Colombian-Style Meatballs (Albondigas Colombianas)

This post is also available in Spanish

Albondigas Colombianas

I absolutely love meatballs and my grandmother made the best albóndigas (Colombian-Style Meatballs) I ever had. One of her secrets was to add a little piece of pork belly to the center of the meatballs, which made them incredibly moist, but I prefer to omit the pork belly for health reasons :). My sister came to visit from Colombia, so we are very excited to eat them.

Enjoy this dish!

Colombian Style Meatballs



(About 4 servings)

  • Meatballs
  • ½ pound ground pork
  • ½ pound ground beef
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ cup precooked corn meal (masarepa)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • ¼ cup red bell pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoon oil to cook to meatballs
  • Sauce
  • 2 cups hogao
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro



  1. Place the ground beef and pork in a large bowl. Add onions, garlic, scallion, red bell pepper, masarepa, egg, salt and pepper. Mix well using your hands.
  2. Form the meatballs and place them on a platter.
  3. Place the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the meatballs until well-browned on all sides, about 7 minutes total. Remove the meatballs to a platter lined with paper towels.
  4. To make the sauce: Sprinkle in the flour and stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve into the fat. Pour in the beef broth, and stir with a wooden spoon to loosen the bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer and stir until the liquid is reduced and a sauce starts to form. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the hogao and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often. Return the meatballs to the sauce. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly and the meatballs are heated through, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve over white rice.
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  1. says

    Meatballs are popular this week!! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. You gave me a great idea for my little 2 year old. He is allergic to beef and wheat and can’t have traditional meatballs. It never dawned on me to use cornmeal to hold a meatball together. I think I make something work with ground pork and cornmeal. Kids just love meatballs!! These look delicious and I love that you grandma would put a piece of pork belly in the middle : )

  2. Stephanie in Phoenix says

    I made albondigas last night. We loved them. I am planning on making them for an upcoming casual holiday party. I am sure it make a great crock pot dish!

  3. Lola Ramirez says

    I might be missing it, but I don’t see where it says how much oil to use. And I’m a bit confused where it says: “Sprinkle in the flour and stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve into the fat” , does this mean we use the same pan where the meat balls where?
    Sorry this might seem silly but I’m new to cooking and I’m really looking forward to making these.

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