RecipeSlow Cooker Italian-Style Meatballs

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
  • Calories: 50
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Total Fat: 2.5 g
    • Unsaturated Fat: 2 g
    • Saturated Fat: 0.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 20 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 3 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1 g
  • Total Sugar: 1 g
    • Natural Sugar: 1 g
    • Added Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 180 mg

No need to search for the passport! These meatballs are like taking a trip to Italy without having to leave the house. This savory and saucy dish requires just three easy steps: 1. Mix the ingredients together and form your meatballs. 2. Add your meatballs to the slow cooker and pour marinara sauce on top. 3. Let the machine do its magic! The end result is a flavorful batch of mouthwatering meatballs that seriously hit the spot. Plus, you can enjoy them in soooo many different ways. I typically serve mine over pasta—the real McCoy, zoodles or spaghetti squash—or atop a pizza, on a hero sandwich, or even with toothpicks as an appetizer. There’s no wrong turn here.

  • Prep time
  • Total Time
This recipe makes 20 to 24 meatballs
  • 1 pound ground turkey (93% lean)
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • ⅓ cup “Italian-seasoned” breadcrumbs (preferably whole grain)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional, for a bit of heat)
  • 2 jars (24 ounces each) of your favorite marinara sauce

Mist the bottom of your slow cooker bowl with oil spray.

In a large bowl, combine the turkey, Parmesan, parsley, breadcrumbs, egg, garlic, salt, pepper and optional crushed red pepper flakes. Using your hands, mix ingredients until everything is well combined, being careful not to over-mix or they’ll become too tough.

Once combined, gently roll meatballs between your two hands, forming fluffy golf-ball-size meatballs that are not too tight or compact. As you roll them, gently place them on the bottom of your slow cooker. When all of the meatballs are complete, pour the marinara sauce over them. (Add 1 teaspoon of optional Italian seasoning blend if your marinara sauce is plain and needs some jazzing up, and gently swirl into the sauce only, taking care to not break apart the meatballs). Place the cover on top of your slow cooker, locking it in place, and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours until the meatball’s internal temperature is 165˚.

Serve with whole-grain pasta, zucchini noodles, or spaghetti squash—and sprinkle on additional Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes, if desired. Leftovers can be refrigerated for approximately 3 to 4 days, or frozen for approximately 4 to 6 months.


Nutrition provided for 1 saucy meatball


Try these Chicken Parm Meatballs!