CrockPot Albondigas (Meatball) Soup Recipe

Albondigas is a traditional Mexican meatball soup. This recipe uses storebought meatballs to make it easier and more user friendly. Toss all the ingredients into your crockpot slow cooker and come home at the end of a long work day to a fully cooked and delicious meal!

albondigas is a meatball soup. this is made in the crockpot slow cooker.

Good morning! I made a wonderful meatball soup a few nights ago.

 I was inspired by Elise Bauer's Albondigas Soup recipe posted on Simply Recipes. I bookmarked this soup about a year ago, but hadn't gotten around to trying it. 

When I found that Costco started carrying some gluten-free meatballs I knew I was ready to test it out. 

Elise makes her own, which you can too, but you'll need to fully cook them before throwing into the crock. 

They will disintegrate otherwise.

I really liked this soup, and what I liked EVEN more about it was that I made do with pantry and freezer stuff instead of going to the store, which makes it "free"!  

The Crock-Pot is such a useful tool when creating low cost meals for you and your family.

The Ingredients.
serves 6

these are the ingredients you need to make albondigas soup in the crockpot slow cooker

4 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup baby tomatoes, quartered
1 cup baby carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/4 cup prepared pasta sauce 
1/2 teaspoon dried mint
15 to 18 frozen meatballs, Italian or similar flavored (The Coleman Natural say gluten free right on the label)
1 cup frozen peas (if you stir them in 20 min before serving, they will retain their color. I did not do that, and my peas looked canned. I wish I had waited and stirred them in at the end.)

The Directions.

Use a 6 quart slow cooker. 

Put the broth, vegetables, pasta sauce, and mint into your slow cooker. 

Stir in frozen meatballs. 

Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours. The seasoning from the meatballs is what is going to flavor your soup. 

The longer and slower you cook the soup, the more flavor the broth will have. Stir in frozen peas 20 minutes or so before serving.

Garnish with a bit of shredded Parmesan cheese.

The Verdict.

Adam and I really liked this soup. I was intrigued by the mint, which is what caused me to bookmark this soup to try so long ago. 

Elise said that the mint is what really differentiates Albondigas (means "meatballs") Soup from other soups and provides a unique flavor. 

I was happily surprised by the subtle mint flavor, and how it provided a cooling sensation on my tongue. 

I wanted a bit of heat, and added some Tabasco to my bowl. Adam ate it as-is, and the kids drank the broth and ate the veggies---no meatballs for them (yet they eat them plain with ketchup all the time...?).

Very cool. Thank you, Elise! I look forward to seeing you again in July.

Albondigas is a traditional Mexican meatball soup that has a tiny touch of mint in the broth. You'd be surprised at how this bit of mint really wakes up the rest of the seasonings! You can use homemade or storebought meatballs. This is made in the crockpot slow cooker and is from

related: Save Money by Using Your Crock-Pot Slow Cooker
The Secret to an Organized Life

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at May 17, 2017

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What they say about this article

  1. yaay!! *happy hillbilly dance* I can't wait to make this! I am so EXCITED! I tried to make my own a couple months back, but it didn't taste like Albondigas. I didn't know to use mint!

    I wonder when blogherads will be accepting applications again. I reapplied because I have a much larger viewing now, than when I first applied. Today is 71 days and counting!

    Thanks again for the recipe! I'm so excited to try it (and so glad that you're done with pork lol)!

  2. The soup sounds great except...the mint sounds really weird. What does it do for the flavor?

  3. 71 days, Melissa! WOW! you can totally do it.

    C. Beth, I was hesitant, too. On the first few tastes (I taste hourly, usually. I suck at following the no peeking rule)I tasted a lot of mint. But by the time the soup was finished, the mint blended with the Italian seasoning flavor from the meatballs and just provided a mellow minty flavor that felt cool to the tongue.
    Elise says you can use parsley if the mint weirds you out.

    xoxo steph

  4. You inspired me to take my 'on the stovetop' Albondigas Soup recipe and alter it for the crockpot. My mad scientist experiment is cooking away, and the verdict will be revealed at dinner tonight. Thanks again for the inspiraton!

  5. sooo i know this is random, but if you don't mind sharing, how did you get the year ago today link thingie on the top left of your blog? that is so fun!


  6. Don't you just love it when you find a recipe that really excites you AND you just happen to have all of the ingredients already in the pantry? Me too! Thanks for posting.

  7. I've een wanting to make this for awhile and this looks like a great recipe. Some are so complicated and too many ingredients - less is more!

  8. love, love, LOVE albondigas! My grandma always made this for me as a kid and I miss it so much. Can't wait to give it a try!

  9. Thank you for the news about the gluten free meatballs! So exciting!

  10. Anonymous3/14/2009

    My husband makes this soup, but just with onions and green chiles and tomatos, and with cilantro, not mint. Also good.

  11. I have what I hope is a quick question - I bought a crockpot but it is too large for most of our everyday meals - so I'm going to buy a smaller one but before I buy another crockpot I have a question:

    if there is a recipe for a 4qt crockpot and I make a half recipe will the cooking time be similar I guess it would extend the other direction too - if I have a recipe for a 3 qt crockpot and double it for my 6qt crockpot will the cooking time be similar?

    Thanks in advance

  12. Hi Catie,
    that is a really good question. No matter what size crock you use, if it's about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full, your meal should cook on high for 4 hours, or on low for 8, give or take a bit here or there depending on altitude, water hardness, if your meat is frozen, etc.

    xoxo steph

  13. So a show on Oprah last week had some chefs showing how families can make meals and Tyler Florence brings up the idea of using the crockpot. Then Oprah said "but what do you even make in the crockpot - I have one and don't know any recipes." I THINK YOU SHOULD GO ON OPRAH!!!!!!!!!! Show her all your recipes and promote your cookbook!!!!!!!

  14. I agree, you should go on Oprah! After preparing our corned beef in the crockpot with nothing harder to do than cutting up some veggies, well, we'll be trying lots more of your suggestions. It was delicious, and my husband (our grocery shopper) even said he will buy another corned beef this week!

    Thanks for such a delicious easy feast!

  15. Thank you for checking out my site and linking yours to mine! I have been a huge fan of yours and when my oven died you kept us happily fed!

  16. i just noticed the "a year ago today" link. Very awesome since I just starting visiting your blog in September last year. It's like a year of crockpotting started over for me. Thanks!

  17. oh i just love meatball soup!! great recipe Stephanie!! ;-)

  18. Meatball soup might possibly be my ultimate comfort food -- my mom would make it on rainy nights and it was one of those foods that was "only good, never bad" as we like to say in my house. This post really made me smile. Can't wait to try it.

  19. Anonymous3/20/2009

    This looks great and I have most of the ingredients already!

  20. I make Albondigas and Spaghetti/Meatballs in the crockpot on a regular basis. They *can* be cooked in the broth/sauce in the crock, but they gave to be smaller (like ping-pong ball size) compared to the giant meatballs you can simmer raw on the stove with these recipes. The meat must be very lean, and you need a binder (I use ground turkey in place of ground beef, and use 1 egg per pound of meat, and 1/4c to1/2c ground oatmeal in place of bread/crackers) and the sauce/broth pretty hot before you add the meatballs. You CANNOT stir it, no matter how tempting it is, but when they are done, oh my, they melt in your mouth, and are nice and tender :)

  21. I made this last night for dinner and it was GREAT! Everyone loved it :)

  22. Anonymous3/26/2009

    I have wanted to attend this conference. It sounds like a blast. I need to put it on the to do list for next year! Have fun.

  23. Anonymous3/30/2009

    Hi, I made this soup (which was DELISH!) but I just made it yesterday, and have a family emergency that means I have to go out of town - do you think this will freeze well?

    Thanks! Your recipes have been great!

  24. Yum, this reminds me of a soup my grandma used to make when I was little. I've made it on the stove top but it didn't occur to me that I could do it in the good ol' crockpot :).

  25. These Albondigas meatball soup recipe sounds great and looks even better. I am going to make them on my next party. It will be a crowd pleaser.thank you for shearing your post.

  26. I made this tonight and it was delicious. I just made 1/4 of the recipe because my husband's deployed, but it worked well.

    I didn't have celery, peas, baby tomatoes, or frozen meatballs. But I used some meatballs I had from spahetti and meatballs, and some canned diced tomatoes and it worked!! I also didn't really have to add the pizza sauce because it was on the meatballs.

    Thanks for the recipe!! I love your blog!

  27. Another hallmark of Albondigas is rice. Just add some uncooked rice to your meat when you ball it up and voila!

  28. I made this last night for dinner, OMG, this is going to be a repeat dish. I didn't make it in the crockpot, but instead on the stove, and it turned into more of a stew than a soup, but it was awesome!
    I didn't have corn and I forgot to put the peas in it and I added a cup of quinoa. I added the quinoa to add some hardiness to it, and it did just that.
    Just awesome!

  29. This was my first recipe from your blog, oh so many years ago. I had done a search for albondigas and crock pot because my husband loves albondigas soup. I made it and it was a lifesaver that night...hubby's car got stuck in a ditch (he was fine) and I had to take our youngest to a school performance. Having hot soup in the crock pot kept the evening from being a total disaster! Hubby was so happy to have a hot, soothing meal when he got home. And of course I've made many a wonderful meal from your blog since then. So I always remember this one fondly. I should make it again this week! :D

  30. Garnish even better with Mexican queso, crema, cilantro/radish, tortilla strips & OVER rice. This has been our favorite combo after tinkering with this for the past few years. The soup recipe, itself, is perfect!

  31. When I read the part where you said "they will disintegrate otherwise" referring to freshly-made meatballs, my first thought was "that never happened when my mom made it..." then I realized she never cooked it in a crockpot *sheepish grin* although she would saute it along with garlic, onions, salt and pepper in the beginning before to brown the outside and begin the cooking process of the meat before pouring in the broth and simmering - in the Philippines, probably because of our Chinese influence, we add misua noodles towards the end of cooking, and the carrots are julienned. Pasta/tomato sauce is optional, but is quite a delicious touch. Mint -- that's the new one for me. I'll try to remember to add it next time. Thank you!