These easy-to-make and super hearty Albóndigas are exceptionally tasty Mexican meatballs that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways! Serve the meatballs up tapas-style, in a rich beef and tomato-based soup, or make the best tacos ever!
If you don't have some leftover rice (if it's been refrigerated overnight, that's ideal) it's time to make a small batch. Whichever rice you make, you'll need slightly under-cooked rice. Combine ½ cup of water to ½ cup of rice, then cook the rice for 10 minutes. Set aside and allow it to cool slightly before forming meatballs.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, rice, egg, garlic, cilantro, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, and paprika.
Portion the ground beef mixture into ¾-inch meatballs and set on a tray.
Either bake the meatballs at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 15 minutes or pan sear over medium-high heat until cooked. The meatballs are done when they are browned on the outside and have an internal temperature of 160 degrees F (70 degrees C).
Remove from the oven and serve immediately with salsa, rice, beans, or tortillas.
Store any leftover meatballs in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Make sure that your albondigas are fully cooled before storing them in the refrigerator.To freeze your albondigas, place them on a baking sheet with a clean piece of parchment paper. Transfer the baking sheet to your freezer and freeze the meatballs for 1-2 hours, or until completely frozen.Once fully frozen, place the albondigas into an airtight freezer container or ziploc freezer storage bag. They will freeze for up to 3 months and retain their great flavor!Place the frozen meatballs in the refrigerator to thaw before using. Once thawed, reheat like usual. *Unless your making soup, in this case, you can add the frozen meatballs directly into your soup and simmer for approximately 10 minutes.You can reheat in the microwave or in the oven or in a pan. Reheat in the microwave in 1-minute increments until warmed to your liking. Or place the albondigas in an oven-safe dish and heat at 350ºF ( 175ºC ) for 10 - 15 minutes.To reheat the albondigas in a pan, warm them over medium heat in a lightly greased frying pan or skillet. Cook until the meatballs are heated to your desired temperature.