Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs

Is there anything better than coming home to a house that smells like dinner?  I love italian food, but its always so heavy with pasta and sugar laden sauces.  These healthy Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs were just what I wanted when I was searching for a healthy Italian meal.

When I was a teacher I loved slow cooker recipes because I could dump ingredients in and a wonderful dinner was ready for me when I got home.  However, many of the recipes are make with cream of onion, cream of mushroom, or cream of chicken soup, all of which are NOT healthy.

I had made turkey meatballs before but never thought to put them in the slow cooker and let them cook that way. So when I found this recipe for the Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs I knew I had to give them a try.  They are relatively easy to make and you can prep some of them ahead of time.

The one thing I don’t like about this recpie is that you do have to cook the meatballs before putting them in the slow cooker or they will crumble and you will just end up with a very meaty pasta sauce.  However, I got around too much cooking by making the meatballs the day before during my sunday prep days.  I made and cooked them then froze them so that all I had to do when I was ready to use them was place them in the crock pot, dump the rest of the ingredients on top, set the timer, and walk away.

Prep Time: 20 min.

Cooking Time: 4-6 Hours

Servings: 6 servings, 3 meatballs each

Portion Containers: 1 Green, 1 Red, 1 tsp.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. raw 93% lean ground turkey
  • ½ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt), divided use
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup whole grain panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 (28-oz.) can whole tomatoes, crushed
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano leaves

Directions:

  1. Combine turkey, ¼ tsp. salt, pepper, egg, breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley, and cheese in a large bowl; mix well with clean hands.
  2. Roll mixture into eighteen 1½-inch meatballs. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
    Add half of meatballs; cook, turning occasionally, for 4 to 6 minutes, or until meatballs are browned on each side. Place browned meatballs in a 3-quart slow cooker.
  4. Repeat with the remaining meatballs. Set aside.
  5. Add onion to same skillet; cook, over medium-high heat, for 4 to 6 minutes, or until onion is translucent.
  6. Top meatballs with cooked onion, tomatoes, oregano, and remaining ¼ tsp. salt; cook, covered, on low temperature for 5 to 6 hours, stirring once or twice.

What is your favorite slow cooker recipe?

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