Caldo de Albondigas | Mexican Meatball Soup

Yield: 5-6 servings

Caldo de Albondigas

Caldo de Albondigas
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes



  • 1 lb ground beef or pork
  • ½ cup cooked white rice
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup cilantro, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt + pepper


  • 7 cups chicken broth
  • 3 roma tomatoes
  • ½ onion
  • 3 carrots, peeled
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ cup red chile sauce
  • ½ cup cilantro, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil


Preheat oven to 375°. Make the meatballs: combine rice, egg, cumin, garlic powder, cilantro, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix to combine. Add the ground meat and mix until well combined. Roll into small, tablespoon-sized meatballs. Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 10 minutes, flip, and then bake for another 5 minutes, until the meatballs are just cooked through and starting to brown. Make the soup: chop vegetables uniformly. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until onion just begin to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Add remaining vegetables, chicken broth, chile sauce, and garlic and bring to a boil and stir. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Add the meatballs and cilantro and simmer 10 minutes longer. Serve with warm tortillas and garnish with extra cilantro.

Recipe Notes

Caldo de albondigas or Mexican meatball soup is a simple, straightforward soup recipe, requiring little to no preparation ahead of time. This is the kind of recipe that incorporates nicely into a weekly meal plan. The Mexican Red Chile sauce is optional, but it should be replaced with a couple of finely minced chipotle chiles in adobo. There are several recipes that use Mexican Red Chile sauce on this site, and I like to keep some of it in the fridge and freezer at all times. Cooked rice is used instead of breadcrumbs in the meatballs, providing a light texture.


Warm, filling, and just a bit spicy. No alterations necessary.

Recipe Attempts

This recipe has been attempted by the author 1 time(s).