Mexican Meatball & Tortellini Soup

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Annete's Cooking

If you love Mexican food as much as I do, you’re going to love this soup. The addition of cheese tortellini puts a delectable spin on this traditional Mexican soup made of meatballs, a flavorful broth, and lots of vegetables.

Mexican Meatball and Tortellini Soup

When you have a hankering for meatballs, it’s hard not to turn to Italian or Swedish cuisines. After all, they have the most notable meatball dishes. A little-known secret, though, is that Spanish cultures have been making meatballs for centuries — and they’re so darn good.

Traditional Mexican meatballs have some variation of beef, onions, potatoes, and rice along with seasonings like mint, oregano, and cumin. While this is a delicious combination, I take a simpler approach in this recipe to ensure balance between all the flavors and the tortellini.

Meatballs for this recipe use beef, cilantro, cumin, garlic, and an egg. I mix all these ingredients together and shape into small, rounded 1” balls. Then, I brown the meatballs in a frying pan with about 2 tablespoons of cooking oil. Once browned on all sides, I add to the soup mixture to finish cooking.

Mexican Meatballs
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  • The easiest way to prepare this soup is to use a Dutch oven like this 8.5-quart Calphalon Dutch oven. Cook everything in one pot with very little clean up. Yes, please!
  • If you don’t have a Dutch oven, no worries. Simply brown your meatballs in a separate frying pan, spoon out once browned and place into your soup mixture. Be sure to use a stock pot that holds at least 8-quarts.
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  • A small side salad makes a delicious companion to this hearty soup.
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  • Frozen meatballs work just as well in this recipe. I recommend you add ½ cup cilantro with the spinach if preparing using frozen.
  • If you prefer, you can brown your meatballs in the oven and avoid the use of vegetable oil. Place your prepared meatballs on an ungreased, rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 450-degrees for about 10 minutes or until browned.
  • Have leftover corn on the cob? Strip the kernels off the cob using a convenient kitchen tool like a corn cob stripping tool or the Corn Shark. Add fresh corn to your soup mixture in place of canned or frozen.
  • You can use either canned, jarred, or fresh jalapenos in this recipe. Feel free to increase or decrease the amount to meet your tastebud’s liking.
  • The recipe calls for Rotel tomatoes; however, canned stewed or roasted tomatoes work just as well.
  • Fresh or frozen tortellini work great in this recipe. If using frozen, avoid thawing before cooking, as that can ruin the texture of the pasta.
  • While this recipe uses beef for its meatballs, you can easily replace with ground pork, lamb, or turkey.
  • For a more traditional soup, I recommend you eliminate the pasta and add these ingredients to your meatballs and follow the rest of the directions on the recipe card.
    • ½ cup cooked rice
    • 3 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
Mexican Meatball & Tortellini Soup

Mexican Meatball & Tortellini Soup

Recipe by Annette (•‿•)

Cheese tortellini add a delectable spin to a traditional Mexican soup featuring meatballs, a flavorful broth and lots of vegetables.

Course: SoupCuisine: Hispanic


Prep time


Cooking time


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  • Meatballs
  • 1 pound 1 ground beef

  • egg, beaten

  • 2 teaspoons 2 garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoons 1 cumin

  • fresh cilantro, chopped

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Soup
  • 32 ounces 32 beef broth

  • 1 tablespoon 1 vegetable oil

  • 1 large 1 onion, chopped

  • 16 ounces 16 corn, canned or frozen

  • 2 cans 2 Rotel tomatoes

  • 1 tablespoon 1 jalapenos, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon 1 garlic, minced

  • 2 cups 2 fresh spinach

  • 2 teaspoons 2 cumin

  • 12 ounces 12 cheese tortellini

  • Salt and pepper

  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

  • 1 fresh lime


  • Prepare meatballs by adding ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Mix well by hand, then shape into 1” balls. Set aside.
  • In an 8-quart Dutch oven, cook onions in oil on medium heat until tender and translucent.
  • Add your meatballs to the pot and cook until a golden brown on all sides. (See your Helping Hand for other options in preparing meatballs.)
  • Pour in the beef broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat.
  • Add corn, tomatoes, garlic, jalapenos, cumin, salt, and pepper. Continue to cook on low for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add fresh spinach and tortellini to the pot. Cook an additional 10 minutes on low.
  • Garnish each bowl with fresh chopped cilantro and a lime wedge, as desired.
  • Serve and enjoy!

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Perfect side for a bowl of soup.

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