Salvadoran Albóndigas

Salvadoran Albondigas (Meatballs)

This is my recipe for Salvadoran meatballs (“albóndigas”). I will also include my recipe for homemade salsa if you’re feeling especially ambitious. (It’s worth the little bit of extra effort!)

Sra. López’s Salvadoran Meatballs
(adapted from Doris Perez’s Salvadoran Meatball recipe)


* 1 egg
* 1 pound lean ground beef
* ½ cup chopped fresh tomatoes
* ½ cup minced onion
* 2 tablespoons minced garlic
* ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, (original recipe calls for mint but my husband didn’t like that.)
* 1 teaspoon instant beef bouillon (optional)
* ½ teaspoon salt
* ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
* enough oil for frying, (I use Canola)

1. Beat the egg in a large bowl. Add the beef in handfuls and then add the tomatoes, onions, garlic, cilantro, bouillon, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Blend well.
2. Form the mixture into balls or small patties. (Salvadorans make more of a small, fat patty shape.)
3. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the balls/patties approximately 5 minutes per side until nicely browned. Serve over white rice with salsa (recipe below). Serves 4.


Sra. López’s Fresh Salsa

1 32 ounce can of whole tomatoes (use fresh roma tomatoes if you want)
1 handful fresh cilantro
1/2 an onion
1/4 of a medium green bell pepper
1 tablespoon raw, minced garlic
a few rings of pickled jalapeño (add more or less to taste)
salt to taste
a few drops of Worcestershire sauce (or “Salsa Perrins” as it’s called at our house.)

Combine in a blender. Serve immediately or put in a jar and keep refrigerated for a few days. Use in almost any recipe calling for salsa, or as a side with Latin American dishes.


    • Hi Melissa! The color of the salsa can vary depending on the tomatoes, (the type and ripeness.) … If you want a redder color (although the flavor is great either way!) you can use canned tomatoes, or try cooking your fresh salsa in a pot over medium heat for a few minutes. This will also deepen the flavor a bit.

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