Slow Cooker Meatballs

Slow Cooker Meatballs

3.6 of 5 (56)
member ratings
Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 4
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 370.4
  • Total Fat: 11.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 156.3 mg
  • Sodium: 210.9 mg
  • Total Carbs: 27.0 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 4.0 g
  • Protein: 41.2 g

View full nutritional breakdown of Slow Cooker Meatballs calories by ingredient


These aren't your mama's meatballs--they're better! Lean but packed with flavor, they cook all day while you're away. These aren't your mama's meatballs--they're better! Lean but packed with flavor, they cook all day while you're away.
Number of Servings: 4


    1 large white or yellow onion, quartered
    4 garlic cloves
    1 red bell pepper, cored and cut in half
    8 ounces sliced mushrooms
    1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
    1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    16 ounces lean ground beef (94% lean)
    1 slice whole wheat bread, crust removed and processed into bread crumbs
    1 egg yolk
    2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
    2 1/2 cups prepared low-sodium marinara sauce, divided
    fresh basil or parsley for garnish (optional)


Use a food processor to make quick work of chopping all those veggies. If you don't have one, you can mince them instead. You want the veggies to be finely minced--this will ensure moist but not soggy meatballs.

If cooking longer than five hours, increase the water in the recipe to 3/4 cup.


Pulse the onion in a food processor until finely chopped.

Coat a large saucepan with cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for about four minutes, until it starts to soften.
Meanwhile, add the remaining vegetables to the food processor (no need to clean it after chopping the onions) and pulse until they are finely chopped.
Add the veggies to the pan, stir and cook for another four minutes, until their juices start to evaporate. Add the herbs and spices, stir, and remove from heat.

Transfer 1 cup of the vegetables to the food processor and pulse several times. Layer the rest in the bottom of the slow cooker.

Transfer the pureed veggies from the food processor to a medium bowl. Refrigerate for five minutes to cool slightly.
Add the beef, bread crumbs, egg yolk, and one tablespoon of Parmesan cheese to the bowl with the pureed vegetables. Using a fork or slotted spoon, thoroughly mix. Scooping two tablespoons at a time into your hands, roll the meatballs between the palms of your hands.
Place the meatballs into a large microwave-safe dish. Microwave on high for five minutes to release some of the fat (optional).

Pour 1 1/2 cups of the marinara sauce into the bottom of the slow cooker along with 1/2 cup water and stir to combine with the vegetables.

Place the meatballs on top in a single layer. Pour on the rest of the marinara sauce, cover and cook on low for three to five hours. Garnish the cooked meatballs with the remaining Parmesan cheese and herbs.

Serving Size: Makes 4 servings, 3 meatballs per person

Member Ratings For This Recipe

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    30 of 32 people found this review helpful
    The easiest way to make meatballs is to bake them. Use the broiler pan, cover the bottom with foil, spray the slotted grill & place the meatballs on it. Bake for 30 minutes or so until done. The grease drips out onto the foil - easy cleanup. The meatballs are all moist, and they freeze well. - 8/28/13

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    19 of 27 people found this review helpful
    I don't understand the vegetables mixed with the marinara in the crockpot? And I wish this was something that wouldn't take forever and dirty a ton of pans in the morning: this is NOT a "before the workday" recipe. Minced veggies and pureed are very different! That will affect the meatball texture. - 8/28/13

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    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
    I would try this with ground turkey or chicken instead of the beef, that should cut down on the calories wouldn't it? And serve over vegetable spaghetti instead of pasta - yum! - 9/27/13

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    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
    These were real good next time i wont add the water. I used the good beef. - 9/3/13

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    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
    These are too time consuming for the taste. You can make them much easier for a lot less time. I don't think I will be making this recipe again. - 1/9/15