Hobo Meatball Stew {Slow Cooker Recipe}

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Hobo Meatball Stew {Slow Cooker Recipe} | Contented at Home

Welcome to the first day of Five-Star Slow Cooker Recipes, a ten-day series featuring slow cooker recipes that are simple enough for weeknight meals but delicious enough to serve company!

Today’s featured recipe is Hobo Meatball Stew, a family-pleasing meal full of beefy meatballs, potatoes, and carrots, all covered in a flavorful tomato sauce.

This meal really tastes like you spent all day cooking, but don’t worry–the slow cooker will simmer this meal all day while you’re homeschooling, running errands, or tackling that endless to-do list.

Hobo Meatball Stew

Hobo Meatball Stew

Hobo Meatball Stew


  • 8 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 8 medium carrots, cut into small chunks
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp. salt, divided
  • 1 tsp. pepper, divided
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 c. (8 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. tapioca
  • 1 tsp. dried basil


  • Place potatoes, carrots, and onion in 6-qt. slow cooker.
  • In medium mixing bowl, combine ground beef, egg, 2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Shape mixture into 1-in. balls. In large skillet, brown meatballs on all sides, adding a small amount of oil if necessary to prevent sticking. Drain if needed.
  • Place meatballs on top of vegetables in slow cooker.
  • In small mixing bowl, combine water, tomato sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, tapioca, basil, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Pour over meatballs.
  • Cover and cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours, or until vegetables are tender (OR cook on LOW for about 8 hours, or until vegetables are tender).

If you love saving time by using your slow cooker, you may want to take a minute to sign up for free email updates so you don’t miss the rest of this series! You can also follow on Facebook or Google+.

This post is part of the Autumn Hopscotch with the bloggers of iHomeschool Network.

Find more recipes at Try a New Recipe Tuesday.


  1. Judy,

    I made this stew today for my American Girl club and it was delicious! I was thrilled to find a stew that didn’t rely on stew meat.

    • I’m so glad you liked it, Megan! I think the meatballs are just as good as the typical stew meat (definitely less expensive). And it’s one of the few slow cooker recipes that doesn’t rely on canned soups, too. :-)

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