Meatball and Olive Stew (Albondigas Verdes) Recipe -
Meatball and Olive Stew (Albondigas Verdes) Recipe
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Meatball and Olive Stew (Albondigas Verdes)

Recipe by  

"This is a tangy variation of the traditional Mexican meatball soup."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 6 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    1 hr

    1 hr 30 mins


  1. Mix the ground beef, ground pork, white rice, minced onion, and eggs together in a large bowl. Form into 1 inch meatballs; set aside.
  2. Place the tomatillos and jalapenos in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer until tomatillos have softened and begin to turn a yellow color, about 15 minutes. Drain, then transfer contents of saucepan to a blender along with the quartered onions, garlic, cilantro, green olives, and 1 cup of water. Blend until almost smooth.
  3. Heat the oil in the saucepan used to cook the tomatillos. When hot, pour in the tomatillo sauce and bring to a boil, stirring. Pour in 3 cups of water and return to a boil. Season to taste with salt.
  4. Stir in the meatballs. Add water, if needed, to cover completely. Simmer, covered, until meatballs are cooked through and the soup is thick, about 30 minutes.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Apr 22, 2010

I LOVED this soup! It did turn out more of a soup than a stew for me but that is what I prefer. The appearance of the end result was not overly appealing to most I would have to say but the taste is incredible. You can for sure taste the green olive but it does not overpower. It all blends together so nicely and I was very impressed and will most definitely make this one again.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Oct 09, 2009

we were very disappointed in this recipe. we love mexican dishes and were looking for something different. spent alot of money on the meat and other ingredients and it turned out so bland. even the meatballs were tasteless. we have had nothing but good experiences with other recipes on this website but this was the first time we risked using one that hadn't been rated. this is the first time we've ever even written a opionion before but wanted to make sure no one else made the same mistake.


7 Ratings

Jul 12, 2010

This is a decent base recipe, but I could tell right away that the meatballs would have no flavor. There is no seasoning AT ALL called for in the meatball mixture, not even salt and pepper. So I took the advise of another reviewer and, along with S & P, I added garlic powder, chile powder, cumin, oregano, hot pepper flakes and W-sauce. I also browned the meatballs first because I don't like the idea of plopping naked, raw meatballs into the sauce. The Mexican market up the road had tomatillos on sale for 50 cents a pound, so I used a whole pound instead of 1/4. I reserved a cup of the tomatillo/jalapeno cooking liquid to use to make the sauce. I minced the onion, garlic and cilantro in my mini-chopper, added that mixture to the cookied vegetables and cooking liquid and used my immersion blender to puree the whole thing to a nice consistancy. I had some homemade beef broth in my freezer and I used that in place of the 3 cups of water. I reduced the sauce until it was nice and thick, then added the meatballs, olives and a diced red bell pepper(for color) and simmered it all for about 20 minutes. We really liked this dish and I'll definitely make it again when tomatillos go on sale. Thanks for the post.

Nov 02, 2009

Based on the previous review I made some revisions.To the meatballs I added 1/4 tsp. cayenne, 1/2 tsp. cumin, 1/2 tsp. chili powder, garlic powder, additional onion and salt. I used 1 lb. tomatillas, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 c. cilantro, plus more for topping the bowls at the end. I used a 5.75 oz. jar of olives, and the cup of water from the tomatilla/jalapeno pot water, additional onion, and 1 c. of beef broth instead of all water. Don't forget to salt the broth. A little different, and quite tasty. Serve with salad and margaritas.

Feb 28, 2010

This has quickly become a family favorite. I have tweaked it are my additions or subtractions. I don't use the ground beef or pork, all ground turkey. In the sauce in the blender, add the olives with all of the juice, so it is very tangy. I also use regular olives with the pimentos, add some interesting color. We serve ours over rice. YUMMY! We love it.

Dec 20, 2010

As written, this recipe is probably a 3. With some additions, it could be a 4 1/2 or 5. Based on others suggestions, I added salt and pepper, cumin, chili powder and a little cayenne to the meatball mixture. To the soup, I added 1 beef bouillon cube, 1/2 tsp. cumin, 1/2 tsp. mexican oregano, 2 carrots sliced, 3 small potatoes-peeled and diced, and half chicken broth instead of all 4 C. water. It was pretty good

Jan 26, 2015

My husband and I both said the same thing about this Meatball-and-Olive-Stew recipe: "I've never tasted anything like that before." I loved it (5 stars) and he couldn't even eat it (1 star). My husband isn't an especially fussy eater, but as they say, "different strokes for different folks." I modified the recipe by adding the optional jalapeno peppers to the meatballs and baking them in the oven since I wanted them to be brown (my husband liked those a lot). I was concerned that the soup would lose some flavor because I did cook the meatballs in the oven (instead of boiling them in the broth), so I compensated by caramelizing the onions and frying the garlic instead of adding them raw so that they would be more flavorful (probably not very authentic). One of the steps did not make sense to me: why should I drain the cooked tomatillos before putting them in the blender and then add just plain water? I just used the liquid from the cooked tomatillos as part of my water. I did not need to cook this a lot after blending it since the ingredients were all already cooked. What is REALLY IMPORTANT TO REALIZE before making this soup is that the base is a can of olives that is pureed in the blender. If you don't think you could like pureed olives as a soup base, then it is not a good idea to make this soup. Thank you Melanie for sharing your recipe.


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  • Calories
  • 395 kcal
  • 20%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 7.6 g
  • 2%
  • Cholesterol
  • 164 mg
  • 55%
  • Fat
  • 27.6 g
  • 42%
  • Fiber
  • 1.4 g
  • 6%
  • Protein
  • 28.5 g
  • 57%
  • Sodium
  • 1022 mg
  • 41%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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