Crock Pot Meatballs

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Crock Pot Meatballs – Meatballs simmered in a slow cooker in pasta sauce for hours, infusing the sauce with rich meaty flavor. Perfect for spaghetti, meatball subs, sliders, or a meatball appetizer.

3 Crock Pot Meat Balls with sauce in a white bowl

This crock pot meatball recipe is about as easy as homemade meatballs can get.  With most meatballs, you need to fry or bake them first.  In this recipe, you simply put raw meatballs in a crock pot with pasta sauce and let them simmer.  The key is using lean ground beef so that the sauce doesn’t become greasy.  Or, you could even substitute the lean beef for ground turkey or chicken breast.

Since the pasta sauce and meatballs are simmered together for 8 hours, the sauce gets infused with rich meaty flavor.  This makes for some fantastic spaghetti and meatballs!  Or, use this meatball recipe for meatball sliders, meatball subs, or meatball appetizers.

Start by mixing up an egg with minced onion, chopped parsley, garlic powder, salt, pepper, Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, and grated parmesan cheese.

dry mixture for meatballs in a bowl

Use your fingers to lightly break apart the ground beef and add it to the bowl with the bread crumb mixture.

ground beef in a bowl

Using your fingers, lightly toss the crumbled ground beef and bread crumb mixture until just combined.  Over-mixed meatballs are tough.  Using this gentle mixing method will produce tender meatballs.

uncooked meatball mixture in a bowl

Use your fingers and the palms of your hands to pack and roll out 16 meatballs.  They should be around the size of a golf ball, or slightly smaller.

uncooked meatballs on a baking sheet

Add some traditional pasta sauce to a crock pot.  Nestle the meatballs down into the sauce, leaving some space between each meatball.

uncooked meatballs and sauce in a crock pot

Spoon some sauce over the tops of each meatball so that they are completely submerged in sauce.  Let the meatballs and sauce simmer for 6 to 8 hours.  If there is grease on top of the sauce after cooking, use a spoon to skim it off.  Then, stir gently.

crock pot full of marinara sauce

Boil up some pasta for easy and delicious spaghetti and meatballs.  Or, serve as appetizers, meatball subs, or meatball sliders.

3 Crock Pot Meat Balls with sauce in a white bowl

If you use these meatballs for anything other than pairing with pasta, there will probably be quite a bit of sauce left over.  Freeze the leftover sauce for a later use.

meatball with sauce on a slide bun

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Crock Pot Meatballs with pasta sauce on a plate

Crock Pot Meatballs Recipe

5 from 3 votes
Crock Pot Meatballs - Meatballs simmered in a slow cooker in pasta sauce for hours, infusing the sauce with rich meaty flavor. Perfect for spaghetti, meatball subs, sliders, or a meatball appetizer.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes

Video

Servings 8 servings
Calories 211 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion -finely diced
  • 1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef -the leaner the better
  • 1 (45 oz.) jar traditional pasta sauce

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, beat the egg with a fork. Add the onion, bread crumbs, parmesan, parsley, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Add the ground beef to the bowl with the bread crumb mixture. Mix with your hands until combined.
  • Pack and roll out 24 meatballs, using the palms of your hands. Meatballs should be slightly larger than a tablespoon.
  • Spray a large slow cooker with cooking spray.  Place the meatballs in an even layer in the slow cooker.  Pour the pasta sauce over the meatballs.
  • Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours. If there is grease on top of the sauce after cooking, use a spoon to skim it off. Then, gently stir the sauce and meatballs. Serve warm.

Notes

If you are making these meatballs for appetizers, meatball subs, or meatball sliders. There will probably be sauce left over. I put the extra sauce in a zip top freezer bag and freeze it until the next time I need a flavorful pasta sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 3meatballs & ¼ cup of sauce | Calories: 211kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 1170mg | Potassium: 866mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 930IU | Vitamin C: 14.2mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 4.3mg
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Entree, Main Course
Keyword crock pot meatballs, how to make meatballs in a crock pot, slow cooker meatballs
Cuisine American, Italian
Author Amanda Finks

Check out all of my great ground beef recipes.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I doubled the recipe, used 2lbs ground turkey, 1lb of pork. Had to layer them in the crockpot. Cooked on high for 6 hours, then simmered on low. Best recipe, tender meatballs

  2. You mentioned fresh chopped garlic in your notes but use garlic powder in the recipe. Which one do you use?

  3. 5 stars
    I love this option of making meatballs in the crock pot! I can do this for parties and then serve right from the crock pot.

About Amanda Finks

I’m a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist living in Zionsville, IN. I’m an avid cook, travel nerd, & lover of good food! I’m trained in Food Science & recipe development. It’s my mission to bring you the BEST recipes your whole family will love!

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