Kitchen

Crockpot Meatballs – Spend With Pennies

Crockpot Meatballs are an effortless way to prepare tender and delicious meatballs!

No need to brown or pre-cook these meatballs, they cook perfectly tender and juicy right in the slow cooker and are sauced up with a rich and chunky tomato sauce.

Simple prep you’ll come home to a classic Italian style meal, easy as pie!

close photo of the inside of a crockpot meatball with tomato sauce

Crockpot Meatballs

Crockpot Meatballs are really easy to make, simply mix the meatballs and let the slow cooker do all of the work. While I often make homemade meatballs or All Purpose Turkey Meatballs, I love putting them into the slow cooker and coming home to a meal ready to serve!

Ingredients

Use lean beef in this recipe, you’ll want a little bit of fat for moisture and texture. These are not cooked first so you want to make sure you don’t have too much fat but a little bit of fat adds a rich flavor to the sauce.

Just like our oven meatball recipe these use simple ingredients like Italian breadcrumbs and seasonings, onion and parmesan cheese, they’re meatballs are packed with flavor.

These cook right in a simple tomato sauce which has great flavor! It’s a simple sauce with pasta sauce, diced and crushed tomatoes (or tomato sauce), garlic, and Italian seasoning.

Once sauced up, crock pot meatballs cook low and slow in the crockpot keeping all the juices and flavors tucked inside every savory little meatball.

ingredients for crock pot meatballs on a counter

How to Make Meatballs in a Crockpot?

Once you try this crockpot meatballs recipe it will become your go-to! They’re so easy to make and no frying or baking (which means no extra dishes to wash).

  1. Combine the ground beef, seasonings, breadcrumbs, and egg together per the recipe below.
  2. Roll into meatballs and place raw meatballs in the bottom of the crockpot.
  3. Top with sauce. Cover and let the slow cooker do the work!

Uncooked meatballs in a black slow cooker

Do You Have to Cook Meatballs Before Putting Them in a Crockpot?

No, you do not have to cook meatballs before they go into the Crockpot!

If I am using ground beef in the slow cooker (when I’m making Crock Pot Chili or Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese) I often brown the ground beef. This recipe is specifically designed to skip the pre-cooking. Just mix, form into balls, and place in the bottom of the crockpot.

I use lean beef in this slow cooker Italian meatball recipe, the juices from the meatballs add amazing flavor to the sauce!

No browning required! If you’d like you can brown the outside of the meatballs in a frying pan but we don’t. The real beauty of this recipe is how quick and easy it is.

Ladle full of Crockpot Meatballs

What Should to Serve with Meatballs Crockpot Meatballs

Crockpot meatballs can be served as an appetizer or made into a whole meal!

  • Serve it over your favorite pasta like spaghetti or penne.
  • Turn it into a meatball sub by serving it over a toasted hoagie roll, top it with mozzarella cheese and broil!
  • Mashed potatoes go with anything, why not meatballs!
  • Create a meatball casserole by adding fusilli, cover with mozzarella and parmesan cheese and bake at 375˚F for 20 min!

Overhead shot of Crockpot Meatballs over rigatoni

While this homemade crockpot meatball recipe calls for a tomato-based sauce, you can always change it up! Try it with BBQ sauce, sweet and sour sauce, mushroom sauce or a honey garlic sauce! The meatball recipe itself is just so versatile and is delicious with any sauce!

The meatballs can be prepared the night before and refrigerated. In the morning, simply add to the slow cooker, pour the sauce on and let the crockpot do the work! I’m pretty sure that once you prepare meatballs using this crockpot method, you will never go back!

Other Ground Beef Recipes You’ll Love

Crockpot Meatballs

Tender juicy meatballs in an easy tomato sauce requires very little prep and has amazing flavor!


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  • Spray slow cooker with cooking spray.

  • Combine all meatball ingredients in a a bowl. Using a tablespoon, form 24 meatballs. Place uncooked meatballs in the bottom of the slow cooker.

  • Combine all sauce ingredients in a large bowl. Pour over meatballs and cook on high for 3-4 hours.

  • Serve over pasta.

Calories: 280, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 80mg, Sodium: 703mg, Potassium: 901mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 815IU, Vitamin C: 23mg, Calcium: 133mg, Iron: 4.9mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Course Main Course, Slow Cooker

Cuisine American, Italian

Recipe adapted from slow cooker spaghetti and meatballs.

Crockpot Meatballs with text

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