Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs

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!

Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs! This is a healthy, hearty turkey meatball recipe that everyone will love, made in the crock pot!

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).

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5 from 1 vote

Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs

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!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time6 hrs
Total Time6 hrs 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy spaghetti meatball recipe, low calorie meatballs, slow cooker turkey meatballs, turkey meatballs
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 168kcal


Slow Cooker Meatballs:

  • 1 pound extra lean ground turkey breast
  • 1/4 cup plain panko bread crumbs I like Ian's brand
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg optional
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Slow Cooker Sauce:

  • 1/2 medium yellow onion finely chopped (1/3 cup)
  • 2 cups of your favorite homemade marinara or store-bought jarred sauce here's my favorite sauce recipe


  • 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 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


Calories: 168kcal | Carbohydrates: 5.3g | Protein: 20.4g | Fat: 7.2g | Saturated Fat: 1.7g | Fiber: 0.8g | Sugar: 2.2g


48 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Turkey Meatballs

  1. Carbzilla

    These look delicious! I’ll have to make them when I’m home because my husband’s nervous about leaving an appliance plugged in all day.

    Would still love to grab a cup of coffee sometime!

  2. chelsea

    This is so funny that you posted this today because I was just looking for more slow cooker recipes. However, I would so love if you started doing nothing but Thanksgiving recipes, cooking for the mother-in-law and I’m very nervous! I don’t know if I can trust some of the recipes out there!! But I trust you!! I have made quite a few of your recipes and they have all turned out delish!!

    1. Can You Stay for Dinner

      Leah, if you come to my house and eat meatballs you get a two for one deal: Dinner and me singing, “On top of spppaaaagghhheeeetttiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii, all covered in cheeeeeeese….I lost my poor meatball….when..” You get the idea.

  3. NanaBread (Jeanne)

    Holy guacamole! That’s the best looking plate of meatballs I’ve ever seen, and I can’t believe they’re that easy to make. I’ve always baked my meatballs, and now you come up with this. Amazing! This is on my short list now. Thanks for sharing them. I feel like you just gave me the winning lottery numbers!

  4. Marna

    Meatballs look great and I printed out the Passion Cookie recipe from yesterday. My husband will LOVE those.

    If you want chocolate in the CP, check out recipes for Triple Chocolate Mess (yes, that’s really the name.) To say that it’s amazing is an understatement.

  5. biz319

    Yum, yum and yum. I’ve never thought to do them in the crock pot! I usually sear them so they are nice and crunchy on the outside, then nestle them in my sauce to finish cooking.

    Can you believe my Italian husband doesn’t like meatballs that much? WTF?!

  6. Judy

    I’ve never tried to slow cook my meatballs.. I shall. Thank you. I also combine meats.. ground turkey or chicken or beef. A little of each, a lot of one, etc… great flavors. Thanks for all your humor too.. love it!

  7. Katherine

    1. I love the way you write, it is so intimate and entertaining.
    2. You always have the best tips hidden in these posts that non-cooks like me juuusssttt don’t know.
    3. there never is a 3.
    Thank you!

  8. Ashley

    These look super yummy! I’ve been looking for a meatball recipe (never made them before! stage fright) and more slow cooker recipes, so this is the best of both worlds! Thank you for sharing – I hope mine turn out yummy.

  9. Amanda

    These look SO good! I had a quick question. If I doubled this recipe, would the cooking time be the same? I have 4 children. I double EVERY recipe! :)

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  11. Mel B

    This recipe is delicious! I wasn’t sure about the milk at first, but it works so well, I’ce added it to my list of go-to meals that the family love, and I’m just about to make a batch now for tonight’s dinner. Thanks :)

  12. Chelsea

    This recipe looks perfect to christen my new crock pot! If I wanted to do them faster though, say in two hours instead of four could I set it to high, maybe with more sauce? Or would that burn them? Thanks!

  13. Veronike

    SOO good. I just made these the other night and my boyfriend loved them. I added some peppers and more onions and it was just delicious. Keep the good recipes coming!

  14. Birttany

    I have been searching for a slow cooker meatball recipe! I usually put in ground Italian pork sausage too, it adds SO much flavor :)

    Thank you!

  15. Autumn

    OMG I am so glad I found this recipe!!! I have been wanting to make meatballs and was planning to on Saturday!! So what a better way than to put them in a slow cooker!!! I can’t wait!

    Thanks and I look forward to telling you how the turned out!

  16. Jessie

    I have made these awesome meatballs twice now and they seriously taste like restaurant quality or better! I have been searching for this meatball recipe for 13 years now and I finally found it!! Thank you!

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  18. Chad

    Great simple recipe. I went with a beef/pork blend, italian seasoning instead of only oregano, and substituted cilantro for basil.

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  20. Kristie

    Andie, thank you for posting this recipe. My meatballs are cooking in the Crock Pot as we speak!! Can’t wait til they’re done!!

  21. Ronnie

    Hi there, thanks for your recipe. I’m just making this in country Western Australia! It’s a Perfect cold weather/busy farming people recipe. I’ve made an Italian sugo sauce with tinned tomato, capers, fresh parsley & basil, teaspoon chopped anchovies, tablespoon white sugar and a good splash of white wine. Thank you so much. It smells delish in my kitchen. Regards from Australia!

  22. Rebecca Copeland

    What is the calorie count for this? It was delish! Have you ever encountered a lot of grease? I think it’s grease. What would you do if that happened? Try to spoon it out?

    1. Heather

      Grease happened to me 1st time I cooked them too. I just heated the meatballs in oven to rid some of the grease before putting in crockpot. Worked great! (375° for 10 min)

  23. Dawn

    I love this recipe! When you started talking about warming chocolate, you made me think of the new fondue warmers from Velata. I am going to try sauce in them now…check out my website to see the Velata.. You made me think about something great to use the system for!

  24. Gigi

    This picture was the standout of all the images! Started too late to have them today, but all is ready for my husband (!) to assemble first thing in the morning for a late lunch. (We have dinner at lunch, and appies for dinner.). The one thing I am totally upset about, and can’t believe, is that you rave about your dad’s marinara as the best you’ve had in the whole wide world, but you don’t give us the recipe! Gyp! It’s the brightness of the sauce that attracted me, and then you say to use a jar of marinara? That’s just wrong to tease like that!

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  26. Elizabeth

    I’ve made these meatballs several times and they’re WONDERFUL. I don’t think I’d ever make meatballs another way again! Thank you so much Andie.

  27. Robyn Z

    5 stars
    I can’t believe I hadn’t commented on these sooner – but they’ve been in our dinner repertoire for years now. The greatest recipe and soooo easy! We usually double it so we have leftovers. Thank you Andie!!


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