Crockpot Meatballs in bowl with spaghetti
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4.5 from 2 votes

Slow Cooker Meatballs
These Easy Slow Cooker Meatballs with homemade marinara sauce are a delicious, make ahead dinner! With a freezer meal option, you can make crockpot meatballs faster than ever!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time7 hrs
Total Time7 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 282kcal


For the meatballs:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound 80% lean ground beef or ground turkey

For the marinara sauce:

  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper plus more to taste


  • To make the meatballs, preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with olive oil.
  • Combine egg, 2 cloves garlic, Panko, Parmesan, parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Stir with a fork until well combined.
  • Add the ground beef and mix until just combined. Do not over mix the meat mixture.
  • Use your hands to shape into 1 1/2-inch meatballs and place on the greased baking sheet.
  • Bake meatballs for 10-12 minutes, until they are cooked through (they should register at least 160 degrees F on an instant read thermometer).
  • Transfer meatballs to slow cooker.
  • Add all marinara sauce ingredients.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  • Remove the bay leaves and serve meatballs and sauce with pasta, spaghetti squash or veggie noodles.


To make these Meatballs as a freezer meal:
  1. Make and bake the meatballs as directed above. Cool completely.
  2. Label a heavy-duty zip-top freezer bag with the recipe name, date, and slow cooking instructions.
  3. Combine all marinara sauce ingredients in the freezer bag. Add the cooled meatballs to the bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible and seal the bag.
  4. Freeze flat for up to 3 months.
  5. Thaw and then cook in your slow cooker as directed above.


Serving: 3meatballs | Calories: 282kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 101mg | Sodium: 496mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 10g
Nutrition information is only an estimate.
© Kristine's Kitchen