These slow cooker turkey meatballs are homemade, satisfying, and hardly any work. They’re packed with flavor, incredibly tender, and keep perfectly for lunches during the week! Pair them with a salad, on top of spaghetti, stuffed inside a roll topped with provolone cheese, or with a side of garlic bread. No matter the way, these are my favorite!
Let’s talk dinner.
I’ve gotten a few requests for everyday dinner recipes that I make. One of my favorite meals is this slow cooker turkey meatball recipe— I easily make it 2-3 times a month. These are massively flavorful, satisfying, and hardly any works. It’s one of those “set and forget” recipes.
How to Make Slow Cooker Meatballs.
Here’s how I make them. You likely have all, or most, of the ingredients in your kitchen right now.
You’ll add the ingredients into a large bowl, roll up the meatballs, and brown them in a skillet before placing them in the slow cooker. There’s two reasons for browning the meatballs: 1) insane flavor and 2) it “sets” the meatballs so they don’t fall apart and turn this recipe into a meat sauce— though still incredible. This recipe makes about 24 or so meatballs, so you may need to brown them in 2 batches depending on the size of your skillet. It takes about 10-15 minutes total but worth every minute!
The slow cooker ingredients: diced onion, two 28-cans crushed tomatoes, and fresh basil. The onion and basil are imperative for flavor.
The meatballs will cook on low for 6-7 hours, or high for 3-4 hours. As the meatballs simmer and cook, they release flavor into the sauce and become incredibly tender. Good things happen in the slow cooker.
What makes me happy: These meatballs are really easy, tons of flavor, on the lighter side (and you wouldn’t even know it!)
What makes me even happier: With just us 2, this recipes makes tons of leftovers.
So Versatile; Hard to Pick a Favorite!
- on top of a pile of spaghetti
- paired with a salad
- stuffed inside a toasted roll + topped with provolone cheese
- cold, straight from the refrigerator (let’s not judge!)
- aside a large amount of garlic bread (carbs = life)
There’s absolutely no reason to use store-bought meatballs or sauce when you have this recipe. The store-bought has nothing on this.
Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs
- 1 pound 93-97% lean ground turkey
- 1 pound 85% lean ground turkey
- 1 teaspoon milk*
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup Panko
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomato
- 1/3 cup fresh basil
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- optional: fresh parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil
- Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set aside.
- Add the ground turkey, milk, egg, Panko, 1 Tablespoon olive oil, garlic, oregano, basil, parsley, onion powder, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper into a large mixing bowl. Mix everything together until the ingredients are combined— the best tool for this is your hands. Roll into desired size balls, these are a little larger than a golfball which is about 2 Tablespoons each. Place the rolled meatballs on the large baking sheet.
- Place the died onions at the bottom of the crockpot and top with 1 can of crushed tomatoes.
- Add the remaining 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly brown the meatballs for about 1 minute on each side— depending on the size of your skillet will depend on how many will fit. It's important that you do not skip this step.
- Layer the meatballs into the crockpot as the batches are browned. Once all the browned meatballs have been added to the crockpot, pour the second can of crushed tomatoes on top, and top with the fresh basil.
- Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours, or high for 3-4 hours (at that point, the nternal temperature of the meatballs should be 165ºF+). Serve on top of spaghetti, paired with a salad, stuffed inside a roll topped with provolone cheese, or with garlic bread. Store leftover meatballs covered tightly in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.