Grandma Salazar's Albóndigas Soup

Grandma Salazar's Albóndigas Soup Recipe
Becky Luigart-Stayner
Albóndigas soup is a traditional Mexican soup featuring spicy meatballs offset by the fresh flavors of vegetables and herbs.


8 servings (serving size: about 1 cup soup and 1 1/2 teaspoons cilantro)

Recipe from

Cooking Light

Nutritional Information

Calories 181
Caloriesfromfat 21 %
Fat 4.4 g
Satfat 1.6 g
Monofat 0.6 g
Polyfat 0.3 g
Protein 15.5 g
Carbohydrate 20.4 g
Fiber 2.9 g
Cholesterol 36 mg
Iron 1.9 mg
Sodium 500 mg
Calcium 43 mg


1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup short-grain rice
Cooking spray
2 cups chopped onion, divided
1 (1-ounce) slice white bread
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro, divided
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 pound lean ground pork
1/2 pound ground sirloin
2 large egg whites
1 cup chopped carrot
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup chopped seeded peeled tomato (about 8 ounces)
4 cups (1 [32-ounce] carton) fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 cups chopped zucchini
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Pour water over rice, and let stand 20 minutes. Drain.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add 1/2 cup onion to pan; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.

Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1 1/4 cups. Combine rice, cooked onion, breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup cilantro, cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt, oregano, pork, sirloin, and egg whites, stirring well. Shape mixture into 29 (1-inch) meatballs. Chill for 20 minutes.

Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add 10 meatballs, and cook 6 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove meatballs from pan; drain well on paper towels. Wipe drippings from pan with a paper towel. Repeat procedure with cooking spray and remaining meatballs. Return pan to heat. Coat with cooking spray. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups onion, carrot, and garlic to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add tomato to pan, stirring to combine. Stir in broth; bring mixture to a boil. Add meatballs and mint to pan. Reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes. Add zucchini, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to pan. Cook 10 minutes. Garnish with remaining 1/4 cup cilantro.


Note: Chilling the meatballs for 20 minutes helps them hold their shape when cooked. Albóndigas (ahl-bon-dee-gas) is Spanish for "meatballs".

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit

Traci Des Jardins,

Mijita, San Francisco, California,

Cooking Light

May 2005
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