Mexican Meatballs in Chile Soup (Albondigas) recipe

Albondigas just means meatballs in Spanish. Traditionally these are made with beef and pork but for this recipe we added some grated zucchini for moisture and a great smooth texture. Serves 8.


4 whole bell peppers or poblano chiles
1 1/4 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1 cup coarsely grated zucchini
1/2 cup finely grated onion
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 eggs
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons oil
1 onion, chopped small
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chile powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3 quarts broth
2 12-ounce bottles light bodied beer (like Budweiser)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 whole zucchini, chopped small
1 large tomato, chopped small
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice


  1. Preheat oven to broil.

  2. Place the bell peppers on a baking sheet under the broiler until blackened. Keep turning until all the sides are black and charred.

  3. Place the bell peppers in a bowl and wrap tightly with plastic wrap, let cool.

  4. With a paper towel roughly wipe the peppers until the sin comes off. Discard it. Then cut off the stems, remove the seeds, and chop the flesh small.

  5. In a large bowl mix together the peppers, beef, pork, and all the remaining meatball ingredients.

  6. Scoop the meatballs with a tablespoon and form into 1 inch size meatballs. Set aside.

  7. For the soup, heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.

  8. Add the spices and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  9. Add the broth and the beer and bring to a boil. Turn to low heat and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

  10. Add the zucchini and the rice and drop the meatballs in one at a time.

  11. Turn the heat to medium and cook gently at a simmer until the rice is cooked, about 20 minutes.

  12. Add the cilantro and lime juice. Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper.

Author: Rachael Daylong.

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Published: October 12, 2011
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