This slow cooker turkey meatball recipe is 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!
1pound93-97% lean ground turkey
1pound85% lean ground turkey
3cloves garlic, minced
1 and 1/2teaspoonsonion powder
1/2teaspoonred pepper flakes
3/4teaspoonsfreshly ground black pepper
2(28-ounce)cans crushed tomato
1largesweet 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.
Make ahead tip: Prepare the meatballs through step 4. Cover and refrigerate browned meatballs for up to 1 day. The next day, continue with step 5 and cook as directed. You can also fully prepare 1 day in advance, refrigerator overnight, then cook in the crockpot on low for about an hour or until warmed. Browned meatballs (not fully cooked) can be frozen for up to 3 months— add an extra hour to the cook time if frozen. Cooked meatballs in sauce can be frozen for up to 3 months.Don't have a slow cooker? Prepare through step 4. Set the browned meatballs on the large baking sheet. Add the onion, crushed tomatoes, browned meatballs, and fresh basil to a large pot. Turn the heat to medium-low, cover with a lid, and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through— about 35 minutes.1. I prefer to use ground turkey to keep these on the lighter side, but feel free to use ground beef or your favorite combination.2. Any type of milk can be used. To keep these dairy-free, I use unsweetened almond milk.