Food & nutrition

Slow-cooked Beef Meatball Stew

Tasty meatballs simmered in a rich tomato sauce are ideal for a weekend supper or family lunch.






Weight Watches Recipe

Serves up to 4
Preparation time 20 minutes
Cooking time 1 hour


For the meatballs
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) extra lean beef mince
50 g (1¾ oz) breadcrumbs, made from calorie controlled brown bread
½ onion, grated
1 small carrot, grated
1 small courgette, grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon each dried oregano and dried thyme
1 egg, lightly beaten
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the tomato sauce
calorie controlled cooking spray
1 onion, chopped finely
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, plus extra to garnish
2 x 400 g cans chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato purée

To serve
240 g (8½ oz) dried wholewheat spaghetti or pasta shapes, cooked according to the packet instructions

Slow cooked beef meatball stew


  1. Put all the ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl. Season well and, using your hands, mix everything together thoroughly. Shape the mixture into 20 balls about the size of a walnut. Put them on a plate as you make them, and set aside while you prepare the sauce.
  2. Spray a medium lidded saucepan with the cooking spray. Add the onion and cook for 5–7 minutes over a medium heat until softened. Stir in the garlic before adding the basil, tomatoes and tomato purée. Simmer the sauce while you brown the meatballs.
  3. Spray a non-stick frying pan with the cooking spray and heat over a medium-high heat. Add the meatballs in batches and cook until browned, turning often. As they brown, add them to the tomato sauce. Once all the meatballs are in the sauce, bring it to the boil, cover and simmer for 1 hour until the meatballs are tender and the sauce is thick. Season to taste. Serve with wholemeal spaghetti or wholemeal pasta shapes, garnished with more fresh basil.

Cook’s tips

Add some grated Parmesan using SmartPoints® values from your weekly allowance. You could also try making these meatballs with turkey breast mince, or half extra lean beef mince and half extra lean pork mince.


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