Meatball Stew is a quicker and easier version of the classic. It’s thick, saucy, hearty, and perfect for cold, cozy nights.  

It costs approximately $9.53 to make this stew. The recipe serves up to six for about $1.58 per serving. 

I like to dip this Sour Cream Cornbread into my bowl of stew!

The Meatball Stew in blue bowls with cornbread.

This Meatball Stew is a hearty meal packed with veggies that will warm you up! The recipe is a twist on a classic stew recipe, with the meatballs being the show’s star. The meatballs combined with the vegetables in a rich tomato sauce are hard to beat. 

Make this hearty and filling meal on a cold and busy weeknight or when you want to cozy up and stay home on the weekend. Meatball Stew will quickly become a favorite recipe to help you through the winter blues.

Ingredients and Estimated Cost

Per Serving Cost: $1.58

Recipe Cost: $9.53

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil – $0.22
  • 12 ounce frozen meatballs – $3.10
  • 1 medium yellow onion – $0.62
  • 2 cups carrots – $0.56
  • 3 ribs celery – $0.54
  • 3 russet potatoes – $1.44
  • 10.75 oz can tomato soup – $1.29
  • 4 cups beef broth – $1.32
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves – $0.17
  • 1 bay leaf – $0.03
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes – $0.18
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch – $0.06
  • ¼ cup water – $0.00

NOTE: The recipe prices are calculated by using grocery store websites. The recipe cost is calculated by the amounts needed for the recipe. The actual cost of the recipe will vary depending on what ingredients you already have. I updated the pricing for this recipe in February 2023.

All of the ingredients needed to make this recipe.

How To Make Meatball Stew

***For complete recipe instructions, see the recipe card below.

  1. First, using a large dutch oven or pot, pour in the oil and heat it over medium heat.
  2. Then, brown the meatballs. Set them on a plate. 
  3. Next, saute the onions, carrots, and celery until they are soft.
  4. Add in the potatoes, tomato soup, broth, thyme, bay leaf, and bouillon. 
  5. Bring the stew to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. 
  6. Then, stir in the meatballs and cover the pot with a lid. Cook for an additional fifteen to twenty minutes.
  7. Add cornstarch and water to a jar and secure the lid before shaking to combine. Stir this into the stew and heat until thickened. 
  8. Ladle into bowls and serve.

A picture collage showing how to make this recipe.

Recipe Variations

  • Instead of frozen meatballs, you can use homemade meatballs.
  • Instead of bouillon cubes, you can use bouillon granules.

Storage Tips

SERVE: You can keep the stew out for no longer than two hours before it needs to be covered and stored in the refrigerator.

STORE: Place in an airtight container and store for up to four days in the refrigerator.

FREEZE: Once cooled, place in a freezer-safe container or storage bag. Freeze for 5-6 months.

THAW: Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

REHEAT: Reheat in a pot or saucepan on the stovetop until heated through.

Recipe FAQs

What is the secret to good stew?

Using frozen meatballs instead of stew meat allows you to cook the stew quicker than a traditional recipe. But be sure to let the stew simmer to make the vegetables tender, and the sauce thickens. That’s when the magic happens!

How do you thicken meatball stew?

The recipe calls for mixing cornstarch and water into the stew. Follow these steps to help thicken the sauce before serving.

Is it better to thicken stew with flour or cornstarch?

Cornstarch has twice the thickening power as flour, so I prefer cornstarch when thickening the stew at the end of the cooking process.

An overhead picture of the finished Meatball Stew Recipe in a have-bottomed pot.

More Soups

The finished recipe for meatball stew be ladled out of the pot.
5 from 3 votes

Meatball Stew

Recipe Cost $ $9.53
Serving Cost $ $1.58
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
6 people
Meatball Stew is a quicker and easier version of the classic. It’s thick, saucy, and hearty and perfect for cold cozy nights.


  • Dutch oven
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • Liquid measuring spoon
  • ladle
  • mixing spoon
  • chef's knife
  • cutting board


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 oz frozen meatballs
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped finely
  • 2 cups 3-4 large carrots, cleaned and sliced into 1 ½ inch chunks
  • 3 ribs celery cleaned and cut into 1 ½ inch chunks
  • 3 russet potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 10.75 oz can tomato soup
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes or 2 teaspoons bouillon granules
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ cup water



  • In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil over medium heat.
  • Brown meatballs, and remove onto plate or bowl.
  • Saute onions, carrots, and celery until soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Add potatoes, tomato soup, beef broth, thyme, bay leaf, and bouillon.
  • Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to simmer.
  • Stir in meatballs.
  • Cover with lid and continue cooking for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the meatballs register 160 degrees F.
  • In a jar with a lid, add cornstarch and water.
  • Shake to combine well.
  • Stir into stew and heat until thickened, about 5 minutes.


  • Serve immediately with a garnish of parsley, if you like, crusty bread or cornbread.


Calories: 357kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 1176mg | Potassium: 1155mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 7358IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 2mg

did you love this recipe?

Share it with me on Facebook and find more recipes on foodfolksandfun for more!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. Sara Welch says:

    Served this for dinner last night and it was a savory success! Hearty and delicious; my kind of comfort food, indeed!

  2. One of the most comforting stews I have ever seen! Fantastic recipe that I can’t wait to try.

  3. I cannot wait to try this meatball stew! I have some homemade frozen meatballs that I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with, and this recipe looks so delicious and easy.