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Authentic Mexican Meatballs Recipe (Albondigas Mexicanas)

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Inside: Find out how to make these delicious, easy to make, Mexican meatballs, known as “albondigas” in Spanish. 

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Mexican Meatball Soup (albondigas mexicanas)

The meatballs recipe that I am going to share today is much different from the Italian meatballs that you are probably used to, and which are also delicious. If you are looking for a more traditional meatball, check out this one made with ground bison and cheese. 

There is nothing like eating a homemade meal made by mom. Without a doubt, it is one of my favorite memories from growing up and as time goes by, I have realized how important those moments were. There is just something about a home cooked meal that makes it so delicious. 

Maybe it is being able to enjoy with family, or the love that it is made with, or maybe just simply having fresh ingredients. Whatever it is, I think we can all agree that home cooked meals are best. 

Mexican meatballs (albondigas mexicanas) top view

Some of my favorite memories are when I spent time in the kitchen with my mom or my abuela. Through them, I learned the art of cooking, and they and their delicious recipes are the inspiration behind my website. 

The best part for me was to pull up a tall stool and sit next to them to form the meatballs (or albondigas) for this recipe. It was always so much fun and I also was able to learn how to make these Mexican meatballs. 

My abuela always took advantage of those times to share stories from her youth. I listened closely while carefully trying to make perfectly shaped meatballs (although they usually ended up looking more like a sausage than a ball!). All of those years of practice helped me perfect this recipe that I am going to share today. 

Mexican meatballs (albondigas mexicanas) just the meatballs.

What Are Mexican Meatballs? 

My recipe for Mexican meatballs, or albondigas Mexicanas, are made with a combination of beef and pork. The meat is then mixed with a variety of seasonings and white rice and then cooked in a tomato-chipotle salsa. The meatballs are cooked in the salsa along with potatoes, carrots, and/or squash. 

Today, I just used potatoes, because it is a vegetable that my kids enjoy. You then serve it with white rice or beans, and of course, like most Mexican food, with tortillas. 

Mexican Meatballs process (albondigas mexicanas)

What is the difference between Mexican Meatballs and Italian Meatballs?

In my opinion, both Mexican meatballs and Italian meatballs are delicious. The main difference is really the type of spices and seasonings that are added. For example, for Italian meatballs, you will use herbs such as basil to season it, while for Mexican meatballs, you will use parsley. The other difference is that instead of a marinara, for Mexican meatballs, you will serve the meatballs with a chipotle salsa that gives it that distinctive Mexican flavor. 

Italian meatballs are usually considered more sophisticated, while Mexican meatballs are definitely a comfort food. The other difference is that Mexican meatballs are cooked with vegetables.

Mexican Meatballs (albondigas mexicans in bowl with salsa chipotle

Since you serve these meatballs as a soup, they are also known sometimes as Mexican meatball soup. They can also be served as an appetizer before the main dish at local restaurants. That said, it can also be served as a main dish accompanied by rice and tortillas. 

This is usually served for lunch, which tends to be the biggest meal of the day in Mexico. That is different from the United States where dinner is usually the biggest meal. 

Mexican meatball soup (albondigas) with garnishes

You are going to love this recipe. Don’t miss out and let me know how it turns out below. 

Check out these other Authentic Mexican Recipes

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Mexican meatballs (albondigas mexicanas) top view
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4.48 from 17 votes

Authentic Mexican Meatballs (Albondigas Mexicanas)

Find out how to make these delicious, easy to make, Mexican meatballs, known as "albondigas" in Spanish. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: meatballs
Servings: 20 Meatballs
Calories: 97kcal

Ingredients

For the Meatballs

  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1/4 onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1/4 bunch fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup white rice partially cooked (per instructions below)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground oregano
  • 1 tsp ground paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the Tomato-Chipotle Salsa

  • 5 roma tomatoes roasted
  • 2 cloves garlic roasted
  • 1/4 onion roasted
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 3 large potatoes cut into cubes
  • 2 sticks celery cut into small pieces
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce optional

Instructions

  • Start by adding the 1/2 cup of white rice to a pan with 1/2 cup of water and let boil for 10 minutes to partially cook the rice. Let cool and set aside. 
  • Add all of the meatball ingredients, including the rice, in a large bowl and mix well. 
  • Once combined, form balls that are approximately 1 inch in diameter, and place on a baking sheet. 
  • Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes or until sufficiently browned on the outside. 
  • Separately, blend the ingredients for the salsa in a blender, and then saute the salsa with 1 tsp of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and let boil for approximately 5 minutes. 
  • Add the celery and the cooked meatballs. 
  • Add additional salt and pepper to taste and let simmer for approximately 20 minutes longer until the meatballs and potatoes are completely cooked through. 
  • Accompany with rice, beans, and tortillas. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1Meatball | Calories: 97kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 250mg | Potassium: 320mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 450IU | Vitamin C: 11.5mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 2.1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @mylatinatable or tag #mylatinatable!

Find out how to make these delicious, easy to make, Mexican meatballs, known as "albondigas" in Spanish. 

Recipe Rating




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Kaz

Thursday 6th of January 2022

Found this recipe from a friend sharing it on Twitter and am dying to try making them soon! My Italian/Belgian side of the families meatballs are actually close-ish, more garlic, stale bread instead of rice and no cumin or paprika so I can already tell these are going to be fantastic! Will update once I make them thanks for sharing!!

Elvira

Sunday 7th of November 2021

Missing but optional ingredient is squeezing Lime in your bowl.. Or squeeze a whole lime while cooking… Cook rice only for a few minutes strain and set aside, to add with other ingredients. I also enjoy adding 1 huevo (egg) to hold my meat and hold the ingredients together. Purely optional…. Latina born and raised!

JACKIE

Thursday 15th of July 2021

Hello!! I did love the albondigas!However I had a couple of questions...

1. in the ingredients list it states to use 1-4 cup rice and then in the recipe directions, it state's to use 1-2 cup rice PARTIALLY cOOKED BY BOILING FOR 10 MINUTES- which should it be? I ENDED UP BOiLInG A BIT more than 1-4 cup rice and adding more water ...it cooked way too fast!

2. I've never seen any meatball recipe without eggs added so that everytho ing hold together. after trying it without the eggs (i,e,trying to make the meatballs) I added two beaten eggs...that held things together nicely! thanks again for a lovely recipe!

'

Charlene Morris

Thursday 24th of June 2021

I made these this morning in preparation for a late night at work so I didn't have to cook tonight. It smells so fabulous I had to fight my housemates to not take it for their lunches after we had a taste test! As Aussies, our only experience of Mexican food all tastes like Taco Bell seasoning lol. I'm so happy to find your site and educate the three of us on real Mexican food.

Daria Wilber

Wednesday 12th of February 2020

I live in Mérida, Yucatán and this recipe has become one of my go-to potluck offerings. I was a little hesitant to serve this to a mainly Yucatecan crowd for fear they would enjoy it; just the opposite, it was a hit! I'm making a batch this afternoon for a lunch tomorrow. Many thanks!

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