Mexican Meatball Soup Gluten Free Dairy Free

Mexican Meatball Soup (Gluten and Dairy Free!)

I’m a backpacker. I can tell you where to buy goon, and then where to buy the cheapest cider (10 cans for 20 AUD) because goon may contain milk. I can tell you which hostels are the most lenient, which ones have the best nightlife, and which ones have a grocer nearby. But, you probably don’t want to be eating the food on my plate right now. (It’s not very fancy to say the least.)

Wild Saltwater Crocodile Daintree River
Have you ever seen a wild saltwater crocodile?! Neither had I until I traveled to Australia. (Daintree River)

That’s where my marvelous mother enters the story. She figured that you would probably still like some tasty recipes. So, when she was cooking up a meal that just happened to be gluten and dairy free, she sent loads of pictures my way!

Mexican Meatball Soup Gluten Free Dairy Free

Today, we’ll be cooking Mexican Meatball Soup! Now, I can’t wait to try this recipe when I return home, but it’s already received some fantastic reviews.

In fact, the recipe comes from Bon Appetit back in 2000. Jill Cole wrote that after serving this dish every Christmas Eve for many years, “Any suggestion of varying the meal is met with cries of protest from family and friends. I set out guacamole, salsa, homemade tamales, and what has become my famous albóndigas soup.”

So, let’s check out the recipe that has so many people raving for more! (With a slight tweak to make it dairy free.)

Mexican Meatball Soup*

Allergens: Contains Egg. Always be sure that your ingredients meet your food allergy needs!

Yield:  Makes 6 to 8 (main-course) servings


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 ¾ cups chopped onions
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 small bay leaves
  • Five 14½-oz. cans beef broth
  • 1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes in juice
  • ½ cup chunky tomato salsa (medium-hot)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • ¼ lb. bulk pork sausage
  • 6 tbsp. yellow cornmeal
  • ¼ cup almond milk or your favorite non-dairy milk (Yes, the dairy eaters could use real milk, whole milk is recommended.)
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ cup long-grain white rice


  1. You’ll want a heavy large pot for this recipe. Begin by heating the oil over medium-high heat. Next, add 1¾ cups onions, 2 garlic cloves and bay leaves; sauté 5 minutes.

    Mexican Meatball Soup Gluten Free Dairy Free
    The first set of ingredients.

    Mexican Meatball Soup Gluten Free Dairy Free
    Mixing it up a little!
  2. Next add the broth, tomatoes with juices, salsa and ¼ cup cilantro. Bring it to a boil. Once boiling, cover and let the soup simmer for fifteen minutes.Once boiling, cover and let the soup simmer for fifteen minutes.
  3. While the soup is boiling, you’ll want to make your meatballs! First, combine ground beef, pork sausage, cornmeal, non-dairy milk, egg, salt, pepper, cumin in a medium size bowl. Mix it up! Next, add the remaining 1 cup onions, 2 garlic cloves and ¼ cup cilantro. Mix very well and then shape the mixture into into 1- to 1¼-inch balls.

    Mexican Meatball Soup Gluten Free Dairy Free
    Bowl #1- The Initial Ingredients

    Mexican Meatball Soup Gluten Free Dairy Free
    Bowl #2- Adding the cilantro, onions, and cloves back in!

    Mexican Meatball Soup Gluten Free Dairy Free
    Heaps of Meatballs!
  4. Now that fifteen minutes has passed, you’re ready to add the rice and meatballs to soup!
  5. Now that all the ingredients are in the pot, bring it to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until rice and meatballs are tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The spicy (or younger) members of your family may want to add some hot sauce to theirs, but let them taste it first. 😉
  7. Ladle soup into bowls, garnish, and enjoy!

    Mexican Meatball Soup Gluten Free Dairy Free
    Meatball Soup!

Mexican Meatball Soup Gluten Free Dairy Free
Garnish for a little extra flare.


Do you want to freeze some soup for leftovers?! You know I do! If you’re planning on freezing this dish, do NOT add the rice to the soup while cooking. Instead, add some pre-cooked rice to the soup when reheating. We also recommend freezing in the desired portion size, so you’ll simply defrost one soup at a time!

Mexican Meatball Soup Gluten Free Dairy Free
Storing the leftovers!

*Recipe from Bon Appetit, 2000.

Millaa Millaa Falls Queensland
Millaa Millaa Falls (From the Herbal Essence Commercial)

I like this recipe because it’s definitely flexible if you don’t have the exact ingredients in the house. If you do try to spice it up, and it comes out too hot, you could always serve it with avocados on the side like the Aussies. (Seriously, EVERYTHING has avocado on it here.)

That’s about it! While I’ll be backpacking (and having the time of my life), hopefully I’ll be able to keep some recipes headed your way. And, if you want to see my tastier meals (when I eat out), check out my Tuesday blog posts or my Instagram page!

Finally, I am of course sharing this soup with my friends over at Fiesta Friday! Thank you so much to this week’s co-hosts. 🙂

Happy Cooking!

P.S: If you like this post, be sure to check me out on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Instagram!

3 thoughts on “Mexican Meatball Soup (Gluten and Dairy Free!)

  1. Ahhh! I love all the travel shares, Kaila. For a person like me who doesn’t go out much, I am so happy to see stuffs like this. And oh, the meatball soup sounds absolutely fabulous! And it’s a good thing that you can store leftovers. Yay! 🙂 It’s always fun to see you at Fiesta Friday.

    1. Awh, thanks, Jhuls! I’m heading home this upcoming month and it’s a bit bittersweet. I’m really excited to be back in my own kitchen, but I’m not quite ready to leave yet. But, I’ll be more active at the future Fiesta Fridays! 🙂

  2. Love the meatballs! I’m saving this to make later. My son and husband would love them, too, but as always when I make something with ground meat I’ll have to make something else for my daughter. She refuses to eat meat that she claims she can’t identify. Lol 😄

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