Turkey Albondigas Soup

Turkey Albondigas Soup

21 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2007

Albondigas, Spanish for “meatballs,” star in the traditional broth-based Mexican soup. Our version uses turkey rather than beef or pork for the meatballs, and we've pumped up the volume of fresh vegetables in the mix.

Ingredients 6 servings

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Original recipe yields 6 servings
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  • 1 pound 93%-lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs, (see Tip)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3 poblano peppers, (see Tip), diced
  • 3 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup instant brown rice, or cooked brown rice
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 jalapeño, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Line a large baking sheet with wax paper. Place turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, 1½ teaspoons cumin, 1½ teaspoons oregano, ½ teaspoon pepper and ¼ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Mix gently until combined. Shape the mixture into 1½-inch balls and transfer to the baking sheet. (You should have about 20 meatballs.) Place in the refrigerator and chill for at least 20 minutes or until ready to use.
  2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrots and cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add peppers, tomatoes, the remaining ½ teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon oregano, ¼ teaspoon pepper and ¼ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broth, increase heat to high and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Carefully submerge the meatballs in the simmering soup; return to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in lime juice. Garnish with jalapeno and cilantro.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 2. Cover and refrigerate the soup and meatballs separately for up to 1 day. To serve, reheat soup in a Dutch oven and proceed with Step 3.
  • Tips: To make fresh breadcrumbs, trim crusts from whole-wheat bread. Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. One slice of bread makes about ½ cup fresh crumbs.
  • Poblano peppers can be fiery or relatively mild; there's no way to tell until you taste them. Find them at most large supermarkets. Or substitute 2 green bell peppers plus one minced jalapeño pepper (or more to taste).

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: about 1⅔ cups
  • Per serving: 257 calories; 6 g fat(2 g sat); 5 g fiber; 27 g carbohydrates; 28 g protein; 33 mcg folate; 61 mg cholesterol; 4 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 5,502 IU vitamin A; 13 mg vitamin C; 42 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 842 mg sodium; 627 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (110% daily value), Vitamin C (22% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 2
  • Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 2½ lean meat

Reviews 21

January 12, 2013
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By: Cheryl Wright
Bison albondigas soup Made it with bison, used brown rice instead of bread crumbs, 2 small cans of petite diced tomatoes with jalapeno peppers and cilantro ,added extra vegetables, two small zucchini , used a little Mexican seasoning in both the meatball and stock. I browned the meatballs in olive oil, then put them in the soup after the 1st boil. It was the best I have ever made! Pros: Easy to follow directions , used others reviews to change it up a little, easy to adapt recipe Cons: Took about an hr. to prep
December 17, 2010
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By: hymiesmom
Tasty AND filling My husband and kids really liked this. It was a cold night and I thought this would be a great way to get a warm balanced meal! I used bell peppers instead of poblano peppers and I added a tsp of chili powder. VERY yummy. My husband who always tell me dinner is "alright", actually said this was "good". A big step in our house as I am not the best cook! =) Pros: Easy Cons: Time consuming for a working family
June 20, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
We loved this soup. I added ancho and chipotle chili powder to the meatballs, and browned them in a bit of olive oil before adding the other ingredients.
January 27, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
I love this soup.
December 17, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
I used canned green chiles instead of poblano peppers and it was still great! I also baked the meatballs in the oven for abuot 15 minutes at 350 before putting them in the soup to help them hold together and that was a great idea I must say, plus I skipped the "chill the meat balls in the fridge stage". I also added a dash of chili powder to the meat balls because I enjoy the little kick! A great LIGHT BUT HEARTY soup! Not to heavy but it sure fills you up! I paired it with a green salad and some mashed red potatoes. Yummy!
December 11, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
I love this recipe! The only thing I do different is I used parsley instead of oregano, because I'm not a fan, and I added chopped garlic cloves with the onions and carrots. Yum!
September 28, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
I have made many things from EW and this is one of my all-time favorites. It's even better the next day, actually it kept very well for about 4 days - I had it for lunch each day and never got tired of it. It really must be made with poblano peppers to give it the right taste. Sometimes I throw in some celery or a bell pepper. Very filling, delicious soup, I can't recommend it highly enough! Brigitte, Fairfield, CT
September 28, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
I wasn't able to get Poblanos so had to sub 2 green peppers and instead of jalapeno used some Thai chili peppers from the garden. Also added some frozen, thawed leaf spinach at the end. Thought the meatballs need more "oomph". Will try adding red pepper flakes, worcestershire and parm cheese to meatballs next time and also, will keep them bite-size. We really liked this but thought it could be tweaked to become excellent. Nancy, NY, NY
September 28, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
I make this all the time and it is delicious. I make the meatballs with brown rice instead of the bread crumbs and it is better. Throw any veggies in there you want to get rid of. zack, San Diego, CA
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