Warm up to a big bowl of this hearty and delicious Crock-Pot Meatball Beef Stew. This slow cooker recipe features tender meatballs simmered all day in a mouthwatering sauce with carrots, potatoes and onions.
Crock-Pot Meatball Beef Stew
This recipe came about because I had a hankering for a bowl of beef stew but my kids were turning up their noses at that idea for dinner. Not that they don’t like beef stew when I make it, just that they were just not feeling it on that particular day I guess.
So I was rifling through the freezer trying to come up with something for dinner and came across a bag of frozen meatballs that I had purchased about a month ago when they were on sale and I had a coupon. I think I paid like $2.00 for them (my “day job” is running a coupon website)
Now normally my kids are all over meatballs. I think there is just something about the fun rolly-polly shape that makes them appealing to kids. So I thought that maybe I could combine what I wanted (beef stew) and something my kids would like (meatballs) and came up with this super yummy recipe for meatball beef stew made in the slow cooker.
Brilliant mom moment if I do say so myself.
My recipe starts out with a bag of frozen meatballs (I like the Farm Rich brand myself). But if you want to make your own pre-cooked frozen meatballs…by all means please do.
I am a busy mother of 5 kids (plus 2 grandsons living at home at the moment too) and that means sometimes I do reach for the convenience of frozen meatballs.
You do what you gotta do sometimes.
Then you add in potatoes, carrots, onion and garlic.
You could add in some diced celery too if that floats your boat. Our family does not like cooked celery so I did not use it, but I understand that celery is a pretty common ingredient in stew.
Again, not my thing!
Then you add in some spices. I really just kind of winged it here. Bay Leaves, oregano, rosemary, black Pepper and a pinch of salt.
Poured in some low-sodium beef broth (I used store bought, but you can of course use homemade).
Then to thicken it up I made a slurry out of some flour and water and poured that in. And turned it on to cook.
I let it cook for a while and took a taste test (don’t worry the meatballs are already cooked so no worries about sipping raw meat broth) and just felt something was missing.
I so started ransacking the pantry and spice cupboard. Do I add more garlic? More onion? More spices? Different spices?
And then I spotted it, way back in spice cupboard. A box of onion soup mix. Hidden behind the cumin and dried out vanilla beans (I really should figure out a recipe that uses dried out vanilla beans!).
So, I tossed that envelope of onion soup mix and hoped for the best.
And when it was done, and my oldest daughters FINALLY got home from the store with my rolls to serve it with (it was allowance day…they were off looking at cheap jewelry and new winter scarves despite my telling them that I needed rolls in a hurry so we could feed the hungry wild beasts little kids.
So once we dished up the meatball stew and got everyone settled in with rolls and spoons. We sat down to eat and the word around the table was…
“Oh mom, this is so good”
“You gotta make this again mom”
“Parker is feeding his carrots to the dogs!”
“Dis is nummy gama”
“Hey, babe, we need to make this again!”
“Parker…you got dishes tonight…if you don’t stop feeding the dogs your carrots…”
I hope you enjoy this crock pot dinner recipe as much as my crew did. The dogs loved the carrots. 🙂
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