Recipe Testing Albondigas, a Dog’s Favorite Dish

My family has always had a soft spot for scruffy brown terriers. And as fate would have it, scruffy brown terriers have a taste for Mexican food.


Bolillo waits patiently...


My grandparents once had a wire-haired pup named Canela, that looked very much like my own Bolillo. Every morning Canela would hit the pavement to rummage through the neighborhood trash cans and to steal the neighborhood kids’ toys. She’d return home for lunch, a belly rub and a nap under my grandma’s fruit trees then she’d be off again for an afternoon stroll. She had a home but lived for her street dog ways.

One afternoon as Canela napped under the shade of the biggest apple tree, my Nina (godmother) opened the wrought iron door of my grandparent’s brick and adobe house. The rich aroma of broth, mint and meatballs wafted from inside the house and coaxed Canela from her sleep. My Nina, who was on her way to a funeral reception, opened her car door, placed a huge pot of Albondigas on the passenger seat and darted back into the house to get her coat or keys or something else she had forgotten, I imagine.

When she returned, not more than two minutes later, the pot was in the gravel and the Albondigas were gone!  Lucky for me my Bolillo is not so brave, so for his obedience I reward his manners and begging eyes with a meatball treat every time I make Albondigas.


Taking notes for my Albondigas recipe


There are a million and one ways to make Albondigas. Every abuela, cocinera and chef has their own, most traditional, way. I am still recipe testing my version. The first batch I made yesterday was homey, slightly spicy and comforting – everything albondigas should be – but I’m still diligently crafting just the right recipe. I’m making another batch tonight, based off of Zarela’s recipe, and will share it soon!

Do you have suggestions for ingredients should I use in the batch I’m making tonight? Mint or no? Rice or masa in the meatballs?



11 Responses to “Recipe Testing Albondigas, a Dog’s Favorite Dish”
  1. Buck Sharman says:

    great post! keep it on!

  2. Your Nina says:

    Either Canela was immunized for toxicity from the ingredients of Mexican food or we seemed to always be there to save her from herself. Those were the best abondigas ever; they were garnished with tears. Well this was Albuquerque, not Chewandswallow so there were no albondigas falling from from the sky even though the day was Cloudy. Luckily, I had also prepared fijol verde con tocino (lots of it) so I didn’t have to stop at a deli on the way to the funeral. Gracias por incluir este recuerdo, con carino, tu Nina.

  3. Lesley says:

    Yum! Albondigas are one of my favorite comfort foods. My mom makes hers with rice — I don’t think she uses mint. Looking forward to reading your final recipe!

    • gabriellemarielopez says:

      Thanks, Lesley! And does your mom cook the rice first or leave it raw before mixing it with the meat? We’re on an albondigas binge right now 🙂

  4. gloria says:

    Hi Gabriella. I love albondigas and make them every time I get a chance. Be sure that Bolillo doesn’t get ONIONS with his albondigas, they are very toxic to DOGS. They can tolerate onions.

    • gabriellemarielopez says:

      Thanks for the tip, Gloria. I’ll make sure to hold the onions if I plan on sharing with Bolillo. xo

  5. I love albóndigas! Reading about them here reminds me I need to make this dish again. Perfect for chilly days. Perfect comfort food. Yes, for mint. I did not use either rice or masa, and really liked the result, though I can see that the use of either would stretch the meat (more economical).

    Make sure Bolillo gets his share.


    • gabriellemarielopez says:

      Kathleen, I need to give your rendition a try. I was told that beside stretching the meat, the masa or rice makes for a more tender meatball. And Boli thanks you for reminding me that he wants some too!

  6. Darlene says:

    How exciting! Good for you!!!I rebemmer you asking if we would like a crown kit, and now I have to check out your channel to see how it is done!!xxDaniella

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  1. […] I’m still working on my Albondigas recipe, so far I’ve made 3 batches, much to Alex’s liking!  The last batch will be on the […]

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