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5 from 2 votes

Slow Cooker Italian Meatball Stew

This slow cooker Italian meatball stew recipe is so quick and easy. Packed with Italian flavor from the homemade meatballs and hearty stew broth, and vegetables, it's as healthy as it is delicious!
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Keyword italian meatballs, slow cooker italian meatball stew, slow cooker meatballs
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
0 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings 6 cups
Calories 206kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


For the Meatballs:

  • 1 lb. extra lean ground beef (use at least 96% lean meat, since you will not drain the fat once it's cooked)
  • 1/3 cup Italian style seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

For the Stew:

  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced into bite-sized rounds
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef broth, plus additional (to thin to desired consistency, as needed)
  • ½ cup marinara sauce
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt such as Lawry’s
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon basil
  • 1 (10.8 ounce) package frozen Italian-style vegetables (I used Birds Eye Steamfresh Italian Blend)
  • Optional, for serving: cooked pasta or rice
  • Optional garnish: fresh parsley; fresh basil


  • Place carrots in bottom of slow cooker.
    2 carrots, peeled and sliced into bite-sized rounds
  • In a large bowl, use hands or a fork to gently combine meatball ingredients. Form meat mixture into 1-inch balls.
    1 lb. extra lean ground beef, 1/3 cup Italian style seasoned breadcrumbs, 1 egg, 2 tablespoons milk, 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, ¾ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • Place meatballs on top of carrots in the slow cooker.
  • In a separate bowl, combine tomato paste, broth, marinara, seasoned salt, oregano, and basil. Pour over meatballs.
    6 ounces tomato paste, 2 cups beef broth, plus additional (to thin to desired consistency, as needed), ½ cup marinara sauce, 1 teaspoon seasoned salt, ½ teaspoon oregano, ½ teaspoon basil
  • Cover and cook on LOW for about 4 hours or on HIGH for about 2 hours. For a thinner soup rather than a stew, add extra broth until it reaches desired consistency.
  • Steam vegetables in microwave just until crisp-tender (about 3-4 minutes). Stir vegetables into stew and serve over pasta or rice, if desired. Garnish with fresh parsley or fresh basil.
    1 (10.8 ounce) package frozen Italian-style vegetables (I used Birds Eye Steamfresh Italian Blend)


  • This recipe yields 6 cups of stew, which serves 3-4 people. If you're feeding a larger family, I recommend doubling all of the ingredients. The cooking instructions remain the same.
  • I used the Italian vegetables here, which include broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, carrots and red bell pepper. You can substitute with an equal amount of any frozen vegetables that you prefer! Cannellini beans, green beans, or baby spinach would all be great additions to beef up this already healthy stew.
  • I steam the vegetables in the microwave before adding them to the meatball stew. This allows me to control the tenderness of the vegetables and prevents overcooked, mushy veggies.
  • You can substitute ground turkey or ground chicken in place of the beef. Just make sure that whatever meat you use is at least 96% lean, since you will not be draining the meat after it's cooked. You don't want any extra grease in your stew.
  • If you don’t have time – or don’t want to make homemade meatballs, you can sub them out with frozen Italian style meatballs found at just about any grocery store.
  • This is a thick stew with minimal broth. If you want a thinner consistency so that it's more like a soup, just add extra beef broth at the end.
  • I serve my kids' stew over pasta or rice, which they love.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 206kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 1318mg | Potassium: 1032mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 4300IU | Vitamin C: 54.4mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 3.8mg