Keto Albóndigas (Meatball) Soup

Keto Albóndigas (Meatball) Soup is truly a Mexican classic! The soup is filled with vegetables, delicious meatballs, and a savory tomato-based soup broth. It is not hot; it has a savory flavor. Mainly, it is delicious! We use traditional spices and a few unique ingredients to make this soup a favorite for all of our low-carb followers. We love it!

Our favorite Mexican restaurant is actually within walking distance of our home. So, you can imagine how many of their superb menu items have inspired us to make low-carb versions. Their Albóndigas Soup is so good, yet so simple. There are no potatoes and no rice. As a result, we can feel safe that it is lower in carbs than most Albóndigas Soup recipes. Certainly, our soup has to be the equal in flavor. We do make Spanish Albóndigas in Red Sauce. We also have a delicious recipe for Spanish Albóndigas in an Almond Sauce. However, our Keto Albóndigas (Meatball) Soup is not Spanish. It has a traditional Mexican flavor.

Albóndigas (Meatball) Soup


Our meatballs are simple and made in the traditional manner of any meatball recipe. We do make them smaller (about 1 1/2 inches in diameter). We use beef for the meatballs and instead of ground pork or chicken, we use a small amount of Mexican Chorizo Sausage. You can use ground pork, if you prefer. However, we suggest trying the chorizo – it really adds a unique Mexican flavor. We have one other important suggestion. Add some freshly chopped mint into your meatball mix. That is also traditional in the classic Albóndigas soup and is really a wonderful and unique addition.

Dried Guajillo peppers are reconstituted for this recipe and blend so well with the tomatoes in preparing the puree for the soup stock. You can substitute a dried ancho chili or a chipotle chili in adobo sauce, if you prefer heat or more of a smoky flavor. Some recipes call for using chopped jalapeño for heat. We like the simple flavor of the Guajillo pepper, it is not too hot and goes so well with the tomatoes. You can find dried Guajillo peppers by clicking the picture below.

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How to Reconstitute Dried Peppers

Reconstituting the Guajillo peppers is simple. We heat both sides briefly in a skillet or Comal then place them in hot water with the tomatoes for 15 minutes. After removing the stem and seeds we blend them with the cooked tomatoes and garlic in our Breville Sous Chef Food Processor. This makes a puree with flavor and color that is the perfect base for the soup.

Chopped Vegetables of Choice

We suggest chopping the vegetables roughly for the soup. Basically, do not dice them. You want them to show up in the soup for presentation and flavor. Our pictures should give you an idea of the size. Similarly, some recipes call for using chopped zucchini and even green beans. You do have a lot of flexability in terms of the vegetables you use. In fact, you can also cook the entire soup in a crock pot or instant pot. Just remember to add the cilantro when serving.

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We do prefer using beef stock in the soup base rather than chicken stock. The meatballs are beef, so it makes sense. It also adds a nice deep reddish brown color to the soup – very traditional. If you prefer a thicker soup you can also add some tomato paste with the beef stock. This also adds a richer tomato flavor. You will note that we do not use salt or pepper for the meatballs or soup. The chorizo adds enough salt and the other spices add enough flavor.

Lodge L9OG3 Cast Iron Round Griddle, Pre-Seasoned, 10.5-inch
  • Lodge Cast Iron Griddle, Round, 10.5 Inch
  • Use in the oven, on the stove, on the grill, or over a campfire. Great for induction cook-tops.

Albóndigas (Meatball) Soup – Authentic and Delicious

Keto Albóndigas (Meatball) Soup is a recipe you will enjoy many times. It is truly an authentic taste of Mexico. It is loaded with vegetables and delicious Mexican meatballs. Garnish with some chopped cilantro and serve hot. You can enjoy this one, knowing it is definitely Tasty Low Carb!

Keto Albóndigas (Meatball) Soup

Recipe by Joanie and Chris
5.0 from 39 votes
Course: SoupsCuisine: MexicanDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time




Net Carbs


Total time



Keto Albóndigas Soup, a classic Mexican recipe. A delicious stock with lots of vegetables for flavor – and a bit of a kick!

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  • Meatballs
  • 1 pound 454 g Ground beef 80-20 blend

  • 3 ounces 85 g Chorizo Mexican, ground

  • 1 teaspoon 1 teaspoon Cumin

  • 1 teaspoons 1 teaspoons Garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 teaspoon Oregano dried

  • 1 tablespoon 1 tablespoon Mint leaves fresh, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • Soup
  • 3 large 3 large Guajillo chiles dried, stemmed and seeded

  • 1 pound 454 g Tomatoes

  • 2 cloves 2 cloves Garlic whole

  • 1 cup 1 cup Onions white, roughly chopped

  • 1 tablespoon 1 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin

  • 1 stalk 1 stalk Carrot roughly chopped

  • 2 stalks 2 stalks Celery roughly chopped

  • 3 cloves 3 cloves Garlic chopped

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons 1 1/2 teaspoons Cumin

  • 4 cups 0.95 l Beef stock low sodium

  • 1 tablespoon 1 tablespoon Cilantro chopped


  • Meatballs
  • Using a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients by hand until throughly combined. Roll out medium-sized meatballs (about 1 1/2 inch in diameter) and place them in a large pre-heated (medium) skillet with some olive oil. Sear for 5 minutes, turning carefully until browned.
  • Place the meatballs on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  • Soup
  • Bring a skillet or Comal to medium heat and then toast the dried guajillo peppers for 2 minutes. Turn them often. Remove the skillet from the burner and reserve the peppers.
  • Increase the burner heat to medium-high and add the chiles, tomatoes and 2 cloves of garlic to a medium saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes until the chiles have rehydrated and the tomatoes are slightly mushy.
  • Next de-seed the chiles and cut off the tops. Add them with the mushy tomatoes, garlic, and half of the chopped onion in a blender with 1 cup of the water from the saucepan – puree until smooth.
  • Heat olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven, use medium heat. Add the roughly chopped carrots, celery, and remaining onions and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are slightly softened. Add 3 cloves of chopped garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomato puree mixture and cook, stirring until it thickens and deepens in color (about 10 minutes). Add the beef stock, cumin, and meatballs and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot.


Chef’s Notes

  • To increase the flavor of the soup you can adjust the amount of cumin.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 275.6kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 10.6g
  • Protein: 17.8g
  • Fat: 18.1g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.3g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 53.7mg
  • Sodium: 400.2mg
  • Potassium: 832.2mg
  • Fiber: 2.4g
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Vitamin A: 1215IU
  • Vitamin C: 14.4mg
  • Calcium: 64.8mg
  • Iron: 3.3mg

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  1. Can I use canned tomatoes instead of fresh tomatoes? If so, would a 15 ounce can be the best size?

    • Yes, you can use a 15 ounce can. I only use Cento canned tomatoes, but that is your choice. Like all recipes, try it with a 15 ounce can and then adjust, as needed. Taste is the key. Good luck, I hope you enjoy my recipe . . . Joanie.

  2. The recipe says to add the peppers with the chili’s and tomatoes, and later to deseed the peppers. But there are no peppers in the ingredients list, only dried guajillo chilis.

    • Sorry for the confusion, we fixed the instructions to be clearer. I do hope you try my recipe, it is one of our most popular. Thanks for the comment . . . Joanie.

  3. Do you really mean to heat the peppers for 2 minutes at medium high heat? That seems excessive and would lead to burned or bitter peppers. I usually just do mine for seconds

    • Actually, I always use a comal and turn frequently for two minutes. They do not burn, but do release natural oils and will then rehydrate well. I hope you try my recipe, and others, we love the Soup and make it often. Thanks for the question . . . Joanie.

  4. Hello what is the serving size

    • Joanie and Chris

      Approximately 12 ounces. We get six servings from the recipe. Hope you enjoy my recipe . . . Joanie.

  5. do you leave the tomatoes whole?

    • You start with whole tomatoes, that are then added to a pan with the toasted peppers and garlic, covered with water, and cooked for about 15 minutes until the tomatoes are slightly mushy. The mushy whole tomatoes are then pureed in a blender with the reconstituted peppers that have been seeded, the cooked garlic, some chopped onion, and one cup of the water from cooking the tomatoes. I hope that clarifies the tomato question for you and do hope you will give my Albóndigas Soup a try – it is very authentic and delicious. Thanks for your question . . . Joanie.

  6. Alycia Carmen Molina

    Hi, I have a question for step 2: Increase the burner heat to medium-high and add the chiles, tomatoes and garlic to a medium saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes until the peppers have rehydrated and the tomatoes are slightly mushy.

    How much water did you use?

    Thank you!

    • We use a 5 quart saucepan and add about 3 quarts of water. It should be just enough to cover the chiles and tomatoes. The idea is to rehydrate the chiles and come away with mushy tomatoes. This is one of our favorite recipes. We love Albóndigas Soup, and have it often as we live in the Southwest. I tried hard to make this soup taste exactly like traditional recipes, especially one we like at our favorite local Mexican restaurant. I hope you like it and will spread the word. Thanks for the question . . . Joanie.