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Crock Pot or Instant Pot Cheesy Meatball Soup [+Video]

12 Reviews

A creamy soup is turned into a crock pot or instant pot cheesy meatball soup with just a few pantry staple ingredients like carrots, potatoes, garlic, and corn, then add the cheese!

a slow cooker full of cheesy, creamy soup with meatballs, carrots, potatoes and celery

It got way too cold way too fast this year in Utah. 

What’s your weather like where you are? Can you tap comments and let us know? It’s always so fun to see where everyone is and what the weather is like. 

Usually I love the fall, and I still loved the changing colors but getting cold as early as it did usually means for a longer, harsher winter and I’m not a fan of that at all. 

This year we are making sure we are on top of slow cooker and instant pot meals in case you’re freezing and not feeling like slaving over a stove like we are.

I’m going to include instructions for cooking this on the stove top as well.

a slow cooker full of cheesy, creamy soup with meatballs, carrots, potatoes and celery

How to Make Crock Pot or Instant Pot Cheesy Meatball Soup

While you can totally just dump this all in a crock pot and wait 8 hours to build the right texture and flavor it’s not the way I do it. 

I know, you don’t want to dirty another pan, but it’s quick and easy and the flavor will be worth it. 

  1. Heat a dutch oven or  large skillet over medium high heat and add the butter. Once it’s melted add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally until tender, about 5 minutes. 
  2. Add the carrots, celery and garlic and cook for another 3 minutes. 
  3. Throw in your frozen meatballs (unless you really want to go through the work of cooking homemade) just to get all of that flavor browning on them. 
  4. Dump everything but the cornstarch and cheese into a slow cooker and put it on low for 6 hours or high for 3. 

a metal bowl full of cheesy meatball soup with potatoes and carrots and sliced white bread behind it

Slow Cooker Soup versus Instant Pot Soup

A slow cooker will allow more flavors to come out and the soup to be a little thicker. 

Instant pots collect more steam and therefore water so you could end up with more liquid than you wanted. 

If you make this soup make sure you try our instant pot chicken noodle soup. Our 13 year old is OBSESSED.

Also, if you go with the Instant Pot, add the milk in the last step (step 3 in the instruction). Adding milk before the pressure cooking can result in curdled milk.

Why Meatballs?

Meatballs make this cheesy soup a little more hearty and on a cold day that’s been busy with errands it’s kind of nice to get something more substantial in your soup. 

Plus, the flavor and texture not only gives you something to bite while eating but it also brings more to the soup than just a plain, no seasonings added meat. 

Can you Use Ground Beef or Stew Meat?

If you don’t have meatballs on hand you can cook up ground beef in a pan or use stew meat. 

Because neither come flavored I’d add:

  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

 

a slow cooker full of cheesy, creamy soup with meatballs, carrots, potatoes and celery

Can Cheesy Soup Be Frozen?

This is a really good soup to freeze because you can just wait to add the cornstarch and cheese. 

Wait for the soup to cool, add the soup to a freezer container or bag and freeze for up to 1 month. 

How to Reheat Frozen Soup

Reheating frozen soup is not just dumping it in a hot pan. 

Instead, put the soup in the fridge or put the bag in a bowl of regular water-not hot or cold. Allow it to defrost and then reheat on the stove.

Bring to a soft boil and add the cheese at this point.

Is It Okay To Put Raw Meatballs In Soup?

Surprisingly enough you can totally add raw meatballs to a soup. But that’s usually for a stove top method as you get the soup hot and boiling and drop in the meatballs. 

For a crock pot or instant pot soup I’d brown the meatballs in a pan on the stove first. 

a metal bowl full of cheesy meatball soup with potatoes and carrots and sliced white bread behind it

How Long Will Soup Keep?

Soup will keep for up to a week in the fridge or up to a month in the freezer. 

How Do You Get Onion Smell Off Your Hands?

Ugh, I hate when your hands smell like onions and garlic all day and night. 

Wet your hands with water and rub your hands all over a stainless steel sink faucet and the smell will go away. Or you can buy this stainless steel odor absorber that’s shaped like a bar of soap. It’s only $8 and totally worth it. 

a slow cooker full of cheesy, creamy soup with meatballs, carrots, potatoes and celery

How to Cook Cheesy Soup in the Instant Pot

  1. Turn the instant pot to saute and follow the beginning directions right in the instant pot. 
  2. Push cancel.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients (except the milk and cream) and reset the instant pot to high pressure for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the lid and turn the valve to seal. 
  5. Allow a 10 minute natural release and then push cancel. 
  6. Press the saute on more mode again and once boiling stir in the cornstarch, milk (or cream) and cheese. 
  7. Serve with bread!

How to Make Cheesy Meatball Soup on the Stove Top

Out of all three cooking methods, this is the method that I actually prefer, but sometimes you just need options for the slow cooker and Instant Pot. I still use those options if the schedule for the day works better with a slow cooker or the Instant Pot. To cook it on the stove top, do the following steps:

  1. In a large dutch oven, add the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the onions and cook until tender.
  2. Add the garlic, celery and carrots and cook for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the meatballs and brown them on each side.
  4. Pour in the rest of the ingredients (except the cornstarch and cheeses) and let it simmer for 30-45 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  5. Combine the cornstarch and cheeses and add just before serving stirring in until it is melted.
 

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a metal bowl full of cheesy meatball soup with potatoes and carrots and sliced white bread behind it

Cheesy Meatball Soup

3.42 from 12 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6
A creamy, cheesy soup is kicked up a notch with chunks of potatoes and carrots and big ol' meatballs for the ultimate flavor!

Ingredients

  • 1 Package Meatballs one pound package
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1/2 Onion minced
  • 1 Clove Garlic minced
  • 1 Cup Carrots sliced
  • 1 Cup Celery Diced
  • 2 Cup Beef Broth
  • 2 1/2 Cups Whole Milk or part heavy cream part milk.
  • 2 Cups Potatoes Peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Tabasco
  • 1 Cup Corn frozen
  • salt to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 2 Cups Sharp Cheese shredded
  • 2 Cups Monterey Jack Cheese shredded or Triple Cheese Blend

Instructions

  • In a large skillet, add the butter and once melted add the onions, cooking for 3-5 minutes or until tender. Add the garlic, celery, and carrots and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the meatballs, just to brown them again on each side, about 3 minutes total.
  • Pour everything into a slow cooker except the cornstarch and cheese.
  • Cook on high for three hours.
  • In a bowl, combine the cheeses and cornstarch, tossing to coat.
  • Stir the cheese and cornstarch into the pot and serve!

For the Instant Pot

  • Turn the instant pot to saute and follow the beginning directions right in the instant pot. 
  • Push cancel. Add the remaining ingredients (except the milk/cream, cornstarch and cheeses) and reset the instant pot to high pressure for 15 minutes. Add the lid and turn the valve to seal. Allow a 10 minute natural release and then push cancel.
  • Press the saute on more mode again and once boiling stir in the cornstarch and cheese. Serve with bread!

For the Stove Top

  • In a large dutch oven, add the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the onions and cook until tender.Add the meatballs and brown them on each side.
  • Add the garlic, celery and carrots and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Pour in the rest of the ingredients (except the cornstarch and cheeses) and let it simmer for 30-45 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. If I have the time, I let is simmer on the lowest possible heat all day just to let the flavors deepen.
  • Combine the cornstarch and cheeses and add just before serving stirring in until melted.

Notes

Soup can be frozen for up to 5 months. Cool completely, then freeze.
Nutrition Facts
Cheesy Meatball Soup
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 708 Calories from Fat 468
% Daily Value*
Fat 52g80%
Saturated Fat 27g169%
Cholesterol 165mg55%
Sodium 858mg37%
Potassium 734mg21%
Carbohydrates 18g6%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 41g82%
Vitamin A 2709IU54%
Vitamin C 8mg10%
Calcium 597mg60%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

a slow cooker full of cheesy, creamy soup with meatballs, carrots, potatoes and celery

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About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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Recipe Rating




9 comments

  • Haven’t tried this yet, but just a quick question. Frozen meatballs are ok to use? Sounds fantastic!

    • Reply
    • Hi Kay! Yes, absolutely!

      • Reply
  • My milk also curdled in the Instant Pot 🙁 It was still salvageable and was very tasty, but the curdled milk was sitting on top of everything when I opened the pot.

    • Reply
    • Hi Aimee! I’m so sorry for the disappointment. I was afraid this might happen for people. We haven’t ever had this happen, but it seems like every Instant Pot is a little different. I’m going to put a note in the instructions to add the milk in the last step. I’m glad you were still able to enjoy it!

      • Reply
  • I don’t recommend. This was really disappointing. I also found the milk separated from the rest, just shy of curdling. I used homemade meatballs. Even more disappointing to invest that work. I think this could work better on the stove top. I would try this again but definitely not in the slow cooker. Personally I did not love the corn. I found it overpowering. The color of mine doesn’t look anything at all like the photo. I’m not a professional cook but I am a seasoned home cooker so I don’t believe I made any missteps here.

    • Reply
    • Hi Jill! I’m so sorry for the frustration! We tried cooking on the stove top, slow cooker, and Instant Pot and never had it separate on us. I suppose it’s possible that your slow cooker cooks hotter than ours and separated it. You can definitely go with the stove top and reduce the corn! Thank you for the feedback!

      • Reply
  • I love this idea for soup! If I decided to just cook/ keep everything in a big pot on the stovetop, how long do you think it needs to cook if you’d be cooking on high for 3 hours in a crockpot?? Thanks!

    • Reply
    • Hi Laurenda! Great question! You will do the same amount of time (3 hours) on the stovetop over medium heat, maybe even medium to low. You want a gentle simmer. Enjoy!

      • Reply
  • I tried this recipe in the instant pot and the milk curdled. 😩

    • Reply

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