I love this recipe for Italian Meatball Stew over Smashed Potatoes. I haven’t had it in a few years, but this is one that my mom made regularly in the slow cooker. I decided to switch things up and use meatballs instead of chicken Italian sausage after spotting meatballs when doing a last-ditch quarantine preparedness run at Wegman’s. (Let me just interject that their prepared beef meatballs are mini and cute and delicious.) I made the potatoes extra creamy using mascarpone instead of EVOO. Using an Instant Pot allows for a much faster simmer compared to a stovetop or a slow cooker. This is quite aromatic and your kitchen will smell amazing during while cooking this stew, only adding to its maximum comfort level during this crazy self-quarantining and social distancing time. If you’re feeling industrious, trying making bread to pair!
Ingredients (serves 4 + leftover potatoes).
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 2 t light olive oil
- 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
- 2 T tomato paste
- 12 oz beef meatballs, cooked *
- 1.5 lbs (24 oz) baby red potatoes, scrubbed
- 5.5 c (~4 oz) baby kale
- 1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
- 1 T mascarpone (optional — omit if dairy-free)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 c pumpkin purée
* NOTE: you can use 4 links of chicken Italian sausage and prep depending on preference, i.e. whole, quartered, or sliced.
- In an Instant Pot, select “Sauté,” add oil, garlic, and onions. Sauté until sizzling and browning. Turn off “Sauté” mode.
- Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, and meatballs and mix well. Add potatoes, and top with kale.
- Secure lid, seal, and set to “Pressure Cook” for 8 min.
- Allow the steam to naturally release for 10 min. If the float valve is still up, carefully vent and release steam manually.
- Carefully remove potatoes and transfer to a large bowl. Smash potatoes and fold in almond milk and mascarpone (optional). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Stir in pumpkin purée to the tomato mixture to thicken.
- Dish up roughly 1 c smashed potatoes and serve with 1½ c of the kale, meatballs, and tomato sauce or enough to divide stew between four servings.
- Note: I had about 1 c or more of potatoes leftover. Feel free to evenly divide potatoes between four servings as well.
If using a slow cooker, start at Step 2, combine all ingredients in a slow cooker for 4-5 hrs on low or 2-3 hrs on high. Still follow Step 5 to smash potatoes and serve.
Adapted from my mom’s slow cooker recipe for “Sausage and Kale Stew with Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes.”
Nutrition for 1 serving (with meatballs and mascarpone. Also includes all of the potatoes + leftovers).
384 calories • 13.8 g fat (33%) • 51.3 g carbs (55%) • 10.6 g protein (12%) • 9.3 g fiber • 18.8 g sugar • 479 mg sodium
* These are estimates based off specific products I used and how I entered ingredients in a fitness tracker. This is completely subjective and used to give a rough nutritional estimate.