This Albondigas Soup is a vegetable rich, hearty soup made with precooked frozen meatballs for a quick and easy budget friendly meal for the whole family.
Although authentic albondigas is made with raw meatballs, made from scratch, if you’re in a hurry, you can quickly use frozen meatballs instead.
Because this is such a great recipe, perfect for everyone in the family, especially meatball-loving kids, I’ve included instructions for Instant Pot, Stove and Crockpot as well.
At the time I wanted to share this recipe for meaball soup, ground beef was impossible to find at the store. The 2020 pandemic caused several things to become difficult to find.
There were a few bags of frozen precooked meatballs, though. I’m all for a few shortcuts when making dinner!
What are albondigas?
Albondigas soup is simply meatball soup. It’s believed that it originated as an Arab or Berber dish then imported to Spain. It was then imported into Central and South America. It’s a hearty soup made with lots of vegetables. I’ve used:
- New Yellow Potatoes
- Green Beans
Authentic Mexican albondigas soup is made with uncooked meatballs that you put directly into briskly boiling broth. You might think that the meatballs will fall apart but, since the broth is so hot, it cooks the outside quickly enough and they retain their shape.
Be sure to open up your refrigerator and see what you have available. You can mix and match lots of different vegetables for meatball soup.
Italian Wedding Soup Variation
The Italian version of meatball soup is called Italian Wedding Soup. Different spices and vegetables are used, but it’s still meatball soup.
I’ll bet there are other traditional versions of meatball soup in other countries as well, each with their own variations. Even across Mexico, you will find different variations depending on the location.
Tip: Cutting the Jalapeno
If you’re going to chop the jalapeno anyway, take advantage of this little trick.
Hold the jalapeno by the stem and carefully slide the knife down the side, leaving the stem and seeds intact as best you can. This is so much easier than scooping the seeds out.
While there are times you will need to scoop out the seeds like for these Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers, if you are going to chop them, you might as well make life easier.
Can I make this soup in a Crockpot?
Because this recipe is so quick, easy and kid friendly, I’ve provided instructions for more methods than only Instant Pot.
If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can follow the instructions for stove top or Crockpot instead.
Step by Step Instructions
What I like most about using the Instant Pot is that it’s basically a dump and cook sort of kitchen appliance. It’s like making a one skillet meal except there’s not all the stirring, checking and adjusting.
To start this Instant Pot Albondigas Soup, I’ve sauteed the raw vegetables. I’ve sauteed them a little longer than I usually do since I wanted to give the potatoes a little head start.
It’s only a few extra minutes. After all, they’re cut up fairly small so a prolonged time isn’t necessary.
Now, you’re ready to add the frozen meatballs, canned green beans, tomatoes and zucchini. Squash cooks so quickly that I’ve added it at the same time as the meatballs so it doesn’t overcook.
Pour in the beef broth and you’re ready to pressure cook. It already looks delicious!
If you don’t have an Instant Pot, have a look at this 6-Quart Instant Pot which we use. We’ve had it for several years and it still works great. (This is an affiliate link, by the way. If you click it and buy, I may get a little something something from them at no extra cost to you.)
Try more Instant Pot recipes
Since we love the Instant Pot, we’ve started working on an entire library of recipes. See our Instant Pot recipes at 24Bite. My favorites are:
Albondigas Soup with Frozen MeatballsTap to leave a star rating
For more information, be sure to check the recipe details in the attached 24Bite® post.
- 6-quart Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 pound New Potatoes, baby yellow potatoes, quartered
- 1 medium Onion, chopped
- 2 Celery Stalks, chopped
- 2 Carrots, chopped
- 1 Jalapeño, chopped
- 7 Garlic Cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Dark Chili Powder
- 1 pound Frozen Precooked Meatballs
- 14.5 ounces Diced Tomatoes
- 14.5 ounces Green Beans
- 1 Zucchini, chopped
- 32 ounces Beef Broth
- Chop and mince all vegetables as directed.
- Press the Saute button on the Instant Pot to begin cooking in saute mode. Add olive oil. Add potatoes, onion, celery, carrots, jalapeño and garlic. Add salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder. Stir frequently until vegetables have begun to soften, about 8-9 miinutes.
- Press the Cancel button on the Instant Pot to reset.
- Add all remaining ingredients. Stir. Check the Instant Pot lid to ensure the seal is in place and nothing is blocking the vent. Place lid on top and set lever to Sealing. Press the Manual button on the Instant Pot and set to high for 5 minutes, then natural release. The entire cook time will be about 25 minutes.
- Makes 8 servings.
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