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Hobo Meatball Stew

Basic ingredients make this hearty stew a favorite at the home of Margery Bryan in Royal City, Washington. "I usually have everything on hand for this recipe, so it's simple to load up the slow cooker at noon. When I get home, dinner's ready and waiting."
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Cook: 6 hours
  • Makes
    4 servings


  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt or salt-free seasoning blend, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 4 medium carrots, cut into chunks
  • 1 large onion, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil


  • In a bowl, combine the beef, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Shape into 1-in. balls. In a skillet over medium heat, brown meatballs on all sides; drain.
  • Place the potatoes, carrots and onion in a 3-qt. slow cooker; top with meatballs. Combine the water, ketchup, vinegar, basil, and remaining salt and pepper; pour over meatballs.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until the vegetables are tender.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 402 calories, 14g fat (6g saturated fat), 75mg cholesterol, 1324mg sodium, 43g carbohydrate (11g sugars, 5g fiber), 26g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 starch, 3 lean meat, 1 vegetable.

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Average Rating:
  • Kathie
    Dec 31, 2017

    No comment left

  • Colbaltjars62
    Dec 4, 2017

    How is 1324 mg of sodium considered Low Sodium?

  • hkpepin
    Jul 11, 2016

    Used premade meatballs and 8 oz of tomato sauce rather than ketchup but otherwise followed the recipe. It was good and both my kids ate decent portions qithout complaint. It also came together very quickly so for those reasons alone, it's a keeper. But I would make some changes - maybe add some garlic, a little paprika, and some other spices. Overall, a good recipe.

  • LPHJKitchen
    Jan 7, 2016

    The sauce in this is GREAT! If you think it will taste like a beef stew sauce, it won't. The ketchup gives this a slightly sweeter sauce base but it goes great with the meatballs and vegetables. Using frozen or pre-made meatballs make this a quick recipe. The second time we made this, I used a different mix of vegetables - I used broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, okra and zucchini. I still used the same sauce and meat mixture - still great!

  • Colorado Grilling
    Oct 27, 2013

    I liked this, but the ketchup made it very sweet. Per other reviews, I also doubled the sauce but next time will probably use an 8oz can of tomato sauce instead.

  • Arainais
    May 27, 2013

    No comment left

  • Lillian03
    Nov 24, 2012

    We really liked this; however, it didn't have much liquid after cooking. I would try doubling the ketchup, water, vinegar and basil next time.

  • tom0903
    Oct 17, 2012

    No comment left

  • Mdrubel
    Feb 11, 2011

    I have made this stew several times so far. Very good, yet so easy to make.

  • geordimom
    Dec 16, 2010

    potatoes need to cook longer