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
Learn how to make albondigas step by step by scrolling through the images.
Turkey Albondigas Ingredients 2 of 17
1 lb of ground turkey
1 cup (appx.) of diced carrots (we used roughly 20 mini carrots)
2 tbs of ground oregano
1½ cups of white long grain rice
Optional: chicken broth seasoning, salt, oil, additional vegetables
Turkey Albondigas: Preparing Veggies 3 of 17
Cut tomato, onion, and carrots into smaller pieces.
Cook Onions 4 of 17
Cook onions with a little oil of your choice. Cook them to a golden color.
Add Tomato 5 of 17
Add your tomato and keep stirring to combine and prevent from sticking.
Add Water 6 of 17
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Serve in a bowl and enjoy!
1lb of ground turkey
1 cup appx of diced carrots
2T of ground oregano
1½ cups of white long grain rice
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