Albondigas (Mexican meatballs)

Albondigas are my youngest sister‘s favorite. She puts in a request whenever we are visiting. This dish has a special place in my heart because my mother would make them when she knew I was having a rough week at school. My mother would plate the meatballs in a wide soup bowl. First serving black beans *(below this post you’ll find a quick recipe) and then placing the meatballs: topping it all with the rice soup. I remember feeling loved and very well fed like only Mom could do it. She taught me dishes such as Arroz con Pollo (Mexican Rice with Chicken), Pollo con Calabasa (Chicken with Squash), Caldo de Pollo (Mexican Chicken Soup) and Beef or Chicken Tacos.

You might be thinking, “but what are albondigas?”. They are meatballs made out of beef prepared in a Mexican, Spanish, or South American way. My mother had her own Mexican spin on this recipe. I was only 21 when she taught me this recipe before I left to bible college in Ohio. She knew they would be a great comfort as I would face long winter days, and she was right!

I just know you will enjoy them as much as we have in my family.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe, please send an email or use the contact form below.

Albondigas a la Josefina

1 pound beef

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground

1 1/2 cup white rice, cooked, without it being seasoned

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 medium yellow onion, sliced

2 Roma tomatoes, sliced

1 bunch fresh cilantro

2 garlic cloves, minced

4-6 cups water

In a large mixing bowl, season meat with ground cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix the meat by hand until all the spices have blended well. Add 1/2 cup cooked rice until it’s incorporated throughout the meat. Form the meatballs 1 ounce size.


In a large sauté pan on medium heat, sauté onions, tomatoes, and cilantro in olive oil. Season a little with salt and black pepper.


Once onions are translucent and the tomatoes are tender and have released their juice, add 4 cups of water. Bring to a low boil and add the minced garlic.


Carefully place meatballs one at a time in the pan.


If the water has reduced, add the other 2 cups of water. It should be a little soupy. Let them simmer for about 20 minutes, or until meat has browned. Do a taste check. Add a little more salt and/or spices if you’d like. Add the remaining cup of rice dispersing it evenly. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve with corn tortillas and Buen Provecho! Enjoy your meal!


*Boil 2 cups black beans in water until cooked. Make sure the water does not reduce so low. Add 1 cup of water if needed. Season beans with salt, 1 teaspoon onion powder, and 1 teaspoon garlic powder. Let the beans simmer with the spices for another 15 minutes.

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