I didn't think it was possible, but it is. You can make vegan Mexican meatball soup! I happened upon an instagram account @vegan_mexican and they kept posting pictures of vegan Mexican meatball soup. I almost lost it right there and then. My grandma used to make this soup for me growing up and I have very fond memories of this. So naturally, I contacted the account to see if they wanted to share the recipe with you and they said yes! Here is a small interview with the author of the recipe and instagram account, Brianna García.
1. Tell us more about yourself where you are from, and how you became vegan.
My name is Brianna García and I'm from California. I reside in the Los Angeles/ Anaheim area. I became vegan after becoming interested in organic/natural living and knew that veganism was for me. I had previously gone vegetarian in my teens and had always wished I was vegetarian again didn't think it was possible to go vegan until I made the plunge and I'll never look back! I also love the animal and environmentally friendly impact veganism has.
2. What do you think is your biggest challenge as a vegan?
The biggest challenge I would say is convenience. It's not difficult being vegan. There are so many vegan options. I just wish there was vegan restaurants and vegan grocery stores on every corner like there is with a McDonalds.
3. The recipe is your moms. Is your mom vegan? How about the rest of your family?
The non-vegan recipe is my mothers. I asked her to show me how she made albondigas so that I could do my vegan take on it. I wanted it to be authentic as possible, but vegan. She isn't vegan. However, I have helped her implement a lot more vegan/organic things into her diet. Nobody but my partner is vegan.
4. What are some of your favorite go-to vegan recipes?
My favorite go-to vegan recipes are the ones that are quick to make when I'm lazy and hungry. I seriously love vegan potato tacos, and they're so easy to make. All I had to substitute was the cheese for a vegan one. I usually make Gardein dinners quite often too. I also used to make organic vegan fruit smoothies a lot for breakfast. It's amazing how delicious fruit tastes with no added terrible ingredients.
5. Where can people find you and your recipes?
On my Instagram account at @vegan_mexican.
Thank you Brianna for sharing your amazing recipe with us. My family really enjoyed it and it brought back sooo many memories.
The Recipe: Vegan Mexican Meatball Soup
Brianna did an excellent job at making this recipe very detailed, so you shouldn't have a problem at all following along. The recipe calls for two things that no matter what, you cannot substitute. Those are gardein beefless ground and the new follow your heart vegan egg. (This is not an ad. No monetary compensation is being provided by gardein or follow your heart.) If you don't use these, your meatballs might fall apart while cooking, like mine, did the first time I made this soup. This vegan Mexican meatball soup is a hearty soup filled with carrots, potatoes, celery, and amazingly tender meatballs. Enjoy!
Vegan Mexican Meatball Soup
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- ¼ White or yellow onion, diced
- 1 tomato, diced medium
- 8 cups water
- 2 tablespoon Better than Bouillon no-chicken base (or 2 no-chicken bouillon cubes + 2 vegetable bouillon cubes)
- 1 package (12 oz) Impossible plant-based ground beef, defrosted (see note)
- ⅓ cup uncooked white rice, long grain
- 6-8 mint leaves, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoom garlic salt ( or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder + 1/2 tsp. salt)
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 1-2 celery stalks, diced
- 2-3 caloro yellow peppers or 1- 2 jalapeños
- 2 cups diced potatoes
- 1 small Mexican zucchini, diced
- 3 sprigs cilantro
To make the broth:
- Set a large soup pot to medium heat. Add 1 tbsp. of oil and add onion to the pot. Let onion cook for 2-3 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add tomato and cook for 3 minutes more.
- Pour enough water into the pot to fill it 1/2 way. Bring to a simmer. Add Better than Bouillon No-Chicken base, and salt and pepper to taste (pepper is optional). Bring the broth to a low simmer.
Making the meatballs
- In a large bowl, combine the package of Impossible plant-based beef, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, 1 tsp. garlic salt, 1/3 cup of uncooked white rice, and chopped mint. Mix well.
- Form 8- 10 meatballs with your hands. Add them to the simmering broth.
- It's crucial not to stir the meatballs too much or they'll fall apart. Cook for 15 minutes.
- Add the carrots, celery, zucchini, potato, cilantro sprigs, and yellow peppers (do not cut) to the pot. Lower heat to medium-low, cover pot and let it thoroughly cook together for about 15 minutes.
- Add some chopped cilantro for finishing touch and let cook for a few minutes and you should have vegan albondigas! Don't forget the warm tortillas! Or even avocado slices!
Meant to give 5 stars my apologies.
Hi Dora, thank you for developing this recipe! My abuelita made this so much for me growing up, so I am very attached to this dish. I saw that some people mentioned it, but I'll also give my input so that maybe it can be added to the notes: I used some flax eggs instead of the vegan eggs (I used 4 total), plus a bit of flour (maybe around 1/4 of a cup) and even though I was skeptical, they held their shape well! I think one thing people should also note is to make sure the liquid is simmering and not boiling, as I noticed the force of boiling water is enough to shatter the meatballs. Just my two cents, thanks for the recipe! (:
Is the recipe calling for uncooked white rice or do you cook it first ?
This seriously is amazing! My husband hasn’t had this soup in over ten years. So glad to bring this childhood favorite back to the menu. I made two replacements . I used a flax egg for the egg replacement(1 Tablespoon group flax mixed with 1.5 tablespoons water) For the mean substitute I used the Beyond meat ground. It didn’t fall apart at all. It’s the square pack that you can buy frozen or in the refrigerator section. I don’t think if was available when this recipe originally came out but it’s really good.
I'm so glad to know it works with the beyond meat. I'll have to add it to the recipe notes.
Just made this recipe followed it exactly and ten seconds into be putting the meatballs in they completely felt apart. Such a bummer like I said I followed it exact but if you’re thinking of making this recipe be warned there is a chance that will happen ?
I'm sorry Amy. How wet was the meatball mixture??
Patricia A Mosqueda
I skipped the fake meat, just added more veggies..was filling and delicious..pour the "vegbondigas" over some spanish rice and a few tortillas and salsa,,and its heaven!!
Haven’t tried it yet but, I am going to try and brown my meatballs (or meatless balls) first
I think it will might keep them from falling apart
This recipe looks amazing! I'm going to try it for sure. I use to make albondigas before I opted to a vegan journey. I use to use oatmeal instead of rice and add both cilantro and mint into the meal balls. I will try your recipe and will update you on the outcome for sure. Thank you for posting the recipe!
My meatballs fell apart and I used the vegan egg from follow your heart. ?
I'm so sorry!! Was the mix too wet?? Maybe next time use a little bit less egg.
Hi Dora can I use chia as egg substitute?
I've never tried it with chia egg, but I think it would be a good substitute because of the viscocity
I loved it!!!! Even though it doesn’t have meat, all the flavor is still there! Thank you for creating this vegan option. It’s my go to soup when it’s cold outside.
I'm so glad you liked it!
I made this last night. I used the Gardein Beefless crumbles as recomended. I used egg because I'm not vegan. It did not hold together at all. I added another and then a 3rd. That didn't work either. I ended up making the soup with the crumbles as they are. It was delicious.
Was the mix really wet with the real egg> If so I would try adding breadcrumbs
This recipe was delicious, but I used Trader Joe's Beef-less ground beef crumbles and they completely fell apart, I tried adding a small amount of flour and cornstarch, which helped until they came into contact with the broth. I'd still make this again though!
Hi Susan. I have also tried this recipe with the beyond meat crumbles and they completely fall apart. For some reason only the gardein beefless ground works. If you have your heart set on the trader joe's version I would try adding more egg and more rice, and see if that works.
Wow, I was just talking to someone yesterday asking if her mother might share her Vegan Albongida Soup recipe. I have been wanting Albondigas for so long now. Can't wait, excited!
BTW Dora, what did you try and substitute with your version that made them fall apart? I ask because right away I thought of Soy Crumbles, TVP and Flax Eggs as susbstitutes.
I used the beyond meat crumbles and they completely fell apart on me. I did not test any other options. If you do find something else that works, please let us know. Thanks
This sounded so good. Then I looked up the ingredients to the two necessary ingredients. The "eggs" have nutritional yeast to which both my daughter and I are allergic to and the meatless crumbles are made of soy protein which I am allergic to. Bummer. These two allergyies make enjoying vegan food a bit difficult. I'll have to see if the recipe is good without the albondigas! Oops, after seeing the vegan soup flavorings which have natural flavor or soy (at least, every one I've seen has it) there isn't much left but veggies. Ah well, I like tortilla soup.
Hi Timaree I'm sorry you are not able to prepare this. I can't even imagine how difficult it must be to always be watching out for those ingredients, especially since they are both widely used in vegan cuisine.