Spanish meatball & butter bean stew

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(38 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 35 mins


Serves 3

This hearty one-pot is full of Mediterranean flavour, with pork, red onion, peppers and smoked paprika - an impressive 4 of your 5 a day

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Gluten-free

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal435
  • fat15g
  • saturates5g
  • carbs35g
  • sugars22g
  • fibre12g
  • protein33g
  • salt1.3g
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  • 350g lean pork mince
  • 2 tsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 2 peppers, sliced, any colour will do



    Also known as capsicums, bell peppers, sweet peppers or by their colours, for example red and…

  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 400g can butter beans, drained
  • 2 tsp golden caster sugar
  • small bunch parsley, chopped



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

  • crusty bread, to serve (optional)


  1. Season the pork, working the seasoning in with your hands, then shape into small meatballs. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the meatballs and cook for 5 mins, until golden brown all over. Push to one side of the pan and add the onion and peppers. Cook for a further 5 mins, stirring now and then, until the veg has softened, then stir in the garlic and paprika. Stir everything around in the pan for 1 min, then add the tomatoes. Cover with a lid and simmer for 10 mins.

  2. Uncover, stir in the beans, the sugar and some seasoning, then simmer for a further 10 mins, uncovered. Just before serving, stir in the parsley. Serve with crusty bread for dunking, if you like.

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Comments (36)

lozdexter's picture

Not impressed. Followed suggestions to make meatballs nicer and ended up with loose mince - the balls completely fell apart! Should have known better I suppose but worth noting that it's probably best to use a separate tried and tested meatball recipe then incorporate. :(

Djpolluk's picture

This is a great and easy dish to make and tastes amazing.
I beefed up the meatballs by frying chopped onion (you can use shallots too) with crushed garlic, paprika and sherry, and mixing this with the pork mince and some breadcrumbs and eggs (and seasoning of course) - seems better than just frying balls of pork mince!
I omitted the butter beans as I didn't have, and used baked beans instead (rinse off the tomato sauce before adding), as well as a handful of broad beans. Aubergines also work really well with this dish if you want a vegetarian alternative or to pack in more veg.

jacksoma's picture

Love this, very tasty. When making the meatballs I added finely diced onion, mixed herbs and grated parmesan cheese to the mix, to give the meat balls more flavour. Only used one tin of tomatoes and it was adequate.

MrsLemons's picture

We love this! It's such an easy and comforting meal. Have made it several times and always add a bit of red wine to it for some more depth in flavor.

Hb81's picture

This was lovely, although I did change it a little. Just one tin of tomatoes, because I thought 2 would drown out the flavours, cannellini beans instead of butterbeans, and a pinch of fennel seeds. Will definitely make again.

sozzle79's picture

The little one liked it but we found it horrible. This may be because I used dried beans and should have allowed longer to cook them. Doh. Even so the sauce tasted nice to begun with but by the end we both agreed it wasn't that nice.

Norma. mackey's picture

So easy! So delicious! Kids devoured it ....will become a regular favourite in our house with the children and adults alike!

little_lady's picture

Delicious and a winner in our house. I used beef instead or pork as it's cheaper, and added the paprika and herbs to the meat to flavour before cooking.

little_lady's picture

Delicious and a winner in our house. I used beef as it's cheaper than pork, and seasoned the meat with the paprika, etc, as it helped to flavour the meatballs before cooking.

whats4t's picture

Rumacooper. . .why would you add prawns to a meatball dish!!

Yorkshirejulie's picture

Pretty sure there is no prawns in the recipe

Yanstonlass's picture

Very tasty and filling mid week meal, very easy to make, added to the list of favourites

martus's picture

So delicious and so healthy! Doesn't need added sugar at all.
Goes very well with rice, mash or chips - depending on what you're in a mood for.

midnightstud's picture

Wont let me rate recipe, but Id give 4 out of 5!

Added cumin and olived as suggested in the comments and used chickpeas instead of butterbeans as I didnt have any.

I really liked this, made it as a 'bolognase' as Im too lazy for meatballs! So I only used 200g of chickpeas and served with spaghetti. Ill definately do this again as its great as it is but also has loads of scope for tweaking :-)

satch22's picture

Add 1/2 a glass of red wine to the sauce to give it a bit of depth....

jeanius's picture

Absolutely delicious. Needs more meatballs but this was a good wholesome, tasty meal.

abroekman's picture

Other than using half & half instead of pork mince, followed the recipe to the letter. Bursting with flavor, absolute winner. As we had a gluten free diner served with mash (tried 5 bakers, no GF bread), worked fine, too.

rumercooper's picture

Tried this tonight but added a bit of Soy, some favour veggies, prawns and had it with rice. It was delicious. Great share, now one of my favourite dinners!!

amyla85's picture

Made as per recipe - needs something extra - not enough depth of flavour/umami - salt alone doesn't fix this. Note some have added anchovies - this would have helped, ditto Olives. Think I would try adding rosemary, woustershire sauce, or seaweed if I had it! Like the idea of adding veggies which need using up also - courgettes would be yummy. OK but needs tweaks.

rumercooper's picture

I used vegetables (baby corns, Broccoli, green beans) and added Soy Sauce, and prawns, it added a lot of depth to the flavour if that's something you'd give a try :)


Questions (6)

smp123's picture

Can this be adapted for a slow cooker?

crookestia's picture

I really don't like any kind of beans. What would be a good alternative? or would it still taste as good without. Thank you.

Nikcola's picture

I am allergic to peppers. What would be a nice alternative in this recipe?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi Nikcola, we haven't tested this recipe using alternative ingredients so cannot guarantee perfect results, however you could try with courgettes or sliced aubergines. Perhaps leave out the smoked paprika too and try a teaspoon of ground cumin instead. Let us know how it turns out. 

Michelepat's picture

How is this 4 of your 5 day?

Yorkshirejulie's picture

Onions, Peppers, Tomatoes and Beans

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