Keto Mexican Meatball Soup

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This Keto Mexican Meatball Soup – AKA Low Carb Albondigas is so good that it’s going to knock your socks off! It’s perfect for chilly evenings and the meatballs have an AMAZING flavor.

Even the Non-Keto kids in your life are going to gobble this up! No making separate dinners tonight!

Plus, it’s pretty easy and you will probably have leftovers for lunch or snacks. (I love these type of time-savers).

Keto Mexican Meatball Soup Post

This Meatball Soup is special to me and I have loved it since I was a teenager. And, it’s the same recipe that I have used for decades (minus the rice in the meatballs).

I won’t clutter up the instructions with the story of how I learned to make this dish.

But I do have to post that short story after the recipe in honor of the Sweet Abuela who taught me to make it.

There’s a goat in the story and I think it’s funny….back to the recipe.

🥘Ingredients:

Meatball Soup Base ( Make this first):

  • 2 Tbsp Butter

You can use another type of oil if you don’t like butter.

  • ½ cup Onion chopped – about ½ of a small onion
  • 4 oz Green Chili *Chopped. Canned or frozen is fine.

We usually use frozen hatch chilies but that’s because we live in an area where they are plentiful in the fall.

  • 1 Bell Pepper Diced. Green is the traditional choice but I use a mix of colors most often (frozen is fine to save time).
  • 1 Cup Sliced Celery *about 3 ribs celery
  • 2 cloves Garlic– Sliced thin
  • 14 oz Canned Tomatoes – No added sugar

Yes, some companies add sugar to their canned tomatoes. Weird right?

  • 1 carrot – *optional but included in the nutrition.

I have heard many, many times in my Keto Carrot Cake Recipe that “Carrots aren’t Keto!!!!”.

I know that they might be on the no-no list of your favorite blogger or Keto Guru but this is a really antiquated idea of eating low carb or “Keto”.

If carrots fit into your macros they are fine to have. You can leave this out if you want, no biggie.

This carrot adds a total of six carbs to the Meatball Soup. Or, about .5 of a gram to each serving.

Carrots have tons of benefits so I squeeze them into low carb meals when I can/want to.

  • 12 oz Riced Cauliflower *Fresh or frozen is fine.

Traditionally, the “rice” would be mixed into the meatballs.

In fact, when I first started making the low carb version of this soup, I mixed riced cauliflower into them. But, it was a pain and it just ended up floating in the soup anyway.

Now, I just dump the cauliflower in with the rest of the veggies while I am sauteing them. I think it turns out better.

  • 6 cups Water – Some of this will boil off.

You can always add more water and bouillon if needed. We like a lot of “broth” with our soup and do this often.

Meatballs

  • 1 pound Ground Beef
  • 2 tbsp Chia Seeds

The chia seeds in the recipe replace the rice that traditionally went in the meatballs.

This is the perfect substitute because you cant taste them but they still provide that space between the ground meat to keep the meatballs from turning into hard lumps.

You can switch this ingredient (Chia Seeds) and the hemp seeds for 1/2 cup pork rinds if you prefer those.

  • ¼ cup hemp seeds *about 4 tbsp

If you don’t have hemp seeds just add 2 tbsp more chia seeds. It keeps the meatballs from being tough.

  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 2 Tbsp Dried Mint leaves – *or 6 tablespoons fresh mint finely chopped.

Before you leave mint out of this recipe…DON’T. I know that it sounds odd. But, it’s what makes this soup taste amazing.

Mint is the secret in this Albondigas Soup.

You can choose peppermint or spearmint. I love both and use it according to what I have on hand.

In fact, I have been known to tear open a mint tea bag or two when in a pinch.

The tea that I usually buy is a mixture of peppermint and spearmint and I have to say that the mixture of the two is fantastic!

Use what you like but PLEASE don’t leave the mint out of the meatballs.

👩🏾‍🍳How to make the Albondigas:

Meatball Soup Base:

1.) Saute all veggies EXCEPT canned tomatoes in a large stock with the butter until onions are slightly translucent. (About 3-5 minutes).

2.) Add canned tomatoes, water, spices and broth base. Bring to a rapid Boil.

Meatballs – Make the meatballs while the soup is boiling.

1.) Add all of the ingredients for the meatballs into a bowl and mix them up with your hands.

I like to wear latex gloves when making meatballs because they are so messy.

2.) Roll into 1 inch (small meatballs) and drop them into the boiling water one by one. Don’t dawdle too much.

But, do NOT add them all at once either.

If you add too many at once it will drop the temperature of the stock too low and the meatballs will fall apart.

You need to keep a steady rolling boil going on.

3.) Boil over medium/high until veggies are soft and meatballs are cooked through. About 35-45 minutes.

DO NOT STIR UNTIL IT’S DONE and the MEATBALLS ARE FIRM.

If you do stir too soon, your meatballs will fall apart (The Keto Mexican Meatball Soup will still taste good just in case you couldn’t resist stirring the pot).

Serve Hot

You can add toppings like cilantro, cheese or green onions if desired but it awesome right out of the pot.

Keep it chilled in the fridge for up to 5 days.

 📋Tips & FAQ’s:

Can I freeze the Low Carb Albondigas Soup?

Yes! You can freeze the soup for up to two months in an airtight container.

Don’t forget to leave about 1/2 inch of headspace for the soup to expand. In other words, if you forget, it’ll pop the lid off when it freezes.

I see beans in some of the photos! Beans aren’t Keto!!!!

I know right? Tell me about it! I have missed them so much!

But, look again….

Those are low carb black soybeans and make an excellent sub for black or pinto beans.

I don’t usually add them because it just isn’t part of the original recipe. But, sometimes I add them for fiber, texture and also because they made the photos more interesting.

Do you know how hard it is to take a good/ appealing photo of meatball soup? Go ahead and try lol.

I wish you could smell this soup instead of looking at the photos. You would make it right now if you could get just one whiff….

Why do you call it Meatball Soup and Sopa de Albondigas?

It’s a traditional Mexican soup but I also call it meatball soup in case some readers haven’t heard of Albondigas (Al-bone-di-goss).

At our house, I just say Albondigas and everyone knows what I mean. And, these people can smell it from a mile away when I start a pot.

I love Mexican food and miss it so much since going low carb. Do you have any favorite Mexican Recipes?

I felt the same way for a long time. Traditional Mexican food is laden with beans, rice and tortillas…which are all on the no-no list if you are trying to stay low carb.

But…there are so many wonderful, naturally Low Carb Mexican and Mexican inspired dishes that you can make.

You don’t have to give up flavor, or your favorites when eating low carb! If I did, I would have never lasted this long with this WOE.

If you love Mexican food…load up on some low carb tortillas or make your own and check out these reader favorites:

I think that’s all for the Keto Mexican Meatball Soup!

I hope that you love the Low Carb Albondigas as much as we do! And if you are wondering if you are in Ketosis, check out these 9 common signs.

As always, leave your comments, questions and odes of love for this recipe below.

Adios!

Bran

Keto Mexican Meatball Soup recipe gluten free low carb

Keto Sopa de Albondigas Recipe ( Keto Meatball Soup)

Brandy
This soup is packed with flavor and will warm you up from the inside out. If you have never had Albondigas (Al-bone-di-goss) then you are in for a treat. This is a tried and true recipe that I have been making for years and it's a hit EVERY SINGLE TIME. I have Ketofied it to be low carb but it's just as delicious as ever! The secret ingredient in the meatballs gives this soup a one of a kind flavor straight from Mexico. Half of the cooking time is passive simmering of deliciousness.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course dinner, lunch, Soup
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 12 Servings
Calories 190 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

Soup ( Make this first)

  • 2 Tbsp Butter * or olive oil if you don't "do" butter.
  • ½ cup Onion chopped – about ½ of a small onion
  • 4 oz Green Chili *Chopped. Canned is fine. See the post tips about types of green chili if you don't know what to use.
  • 1 Bell Pepper Diced. Green is the traditional choice but I use a mix of colors most often (frozen is fine to save time).
  • 1 Cup Sliced Celery *about 3 ribs celery
  • 2 cloves Garlic Sliced thin
  • 14 oz Canned Tomatoes No added sugar
  • 1 carrot *optional but included in the nutrition.
  • 12 oz Riced Cauliflower *Fresh or frozen is fine.
  • 6 cups Water Some of this will boil off.
  • 1 tbsp Powdered Beef Broth Base *Or replace water with bone broth if preferred.

Meatballs

  • 1 pound Ground Beef
  • 2 tbsp Chia Seeds *about 4 tbsp
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds *about 4 tbsp
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 2 Tbsp Dried Mint leaves *or 6 tablespoons fresh mint finely chopped. To taste. See notes in post about mint before you think it's weird and leave it out. Trust me, you want this in the meat.
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Garlic Powder Or a fresh clove – minced

Instructions
 

Soup

  • Saute all veggies EXCEPT canned tomatoes in a large stock with the butter until onions are slightly translucent. (About 3-5 minutes).
  • Add canned tomatoes, water, spices and broth base. Bring to a rapid Boil.

Meatballs – Make the meatballs while the soup is boiling.

  • Add all of the ingredients for the meatballs into a bowl and mix them up with your hands. I like to wear latex gloves when making meatballs.
  • Roll into 1 inch (small meatballs) and drop them into the boiling water one by one. Don't dawdle too much.
    But, do NOT add them all at once. This will drop the temperature of the stock too low and the meatballs will fall apart. You need to keep a steady boil going on.
  • Boil over medium/high until veggies are soft and meatballs are cooked through. About 35-45 minutes.
    ******DO NOT STIR UNTIL IT'S DONE and the MEATBALLS ARE FIRM. Your meatballs will fall apart (It still tastes good just in case you couldn't resist stirring the pot).

Serve Hot

  • You can add toppings like cilantro, cheese or green onions if desired but it awesome right out of the pot.
    Keto Mexican Meatball Soup recipe gluten free low carb

Notes

The nutritional information is based on making about 12 servings.
Although, it is difficult to predict how many meatballs, tomatoes, onion, etc you will have in each bowl. This is my best estimate of exactly portioned bowls of soup….
Disfruta tu sopa!

Nutrition

Serving: 10ozCalories: 190kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 11gFat: 13gSodium: 348mgFiber: 3gNet Carbs: 5gFat Ratio per Serving: 61.58%Protein Ratio per Serving: 23.16%Carb Ratio per Serving: 10.53%
Keyword Keto Albondigas, Keto Meatball Soup, Keto Mexican Meatball Soup.
Tried this recipe?Mention @ketocastleinthemountains or tag #ketocastleinthemountains!

The nutrition information for the Keto Mexican Meatball Soup Recipe in this post is provided as a courtesy.

In determining nutrition for soup I can only calculate an exactly portioned bowl of soup so values may vary from bowl to bowl.

How I learned to make the Albondigas:

I was a teenager living in the California Desert and decided to take the long hot drive even further out into the middle of nowhere to join a friend for a visit to his grandparents house.

They were both from Mexico and had made their haven in a small ranch type house WAY OUT in the middle of the desert decades before. Like waaaay out there where all you could see was pink sand and desert brush. No pavement, no cars and no other houses.

As we drove down the long dusty driveway a pack of happily barking dogs greeted us.

There were chickens roaming free and a burro was lazily grazing on weeds near a small barn. It looked like a set from an old western movie. I could see the heat rising in the distance and everything.

 As our car pulled to a stop in a cloud of dust, his Abuela ( which she insisted that I call her too) came running out of the house for a hug. Her face was beautiful and kind and I loved her right away. She hugged me like she had known me my entire life.

Abuela had been cooking and the most wonderful aroma was coming out of the house. She invited us in to help finish making lunch and I was SO excited to learn about traditional Mexican dishes from a “real Abuela”!

And what was the first thing that I saw when I crossed through that doorway and felt the rush of the cool air from the swamp cooler?

A GOAT standing right on top of the dining room table!  YES A GOAT!

 I was immediately introduced to their Cabra Lechera, Sofia like she was family.

The goat they used for milk was in the house. On the dining table. Staring at me.

The story that followed was that the extreme desert heat dried out her milk…so she lived in the house in the heat of mid-day.

Um. Ok.

The first thing I thought was…I’m not eating anything. These people are crazy.

My buddy knew this would get me and he could scarcely hide the laughter in his voice while catching up with his Abuela in Spanglish and answering the usual familial questions ( How’s your father? How is school? Is this your amante (girlfriend)?…No Abuela, she’s my Carnala (a term for friend).

I tried to roll with it. But inside I was losing it about the damn goat!

Germaphobia kicked in. Do chickens live in here too? Is the goat eating lunch with the family? Is there poop on the floor? I bet there is and so on…

I didn’t see any poop.

Still, I barely maintained my manners and quelled the urge to run back outside long enough to notice that there was a tall, ornate, metal gate between the kitchen and the rest of the house.

And what did I see when I was invited in past the metal gate?

The most beautiful little kitchen painted in bright colors that smelled of peppers and soap. It was so clean compared to what I was thinking would be going on.

She had made fresh corn tortillas and cheese ( from that same damn goat). And the stock pot on top of the tiny, ancient stove was roiling.

It smelled divine and I started thinking that maybe I could have a little bit of lunch….like, a small lunch. I was prepared to suffer food poisoning for a bite of this soup. It smelled SO good.

When Abuela asked me to help her with the meatballs I was thrilled! I could recreate this at home!

But, when she asked me to put a heaping amount of mint into the meat I thought she was crazy again. Forget it. This is going to be a bust. Mint doesn’t go in meat. ( Except for maybe lamb and only at Christmas).

She stood closer to me, wrapped her arm around me, kissed me on the cheek, guided my hand and dumped a huge pile of mint from the jar I was holding into the meat and rice. Abuela looked me straight in the eye and said “trust me”….

She was was so strong and sure about it that I did trust her about the mint and everything else from that day forward.

This wonderful woman never put on airs and she taught me a lesson I will never ever forget…

 If someone is willing to introduce you to the goat standing on their dining room table you should make an effort to get to know them.

That kind of authenticity is rare and you can bet that they believe in whatever they say…

The mint makes this soup special. Just try it.

Cheers to Abuela and Keto on!

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Recipe Rating




12 Comments

  1. I never write reviews but this recipe is amazing. The spearmint was a delightful surprise. I will double the whole recipe next time because my family ate it up like they haven’t eaten in years.

  2. Muy Bueno! I love this soup and the peppermint IS key. Don’t skip it if you make the best decision to try this “souper”delicious meal.

  3. This soup is BOMBAF! Why haven’t I ever heard of it before? My abuelita has some splaining to do! Seriously, make this soup.

  4. 5 stars
    My friend told me about this recipe and you are right about the mint in the meatballs omg. A+++++ thanks!

  5. Hey Ali! I am so happy that you like it. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. This recipe is close to my heart for sure. Cheers!

  6. This recipe is exactly what I needed. The story that accompanies it makes it that much sweeter. ❤️ I just asked my Tia for her albóndigas recipe and she told me she wouldn’t share because she knew I was going to Keto-fy it. But man oh man this recipe is great! I did add some ground pork like my abuela does, but other than that followed the recipe and it turned out great!

  7. Hi! I cannot believe that I have never had this soup. It’s amazing and so are you guys. Thanks! I did add more tomatoes than the recipe called for and I’m glad I did because my family ate it all within two meals.

  8. 5 stars
    Wow! The goat story made my day and the soup is BOMB. I was skeptical about the mint but I am thinking this is going to be a new favorite around here. My son and husband had 3 bowls each.

  9. Ok, I love Abuela, the goat and your post. What a wonderful memory and great recipe. Thanks for sharing!