Abuela’s albondigas (meatballs)

cilantro meatballs

Cilalntro and mint packed albondigas.

They say “love” is the secret ingredient. That’s essentially what this blog is all about. The recipes I share may be simple but are always -just like my mother taught me- filled with lots of love. Today marks 10 years since she’s been gone and these recipes are all I have left of her and there is nothing that fills my heart more than seeing the reaction on my husband and children’s faces when they try and like a recipe for the first time.

This recipe for albondigas, (meatballs) is the perfect example.

My babies are now at an age where they almost always eat what the adults are eating at the table. This got me thinking about the foods and recipes that were my favourites as a child that I can pass on to them. Instantly my mom’s albondigas came to mind.

I have fed my babies food flavoured with herbs and spices since they began eating solids. After all, cinnamon, cumin, cilantro, parsley and mint are staples in mi casa. Fortunately, they seem to enjoy everything so far. These albondigas contain fresh cilantro and mint, which is what makes them so irresistible. In my family, they will be known as abuela’s (grandma’s) albondigas from now.

These are so easy to make, you’ll wonder why you don’t make meatballs more often. They’re simple, yet oh-so-flavourful! I changed one thing in the recipe and that was that I used ground turkey instead of beef, but you can use either (just make sure you adjust the cooking time). I’ve also omitted the sauce because I bake them in the oven instead of cooking them in a pan like my mother used to. Albondigas are usually served over rice, but you can eat them alone or with pasta.

With Valentine’s Day this weekend, it’s a good time to make these for a loved one. Also, check out these 10 Aphrodisiac Foods.

Abuela’s Albondigas


  • 1 TBSP Canola Oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 TBSP fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3 TBSP fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 lb ground turkey


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a large baking sheet with some canola oil.
  2. Heat oil in pan. Add onion, garlic, salt pepper and red pepper flakes.
  3. Saute until onion is transluscent (about 5-6 minutes).
  4. Add the cilantro and mint. Stir until herbs are soft but not soggy (about one minute only). Allow onion mixture to cool.
  5. In a large bowl, place the ground turkey. Add the cooled onion mixture.
  6. Stir until cilantro and mint are evenly distributed in the turkey.
  7. With your hands, shape meat into 1 inch balls and place on baking sheet. Be sure to leave about an inch in between each ball on the sheet. You should have about 20-24 balls.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes, or until they have an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.
  9. Serve on their own, with rice, or with your favourite pasta sauce.



valentine's day meatballs

Serve with your favourite sauce over rice or pasta.



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