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Crockpot meatball stew in a bowl.
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Slow Cooker Meatball Stew

This hearty slow cooker meatball stew is a delicious and wholesome meal you can make with minimal effort. Leave it to cook all day, and come home to finished dinner in the afternoon.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time6 hours
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: British
Keyword: butter beans, carrots, meatball stew, peppers, slow cooker
Servings: 4
Calories: 842kcal
Author: Tonje
Cost: Cheap



  • 1 kg beef and pork meatballs
  • 400 g canned butter beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 400 g carrots
  • 400 ml diced tomatoes (400g/14oz)
  • 2 peppers
  • 2 red onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 300 ml beef stock
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper


  • First, prepare the meatballs. If you use raw meatballs, you want to warm some oil in a frying pan and cook the meatballs until they have browned on all sides. This helps the meatballs keep their shape while they cook, and give them a better flavor.
  • Add the meatballs to the slow cooker. In the same frying pan, add finely diced onions and garlic. Sautee them for a few minutes until the onions have softened, then add these to the slow cooker.
  • Then, add all the other ingredients to the slow cooker, place the lid on top and cook on high for 4-6 hour or on low for 6-8 hours. Don’t remove the lid while the stew cooks, as this will disturb the slow cooking process.



Can you make this without meatballs? – Absolutely. Feel free to substitute chunks or meat or sausages for the meatballs, or use turkey meatballs or vegetarian meatball alternatives instead.
Is this recipe allergy friendly? – Make sure to check the nutrition labels on your ingredients. This recipe is generally soy free, dairy free and nut free.
Can I use other vegetables? – Yes! Feel free to use whichever vegetables you prefer. Potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, cauliflower and green beans are excellent options.
Can I use frozen meatballs? – Some people add frozen meatballs directly to the slow cooker. Slow cookers are not made to cook frozen meat, and doing so is at your own risk. If you have frozen meatballs I highly recommend thawing them before use.


Leftover slow cooked meatball stew can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 6 months. Reheat the stew in a pot or microwave and serve the leftovers warm.

Top tips

My best advice on how to get this recipe absolutely perfect:
  • Although you can technically add the meatballs to the slow cooker raw, I highly recommend that you brown them first. This will make them taste a lot better, and help their shape hold up while the stew cooks.
  • Also, while you’re at it, allow a minute to sautee the onions in a pan before adding them to the stew. They will start caramelizing and taste fantastic.
  • Stew is the perfect “add wanything” dish. Make sure to throw in any vegetables you have at the back of your fridge, even leftover cooked veggies.
  • Like spice? Add a teaspoon of chili powder. Want a mild stew? Ditch the chili altogether.


Calories: 842kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 52g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 180mg | Sodium: 1289mg | Potassium: 1769mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 17138IU | Vitamin C: 72mg | Calcium: 152mg | Iron: 6mg