Mexican Meatball Soup

Okay, so let me start out by saying, there are certain days when I wake up and I know I just HAVE to have Mexican food.  Have to.  Not want to.   Have to.  Now, when this happens on a Friday or a Saturday, this is pretty straightforward.   We head out to this place near us called El Bandido and a glass of sangria and a tostada later, life is good.

When this happens on, say, a Tuesday, it’s a little bit more challenging, given the whole work week thing and all.  These are the times when it is good to have a few fast and easy Mexican food recipes in your arsenal, and these days when it is getting a little nippy outside, a soup that includes meatballs, salsa, avocado and tortilla chips?   Yep, that’s got my name on it.  (As much as an Irish girl married to a Southern Cherokee guy could have her name on a Mexican recipe.)

Here’s the drill on this one: you make up some little meatballs that are spiced up with a little Mexican flavor…scallions, tortilla chips, cumin, and cilantro if you are a cilantro person. I am not a cilantro person.  It’s not my fault, it’s been proven that cilantro-disliking is genetic.  But if you love cilantro, you feel free to be you.  Anyway, while the meatballs are cooking, you whirl up some salsa and water in a blender (yes, it is THAT easy), and heat it up.  Drop in your meatballs, heat it all up, and then go to town on the garnish.  Sour cream, avocado, definitely more crushed tortilla chips…etc. Improvise!

Mexican food on a Tuesday!  Life is good. 

Mexican Meatball Soup
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 cup tortilla chips, crushed, plus more for serving
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus sprigs for serving
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 3 cups mild jarred salsa (about 1½ 16-ounce jars)
  • 1 avocado, cut into pieces
  1. Heat broiler. In a bowl, combine the beef, scallions, tortilla chips, chopped cilantro, cumin, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  2. Shape the mixture into 1-inch balls (about 24) and place on a broilerproof baking sheet. Broil until beginning to brown, 5 to 6 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a blender, puree the salsa with 1 cup water. Transfer to a large saucepan, add 2 cups water, and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the meatballs, reduce heat, and simmer until cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes.
  5. Serve the soup with the avocado, cilantro sprigs, and tortilla chips (if desired).


Recipe adapted from Real Simple


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  1. Joanne says

    Mexican food is something I'm pretty sure I crave at LEAST once a day. In some way or another. And I definitely don't eat it enough! This soup sounds super delish.

  2. Kristen says

    I was just thinking about making this kind of soup and now have the perfect recipe – Thanks! Do you have a favorite salsa you use?

  3. FramedCooks says

    Given the fact that it is now SNOWING outside (hello? It's OCTOBER!!), I'm seriously considering making this again right now!

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