These slow cooker meatballs are Italian style and made with ground beef, parmesan cheese, herbs and spices. They’re slow simmered to tender perfection in the crock pot and are perfect served over spaghetti or as a hearty appetizer.
Crock pot meatballs are my very favorite type of meatball – they’re melt in your mouth tender and surprisingly easy to make! Serve your meatballs with a side of garlic knots and broccoli for a complete meal.
I am currently in love with my slow cooker all over again. Fall is here, and my crock pot comes in quite handy for quick meals that don’t leave you or your family hanging, like these slow cooker meatballs. A delicious and hearty meal that’s perfect for those cooler nights.
HOW DO YOU MAKE SLOW COOKER MEATBALLS?
The first step in this recipe is to make your meatball mixture, which is a combination of ground beef, onion, garlic, herbs, parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. You can shape your meatballs as big or as small as you like, I typically make mine about 1 1/2 inches in size. I use 90% ground beef for my crock pot meatballs as it’s not overly greasy, but has plenty of flavor.
Can you put raw meatballs in a slow cooker?
Technically yes, you can put raw meatballs in the slow cooker. I prefer to broil mine first because it guarantees that your meatballs will hold their shape and they won’t stick together during the slow cooking process. Broiling the meatballs takes just 10 minutes more and is so worth the extra time.
Tips for Slow Cooker Meatballs
- Make sure to mince your onion finely for these slow cooker Italian meatballs so they’re adult and kid-friendly.
- This recipe can easily be doubled to feed a crowd if need be.
- Use your favorite store-bought marinara sauce to ensure the final dish will be to your liking.
- You can substitute ground turkey for the ground beef if you prefer.
WHAT GOES GOOD WITH MEATBALLS?
What’s great about meatballs is that they’re so versatile. You can serve them as a hearty appetizer on a toothpick or toss them over some cooked spaghetti and make a dinner out of them. These slow cooker meatballs are also great as a pizza topping, in a baked pasta dish, or in a calzone.
I love these meatballs because they taste like they came from a restaurant. They’re so tender and packed full of flavor from simmering all day in the crock pot.
I don’t know about you but taking a few minutes to prep dinner in the morning is worth coming home to a finished meal. Long days are a constant with school in session. Having a great recipe like these slow cooker meatballs make it just a little easier.
MORE MEATBALL RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Cranberry Meatballs
- Cheesy Meatball Bake
- Teriyaki Meatballs
- Farro Soup with Meatballs
- Greek Meatballs with Lemon Dill Rice
Slow Cooker Meatballs Video
Slow Cooker Meatballs
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef I use 90% lean
- 3/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley plus more for serving
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 cup minced onion
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese plus more for serving
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- cooking spray
- 28 ounce jar marinara sauce
- 16 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- Preheat the broiler. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Place the ground beef, breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic, onion, egg, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix until well combined. If it's hard to get everything to mix together, add a little water, a teaspoon at a time until a smooth mixture forms.
- Shape the meat into 1 inch meatballs and place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Broil the meatballs until browned, about 8-10 minutes.
- Place the meatballs in the slow cooker. Add the marinara sauce, crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce and stir gently to combine.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours.
- Top the meatballs with a sprinkling of parsley and parmesan cheese, then serve.