Spanish meatball & butter bean stew

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(69 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, questions and tips

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2nd Jan, 2018
Needed a hearty meal full of veg This hit the spot I added some chorizo and balsamic vinegar Also a fruity bread on the side Fabulous
3rd Dec, 2017
Very good. I prefer to pay a little more attention to the meatballs as they as the star of this particular show. I use lean beef, but throw in lots of oregano and grated parmesan, as well as garlic powder and a generous amount of seasoning. I also prefer to use egg to bind them, refrigerate them and then cook them in the oven at 220 degrees c for about half an hour before adding them to the sauce. As for the sauce, a little red wine is always welcome. Some chilli might also be a nice touch but I haven't tried it yet. It definitely needs that sugar. I wonder what a small slab of dark chocolate might taste like!
22nd Sep, 2017
I use half pork half beef mince, add olives and serve with garlic bread or rice
spottycups's picture
12th Jul, 2017
Really easy and really tasty! It needed a goo long simmer to thicken up a bit but that was fine. I also added a good splash of balsamic to make it a little richer plus a bit more garlic and paprika than stated and plenty of seasoning! Served up with crusty bread as suggested which was perfect but I think it would be equally good with some green veggies. Family winner!
15th Jun, 2017
Unlike the other people who have commented, I did not find it tasteless. I think my cooking times were a bit longer than the ones from the recipe as I did not follow them. I'm very satisfied with how tasty and healthy the dish was and will probably cook it again soon!
4th Jan, 2017
As said by others... bit tasteless with the original recipe. Added chorizo, olives and aubergines to it as well as a bit of vegetable stock and mixed mince with sage and onion to make the meatballs and was much better! Will definitely be making again.
28th Dec, 2016
This was wonderful. A a light and hearty dinner. I used smoked paprika instead of sweet paprika and added some cubed chorizo (fried just before adding onions) to add some more flavour. It was amazing, served with long grain rice as gluten free.
13th Dec, 2016
I never know with this one. I've done it twice now, once with pork once with turkey and it never seems quite right. Just intensely tomatoey... I feel like this idea would work with different ingredients. I think olives would add a lot to this and maybe beef instead of pork
7th Dec, 2016
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. :(
14th Nov, 2016
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.


25th Aug, 2015
Can this be adapted for a slow cooker?
25th Jun, 2015
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.
5th May, 2015
I am allergic to peppers. What would be a nice alternative in this recipe?
goodfoodteam's picture
12th May, 2015
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. 
26th Nov, 2014
How is this 4 of your 5 day?
Yorkshirejulie's picture
16th May, 2016
Onions, Peppers, Tomatoes and Beans
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.