Hearty meatballs and pasta in a savory beef and tomato broth make Crockpot Albondigas (Mexican Meatball) Soup a delicious comfort food. It is one of my favorite soups, and it’s so easy to make! If you have a 6 quart crockpot, you should be able to double the recipe in one batch.
⏲️ Time needed
This easy soup takes about 15 minutes for prep if you have meatballs already (allow an extra 50 minutes if you have to make meatballs from scratch) and about 7 hours to cook in the crockpot.
The soup ingredients are simple: meatballs, salsa, beef broth, spices, shell pasta, olive oil, garlic bulb, an onion, and a green bell pepper. If you keep sautéed onions and peppers from the freezer, this soup is virtually prep-free.
I suggest using meatballs prepared with our bulk meatball recipe, but we are also fans of Costco’s Italian meatballs. I occasionally use their Kirkland Signature brand meatballs when I have them on hand because we find they have the best flavor of purchased meatballs.
🍲 Vegetarian option
To make vegetarian albondigas soup, substitute our vegetarian meatballs for the beef meatballs and use vegetable broth instead of beef broth.
❓ Is this an authentic albondigas soup recipe?
Some say that authentic albondigas soup recipes include homemade meatballs prepared with rice, but this is not universally accepted as authentic. The rice meatballs are more difficult to work with and tend to fall apart more readily than those from our bulk meatball recipe. I prefer quick and easy, so I like to use the meatballs I already have in the freezer.
Albondigas soup usually has a base of tomato and beef broth like this one, unlike other meatball soups (like Italian wedding soup, which is in a light broth).
Sauté your chopped pepper and onion in a little oil, then combine everything but the sour cream, cheese, and cilantro in the crockpot. There is no need to thaw the meatballs since they are already cooked—just put them in with the other ingredients straight from the freezer.
Cook for 5-7 hours, depending on how quickly your crockpot cooks. Add 1 cup of pasta shells and cook an additional hour. When the pasta shells are tender, the soup is ready.
Serve with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and fresh cilantro. Enjoy!
Crockpot Albondigas Soup (Mexican Meatball Soup)
- 1 lb. frozen cooked meatballs
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 30 oz beef broth
- 16 oz. salsa
- 1 Tbsp. chili powder
- ¼ tsp. ground cumin
- 1 cup pasta shells
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- ½ cup sour cream
- 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
- Sauté onions and bell peppers in olive oil until tender.
- Combine meatballs, onion, green pepper, garlic, beef broth, salsa, chili powder, and cumin in a crockpot.
- Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours.
- Add pasta and stir well, cover, and cook on low an additional hour or until pasta is tender.
- Serve with garnishes of cheese, sour cream, and cilantro.
- Using sautéed onions and peppers from the freezer makes this soup virtually prep-free.
- When you are pressed for time, you can make the soup on the stovetop and cut down the cooking time to less than an hour. Add the pasta in the last 15-20 minutes of cooking.
- If you have a 6 quart crockpot, you should be able to double the recipe in one batch.
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