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Giada's Hearty Meatball Stew

Giada's Hearty Meatball Stew

I love unplanned coincidences. Good ones, especially. It's the week of Christmas. For Christmas eve dinner with hubby's immediate family and my sister, I've made plans to cook Giada's meatball stew. I've watched how she cooks it on her show on the Food Network channel, Giada At Home.

At the same time, over here at I Heart Cooking Clubs, it's Pot Luck week and we can choose to cook anything from these chefs: Diana Henry, Nigella Lawson, Mark Bittman, Giada de Laurentiis, Jamie Oliver, Tessa Kiros, Rick Bayless, Madjur Jaffrey, Yotam Ottolenghi, Donna Hay, and Nigel Slater.

So, that's it! Without second thoughts, I cook Giada's Hearty Meatball Stew!

Recipe adapted from here. 

(Serves 6)

Note: My modifications in orange. 


1 slice white sandwich bread, torn into small pieces (I used 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs plus 1/4 cup fresh homemade breadcrumbs)
8 ounces 20-percent-fat ground beef (I used 250g)
2 sweet mild Italian sausages (I used 3 Italian chicken frankfurters, finely chopped)
1 egg
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (I used finely chopped celery)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (I used rice bran oil)
1 small onion, sliced (I used 1 medium yellow onion)
1 large (medium) red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch strips
1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch strips
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 pound large white mushrooms, quartered (I used 1 cup fresh button mushrooms)
One 8 to 10-ounce russet potato, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced into 1/3-inch slices (I used 4 small potatoes)
4 ounces green beans, trimmed, cut into 1-inch-long pieces (I used 1 cup celery, coarsely chopped)
One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained (I used fresh cherry tomatoes, cut into halves)
1 cup winter melon, cut into strips
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
1 & 1/2 cups chicken broth
(I used beef broth made from beef stock cubes)

How to: 

For the meatballs:

1. Place the breadcrumbs and 3 tablespoons water into a medium bowl. Mash to a paste with a spatula. Add beef, frankfurters, egg, celery, salt and pepper.

2. Blend the mixture thoroughly with your hands or a flexible spatula. Form the mixture into 10 to 16 meatballs (I make 24). Set aside.

For the stew:

1. Sprinkle the meatballs with flour and turn to coat with flour. Heat a non-stick deep frying pan over medium heat for 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons of rice bran oil oil. Drop the meatballs into the skillet, spaced apart. Cook until the bottoms are set and brown.

2. Turn each meatball onto an uncooked side and repeat several times until they are browned all over. Transfer the meatballs to a large plate.

3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the same frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onions, peppers, potatoes, celery, mushrooms, tomatoes, winter melon, red pepper flakes, and broth.

4. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add meatballs. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pan and cook until the potatoes are tender and the meatballs are cooked through, about 20-30 minutes.

Meatballs, ready to be cooked.

These meatballs are irresistible!

The vegetables.

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC) for this week's theme, December Pot Luck!

I'm also linking this post to Cook and Celebrate: Christmas 2014 organized by Yen from Eat your heart out, Diana from Domestic Goddess Wannabe and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.


  1. Oooh. I am drooling over meatballs. Add with mushrooms and potatoes, this dish is definitely my fav. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Will give it a try.

  2. Hi Joyce,
    Yeah these meatballs are irresistible ...this pot of Hearty Meatball Stew indeed so yummy-licious!
    Hope it's not too late to wish you & family a blessed Christmas ^-^!

  3. hi joyce, this is a lovely dish for christmas dinners. also wanna wish you merry christmas and all the best for year 2015!

  4. Giada always has such great family-friendly comfort food recipes. This looks fabulous! ;-) Hope you had a wonderful Christmas.

  5. Those meatballs certainly do look irresistible! Perfect for a family meal.
    Happy New Year!

  6. I watched this episode of Giada where she made this soup and it was definitely a contender for this week, but I then we had spaghetti and meatballs so I decided to make her quinoa and ceci soup instead. This meatball stew looks fabulous! Seems like it would be total comfort food and something the entire family would love. Great choice!

    1. Just saw your quinoa and ceci soup on your blog. Looks so yummy! Good choice during winter. It's rainy season here in Malaysia. I believe it'd be great too! :D

  7. I love seeing what you have cooked Joyce. You always manage to pleasantly surprise me!

  8. Hi Joyce,

    You must be a fan of Giada... Me too but sadly, I have not try many of her recipes yet :p


  9. Delicious bowl of stew! I love stews!
    Happy New Year!