Full of meatballs, fresh vegetables, and loads of flavor, this rich and thick Meatball Stew can be made on the stovetop or slow cooker. Serve with cornbread for the perfect hearty dinner your family will love! Try this healthy meatball stew recipe.


  • 1 pound ground beef, pork or chicken for meatballs
  • 1/2 onion chopped finely (or grated using a cheese grater) for meatballs
  • 1/2 onion sliced for stew
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 egg
  • 4 large carrots sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 russet potatoes (about 2 pounds) or sub new potatoes
  • 3 stalks celery, washed and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon Better Than Bouillon-Beef (or 3 beef bouillon cubes)
  • 1 8-ounce can of tomato soup
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup half and half or whole milk (optional for a richer stew)

Time-Saving Tips:

  • Frozen meatballs can be used instead of making your own.
  • A can Cream of Mushroom soup or store-bought gravy can be substituted for the flour/cream/thyme ingredients.
  • Frozen mixed vegetables can be substituted for the chopped vegetables.
  • Whole new potatoes can be substituted for chopped russets to save time.

Stovetop Directions:

  1. Combine meat, grated/chopped onion, garlic, egg, salt, and pepper in a bowl and mix to combine. Divide mixture in half and form each half into 6-8 meatballs. Set aside.
  2. In a heavy stockpot over medium heat, bring water, bouillon, tomato soup, thyme, and bay leaf to a boil. Add meatballs and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Add onion, carrots, potatoes, celery and cook additional 10 minutes.
  4. Blend butter and flour together to make a paste and stir into stew. *Add cream if desired.
  5. Cook 20-30 minutes until slightly thickened.

Slow-Cooker Directions:

  1. Turn Slow-Cooker onto high heat. Melt butter and stir in flour to combine.
  2. Add sliced onion, carrots, potatoes, celery to slow-cooker.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine meat, grated/chopped onion, garlic, egg, salt, and pepper. Divide mixture in half and form each half into 6-8 meatballs. Set aside.
  4. Add water, bouillon, tomato soup, thyme, and bay leaf to slow-cooker. Gently add meatballs. They should be mostly submerged in the liquid. If not, add more liquid (water or broth).
  5. *Add cream if desired.
  6. Cook on low heat for 8 hours or on high heat for 4 hours.

Old Fashioned Meatball Stew

Meatballs are known as kofta in Arabic, meatballs have a Persian origin. It is widely used in many different cuisines, including Turkish, Albanian, Greek, and Indian. The latter comes in more than 200 different types. The least tender portions of beef that become juicy and tender with slow moist heat are perfect for stewing. It is generally well-liked in affordable cooking. Lean meat can easily become dry, but cuts with a certain degree of marbling and gelatinous connective tissue produce moist, flavorful stews. This stew with meatballs is filling and bursting with flavor.

A hearty, traditional meatball stew is a wonderful way to stay warm on a chilly winter evening. After a long day of tobogganing, skating, or snowboarding, come home to this feast. No concerns if you don’t have a slow cooker! Simply cook the stew on the burner. The stew is versatile and can be made with pork, beef, turkey, or chicken meatballs. Match the broth or bouillon to the meat for the best flavor.

Delicious Meatballs Stew

Meatballs, diced potatoes, and carrots are combined into a basic sauce in this dish and cooked until tender and savory. This hearty meatball stew is not only obscenely tasty but also healthy. It is filled with protein from the meatballs and is nutrient-dense due to the number of vegetables.

One of the traditional Italian recipes is Italian meatballs. It is a wonderful and mouthwatering recipe. Low-carb meatballs differ from classic meatballs in various ways since modern consumers prefer to maintain a healthy body weight and shape.

Why We Love the Meatball Stew?

It seems like our Winter is never-ending. We currently have at least two feet of snow on the ground. We continue to hit records for low temperatures, similar to much of the country. Thank goodness for warm – stick to your bones – comfort food! There just isn’t anything like a good hearty soup or stew to warm you up.

Meatball Stew on a white container

I have made plenty of stews during my many years in the kitchen. I had never thought to add Meatballs… this was definitely a new adventure. So, I am happy to say, it was a grand adventure!

The Best Meatball Stew Is with Fresh Vegetables!

Sliced vegetables

Fresh vegetables definitely make all the difference, the flavors from “real” food are unmatched.  Along with a match of Homemade Meatballs, this Stew was a favorite with our family! They said that this is the best Meatball Stew recipe they’d ever had.

Walmart offers a 100% freshness guarantee. If you’re not completely satisfied with their products, just bring back your receipt and they will give you a full refund no questions asked, and no need to bring back the purchase.  I’m pretty sure you are going to be satisfied. It’s also really nice to know that if you aren’t, Walmart offers a guarantee.

Meatball Stew
Meatball Stew served on the table

 Recipe adapted from Simple Shortcut Recipes Cookbook from Gooseberry Patch

Walmart Moms

Why You’ll love the Recipe?

  • It makes a nutritious one-pot meal and there are many variations to please picky eaters.
  • It can be thrown in a crock pot for an easy no-fuss dinner.

Health Benefits

Meat is used to make meatballs. The vast majority of the meatballs are made with ground beef. Meat offers several vital nutrients that are beneficial for body systems and brain development. Meat supplies protein, vitamins, iron, and other minerals when eaten three to four times per week. Because of their flavor, meatballs are a favorite of many people.

With that being said, here are the health advantages of eating meatballs.

Body growth

Meatballs contain protein, which supports the structure of the human body. Animal protein similarly helps digestion to vegetable protein. Proteins have a significant role in the development of the skin, muscles, lungs, and heart in living things like humans.

Power Booster

Meatballs’ high-fat content provides quick energy. In the body of a person, it serves as a reliable supply of energy. The body’s extended feelings of fullness are also a result of the fat content.

Beef Provides L-Carnitine

L-carnitine, a crucial substance for supporting health, is found in beef. It is a step in the digestion of meat. L-Carnitine facilitates the movement of fat into cells for burning.

Heart Health

A meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials reveals that L-carnitine helps in improving outcomes. In particular, it protects against the effects of nitric oxide, inflammation, hypotension, and oxidative stress.


Beef consumption also helps in the control of diabetes. In addition, patients with type-2 diabetes that consume more L-carnitine have higher fasting blood glucose levels and better cholesterol levels.

How to Store?

Store: Any stew that is left over should be refrigerated and stored in an airtight container. It can last for up to 3 to 4 days. On the burner or in the microwave, it can be heated again.

Freeze: Thaw the stew in the fridge overnight, and reheat gently. It will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer. The recipe with new potatoes holds up better when frozen.

Uncooked meatballs should be arranged in a single layer, not touching, on a baking sheet. After 20 to 30 minutes of freezing, until they are solid, place them in a freezer-safe bag. They can be frozen for up to two months, so be sure to write the “cook by” date on the bag. To prepare, defrost in the refrigerator overnight and then prepare according to the recipe.

Final Thoughts

It may be an ‘old-fashioned’ recipe but it will certainly taste great. Discover the richness of this meatball recipe by making it yourself. It is easy to do and you’ll find yourself loving this dish.



  1. I’m going to try this today but where’s the recipe for the cornbread?

    • Shantel Berns-Walters Reply

      This is my go-to recipe for beef stew. I double the sauce and use stew meat instead of meatballs. I usually toss in other frozen veggies too! The taste is shockingly amazing!!

  2. Hi~ I’m definitely going to try this recipe! It looks so good!

    Just a few questions:
    1, By “combine and cook meatballs”- you mean to combine the ingredients to make the meatballs mentioned in your “Homemade Meatballs” recipe, right?

    2. Do we really need to cook the meatballs thoroughly when making them? Since they are gonna be cooked again here either on stovetop or slow cooker, maybe we could just quickly brown them in the skillet and skip the oven, and instead we just transfer them into the stew with the rest of the veggies.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    • Hi Jessy, yes to combine and cook the meatballs. You can certainly just brown them since you are cooking in the slow cooker. The original recipe called for frozen meatballs, but we made our own. That’s why we cooked them all the way through before putting them in the slow cooker.
      Happy Cooking!

  3. Do you know how well this would freeze? I’m worried about the potatoes. I’ve frozen soups with potatoes in before and after reheating it the potatoes have an odd taste to them…

    • Hi Leann, Sorry we haven’t frozen the stew so I’m not really sure.

  4. carol southerland Reply

    How much time should be added for frozen meatballs? 2 hours?

    • Hi Carol, you can just add the frozen meatballs like you would fresh, they will cook while the vegetables are cooking.
      Happy Cooking!

  5. Thanks for posting this recipe…I know it is summer now, but I will be crock potting this tomorrow! I am using frozen peas/carrots and frozen diced home fries for the potatoes. Also will be making my meatballs…sounded too yummy to wait.

  6. This turned out great. Bought frozen meatballs and dumped it all in the crock pot. Cooked on high 4 hours and it was perfect. Thanks for the recipe.

  7. Hi there! This was amazing times a million!!!!! So so easy to prepare. I made mine in the crock pot. This wonderful recipe you were nice enough to share with me will be (is now) something my family and I will be eating years to come!! Thank you again!!!!

    • So glad you and your family liked it Mellie! Thanks for stopping by and letting us know!
      Happy Cooking!

  8. Easy to make and smelled amazing! I had frozen meatballs and didn’t add any cooking time and it was fine

  9. Just tossed this recipe into my crockpot for dinner tonite and it smells really good even before its heated up! Can’t wait for dinner tonite! Thank you for sharing! I’m always looking for cheap, easy recipes to add to my crockpot Arsenal!

  10. Instead of beef bouillon cubes, could I substitute beef broth? If so, how much?

    • Hi Mallori, I have not made it that way. However, the bouillon cube to broth ratio is 1 cup. So I think you could try that. I would add just 1 cup though and see how it looks. It may be too thin if you add 2 cups.

  11. This was a big hit, made my own meat balls and served it with jalapeno cornbread also found on pinterest. Thanks for sharing

  12. 4 – 5 hours on low…NOT nearly long enough!!! just checked it, potatoes are still hard as rocks. Should be 4 – 5 hours on HIGH! I new that didn’t sound right.

    • Hi there, thanks for your feedback. Our slow cooker probably cooks at a different rate than yours. It didn’t take that long for our Meatball Stew.

  13. Matthew Zuzula-Lawrence Reply

    This was really good, I used turkey meatballs since red meat is not allowed in my house, used cream of mushroom soup instead of tomato, increased the amount of H2O a little and turkey gravy with chicken bullion! Tuned out Awesome!

  14. Shantel Walters Reply

    Seriously phenomenal recipe!!! Instead of “meatball stew” I make beef stew and double the ingredients for the sauce! I am extremely picky and ALWAYS add extra ingredients to create the taste I desire…I literally don’t do a thing different! Friends have tried this and are in complete awe!! Love it and will be throwing everything into a Crock-Pot this evening to throw it on in the AM for our supper tomorrow!

    • Nina Veenstra Reply

      How did this turn out with stew meat instead of meatballs? Sounds like it would be good.

  15. Absolutely delicious!! Will be making again and again.. Should be noted that normally don’t life stews but I just couldn’t get enough of this! I used frozen meatballs and turned the crockpot of low for 8 hours.

  16. Thank you for the recipe. I have home made meatballs in my freezer. I’m making this in my crockpot tomorrow.

  17. Dawn Ballain Reply

    Can you use jar brown gravy? (Small size?) I dont really like the can gravy.

    • Hello Dawn,
      Yes, of course, you can the jar brown gravy! I used the canned gravy because I am more familiar with it, but the jar of brown gravy should be as good as any.

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