Hobo Meatball Stew

There is something about this recipe that keeps me coming back to it. It is most definitely nothing fancy, as I would not serve it to guests, but it is definitely kid friendly. What kid wouldn't eat veggies smothered in ketchup? I usually make this when my husband is gone for work travel and it's just me and the boys. I'm not going to make a big elaborate meal for 2 1/2 people. This gets the job done, though. Meatballs and vegetables in a simple sauce. I serve it with some applesauce and bread. The boys are happy with full bellies, which makes me happy.

I save more time by buying pre-made (uncooked) meatballs. Then I just throw them in the slow cooker with with the veggies and sauce. Give the stuff a stir a couple of times throughout the cooking time, so that everything gets down into the sauce and cooks evenly.

Hobo Meatball Stew

Serves 4


  • 1 pound (450 g) ground beef
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 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 (120 mL) ketchup
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL) water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil


In a bowl, combine beef, 1 tsp. of salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper; mix well. Shape into 1 inch balls. In a skillet over medium heat, brown meatballs on all sides; drain.

Place carrots, potatoes, and onions in a slow cooker; top with meatballs. Combine the ketchup, water, vinegar, basil and remaining salt and pepper; pour over meatballs.

Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or until vegetables are tender.

From Taste of Home cookbook 2000

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