo de albóndigas: Mexican meat ball soup with vegetables.

The aromatic and delicious broth is full of Mexican flavours and is NOT SPICY! so children can enjoy it and believe me, they will even ask for seconds!

What is Caldo de Albóndigas?

Caldo means broth and albóndigas translate to meatballs. So Caldo de Albóndigas literally translate into Meatball broth. And as scrumptious as it sound, this recipe truly will become one of your favourite mexican recipes.

Meatballs are a dish Mexico inherit from Spain where it was a popular preparation thanks to the Arabs. When meatballs became popular in the Latin American cuisines, Mexico, as many other countries made it’s own version which is pretty popular among families.

Mexican meatball soup (caldo de albóndigas) on a cast iron pot.

Is Mexican Meatball Soup Spicy?

The short answer is: No. Caldo de Albóndigas is a dish that is served mostly in family meals, to grown ups and children. Is an easy way to include vegetables into the daily diet and also a budget-friendly soup perfect to feed a large family.

Many families prefer to keep spicy food away from childrens so albondigas soup doesn’t include any hot chilli peppers, instead, we prefer to serve a spicy sauce on the side so the ones that would like the broth spicy just add the sauce to their liking.

Mexican albondigas in broth, served in a plate and seen from above.

My family recipe for albondigas soup

This Caldo de Albóndigas recipe is from my grandma Elvira. She will always be my mainly inspiration. How I miss her cooking and sazón.

In Mexico, Albóndigas en Caldo can have some variants, this one that I am sharing with you is exactly how my grandma used to prepare them at home. Years and years later I still remember the recipe as if I had it tattooed in my memory.

Authentic caldo de albondigas (albondigas soup).

To tell the truth, my grandma Elvira didn’t add vegetables to the broth but my mother did, so this is also her version. They also didn’t use olive oil but lard, so this recipe also has my touch.

Caldo de Albóndigas was one of the first dishes I made in Italy to introduce my husband to the mexican gastronomy. He loved it from the first time and he still likes it enough to ask me often to make it.

It was one of the first recipes that I write on this blog back in 2004 and then update it with new photos and content to make it easier for my visitors.

A meatball (albondiga) cut to see its juicy texture inside.

In Italy I make albondigas soup always in summer, because is when there’s and abundance of fresh mint. I don’t mind the heat, as a Mexican I am used to eating hot dishes even when the heat is unbearable (caldo de res, I’m talking to you!)

This year my mint has started to grow since January, because of the crazy weather. So I did not want to miss the opportunity now that the weather is still a bit cold to prepare these delicious meatballs in broth and serve them with corn tortillas and red rice.

Ingredients

  • Minced pork meat – You can also use turkey, chicken or beef minced meat. Or a combination of 2 types of those suggested meats.
  • Fresh tomatoes – If tomatoes are not in season or you don’t have fresh tomatoes, add a can (400gr) of plain tomato sauce.
  • White onions – Onions together with tomatoes creates the base for the broth, also called recaudo.
  • Vegetables – I added only zucchini and carrots but you can also add peas, corn, turnips, celery, etc.
  • Rice – Rice is used to help the meat sticking together and also adds a nice touch in the texture as it avoids the meatballs to becoming so hard once cooked.
  • Eggs – Same as rice, eggs helps to glue all the meatballs ingredients together.
  • Extra virgin olive oil – Or use any vegetable oil you prefer.
  • Herbs – Mint is the key ingredient and I strongly suggest to use it, also oregano. With those 2 ingredients you’ll think you’re eating at any mexican fondita! they bring out all the amazing flavours in the broth.
  • Other seasonings – Garlic, salt and pepper. Use according to your taste.

Caldo de Albóndigas Recipe

Place the ground meat in a bowl, then add the rice, the eggs and a handful of chopped mint leaves. Season with salt and pepper.

Ingredients ready to be mixed to make meatballs.

Mix all the ingredients until fully incorporated. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.

The meat already mixed with the other ingredients to prepare meatballs.

Prepare the meatballs and place them on a plate, I have made 24 balls with the size of an apricot, you can make them a little bit bigger if you want.

Cut tomatoes and onions into pieces and place them in a blender together with the peeled garlic clove. Add a cup of water and blend until you achieve a smooth sauce.

Sauce for meatballs.

In a saucepan or pot, heat the oil and pour the tomato sauce. Cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add enough water (or chicken stock) for the broth, at least 6 cups. Season with salt and pepper, cover and cook for 5 minutes.

Boiling broth for Caldo de Albóndigas.

Uncover the pan, add the meatballs gently one by one. Do not mix immediately or you might break them. If the pot is too crowded, with a spoon move them gently until all albondigas are fully submerged in the broth.

Adding the raw meatballs to the broth.

Boil for 30 minutes over low / moderate heat. Meanwhile peel and cut the zucchini and carrots in the format you prefer (cubes, chunks, sticks). Add them to the broth and cook until the vegetables are completely tender, about 15-20 minutes.

Adding the vegetables into the caldo de albóndigas.

Adjust with salt, turn off the heat and add the oregano, mix. Cover the pot and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving with warm tortillas and a squeeze of lime.

Albóndigas en caldo.

Recipe Notes

  • At the start you will feel that the meat mixture sticks to your hands. Just let it sit for 5 minutes and the preparation will be ready and manageable to prepare the meatballs.
  • My grandma Elvira would add sometimes chicken bouillon, or if she had chicken broth from the day before she would add that as well. If you like, you can also add chicken stock instead of water.
  • Albondigas soup can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • This recipe can be freeze for up to 3 months too in air-tight containers.
3 containers with caldo de albondigas ready to freeze.

Watch How To Make It

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Caldo de albondigas on a plate.

Caldo de Albóndigas (mexican meatballs in broth)

Caldo de albóndigas is a hearty and nutritious Mexican meatball soup that everyone loves. A hearty dish for everyday meals.
PREP 15 minutes
COOK 45 minutes
TOTAL 1 hour
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Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 1.1 lb minced pork meat
  • 1 lb fresh tomatoes
  • 1 small white onions
  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 3 medium carrots
  • ¼ cup rice
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • fresh mint
  • 1 Tbsp Oregano
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Place the ground meat in a bowl, then add the rice, the eggs and a handful of chopped mint leaves. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Mix all the ingredients until combined.
  • Make 24 meatballs and place them on a plate.
  • Cut tomatoes and onions into pieces and place them in a blender together with the peeled garlic clove. Add a cup of water and blend until you achieve a smooth sauce.
  • In a saucepan, heat the oil and pour in the tomato sauce. Cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add enough water (or chicken stock) for the broth, about 6 cups). Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
  • When the tomato broth begins to boil, add the meatballs. Mix them gently until all meatballs are fully submerged into the broth.
  • Boil for 30 minutes over medium-low heat.
  • Meanwhile peel and cut the zucchini and carrots in the format you prefer (cubes, chunks, sticks). Add them to the broth and boil until the vegetables are completely tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  • Adjust with salt, turn off the heat and add the oregano, mix. Serve.

notes

  • At the start you will feel that the meat mixture sticks to your hands. Just let it sit for 5 minutes and the preparation will be ready and manageable to prepare the meatballs.
  • My grandma Elvira would add sometimes chicken bouillon, or if she had chicken broth from the day before, she would add that as well. If you like, you can also add chicken stock instead of water.
  • Albondigas soup can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • This recipe can be freeze for up to 3 months too in air-tight containers.
Nutrition
Calories: 562kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 172mg | Sodium: 148mg | Potassium: 1117mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 8933IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 3mg
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4 Comments

  1. This is the first recipe that I come across that actually makes them
    like my mother’s amazing albóndigas!! Love it!

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