Ultra-tender and unbelievably delicious crockpot turkey meatballs made with lean ground turkey, panko, Parmesan, oregano, and basil. Set this easy family favorite in your slow cooker in the morning and enjoy it any night of the week!
The number one question I have at dinnertime is: How can I avoid dirtying fifty-seven bowls, all my utensils…and that one skillet that I’d rather throw away than clean at the end of all of this? Answer: The slow cooker.
The slow cooker—or crock pot—is a savior for all of us who’d like a home-cooked meal, minus the home-cooked part of that. It works for stews, soups, and working out the kinks in inexpensive cuts of meat like nothing else can. Just recently, I found out how well the slow cooker works on turkey meatballs.
Admittedly, meatballs aren’t the fussiest things to make. It’s the sauce that matters most. No good meatball is without a rich, garlicky, sweet marinara to match. I crave a pot of meatballs and sauce at least once a month.
It’s understood that the longer your sauce simmers, the more robust its flavor, the better and stronger the marriage of spices to tomatoes. And since we both know that the slow cooker is sure-fire succulence when it comes to meat, well…meatballs in the slow cooker just make sense.
Slowly simmered and cooked directly in your favorite marinara, these turkey meatballs are simple. They’re perfectly moist and tender, while still holding on dearly to their cute round figure.
So friends, it’s not going to get much easier than this. It might not even get any better (until we figure out those logistics on slow cooking chocolate).
In a large bowl, mix all meatball ingredients with your hands just until combined. Be careful not to over-mix, or the meatballs will be tough. Form the mixture into balls roughly 1- to 1½-inches in diameter (You should have roughly 16 meatballs)
Scatter the onion over the base of your slow cooker. Arrange the meatballs over the onion, spreading them out in a single layer. Pour the sauce evenly over the top, tossing to coat every meatball in sauce. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Serve the meatballs and sauce with your favorite pasta.
Nutrition Information & Notes:
Nutrition Information: Calories 168.4, Total Fat 7.2g, Sat Fat 1.7g, Carb 5.3g, Fiber 0.8g, Sugars 2.2g, Protein 20.4
Nutrition is based on using extra lean ground turkey breast with 120 calories per 4-ounce (raw) serving, Ian's Natural panko bread crumbs with 70 calories per 1/4 cup serving, and Rao's Marinara Sauce with 80 calories per 1/2 cup per serving.
**Note: This recipe has been updated and lightened. The original recipe called for 1/2 cup panko, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, and omitted the egg. If you prefer to make that version, here is the original recipe's nutrition information: Calories 190, Fat 4g, Carb 15g, Fiber 2g, Sugars 4g, Protein 21g