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meatball stew in pan with crusty bread on edge 4
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4.72 from 7 votes

Meatball Stew

A lighter but still hearty Meatball Stew hits the 'comfort food'  and 'healthy' spot with lots of veggies and tender chicken meatballs in a herby sauce. Only 30 minutes. 
Prep Time12 mins
Cook Time18 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: main, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings (change as needed): 4

Ingredients

  • 2 carrots, peeled, diced
  • 2 celery ribs, washed, diced
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, cored, seeded, diced
  • 1 large potato, diced
  • 2 tablespoon butter or oil
  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • OPTIONAL: 2-4 tablespoons half and half cream (to add later)
  • 2-3 cups baby spinach (add last)

Seasonings/Aromatics for Sauce

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Chicken Meatballs (about 20 2-inch) Note 1

  • 1 1/2 pounds minced chicken (white or dark) I use dark - juicier and more flavorful)
  • 2 slices bread, torn into tiny pieces (about 1/3 cup breadcrumbs)
  • 3 tablespoon milk (broth or water can be substituted)
  • 1/2 tablespoon grated onion (or 1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1/3 cup parsley, finely chopped (or 1 tbsp dried)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper, or more to taste.

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 425F if making Two Kooks chicken meatballs Otherwise use any cooked meatballs.
  • MAKE VEGETABLES AND SAUCE: Heat oil in skillet or large saucepan to medium high. Add diced vegetables and saute for 4 minutes. Add flour and stir to combine. Lower heat to medium and cook another 3 minutes, stirring. Stir in broth. Bring to boil then cover and lower heat to medium low. Simmer vegetables for 10-12 minutes or until tender and easily pierced with a knife. Broth will be thickened.
  • MAKE CHICKEN MEATBALLS: While vegetables are simmering, make meatballs. Line a large baking pan with parchment or foil sprayed with oil. In a medium bowl, add bread and milk. Let soak for a minute until liquid is absorbed. Add grated onion, ketchup, garlic powder, parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Mix together. Add minced chicken and lightly mix all ingredients together (don't over mix). Mixture will be very moist. Wet your hands (do this periodically) and form into meatballs about 2 inches in size. (I don't worry about them being perfectly round). Place on pan and bake for 13-15 minutes or until cooked through.
  • FINISH STEW: Add spinach (roughly chopped if desired, but not necessary) to vegetables and sauce. Stir until wilted about 30 seconds. Add splash of cream if using. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add more broth if too thick. Stir in meatballs and cook for a few minutes to heat through. Ladle into bowls or plates and serve with crusty bread or warm biscuits.

Notes

  1. Meatball shortcut: Use frozen meatballs heated according to package directions. Or meatballs previously made and thawed. Bake as per recipe. 
  2. Make Ahead: You can make the meatballs a day or two ahead (including cooking them), then finish the stew on another night. Or, make the entire recipe a day or two before and reheat it on the stove or in the microwave. You may need to thin out the sauce a bit with some extra broth or water. 
 
Nutrition value estimates do not include adding optional cream at the end. 
Calories: 456kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 162mg | Sodium: 962mg | Potassium: 1667mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 8780IU | Vitamin C: 61mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 6mg