This meatball stew combines two favorite foods in one hearty, comforting, delicious bowl. Lots of tender juicy meatballs, swimming in a classic beef stew gravy, accompanied by all the right chunky vegetables. All the classic flavors you crave with a twist everyone will love. Who doesn’t love meatballs!?
As soon as the season begins to change, and we get the first cool fall evenings, my family starts looking forward to soups and stews being in our dinner rotation! I hope you’ll try more of my fan-favorite stew recipes next. You’ll love my classic beef stew, pork stew, and cowboy stew!
Meatball Stew Ingredients
- Milk: I use whole milk. I like the added richness it adds.
- Bread Crumbs: This recipe calls for soft bread crumbs, not the dry ones you buy at the supermarket. Sandwich bread works perfectly. I generally use sourdough. I tear it into large chunks the pulse them in the food processor until it’s a coarse crumb.
- Ground Beef: I use 80/20. I think it gives the best flavor. If you want, ground turkey will of course work!
- Egg: Holds the meatball together.
- Parmesan: I like to use the gated variety. It melts into the meatball beautifully.
- Salt + Pepper: To round out all the meatball flavors and bring together the seasoning.
- Onion Powder: Adds a nice onion flavor.
- Italian Seasoning: I like to use McCormick Perfect Pinch Italian Seasoning.
- Worcestershire sauce: Adds a nice depth of flavor and brings a bit of sweet, savory, tangy, and salty.
- Oil: You can use any oil. I most often use olive oil.
- Onion: Use white or yellow onion.
- Carrots: These will add a lovely natural sweetness to the stew.
- Mushrooms: I like to use cremini mushrooms because they add more flavor than white button mushrooms. But the white mushrooms will work just fine.
- Salt + Pepper
- Garlic: After sautéing, the garlic will have a sweet, buttery taste.
- All-Purpose Flour: This mixes with the oil to create a roux to thicken the stew.
- Tomato Paste: The stew doesn’t have a strong tomato taste. It adds nuanced flavor and slight sweetness to the brown gravy.
- Worcestershire Sauce: See above notes.
- Beef Broth: I like to use low-sodium broth so I can control the overall salt in the stew. Swanson is the brand I use most often.
- Better Than Bouillon: The secret ingredient that adds incredible flavor and makes your soups and stews the best they can be.
- Rosemary: I use fresh rosemary because I have it growing year-round in my garden. You can use 1 teaspoon dried instead if you’d like.
- Potatoes: I use russet. I love their creamy texture and the starch they add as they cook adds a nice texture to the soup. You can use another variety if you’d like.
- Zucchini: I like to add a fresh green vegetable to the stew. They can’t be cooked as long as the rest of the vegetables in the stew so add them the last of the 10 minutes of simmering.
- Parsley: Added right before serving to add a nice herbaceous freshness.
How To Thicken The Stew
This meatball stew with potatoes has a wonderfully flavored brown gravy. It’s not as thick as some of my stew gravies. After the stew completes simmering, if you find you’d like it a bit thicker, simply add a cornstarch slurry to it. I don’t think you will need to add all of the slurry, just add a bit at a time.
Here’s how to do it:
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 cup water
- In a small mixing bowl, simply whisk the cornstarch and water together.
- Add 1/3 of the mixture to the stew and stir. Cook over low heat until stew has thickened, about 5-7 more minutes.
- Repeat, adding more slurry, until you reach desired thickness.
Storing + Make Ahead
- How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge? The cooked meatball stew will keep in the fridge for up to four days.
- Can You Freeze This? This stew can be frozen for up to 3 months. It works best if you store it in a size-appropriate air-tight container.
- Just remember to cool the stew completely and leave room for expansion and make sure that it is completely cooled before placing your beef stew in the freezer.
- Make-Ahead Tips: Making this a day or so ahead of time will create a superior flavor and it’s ready when you are. This recipe will taste even better the next day after marinating in that incredible sauce.
- Food Safety: If you’d like more food safety info check out this article.
I like to serve this with a crispy green salad dressed in my easy-peasy balsamic vinaigrette. Of course, some type of homemade baked bread is perfect to round out this meal and give you the perfect vehicle to dip into the wonderfully flavored gravy.
How To Make Meatball Stew
- Make the meatballs: Make bread crumbs.
- Mix milk and bread crumbs.
- Add ground beef, egg, Parmesan, salt and pepper, onion powder, Italian seasoning, and Worcestershire sauce. Knead until ingredients are well combined.
- Shape the meatballs.
- Brown the meatballs in batches.
- Make the stew: Saute the onion and carrots.
- Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper. Cook.
- Add the garlic and saute. Sprinkle the veggies with flour.
- Add the rest of the ingredients. Add brown meatballs. Boil and add zucchini, continue to cook.
- Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.
See full instructions below.
More Delicious Stew Recipes
- Chicken Stew
- Slow Cooker Beef Stew
- Shipwreck Stew
- Hamburger Stew
- Brunswick Stew
- Guinness Beef Stew
- Green Chile Stew
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup soft bread crumbs
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 8 ounces mushrooms, quartered
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 6-8 cups beef broth
- 1 tablespoon beef flavored Better Than Bouillon
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 3 large Russet potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 3 zucchini cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 tablespoons parsley
- In a large mixing bowl, add milk (1/2 cup) and bread crumbs (1 cup) and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Mash.
- Add ground beef (1 1/2 pounds), egg (1), Parmesan (1/2 cup), salt (3/4 teaspoon), black pepper (1/2 teaspoon), onion powder (1/2 teaspoon), Italian seasoning (1 teaspoon), and Worcestershire sauce (1 teaspoon) knead until ingredients are well combined.
- Shape the meatballs into 2-inch diameter balls, about the size of a golf ball.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, heavy-bottom stockpot. Brown the meatballs, in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan, on all sides. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the stockpot. Sauté the onion (1 cup) and carrots (4), over medium-high heat, until soft, 4 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms (8 ounces) and salt (1/2 teaspoon) and pepper (1/2 teaspoon). Cook, stirring occasionally until the mushrooms have softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic (1 tablespoon) and continue to sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute
- Sprinkle cooked vegetables with flour (1/4 cup) and cook for 1 minute longer.
- Add tomato paste (2 tablespoons), Worcestershire sauce (2 teaspoons), beef broth (6-8 cups), better than bouillon (1 tablespoon), rosemary (1 sprig), and potatoes (3) stir to combine. Add browned meatballs back to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat immediately, and simmer partially covered, for about 10 minutes. Add the zucchini (3) and cook an additional 10 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender and the meatballs are cooked through.
- Sprinkle with fresh parsley (2 tablespoons) and serve.
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