It all started with my Mama's gumbo recipe!

Comforting Cajun Meatball Stew

Comforting Cajun Meatball Stew

If you’re looking for a satisfying meal to feed your family, I highly recommend this Cajun-Style Meatball Stew. These moist and tender meatballs cooked in a dark, rich gravy is another one of those creative meals birthed from necessity.

Pot of Comforting Cajun Meatball Stew.

Like most farmer families in south Louisiana, we grew our own beef and enjoyed a regular helping of rice and gravy. So what’s a Mama to do to feed her hungry family when the freezer was out of roast and steak? She found a way to make a tasty stew using the abundance of ground meat left from the last butchering.

Raw meatballs, and vegetables prepped for Comforting Cajun Meatball Stew on white board.

This is one of my favorite comfort foods. It meets all of the criteria for satisfying hunger with endearing thoughts of Mama’s cooking.

Comfort Food Defined

A classic definition and article about these particular kinds of edibles are found here at It says that “Comfort foods are staples for anyone wanting a hearty meal and a little taste of home.” I agree, but I didn’t see meatball stew in any of the 101 recipes listed in the article. How could they have missed it?

So let me introduce to this oh-so-satisfying, stick to your ribs dish from home.

First Step

Since it’s a Cajun Meatball Stew, you may have guessed that “first, we make a roux!” Well, you’re right, but this time we’ll make a smaller one than we would for a gumbo. For more instructions, you can go to A Roux Lesson, where I explain just how easy browning flour in oil is.



A pot of dark roux and vegetables with beef stock poured into it for Comforting Cajun Meatball Stew.

After cooking some onions, celery, and garlic in the roux, we pour in some beef stock and let this simmer while making the meatballs.

Ground meat with raw egg, seasonings, and breadcrumbs in green bowl for Comforting Cajun Meatball Stew.

Rectangular dish of raw meatballs for Comforting Cajun Meatball Stew.
The secret to tender, moist meatballs is rolling them loosely in your hands. It really makes all the difference in the rolled!

Now, we add the meatballs to the gravy and simmer some more.

Pot of meatballs in gravy of Comforting Cajun Meatball Stew

Then we add some carrots and potatoes. What more does a beef stew need?

Looks comforting, doesn’t it?


Cajun Meatball Stew

Pot of Comforting Cajun Meatball Stew.

A satisfying Cajun-Style Meatball Stew of moist and tender, meaty meatballs cooked in a dark, rich gravy surrounded by diced carrots and potatoes. Serve them over rice and this meal will meet all of the criteria of classic southern comfort food.

  • Author: Louisiana Woman
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour and 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Cajun


Roux and Gravy

3 tablespoons oil

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup onion, chopped

1 cup celery, chopped

3 cloves garlic, pressed

4 cups beef stock


1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic granules

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped

3/4 cup soft bread crumbs


1 cup sliced carrots

2 cups diced potatoes

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup onion tops, sliced


Roux and Gravy

Pour oil into large heavy pot and heat then add flour and brown until it is the color of cocoa.

Add onions and celery and cook for 10 minutes then add garlic and stir for a minute.

Pour beef stock into the roux and simmer on medium-low heat for half an hour.


While gravy is simmering, add all of the ingredients for the meatballs int a bowl and mix by hand then loosely form them into 2-inch meatballs, this makes a tender and moist meatball.

After gravy has simmered for 30 minutes add the meatballs and let them cook for 5 minutes then turn meatballs over.

Simmer for another 10 minutes then add carrots and potatoes cooking them until they are tender, about 20 minutes.

Serve over a bed of hot cooked rice and garnish with extra sliced green onions.


Ground venison or chicken may be substituted for ground beef.


  • Serving Size: 1 1/3 cup

Keywords: Cajun Meatball Stew

white plate of cajun meatball stew

So now you know why this is one of my favorites of comfort foods. It’s full of flavor, very satisfying, and makes me think of home. I hope you give this recipe a try and let me know how it turns out. Your family will thank you and bless you for making them comforting memories of home.

A God wise enough to make me and the world I live in is wise enough to take care of me.   

Philip Yancey



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