Total Time

Prep: 15 min. Cook: 20 min.


10 cups

Updated: Jun. 27, 2023
My Grandmother Trinidad loved making this albondigas recipe. We like to serve it over tostadas sprinkled with raw cabbage. —Wanda Knutson, Waco, Texas


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups tomato sauce, divided
  • 8 cups beef broth
  • 1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1/3 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon 2% milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon saffron threads or 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 10 saltines, crushed
  • Optional: Tostadas, shredded cabbage and cilantro


  1. Heat Dutch oven over medium heat; add olive oil. Cook onion, garlic and ½ cup tomato sauce until onion is tender, 3-5 minutes. Add broth and ½ cup tomato sauce; bring to a simmer.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine ground beef, rice, egg, salt, pepper, milk, cumin, saffron, crushed crackers and remaining ½ cup tomato sauce, mixing lightly but thoroughly. With wet hands, form into 1-in. balls. Gently add meatballs to simmering broth; cook, stirring occasionally, 20-25 minutes. If desired, serve with tostadas and cabbage and garnish with cilantro.

Nutrition Facts

1-1/2 cups: 340 calories, 16g fat (5g saturated fat), 102mg cholesterol, 1931mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 2g fiber), 29g protein.