Home » Soup Recipes

Best Meatball Stew Recipe | Hearty, Delicious Comfort Food

My Meat­ball Stew Recipe will fill your home with warm, spicy aro­mas and make enough to feed a crowd. It’s easy to make and loved by both kids and adults.

Meatball Stew in an ivory stonware bowl.  There's a spoon in the bowl and it's all sitting on a barn board table.
Post may con­tain affil­i­ate links. See my Affil­i­ate Disclosure.

A beau­ti­ful­ly sea­soned, rich toma­to and aro­mat­ics broth forms the base of this fill­ing meat­ball soup meal. The star of the dish is def­i­nite­ly the spicy ground beef meat­balls, though. And, pas­ta is per­fect in the sup­port­ing role.

Meat­ball Stew will warm you from head to toe on chilly fall and win­ter days and become a fam­i­ly favorite com­fort food sup­per from the very first time that you serve it.

This recipe uses the scrump­tious­ly beefy and spicy ground beef meat­balls I taught you how to make back in 2019. You can use frozen meat­balls from the store, but …

scrumptious savory meatballs

In my opin­ion, you want the best, most fla­vor­ful meat­balls in this meat­ball stew. That would be my easy, oven baked meat­balls made from ground beef. No question!

Pull some of those tasty lit­tle orbs from the freez­er to get the max­i­mum fla­vor from this deli­cious, com­fort-food stew. 

Using pre-made meat­balls also means this recipe comes togeth­er quick­ly. (You can sub in com­mer­cial frozen meat­balls, but the fla­vor will def­i­nite­ly not be the same.)

If you’re look­ing for hearty, DELISH com­fort food that comes togeth­er in under an hour, your search is over, my friend. My Meat­ball Stew will be a wel­come addi­tion to your recipe collection.


The Ingredients

frozen homemade meatballs
  • Frozen Meat­balls: I won’t even mince words, here. My Home­made Meat­balls are the most deli­cious you will ever enjoy. They will be the dif­fer­ence between this Meat­ball Stew being good or being extra­or­di­nary.

    I encour­age you to make a batch of these extra­or­di­nary ground beef meat­balls and always have them on hand in the freez­er for this and oth­er quick-fix meat­ball recipes.

    (If you have a favorite com­mer­cial brand of frozen meat­balls, those will work, too. I can’t guar­an­tee the fin­ished prod­uct will be near­ly as fla­vor­ful, however.)
  • Pas­ta: Any small pas­ta. I used dital­i­ni, but small shells could work, in this meat­ball soup /stew, too.
  • Beef Stock
  • Beef Base or my home­made Beef Bouil­lon powder
  • The Aro­mat­ics: Onions, cel­ery, car­rots and gar­lic are almost always the base lay­er of build­ing savory fla­vor into soups and stews in my kitchen.
  • Canned Toma­toes: I use whole, peeled toma­toes and crush them in my hand as I add them to the Meat­ball Stew pot. 

Prepping the Vegetables

ground vegetables (carrots, onions, peppers), a bay leaf and other seasonings in a stew pot

How you prep your veg­gies for Meat­ball Stew is going to depend on how your fam­i­ly likes them in soup. If I’m mak­ing veg­etable soup, then I slice and chop the veg­eta­bles in larg­er chunks and pieces to make them the star of the bowl. But, for my fam­i­ly, I typ­i­cal­ly hide all the exquis­ite fla­vor and nutri­tion of veg­gies in the broth of my soups and stews. 

In this recipe the meat­balls get top billing, but the pas­ta is a close sec­ond. Most of my fam­i­ly would turn up their noses at hav­ing large pieces of veg­eta­bles float­ing around with them. No wor­ries, though. My solu­tion to not los­ing one gram of the nutri­tion and fla­vor that veg­gies bring to the table is to grind/mince them in my *food proces­sor [affil­i­ate link].

By adding them to the pot in such a tiny form, they lit­er­al­ly melt into the sim­mer­ing broth and no one even knows they’re there. Win for vit­a­mins and min­er­als; and win for pleas­ing every palate.

So you decide what works best for your fam­i­ly. This recipe was prepped with all the veg­gies minced up fine. And there are more than TWO pounds of them! It’s deli­cious stew, friends!

How to Make Meatball Stew

  1. Start by prep­ping the veg­eta­bles. I had to do two batch­es in my food proces­sor. I put the veg­gies in raw, with no added any­thing (not even a drop of water). The food proces­sor lit­er­al­ly ground them for me. P.S. You can add oth­er veg­gies, too. Do you have a bell pep­per or some zuc­chi­ni that need used? Add them. It only adds more fla­vor and health-build­ing nutri­tion. Go for it!
  2. When the car­rots, cel­ery and onions (the stan­dard veg­gie base of every soup I make) are minced, put them in a soup pot with salt, pep­per, Ital­ian sea­son­ing, minced gar­lic and a bay leaf.
  3. Then add the toma­toes and toma­to sauce. I pre­fer whole peeled toma­toes that I crush into very small pieces, by hand, as I add them to the Meat­ball Stew pot. I feel that they have supe­ri­or fla­vor to oth­er pre-chopped vari­eties. That being said, petite diced toma­toes work in this recipe, too.
  1. Final­ly, stir the beef broth and bouil­lon into the meat­ball stew. As you can see in the pho­to, above, my 5 quart dutch oven was­n’t big enough to han­dle this recipe. There aren’t even meat­balls or pas­ta in there, yet. At that point, I trans­ferred to my favorite *stock pot [affil­i­ate link] and every­thing worked a lot easier. 

The Cooking

  1. Begin cook­ing the broth on high heat until it comes to a boil. Once it’s boil­ing, reduce the heat to medi­um and allow the broth and veg­gies to sim­mer for about 30 min­utes. At the end of 30 min­utes you could put your broth through a blender (I use a *stick blender [affil­i­ate link] for those kinds of jobs.) for 100% smooth­ness, but I find that the major­i­ty of veg­gies have already “dis­ap­peared” and for our tastes, sim­ply isn’t necessary.
  2. Add the meat­balls, (it’s okay if they’re frozen), and let them start warm­ing through for about 15 minutes. 
  3. Then add your pas­ta. I use Dital­i­ni Pas­ta in Meat­ball Stew. Any shape of small pas­ta should be good, how­ev­er. The small shells would prob­a­bly be good, too.
  4. Con­tin­ue to sim­mer the Meat­ball Stew on medi­um heat, until the pas­ta is cooked al dente (soft, but with a lit­tle bite to them — not mushy).
  5. Serve your stew with some crusty bread and a big green sal­ad. This is the din­ner that all of us want to come home to on cold fall and win­ter nights. Hav­ing meat­balls pre-made and wait­ing in the freez­er, makes it simple.

Enjoy, my friend!

Meatball Stew

The Leftovers

This meat­ball soup will keep in the fridge for at least 5 days. Like most soups and stews, the fla­vor gets even bet­ter the longer it sits. 

The pas­ta has a ten­den­cy to soak up more and more broth as it rests, though, so it becomes real­ly thick. It WILL heat up in the microwave, that way. My per­son­al pref­er­ence, though, is to thin it with a lit­tle beef stock or water before I reheat mine, so I can enjoy it in a lit­tle more “soupy” form.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Meatball Stew

Best Meatball Stew

  • Author: Glen­da Embree
  • Total Time: 55 min­utes
  • Yield: 12-15 serv­ings 1x


Meat­ball Stew is an easy, hearty meal that has blow-your-mind fla­vor your fam­i­ly will love! My meat­balls are the secret.   Your fam­i­ly will love this excel­lent meat­ball soup and you’re going to love how easy it is to prepare!


Units Scale
  • 1 lb car­rots, minced
  • 6 stalks cel­ery, minced
  • 2 lg (or 3 medi­um) onions, minced
  • 8 cups beef stock
  • 1 (14.5 to 18.3 oz) can/jar toma­toes; whole peeled crushed by hand as you add them or petite diced
  • 3 (8 oz) cans toma­to sauce
  • 1 Table­spoon home­made Beef Bouil­lon Pow­der or 1 Table­spoon beef base
  • 1 Table­spoon minced garlic
  • 1 Table­spoon Ital­ian seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tea­spoon salt
  • 1 tea­spoon black pepper
  • 22 1/2 lbs frozen meat­balls (at least 30) from my recipe (Buy a bag of frozen if you for­got to make these.)
  • 1 lb small pas­ta (I use dital­i­ni, but small shells would also work)
  • option­al: 1 or 2 cups of chopped kale to stir into the indi­vid­ual bowls of those who like it


  1. Mince/grind the car­rots, cel­ery and onion in the *food proces­sor (or by hand, if preferred).
  2. Put minced veg­gies in the bot­tom of a large stock pot or dutch oven.
  3. Add toma­toes, toma­to sauce, bay leaf, Ital­ian sea­son­ing, salt and pepper.
  4. Add beef broth.
  5. Bring to a boil over high heat.  After the mix­ture begins boil­ing, reduce the heat to medi­um and allow to sim­mer for 30 minutes.
  6. After 30 min­utes add the meat­balls. Stir to sep­a­rate and then allow to con­tin­ue heat­ing through for 15 minutes.
  7. Stir in the pas­ta and allow to con­tin­ue cook­ing until pas­ta is cooked to al dente.  Stir fre­quent­ly to pre­vent the pas­ta from stick­ing to the bot­tom of the pan and scorching.
  8. Serve warm with crusty bread and a big green salad. 


I LOVE chopped kale stirred into a bowl of this stew.  But, some of my fam­i­ly mem­bers are not real­ly fans.  So, I chop it and set it along­side the soup pot.  Those that want it can stir it into their bowl as they ladle it in.  The kale will warm and soft­en quick­ly right in the bowl.

  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 45 min
  • Cat­e­go­ry: Soup, Stew
  • Cui­sine: Ital­ian

More Soup Recipes

Jalapeno Chicken and Corn Chowder

jalapeno chicken and corn chowder

16 thoughts on “Best Meatball Stew Recipe | Hearty, Delicious Comfort Food”

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating