Mexican Meatballs or “Albondigas” in Spanish, are known for being a very homely dish in Mexico, meant to bring comfort and a lovely everyday meal for your family.
An albondigas recipe is almost always accompanied by fresh homemade beans, rice and warm tortillas. They can be served with a broth or tomato based sauce, and with vegetables such as courgette, potatoes and carrots. It’s a very humble and nourishing dish.
For our Mexican meatballs recipe, we made a tomato based sauce with Gran Luchito Chipotle Paste for a delicious smoky and spicy taste. We then added homemade chicken or vegetable stock to enhance the flavour of the albondigas sauce even more.
Add potatoes to bulk up your authentic Mexican meatballs, and carrots as well, if you like. In terms of making meatballs, they are made with only a few ingredients. We only add the olive oil and oregano to help bind it all together. Don’t use eggs though, as this often changes the taste of the meatballs.
Preheat the oven to 200˚C/390˚F. In a lined baking tray place the tomatoes, onion and garlic cloves. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes approx.
Place the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Add a pinch of salt and bring the potatoes to a boil. Let them cook through, and when ready remove them from the heat and drain your potatoes, then set aside.
In the meantime, prepare the meatballs mixture. In a bowl add the beef mince, onion, garlic, coriander, cumin, oregano, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix everything with your hands until all the ingredients are well integrated. With your hands form the meatballs by first pressing the meat between your palms and then shaping it into a ball. Repeat the same with the remaining mixture, and you should get about 15-16 meatballs.
Heat up a frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil, and fry your meatballs over high heat, five or six at a time (don’t overcrowd the pan). Once ready, remove and set aside. You just want to sear them and get a bit of colour on them, as they will then get fully cooked in the sauce later.
To make the sauce place your roasted veggies into a blender, then add the Chipotle Paste and chicken stock, and blend smoothly. Once ready, pour your sauce into a large pan and simmer on medium heat, add the potatoes, the meatballs, and season with salt and black pepper. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes and then serve.
Garnish your warm meatballs with crumbled feta cheese on top and then scatter the coriander on top. Serve with a side of our Mexican Rice on the side, and some warm Soft Taco Wraps.
When meatballs are packed together too tightly, they end up tough, rubbery, and chewy. Being gentle is the name of the game when it comes to rolling meatballs. Also, the olive oil will help with keeping the meatballs tender and moist, so don't skip that.
How to make albondiga soup?
First of all you make your meatballs as seen in our recipe (typically quite large). Then they are simmered in the soup broth over a medium heat for about 30 minutes. The broth is made with chicken broth or beef broth, crushed tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, and zucchini. You can add lime juice and coriander to the soup if you like, to brighten the flavour.
Are meatballs mexican?
It's unclear who invented the first meatball, although many people believe that the meatball first originated in Persia where leftover meat was used to make a dish known as Kofta. It is supposed that from Persia the meatball spread throughout the Middle East to China.
Comments / Questions / Tips
Subscribe now for a free copy of the Gran Luchito e-cookbook filled with delicious, authentic Mexican recipes and join our mailing list for all the latest recipes, news and blog updates.