Meatball Stew – protein packed and easy


Need a quick supper? Fix this dish and even the pickiest eaters in the house will gobble it up.

Toss a crunchy salad full of dark greens and colorful red and yellow peppers, radishes, some purple onion slices, and deep black olives. Dowse it with a splash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar…sprinkle lots of freshly cracked black pepper and kosher salt.

For the family, thickly slice a crusty baguette, rub the pieces with garlic and drizzle on some olive oil, and a sprinkling of Italian herbs. Throw it under the broiler until golden.




1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
4 ribs of celery, diced
2 tablespoons pearl barley
1/2 cup water
Two 14-ounce cans reduced-sodium beef broth
One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1/8 teaspoon cumin
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
One 16-ounce pkg. frozen OR homemade pre-cooked meatballs (Vege Version: 1 pkg Trader Joe’s vegetarian meatballs…or other brand)

In a large saucepan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery and cook until onions are transparent. Stir in barley and sauté for 1 minute. Turn heat up to medium-high. Add water, broth, tomatoes, basil, oregano, bay leaf, cumin, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduced heat to low. Allow to simmer, covered, for 40 minutes. Barley should be tender but still chewy at this point. Remove bay leaf.  Add meatballs and continue simmering for 15 minutes longer. Serve with Parmesan cheese if desired. Makes approx eight  (1 cup) servings.

Per Serving: Calories 217; Protein 13 g; Fat 11 g; Carbs 10 g; Sugar 3 g; Sodium 484 mg

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Debbie Yohman says:

    Wow, that looks good! I’ll have to make that this week especially with the cooler weather. Do you have any recipes for leftover turkey?

    1. Linda says:

      Any of my soups that use chicken would work for turkey, like the Tortilla Soup, Cheesy Chicken & Cauliflower Chowder, or White Chicken Chili. Or my Curried Chicken Salad, or Chicken Pot Pie in Crepes! YUM!

      1. Debbie Yohman says:

        Thanks, Linda!! That all sounds good! I froze a lot in different bags so I could have it on hand and ready to go.

  2. Tracey says:

    Hi Linda,
    I just recently found your site and love it!!! I would love to see more recipes for 1 or 2 servings,as I’m single.

  3. Lynne says:

    Hi Linda – I love your site. I have a question not related to the meatball stew. Have you ever tried using coconut flour for baking any of your cookies, cakes or other desserts. It is supposed to be lower in carbs – higher in fiber? I plan to do some Christmas baking this weekend. Thank you.

    1. Linda says:

      I have, but only in one recipe, so far, and it worked great.

      I haven’t subbed all of the all purpose out for coconut, but need to get in there and experiment with it.

      It is a little lower in carbs than all purpose, and a lot higher in fiber.

      Will definitely be trying it more, as I have 10 pounds of it that I just ordered on-line!

  4. Robyn Carpenter says:

    Just made the meatball stew this weekend and it was just delicious! My husband and I enjoyed it very much and plan to make it again soon. Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. Vanessa says:

    Hi Linda, ran into a post on OH and you so casually mentioned you had a recipe blog…..I am sooooo happy with these recipes..eating has been just so boring since my surgery in June. I am excited and have just done my grocery shopping and have come home with so many ingredients to make some of your great ideas here. Right now Meatball Stew is cooking..with frozen turkey meatballs…Thanks so much for putting so much into this Blog…

  6. Denise says:

    I made this meatball stew tonight. Fabulous! 😉

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