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Seven-Ingredient Turkey Albondigas: Mexican Meatball Soup

Memories of sipping the juice of my favorite childhood soup always come back during the fall season. Though I love making and eating albondigas all year, it’s this time of year that I remember eating many special stews and soups as a kid! Unfortunately, I never learned to make Mexican meatball soup until I had become a mom. Now I try and make a batch of albondigas any time I can. Albondigas have become such a favorite dish in my little family.

I love the flavors and the tenderness in the albondigas, especially the way my grandmother made them. She was very particular of how she rolled her meatballs and the amount of rice to meat ratio. She was also a lover of lots of oregano. Thanks to her, this is the only dish I can really tolerate making with oregano. Trying to make this recipe without oregano defeats the whole purposes of making albondigas. The flavors really come together in this soup with oregano.

Now as a mom, I prepare this soup for my babies. I find any excuse to make this soup for my family. This year is my second year making it with a healthier twist. Instead of the traditional way of making albondigas with  ground beef, I use ground turkey! I love my ground turkey version just as much as my grandmother’s recipe. My kids love it too!

My dad taught me how to make albondigas long after my grandmother had passed. He always told me to make sure I never forget the vegetables. Carrots were a must in my father’s recipe! The flavors are consistent with the ones I tasted as a kid, with the sweet taste of tomato and onion and that special kick of oregano. My recipe calls for 7 main ingredients; everything else along the way is optional and depends on your liking.

Follow these easy steps to learn how to make a batch of this yummy Mexican meatball soup!

 

  • Turkey Albondigas 1 of 17
    turkey-albondigas1

    Learn how to make albondigas step by step by scrolling through the images. 

  • Turkey Albondigas Ingredients 2 of 17
    turkey-albondiga-ingredients

    Ingredients

    1 lb of ground turkey
    1 cup (appx.) of diced carrots (we used roughly 20 mini carrots)
    1 egg
    2 tbs of ground oregano
    1 tomato
    1 onion
    1½ cups of white long grain rice

    Optional: chicken broth seasoning, salt, oil, additional vegetables  

  • Turkey Albondigas: Preparing Veggies 3 of 17
    turkey-albondiga-prep-onion-and-tomato

    Cut tomato, onion, and carrots into smaller pieces.

  • Cook Onions 4 of 17
    turkey-albondiga-cook-onion

    Cook onions with a little oil of your choice. Cook them to a golden color. 

  • Add Tomato 5 of 17
    turkey-albondiga-cook-add-tomato

    Add your tomato and keep stirring to combine and prevent from sticking. 

  • Add Water 6 of 17
    turkey-albondiga-cook-add-water

    Once tomato looks tender, add 8-10 cups of water. I start with 8 cups and gradually add more when I see the need, especially once carrots and rice have been included. 

  • Season Your Soup 7 of 17
    turkey-albondiga-season

    Add your choice of seasoning. Salt or chicken bouillon works best. This is optional — the meatballs, vegetables and oregano do give the soup a great flavor, but I always like to add chicken bouillon. 

  • Add Carrots 8 of 17
    turkey-albondiga-add-carrots-and-bring-to-a-boil

    Once the broth comes to a boil, add your carrots and wait for it to boil again. This is a good time to add 1/2 cup of rice into your soup. 

  • Watch Your Heat 9 of 17
    turkey-albondiga-cook-at-medium-heat

    Bring your heat to a medium. Keep an eye out for it to come to a boil. 

  • What’s in an Albondiga Mixture? 10 of 17
    turkey-albondiga-mixture

    While you wait for your broth to boil, start your albondigas.

    In a dish, mix turkey meat, 1 egg, 1 cup of rice, 1tbs of oregano, and optional salt to taste.

     

  • Combine Albondiga Mixture 11 of 17
    turkey-albondiga-mix-until-combined

    While you could use a spoon to combine your mixture, it's best to use your hands. 

    Wash up and start combining all the ingredients. 

  • Make albondigas 12 of 17
    turkey-albondiga-meatballs

    Once all combined, start rolling and lining your meatballs in a dish. Be sure to make them all the same size. Remember, the rice and meat will expand, so making them no bigger than a golfball is what you are going for. 

  • Tip for Rolling Albondigas 13 of 17
    turkey-albondiga-how-to-roll-a-meatball

    TIP: Wet your hands slightly to prevent the meat from sticking to your hands while your roll your meatballs. Gently, do a two hand rotation. Remember not to over-roll the meat; it will soften and make your albondiga become warm and sticky, causing it to fall apart. 

  • Makes 4-6 Servings 14 of 17
    turkey-albondiga-makes-4-servings

    1 pound of ground turkey albondiga mixture can yield approximately 16 meatballs. This makes 4-6 servings. 

    Place in refrigerator while you wait for your broth to boil. This will help maintain your albondiga shape and help when you place into soup. 

  • Add meatballs 15 of 17
    turkey-albondiga-add-meatballs-as-broth-boils

    Once your broth boils, remove your meatballs from refrigeration. 

    Start placing your meatballs in your soup one at a time. I like to place my albondiga on a spoon and slowly lower it into the soup. 

    I like to also place them in different areas away from the last one I just placed to prevent them from sticking. 

  • Check the Meatballs 16 of 17
    turkey-albondiga-check-meatballs-and-dont-over-cook

    Your meatballs are ready when they've all floated to the top of your soup. To check, remove one from the soup, cut in half, and check it. If it looks ready give it a taste. You are looking for meat tenderness and the rice to be fully cooked. 

    Once done, remove from heat and you are done. 

  • Serve and Enjoy 17 of 17
    turkey-albondiga-serve-and-enjoy

    Serve in a bowl and enjoy! 

 

Ingredients

1lb of ground turkey

1 cup appx of diced carrots

1 egg

2T of ground oregano

1 tomato

1 onion

1½ cups of white long grain rice

Directions

1. Cut tomato, onion, and carrots into smaller pieces.

2. Cook onion and tomato with a little oil (optional).

3. Add 8-10 cups of water and season with chicken bouillon (optional).

4. Add diced carrots and bring to a boil on medium heat.

5. In a dish, mix turkey meat, 1 egg, 1 cup of rice, 1 tbs of oregano, and optional salt to taste.

6. Combine the ingredients in the mixture.

7. Once combined, start rolling your meatballs.

8. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.

9. Once broth is boiling, add your meatballs to the soup. Add each meatball one by one.

10. Cook until meatballs are fully cooked.

11. Serve and enjoy!

 

Read more of Ruby’s writing at Growing Up Blackxican

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